Sensei: Why you might not need a WordPress Membership Site

sensei

You have e-learning options

It's possible you've read my post about e-learning and how I recommended WP Courseware. Or read my post comparing the various e-learning plugins for WordPress, including Sensei, WP Courseware and Premise. Either way, you know I've been a bigger fan of WP Courseware than of Sensei.

But over the last several months, the guys at WooThemes have been constantly improving Sensei – to the point that some of the glitches I experienced when I reviewed it last have disappeared. That's always a good thing.

You have membership plugin options

Now, as I walked you thru the creation of an e-learning site using Paid Memberships Pro and WP Courseware, I highlighted the need to use both an e-learning solution along with a membership solution.

That's because one handles the authorization to allow you to view your course, while the other manages the courses and learning content. It was one of the reasons I compared all the membership plugins for my infographic.

You have eCommerce options

As you may recall, several months ago I started working on the creation of several online courses to match the consulting I'd been doing for years.

These information products would go further than some of my eBooks and grant readers access to my other material. Of course I still want to sell the eBooks on the site as well.

So I started looking at the solutions that would do both. One obvious choice was to combine Restrict Content Pro with Easy Digital Downloads. Combining those with a courseware product was creating a bit of hassle.

So the other option was to circle back to WooThemes and give another shot to WooCommerce and Sensei. If you've read my articles on WooCommerce, you know I like it as a platform. So giving Sensei another shot just made sense.

No Need for a WordPress Membership Site

So you can imagine my surprise, as I was playing with WooCommerce and Sensei that I realized I never had to set up a membership solution.

That's because once you create a course product (in WooCommerce as a product), and a course in Sensei, you can link them. And when you link them, WooCommerce manages the purchase and Sensei manages the access.

Check out this video.

It's really that simple — Sensei does away with your need to use a WordPress membership plugin at all. From what I understand about what the guys over at WP Courseware are doing — they're looking at potentially doing the same thing (removing the dependency to have an additional membership plugin to run their product).

Look for some changes at ChrisLema.com

So if you're like me, and you have some eBooks and some eCourses you want to sell from the same site, WooCommerce and Sensei together might be just the thing you're looking for.

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Chris Lema
Chris Lema has been working with WordPress since 2005. Over the years he's been a blogger, a speaker at WordCamps, a coach for WordPress product companies, and the founder of the conference for WordPress business owners, called CaboPress. Today he's the VP of Products at Liquid Web, where he manages the world's first managed platform for WooCommerce stores.