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Welcome the Sprightly Springbok: Sensei 1.7.0

February 2, 2015 - 17 Comments

Grand news for all the Sensei users out there, it took us slightly longer than anticipated but Sensei 1.7.0 (codename ‘Sprightly Springbok’) is now available! As mentioned on the Woo Dev Blog, Sensei 1.7.0 brings major improvements all round to the speed and performance of your website and we’ve optimised the way Sensei interacts with the database so you should now experience no decrease in load speed, no matter how many users, courses or lessons you have on your site.

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Before you start updating, please read the following important information.

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How to Launch Your Online Course Without Months of Hard Work

January 15, 2015 - 6 Comments

One thing that puts a lot of people off teaching online, is what they perceive to be a huge amount of work involved in creating the course content. I’ve seen people spend months producing an extensive course, with professionally edited video, and elaborately devised quizzes, only to find that when they finally release it, nobody wants to buy it.

There is another way

You may know everything there is to know about a certain subject. That doesn’t mean you have to cram all of that knowledge into one really long course before you can start selling it. My advice would be to follow a ‘lean production’ approach to online course creation.

If you’ve never heard of lean, it’s a set of principles derived from a manufacturing process developed by Toyota, which aims to create maximum value, with minimum waste. A key concept of the methodology is the ‘minimum viable product’ (MVP), which is ‘a product with the highest return on investment versus risk’.

For our purposes, that would mean producing a course (or courses) that deliver the maximum amount of value to your learners, with the minimum amount of time, effort and cost invested by you.

You then gather feedback on this course from your learners, and based on that feedback, gradually improve/expand your course offerings, and then repeat the whole process.

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How To Sell Online When You Don’t Have A Product

January 5, 2015 - 4 Comments

I tell people about WooCommerce all the time. When I explain to them how easy it can be to set up your own online store and start selling, they will often look quizzically at me, and say “That sounds great, but I don’t have a product to sell.”

Here’s the thing. They do have a product, they’re just not aware of it yet. They have one, you have one, almost everybody does. And that product is knowledge.

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Sensei Content Drip: set the pace your students learn

November 12, 2014 - 16 Comments

What’s the best way to learn something? A foreign language, say. We’ll tell you for free it’s not cramming. If you’re thinking it’s more effective to learn a few words and phrases at a time, practice them and let them take root in your long-term memory before moving on – you’re right!

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When you offer an online course and give your learners access to all of the content at once the problem is that they will often race ahead and try to learn too much too soon. And end up getting overwhelmed by too much content. And drop out.

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How Imperial College London built their Digital Learning Hub with WooCommerce and Sensei

October 20, 2014 - 5 Comments

In this post, David Page (Senior Application Developer at Psycle Interactive) tells us a bit about their latest project; using Sensei to build a digital learning hub for Imperial College London, one of the world’s top universities.

Note: This project features quite a bit of custom development so, while it’s not something a beginner could set up without help from an experienced developer, it gives you an idea of the kind of result which can be achieved with Sensei and a bit of technical knowledge.

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Sensei Case Study: Creating the AMK Pro Platform

July 29, 2014 - 9 Comments

I am Francisco Aguilera G., Creative Director of APK Estudio, a small Chilean web design studio, and blogger at FranciscoAMK.com. I have published online tutorials and courses for several years through my own blog, my company website and other platforms such as Udemy and Floqq.

At the beginning of 2014 I had three courses published independently on different platforms:

  • Diseño web con HTML y CSS desde cero (Web design with HTML and CSS from scratch) (Published at Udemy)
  • Dominando WordPress sin programación (Mastering WordPress without programming) (Published at Floqq, Udemy and a course website, using Campaign Monitor autoresponders to send a daily class to registered users)
  • Tu primera tienda online (Your first online store) (Published on its own website, also sending a daily class by email autoresponder)

In March 2014 I began to prepare material to publish a new course called Creación de temas WordPress profesionales (Professional WordPress theme creation), but on this occasion I decided to publish it on my own platform – pro.franciscoamk.com.

Screenshot of the Professional WordPress theme creation course shown on Francisco's website.

My requirements for this platform included being able to offer my students a learning experience as nice as Udemy’s, being able to decide how to communicate with my students, to contact them and promote my course, and most importantly, being able to charge a fair and low price, by not having to pay 50% commission per student registered.

