WordPress Pro Creates Successful Online Learning Platforms On Cloudways Hosting with LifterLMS and WooCommerce
Educational Website Development in Personal Development and Spiritualitty Niche
What do powersports and the best course websites have in common? Both rely on premium engineering.
Kurt Von Ahnen of Manana No Mas!, a professional in both fields, recently developed Inner Treasure Hunt, a website dedicated to higher consciousness disciplines, offering courses, events, and other programs, along with retail products, using the power of WordPress, Cloudways, and LifterLMS.
The Technical Power Tools
Kurt was originally brought into this project, which had stalled in development, in order to implement the learning management system (LMS) part of the project. His easy, responsive communication style resonated with the client, and she eventually turned development of the entire website project over to him.
Already a LifterLMS user himself and expert available for hire, Kurt knew going into the project that Lifter was the obvious solution to creating the course portion of the website. He had also participated in the LifterLMS mastermind group, where he learned about Cloudways as a hosting solution.
Since then, Kurt has found that Cloudways provides the right price point with the features he prioritizes, balancing his penchant for both premium features and frugality, thus making them his go-to webhost of choice. He particularly likes Cloudways’ sandbox for development, which allows clients to see a website in development as if it were live. Cloudways’ excellent uptime record is also a plus.
"I can tell you that as far as putting this on Cloudways and launching this thing, there hasn't been a single glitch. There hasn't been a single outage."
Also critical to the project development was an onboarding and customer relationship management software. Kurt found the CRM power tool he needed in Groundhogg.
Along with Cloudways and LifterLMS, Kurt gives high marks to Groundhogg. He stresses that Groundhogg is not only for emails and sales funnels, but can also be used as an onboarding process tool.
Since Groundhogg can tag people based on what they bought, it can automate responses with message strings for various types of uses from helpful reminders for login credentials to upsells. Event announcements also go through Groundhogg, alerting customers of an upcoming calendar date, and where and how to access the event’s Zoom.
WooCommerce, which integrates with LifterLMS, was also an important element, and provides the payment systems behind the Inner Treasure Hunt’s three membership levels––one at $39 a month, an annual membership at $29 a month, and an unlimited package for $1,995. It also drives the two types of gift certificates Inner Treasure Hunt needed–– one for subscriptions, with an option for recurring subscriptions, and another gift option for a specific dollar amount.
Finally, WooCommerce works with Printify for the sale of the retail products available via the site, such as totes, journals and wall art.
"We did the WooCommerce integrations with Lifter... Everything was pretty flawless. I love LifterLMS."
Finally, using SuiteDash as a workflow and time management tool also helps to keep clients accountable for their tasks. It allows Kurt and his clients to share tasks and notes, and ensures that the project stays on schedule.
The Client’s Clear Business Plan
Several points of serendipity made the project progress more smoothly that it might have otherwise. The client Kurt worked with had a solid plan, knew what she wanted, and had 80% of the material ready from the outset. As a results-focused type of client, she was actively engaged, came up with ideas as the project progressed, and was motivated to learn how to use the website’s tools and features in order to use them independently.
Also fortunate was that the client approached the project with a built-in community and a team in place. They had already been offering onsite courses and other programs prior to the site’s development. Along with that solid following, Kurt estimates that once the site was up it gained another twenty to thirty memberships of varying degrees and levels.
The marketing team the client had already assembled included an SEO specialist, and a graphic designer who conducted color studies, provided engaging graphics and ensured a consistent aesthetic. Some of the mandala graphics that appear on the site to illustrate different courses and programs also grace the retail products, which further extends the site’s aesthetic branding and awareness of its mission.
As a key element in the project, the client’s experience and keen attention to business success helped drive the site development.
Client Support as a Power Tool
From the beginning, Kurt’s focus on supporting and responding to his client has made him more than just a developer, but an indispensable source of support. He has since continued his relationship with the client, supporting Inner Treasure Hunt with maintenance and functioning as an intermediary for emails that come in via the website. He personally takes care of technical and website related inquiries, and forwards business related emails to the client, relieving her of some of the burden of dealing with non-technical or spam emails, and allowing her focus on the business.
Kurt has also arranged for what he calls a “security blanket”–– a secondary developer who is on call when he may not be available, giving the client a sense of security and confidence.
"When you're working with clients, you have the flexibility to fit the need."