According to the National Center for Education Statistics, a whopping 60% of college students completed at least one online course in 2021. The future of learning is virtual — so you'll need to know how to create a successful WordPress website for your online course. That's where online course WordPress themes come into the picture.
Why use online course WordPress themes?
So, why are these themes in such high demand right now? That's a great question, and let's dive into why.
Software companies have realized that there's an expanding market for tools to launch an online course with minimal design or web development experience. If you're an expert on a topic, there's never been a better time to do so. Similarly, educational establishments are looking for a place to house their information for their increasingly prevalent online classes. That's where online course WordPress themes come into the picture.
Whether you are building a website for a school or a business that offers virtual learning, there are plenty of great reasons to use online course WordPress themes. Building a site for your online courses from scratch can be arduous and costly. Instead of starting from fresh, using online course WordPress themes allows you to have a basic framework that you can then build off of and customize to your liking.
You might initially be tempted to get a generic WordPress theme for your site and attempt to customize it yourself. However, you might not get far — online learning requires specialized website functionality, including gated course content, lesson plans, and interactive activities. And that's just the first day of school.
To make an online course with WordPress, you'll need a WordPress learning management system (LMS) theme to handle all of this for you. Some LMS themes will cover your entire course, while others are designed to work with WordPress LMS plugins.
Convinced? Then get ready to take notes — here's a compilation of the best online course WordPress themes available. But first, let's dive into some suggested plugins that will help make building your WordPress website even simpler — and work seamlessly with this type of theme.
What are the best plugins to use with online course WordPress themes?
Before we dive into our list, here are a few WordPress plugins that you might want to consider with this type of theme. These tools will save you a lot of time (and headaches) while setting up your site and will power your marketing and sales efforts over time.
You can seamlessly connect your website to your customer relationship management software (CRM) using HubSpot's WordPress plugin. This lets you capture, organize, and engage web visitors with forms, live chat, email, and more.
As you foster relationships and communicate with visitors over time, HubSpot's WordPress plugin automatically records interactions in your CRM, creating a unified timeline view of each visitor's contact history with your business. This makes lead management easier and allows you to tailor a truly personalized customer experience for every person visiting your website. (And yes, website personalization really is that important.)
LearnPress is a free learning management system plugin that comes with an abundance of interesting features. It boasts over 90,000 active installations, so you can get a feel for how popular it is. Not only can you create quizzes with this tool, but you can also offer badges and certificates to individuals who pass or receive outstanding scores. There are also handy management features so you can quickly see who is enrolled in your course and how your course is organized.
If you're hosting an online course, you probably have a few videos you want your users to watch. You might sprinkle them in throughout the course, or you might want all of them accessible in one location.
Enter: Video Gallery, a useful plugin for hosting videos on your site. It supports YouTube, Vimeo, and other third-party hosting platforms. You can also customize the video gallery's design to match your web page's look and feel for cohesive branding. It's a win-win.
Best WordPress Themes For Online Courses
- Clever Course
- Course Builder
First up is Eduma, a premium WordPress education theme and one of the most popular on the ThemeForest marketplace. This option is excellent for grade schools, universities, tutoring centers, and extracurricular programs.
Eduma was built to integrate with LearnPress, a leading LMS plugin for WordPress. By pairing the two, you'll have a powerful education hub where you can offer online courses and seamlessly deliver educational content to subscribers. It also offers 30 demos you can use to get inspired as you craft your own website.
Eduma is compatible with the page builder plugins Elementor, WPBakery (included with purchase), and SiteOrigin, allowing anyone to build a site without coding a single line — just drag and drop your elements into place. Therefore, it's an excellent option for starters. The theme supports BuddyPress and bbPress to build a community around your content and get the most out of your site.
Astra is one of the most versatile website themes available for WordPress and it can certainly hold its own when it comes to hosting an online course. In fact, there's even an "Online Course" starter template that you can use as the baseline of your site. Below is a sneak peek of what this template looks like.
Astra's online course template offers plenty of helpful page layouts, including a course catalog, an about us page, an instructor director, pricing, and even FAQs. Each page is fully customizable, so you can download, import, and personalize as you wish.
Additional features we love include customizable page layouts, WooCommerce compatibility, and a range of integration options, including LearnDash and LifterLMS.
WPLMS (WordPress Learning Management System) is a strong pick for fully functional online courses. Be it a training or coaching center, corporate training, tutoring, a college, academy, or school, WPLMS brings what you need to launch. Some of the theme's other key features include that it is Gutenberg-optimized and widget-ready.
This theme is based on the BuddyPress plugin, which handles makes running a membership site seamless. Therefore, you won't have to worry about the technical details — because BuddyPress will take care of it for you. Additionally, BuddyPress is acclaimed for being flexible and easy to use. Additionally, it will help you launch a learning community quickly. A separate membership plugin is also convenient if you decide to switch themes in the future — you won't have to manually transfer your student data from theme to theme.