Additionally, this platform should allow me to have all my courses in one place, offering a simpler mechanism to manage and sell them as well as being able to sell other kinds of products such as ebooks and themes.

This is how I discovered Sensei and its excellent integration with WooCommerce. Love at first sight!



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Keep your students coming back with Follow Up Emails

July 24, 2014 - 8 Comments

If you’re a Sensei user, you have probably experienced that buzz of satisfaction when a new customer starts taking one of your lovingly crafted courses, followed by the thrill of seeing them work their way through the course.

You may then have experienced the sense of disappointment, when that student completes the course and disappears, never to be heard from again, despite all the other great courses you have to offer.

So, what can you do to keep your students coming back for more?

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Lessons learnt planning a big product release

July 8, 2014 - 8 Comments

We recently released version 1.6 of Sensei (our learning management plugin), which proved to be the biggest, most feature-rich release since the plugin was launched almost 18 months ago.

While, overall, I consider the release to be successful, I also learnt a lot during this release cycle and there are certain things I would have done differently in hindsight.

I’d like to share some of those insights with you here.

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Take learning to the next level with Sensei 1.6

June 25, 2014 - 29 Comments

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Today we are delighted to announce the launch of Sensei version 1.6, with some of the most exciting Sensei features yet!

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Enrich your Sensei courses with these 3 free extensions

June 23, 2014 - 7 Comments

Sensei 1.6 is just around the corner (look out for it later this week), boasting a bunch of awesome new features for your Sensei websites.

To whet your appetite for what promises to be a feast of Sensei goodness, we’re delighted to bring you an appetizer of three small, yet satisfying, Sensei extensions, which will enhance the learning experience for your students. Did we mention they’re FREE?

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Sensei 1.5: A new way to teach

March 5, 2014 - 59 Comments

sensei 1.5.0

We take customer feedback very seriously here at WooThemes, and we’ve been paying close attention to the features you’ve requested for Sensei on our ideas board.

Hot on the heels of our free Certificates and Modules extensions for Sensei, we’re happy to bring you Sensei version 1.5, which offers a whole bunch of improvements for your online learning websites.

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Creating a Tiered Membership Site with Sensei and Groups

February 13, 2014 - 13 Comments

We’ve previously explained how you can use Sensei and WooCommerce Subscriptions to create a membership-based learning site for your courses.

The only drawback to this method is that you can’t have a ‘tiered membership’ setup, so if you had a subscription with three options – Bronze, Silver, Gold – gold subscribers don’t automatically get access to the bronze and silver content too.

In this post I’ll describe a method you can use to create such a multi-tiered setup, it just requires that you use Sensei in a slightly non-standard way.

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Case Study: Vitruvian Fine Art Studio Online Art Classes

February 3, 2014 - 12 Comments

David JamiesonDavid Jamieson, from the Vitruvian Fine Art Studio in Chicago, tells us how he uses Sensei along with a handful of other plugins to deliver online art instruction.

The work I do is extremely low-tech: I make drawings and paintings, and teach others to do the same. I’m a co-founder and principal instructor at the Vitruvian Fine Art Studio, in Chicago, where we offer instruction in realistic drawing, painting, sculpture and anatomy to students of all levels.

While our work at the studio is low-tech, our business is firmly rooted in the 21st century – we try to make use of current technology to enhance and extend our teaching and, to that end, we’ve begun offering online courses and instructional video downloads, via our website. It turns out that there are lots of people out there seeking to improve their drawing and painting skills, and putting some of our instructional material online is the best way we can help them do just that.

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Organize Your Sensei Courses

January 15, 2014 - 19 Comments

Sensei Modules and Media Attachments

Download Sensei Modules Today Purchase Sensei Today

A good online course needs a clear structure, and effective content organisation.

Today we bring you two Sensei extensions which aim to improve the way your courses are organised. We’re proud to announce that Sensei Modules and Sensei Media Attachments are both available, from today, for FREE!

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Improve Your WordPress Security with These 10 Tips

September 5, 2013 - 32 Comments

We know from experience that having your site hacked is not fun. That’s why, here at WooThemes, we take security very seriously.

In line with our serious approach to security, our products are carefully optimized to be as secure as possible. There are, however, still a handful of potential security risks, when running a website, that we have no control over. You, the website owner, need to pay attention to these potential security risks, in order to keep your website safe.

With that in mind, here are 10 things you can do to improve your WordPress security.

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