Have you been thinking about building an online course?
I write a decent amount of articles on online course creation simply because more and more, it's the core questions I get on Clarity. It seems like every day people are looking to start an online business looking to share their insights—which I think is great.
So today I spent a bit of time renewing my Zippy Courses license, pulling down the latest version, and then building out a sample site to test out their improvements since I last wrote about them.
While I continue to be impressed by how clean the interface is of the course and lesson creation screens, there are still some things I wish they did. Hence this article.
Three Zippy Courses features I wish they'd add
The first is coupon support.
They just don't offer it. You look everywhere. And it's just not there. Instead, from what I can read in the docs, their recommendation is to create a different product that is priced lower (i.e. with the discount already applied) and make that available.
I'm always someone who tells you never to discount. But that doesn't mean my clients don't do promotions. They do. And so, logically, they need the coupon support.
I understand why a product may decide to obliterate support for coupons if they hold strong opinions but it doesn't make it easier to explain to a client that Zippy Courses just doesn't do it.
The second feature I wish for is the support for multiple payment plan options.
Zippy Courses does a good job of allowing you to pick from a one-time payment, multiple payments, or recurring payments. These are all good. But like I talked about last week, we often need options.
My clients want to offer plans like this for a single course:
- One time payment of $100
- Three payments of $50
- Monthly payments of $15
They don't offer it yet, but I hope it makes it on your roadmap.
This article was going to be four items long but the original “third” item was integration with ConvertKit. But it looks like that was resolved so it's now come off the list. It needs an additional plugin, which is not the greatest, but it's really easy to get and install.
The last feature I want is shortcode support, specifically for all their special pages.
The reality is that I totally get why the plugin developer does it the way they do.
It's the way everyone did it years ago—where you pick a page that will be your “course catalog” page and then from a coding perspective, it's really easy to just find that page and then drop any code into play.
But the truth is that many people make their pages do double duty—where the page may have to function as a course catalog but also offer a promotion or upsell opportunity. And that means you need to give the end-user a bit more control over those special pages.
The way WooCommerce does this is that it lets you pick the “catalog” page, but on that page, it automatically drops in a shortcode which you can then move around (above or below other content you might add to the page).
I wish Zippy Courses did it the same way.
Should you use Zippy Courses?
Do these missing features suggest you should stay away from Zippy Courses? No way. I'm not saying that at all. I'm just letting you know that if these three features are important to you, then Zippy Courses may not be a great fit.
I think Zippy Courses is great if you're looking to create an online course solution and plan to put it on your own sub-domain (which they recommend). I think it's great if you have a designer who can work with CSS to make its integration with your existing theme look sharp. And I think it's great if you're only doing an online course kind of site, not a full ecommerce site that also ships t-shirts.
As for me, I'm working on moving some of my courses from other sites onto this site, so that you can have a unified experience on my Rainmaker site.