WPLMS is also compatible with WooCommerce and drag-and-drop builders for easy page design. The theme's page templates are perfect for engaging courses that include text, images, and video material. Overall, WPLMS packs an awesome design, smart features, great flexibility, and fantastic support — no wonder it has over 20,000 downloads to date.
Another well-reviewed LMS theme for WordPress is Clever Course. It combines intuitive course-building tools with a minimalist design for educators who want to turn all focus to their valuable material. This theme especially suits schools, universities, and colleges that want to teach online. It's also reasonably priced at just $57 for a regular license.
Clever Course offers flexibility when setting up your online curriculum. For example, you can divide your course into smaller sections or parts for the convenience of your users. Students can also evaluate their progress by taking a quiz, and receive a certificate, and rating the course upon completion.
Lastly, the Clever Course theme has been integrated with various payment options, making it easy for students to make payments and for instructors to receive commissions. One popular option is the PayPal payment gateway.
Course Builder is a high-quality LMS theme for corporations, multi-site businesses, companies, or other organizations looking to create an online course or training websites for its employees. It is built from LearnPress, one of the best LMS WordPress plugins available. You can create beautiful and engaging online courses with video and text lessons content, quizzes, multiple question types, certificates, comment system, email notifications, and more.
The theme comes with 9+ premium demos that are easy to install and customize with the Elementor page builder, so you can spend less time building the website and more time creating quality training content. Additionally, you can sell courses directly on your website thanks to several payment gateways.
The Guru LMS WordPress theme is packed with features to support any type of online course, including session booking, lesson and quiz builders, lesson management, practice tests, course progress indicators, and easy video embeds. Students can also rate courses and connect with others thanks to Guru's BuddyPress integration and events calendar.
Guru has a built-in page builder, so you can spend less time building your site and more time constructing your lesson plans — and there's no need to install a separate plugin. This is important because too many plugins can slow down your WordPress website.
Instructors will appreciate Guru's features too: The theme adapts WordPress's user registration system to make a sign-in system for students and gate content. Plus, check on your course popularity with integrated analytics, and easily grade quizzes from the dashboard. We also love how seamless logging in and registering is for your site users.
Academia is targeted at websites for education businesses, centers, and academies, but can also be used for online courses and educational events. The theme integrates with WooCommerce to sell your online courses, making it ideal for educators who want to sell online classes but don't want to commit to a full LMS in their theme. It has three pre-designed homepages, a one-click demo install, and is completely customizable.
On the customization side, Academia has pre-built templates for full pages, headers and footers, menus, and homepages. You can experiment further with designs in the advanced theme options panel and integrated WPBakery page builder and install any of Academia's handful of demos with a click.
Next up is EduVibe. This online course theme is high-resolution, widget-ready, and is completely mobile responsive, which makes it a highly compelling option. There are a variety of excellent demo sites you can peruse, and the theme integrates with Elementor, so building your site is simple.
The BuddyBoss theme is also based on BuddyBoss community-building software and is ideal for powerful online learning communities. Adopted by leading online courses, BuddyBoss elevates your educational site to a social hub of like-minded learners. It's a well-known and reputable option — over 50,000 people trust it.
BuddyBoss has all the built-in LMS features you'll want, including quizzing, lesson timing, assignment management, email notifications, and drip feeds for your course content. Plus, pages are easy to build out with the LearnDash Gutenberg Interface and the option to add the Elementor page builder.
On top of these essential course components, BuddyBoss has perks to boost engagement with your brand and with fellow students, from member profiles to forums to mobile app capabilities with push notifications.
To round out our list, let's look at some top-rated multipurpose WordPress themes with options for educational websites. While these themes aren't specialized for online courses, they pack enough flexibility and functionality to sustain an effective learning site.
First up is Kalium, which offers an importable demo for higher education institutions. The latest version of Kalium has proved itself fully responsive, high-performing on both desktop and mobile, and incredibly versatile.
We'd recommend Kalium, especially for educators in creative fields, since the theme was made with creative professionals in mind. It offers ways to showcase visual art, design, and architecture in style. With many stylish fonts, color schemes, and other customization options, Kalium is an exceptional multipurpose option. It integrates with WPBakery or Elementor, has 25 pre-made templates to peruse, and allows you to install with a click.
Eikra is a super-fast, visually appealing LMS WordPress theme that might be the ideal fit for your online course website. With a 4.8 star rating, this theme offers more than enough functionality to help your website launch and attract new learners. Some perks include integration with Zoom video conferencing, 14 single and multi-page homepage demos with clean aesthetics, and tools for building community. It is also compatible with Elementor which is attractive for folks that don't have coding experience.
Eikra is also compatible with various advanced plugins. Hence, your site stays on par with other sites in your niche, and pages are mobile-friendly for learning on the go — the theme's responsive design extends to course page listings, instructor layouts, and user profiles. Starting is simple: Install a demo with a click and get customizing.
