Category Archives: WordPress Plugins

LearnDash and WordPress Groups

Add User to LearnDash Group When Orders a WooCommerce Product

LearnDash and WordPress Groups

I love the LearnDash LMS for WordPress.  I use it over at javascriptforwp.com and not only is it powerful out of the box and with plugins, but it’s hooks allow for even more.

One thing LearnDash cannot do out of the box is sell access to Groups via WooCommerce.

A Group in LearnDash, amongst other things, let’s you assign a group of courses to a group of users.  You can add courses over time and those users will automatically get access.

For my JavaScript for WordPress Master Course I wanted to switch from one gigantic course (hundreds of lessons) to a bunch of smaller courses that I could also sell individually.

To do this I setup a new Group in LearnDash called “Master Course” and added my new smaller courses to it.  I also created a new WooCommerce Virtual Product called “Master Course.”

Then I simply added this code to my functions.php:

Here is what this code does:

  • Hook into WooCommerce when an order is marked complete
  • Checks to see if that order includes my Master Course WooCommerce product
  • If so, it adds that user who purchased the product to my LearnDash group

It’s pretty simple and shows the power of hooks in WordPress.

To customize this for your own use you would have to add the Group and Product IDs to the corresponding variables on line 5 and 7.

One thing this doesn’t do is remove a person from a group if they cancel or are refunded the order, since this is something I wanted to do manually.  However, you could easily do this by hooking into the woocommerce_order_status_cancelled or woocommerce_order_status_refunded hooks.

A big thanks to Justin from LearnDash and Ernest from UncannyOwl, who is working on a plugin that will also allow for this functionality.

Learn How I Built the JavaScript for WordPress Master Course and Teaching Site on the “How I Built It Podcast”

“If you’re looking to setup an online course just grab this podcast!”

I love hanging and chatting Joe Casabona.  Naturally, I was excited when I found out he wanted to chat with me on his How I Built it Podcast about how I built my JavaScript for WordPress Master Course.

A lot of folks have asked me content related questions about the course, but this is the first time I really go in depth about actually building the course, from researching content, to building a team, to picking an LMS, all the plugins I used and several of the snags I hit.

It was really fun to talk about all of this and I share a lot of information.  If you’re interested in how things are built and the behind the scenes technologies, I would definitely recommend listening to this episode.

Students may particularly appreciate what has gone into the course.

Episode 9: Zac Gordon & Javascript for WordPress

 

Connect WooCommerce Products with LearnDash Courses

I have been happily using LearnDash LMS with WordPress for my JavaScript for WordPress Master Course.

One of the tricks of using WooCommerce and LearnDash together is that you can build your courses separately from your WooCommerce products.

This is helpful for creating bundles that automatically grant access to individual or multiple courses.  In my Master Course I have it broken down into four parts, which are really individual courses behind the scenes.

To accomplish you have to install the Download, Install and Activate the Free LearnDash WooCommerce Integration Plugin from the LearnDash site.

Then after you create your Courses in LearnDash, create a Product in WooCommerce you will have an option to select Related Courses.

Integrate WooCommerce and LearnDash Courses

You will also want to go into WooCommerce Settings > Accounts and make sure to enable “Enable registration on the Checkout page.”

WooCommerce Enable registration on the "Checkout" page

With this configured, when someone purchases the course via WooCommerce on the front-end and creates an account during checkout they will automatically have access to the Related Courses you selected for the product.

You can check this by clicking on a User account and looking at the course access. Mine says Parts but yours will probably say Courses.

LearnDash Check User Enrolled in Courses

I have been quite happy with this combination of WooCommerce and LearnDash for selling my courses since WooCommerce allows me to customize the selling process quite a bit.

I will also add that you will likely want to customize your WooCommerce Emails to include welcome information about the course in addition to the default information.

Hopefully this helps you get up and running selling online courses using LearnDash and WooCommerce.

Good luck and enjoy!

Getting PayPal API Credentials for WooCommerce Refunds

You can process payments in WooCommerce with PayPal using only the account email.  However, in order to refund payments from within WooCommerce you must enter your PayPal API credentials.

Here are the steps for doing that:

  • Login to PayPal
  • Go to Profile > Profile and Settings
  • Click My Selling Tools
  • Go to API Access
  • Select NVP/SOAP API integration
  • Click to view API Username, Password and Signature
  • Add information into WooCommerce PayPal settings

I find it much easier to refund payment directly from within WooCommerce and not need to login to PayPal to refund manually in addition to from within WooCommerce as well.

Marketing Video for WPSiteSync

I love the folks at ServerPress, who make DesktopServer.  So, I was super excited when they approached me to make a marketing video for their latest product: WPSiteSync.

This amazing plugin let’s you sync portions of content between WordPress sites without having to migrate entire databases.

If you have to migrate WP sites between local, staging, and live (or know you should) then I would highly recommended checking out WPSiteSync and staying tune to all the upcoming extensions.

$100 Off My WooCommerce Development Workshop at WooConf 2016

Screen Shot 2016-03-05 at 10.36.22 PM.png

I’m super excited to head out to Austin on April 6-8 this year for my 2nd WooConf.  This year I will be doing a workshop based on a WooCommerce Theme Development Course I did at Treehouse.

Thanks to the folks at WooCommerce, I have an unlimited coupon code “WOOCONFZAC” for $100 off for anyone who wants to attend the conference for Woo work.

Check out the trailer for the course to get an idea of just some of what we will get into.

 

Of course we will also talk a little about JS and API work with WooCommerce 😉

The Best Free WordPress Backup Plugin

Screenshot of the plugin page on WordPress.org for BackWPup

I was recently reviewing WordPress backup plugins for a Treehouse project and came across BackWPup (from the folks at MarketPress.com).  From the research I have done, this is the best featured most solid free backup option for WordPress.

It has all of the following important features

  • Backup files and/or database
  • Schedule backups
  • Create multiple backup Jobs
  • Backup to server
  • Send backups to S3, Dropbox or FTP server
  • Advanced saving, compressing and optimizing options

On most small sites (and in past Treehouse courses) I have often recommended BackUpWordPress.  However, BackUpWordPress does not allow for off site backups.

For this reason I think I’ll be switching to BackWPup as my new favorite free WordPress backup plugin.

If you have some money to spend on backups (which you should considering how important it is), I would also recommend BackupBuddy, which comes with 1GB of free off site storage as well as a lot of powerful features, like the ability to easily restore full and partial backups.

In addition to BackupBuddy, if you want to go all out, you should check out VaultPress, a subscription based super powerful automated, off site backup service from the folks at Automatic.  I choose this option for my more mission critical WordPress projects.