The growth of technology has changed the way that our world functions in practically every sphere from politics to medicine to relationships – and especially education. This source calculates upwards of 5.8 million people have participated in an online course, and that number is only increasing. Having an online education presence is essential – whether you’re a community college, a niche education startup or you want to ramp up your YouTube tutorials.
But what if you aren’t a coder? That’s not a problem anymore! WordPress Themes can really give you the upper hand if you want to manage a high quality & professional website and still be cost effective. It’s an amazing platform because it offers a high score with user-friendliness, versatility with design & functionality, and it has great SEO potential. And no, you really don’t have to be tech-savvy to get it all right!
And the cherry on top is that WordPress is open-source, so you’ll gain a huge network or support & resources to build a stunning website. Forget blowing your budget and high-commitment contracts with a design firm.
A major element to keep in mind while you’re scrolling through the thousands of themes available out there – you need a way to manage all the aspects of your online learning center. A learning management system for courses and tutorials is usually handled with a plugin (an application for specific task in a theme) since it’s a function element, not a design element. Two of the best course plugins available are Sensei by WooCommerce & CoursePress by WordPress.
However, courses and tutorials do present certain design challenges that can be solved with a particular theme. Additionally, there are some themes that bundle the functionality you might need (like timers, quizzes, etc) to keep things simple. Otherwise, make sure that the theme you go with will sync with your plugin of choice.
All that said, here are the Top 12 Best WordPress Themes for Online Courses & Tutorials! All of these options either come with the functions you need or integrate well with plugins like Sensei & CoursePress.
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Academy has a professional design with a touch of modern – and it’s functionality is off the charts. Since it was created specifically for online education, it’s bundled with all the features you could imagine, including course & lesson filing, ratings, user profiles and payment integration with WooCommerce. And you can customize the design elements to reflect your brand. See Academy here.
If a minimalist, clean design best reflects your idea, Clever is the theme for you. It truly gives your users a pleasant experience on any device since it’s a responsive design. Clever features it’s own learning management system that allows you to customize each course the way you want, plus they have integrated a PayPal payment system for you. You can customize everything from fonts to colors to layouts, so the design details are up to you. See Clever here.
College was designed specifically for the Education arena, which means that it will have all the bells & whistles that you’re looking for like slideshows, galleries & a variety of post types. It’s classic, clean design is responsive – so it will look great on all devices. Plus you can customize all the little details to fit your own design. See College here.
Education Center is another WordPress theme crafted specifically for online education, but with a creative, fun spin on it’s design. The huge plus with this theme is the integrated lesson management system. There are some fabulous plugins out there that will do the same thing, but Education Center has packaged it in. It’s also a responsive theme with a ton of customizable options. See Education Center here.
Education Hub boasts a unique design that is really more than just a website visit – it’s a whole experience. The slider is beautiful and you’ll also have your hands on a sticky menu that works great for displaying current courses or offers. The design elements of this theme are customizable and it’s a responsive design that will look fabulous on any device. See Education Hub here.
If you’re looking for the best all-in-one theme, Edugate is your choice! It has a modern, thoughtful design that is really intuitive for you and for your clients. It’s course management system is so easy to use, plus it’s integrated with a plugin that will manage payments & billing. It has practically everything you could want. See Edugate here.
Invent gives you a design that will set you apart from the others with a unique look and feel. It’s a very powerful platform and has all the functionality that you need. The creators have integrated it with LearnDash, another popular learning management system plugin by WordPress which will allow you to customize and create your courses & profiles. You can also customize the look of the design by adjusting colors, fonts & layouts. See Invent here.
Guru is another great WordPress theme with a bright, engaging design that is very user-intuitive. It is incredibly versatile and works well with all the plugins necessary – including a management system, payment system & a social network + forum system. It’s easy to work with, especially if you aren’t afraid of additional plugins! See Guru here – it’s a really fabulous choice.
Elegant and practical – that describes Language Course perfectly. Here’s another out-of-the-box theme that will have everything you want, from solid menus to custom element design to video integration. And anything extra that you want to add can be easily done with a plugin since this theme is so versatile. See Language Course here.
So the name is not exactly original (see previous theme) but their design is certainly original and very attractive! The slider adds a creative element that also allows you to market or display different products or aspects of your business. Plus all the actual design elements are easy to change to your preferences. It’s also responsive, so it’ll look great anywhere. See Language Courses here.
If you’re looking for a crisp, dynamic design, LMS is your best choice! It’s another solid foundation for your website since it’s compatible with all of your necessary plugins – including course management through Sensei, a calendar system along with payments & forums support. And you can customize your own creative look with the design elements. See Learning Management System here.
Philosophy Courses is another incredible off-the-shelf theme built just for online education – and you don’t have to think about that one! It has a unique, interesting theme design with elements that are easy to customize to your preference. You’ll get powerful menus and video integration along with a host of other great features. See Philosophy Courses here.
Last but certainly not least on our list is Skillfully – an amazing do-it-all theme that will give you a solid platform to build a powerful website. It was crafted specifically with online education in mind, so you’ll get compatibility for everything from payments to tickets to class subscriptions and more. This theme also has a pretty cool calendar/events feature. See Skillfully here.
A theme framework is a single theme with consistent, rich functionality that allows simple design changes across a range of themes. The Genesis is one of the oldest (and most cutting edge) theme frameworks in the world of WordPress. Their theme has an immense amount of well-documented features and “hooks” where you can implement infinite functionality for you or your clients.
StudioPress also has plenty of “plug and play” child themes for Genesis with several education-specific child themes that you can install out of the box. Check out Genesis by StudioPress here.
Like Genesis by StudioPress, Elegant Themes is a large, established themes creator with their own theme framework. They also have a deep theme “club” where you get unlimited access to themes to download, try and swap out at will. They are a great choice for a growing website-based business that wants lots of choices. Check out Elegant Themes here.
Joining the WordPress team is one of the best options out there to gain publicity and traffic for your site, and the best part? It’s all completely controlled by you! Always be sure to use themes with high coding standards, and remember that a good theme is flexible and works well with other plugins.
Good luck! Let me know if you have any suggestions in the comments!