Skillfully is a reputable online course theme for crafting professional-looking education sites. It's made to work with the Sensei WooCommerce extension, which lets you sell access to your online courses or release them for free. You can also make your service subscription-based by adding the Restrict Content Pro plugin — which is compatible with the theme. Another perk of using this theme is that it’s responsive, high-resolution, and widget-ready.
Beyond this, the theme offers you many options to create a student base. Whether you're creating and selling courses, creating special preview classes, displaying events and selling tickets, or promoting on social sites, Skillfully makes it happen.
A more recent addition to the WordPress theme space, Superwise works great for schools and learning spaces needing a straightforward, user-friendly website. The theme has been created with care to meet the expectations of prospective students — you can add information about your institution, share your mission, add courses, and fill out the About section with descriptions and photos of your teaching personnel.
Superwise is nicely coded, clean, flexible, and responsive to get your site to rank on search engines, and brings enough customization options for creative freedom without overwhelming site owners with options.
There are four homepage templates, 12 pre-built headers, advanced plugin compatibility (with the WPBakery builder included), and pages for contact forms and scheduling tours. Superwise also stands out because it has 24 school niche pages, integrates with Google Calendar, and allows you to build out a Google Classroom searchable course listing.
The Skilled theme is yet another LMS option that combines easy design with flexible course-building functionality. Users can integrate WooCommerce Sensei, view course analytics, make quizzes and lessons, and add video lessons. You can also use WP Builder or Elementor to get started so you don't have to touch any code.
To convert at a higher rate, Skilled also comes with four different homepage layouts, various CTA banners, six ready-to-use color skins, and plenty of custom elements to help your educational site stand out from competitors.
Reptro is a beautiful theme perfect for just about any educational website, especially those looking to offer online courses. This LMS theme works for schools, universities, and training centers that appreciate elevated yet easy design.
The Reptro theme comes with a one-click demo installation, an impressive theme options section and Customizer, Elementor compatibility, user profiles, clean card layouts for different courses, instructor headshots, and blog posts. This theme works with the latest WordPress versions and is also compatible with various popular WordPress plugins.
You might have heard of Divi before — it has made an impact on the WordPress community being both a highly adaptable theme and a page builder combined into one. As a result, using Divi for your WordPress page builder interface provides a fully immersive design experience. Best of all, Divi is completely beginner-friendly despite its plethora of options.
Divi has a massive library of site layout packs to launch your educational site fast, including a subsection of demos for educational websites. You can choose a pack for language school, elementary school, a yoga studio, or even private music instruction. There's also a generic LMS layout pack (pictured below) that you can adapt to your course material.
Avada is another multipurpose theme you might already know about. It's a popular, highly-selling theme on the ThemeForest marketplace since it can work for just about any WordPress website's needs and includes both extensive theme options and a powerful native page builder. Like Divi, Avada's design approach is highly visual and code-free, from headers, footers, and forms to your main page content.
Among Avada's library of 83 pre-built websites are its 15 education sites, great for setting up and promoting your online course. For example, there's a tutoring demo (pictured below), a university demo, a business coach demo, and a demo for financial advising. Of course, your niche doesn't need to match the demo's niche — you can choose any demo, then adapt its content to fit yours. We're also a big fan of Avada's 120+ design elements that you can use to customize your website even further.
Next up is the multipurpose LeadEngine theme, which can be used on any website to generate more conversions — and online courses are no exception. LeadEngine's more than 35 pre-built demos (including one for education, pictured below) will fit your site beautifully. Then, personalize your demo with over 200 template blocks.
Additionally, LeadEngine includes WPBakery for easy page construction, Slider Revolution for engaging image sliders on the homepage, and an icon pack with over 2,000 images to place on your menus and buttons. If you get stuck, you can ask for help from the theme's team of experts. After all, if you're teaching others, it doesn't hurt to learn a bit more yourself.
Last — but definitely not least — is Masterstudy. Masterstudy is another excellent option for sites oriented toward learning, training, and education. You can use this theme in your latest version of WordPress, and it's updated frequently to be compatible across modern browsers.
This education theme is built as an all-in-one solution, offering tools to build out your courses with written and video lessons, quiz your members, offer paid Zoom webinars, and drip content when you want users to progress incrementally through lessons. You won't need to download any additional plugins for this — it's all in the theme.
Masterstudy comes with a handful of gorgeous demos with drag-and-drop builders like Elementor and WPBakery. You can install any demo and adjust it to your needs. You also get two beautiful header options, four skin presets, options for teacher profiles, an events section, a blog section, and much more to support your students.
Themes to Launch Your Online Course
As we've seen, the themes featured in this list not only help you build your course — they help it look good, too. With online learning growing in popularity, you'll need a way to distinguish your site from others. Aside from your content, professional visuals are key for convincing potential pupils to click "enroll." The online course WordPress themes we've selected will help you make a splash in a competitive virtual learning environment.