Online learning has been one of the boons of the digital age. To learn anything today, you can instantly access quality content and get a seamless learning experience.
Even starting a course-based website is not a huge challenge. WordPress website owners can choose from a ton of LMS solutions to add courses on their website. This makes it extremely easy for website owners to offer courses in a systematic way.
You can convert a WordPress website to a mobile app with the AppMySite mobile app builder software. Is it also then possible to turn a course-based WordPress website into a mobile app? AppMySite does enable educational website owners using WordPress to offer courses through a mobile app.
Before we delve into how you can offer courses within your app, let’s first understand how LMS plugins work on WordPress.
How do LMS plugins work?
LMS plugins are generally used by WordPress website owners to offer courses on their sites. There are differences in the overall functionality each LMS plugin provides. However, there are many similarities in the basic foundation of most LMS plugins.
Generally, an LMS plugin creates a custom taxonomy on your website. A taxonomy is nothing but a hierarchy. WordPress has certain in-built taxonomies like categories and tags.
A custom taxonomy simply refers to a new hierarchy that goes beyond default WordPress taxonomies like categories and tags.
In reference to LMS plugins, these custom taxonomies are called courses, course categories, or any other hierarchy that is suitable for a course-based website.
Creating a custom taxonomy basically allows you to add new content to it. You can thus create new posts and add them to the custom taxonomy. This enables you to create course-based packages within a typical WordPress environment.
Why can’t LMS plugins use existing hierarchies like categories and tags? Post categories work well for simple websites, but they’re not systematic enough for course-based sites. Creating a custom taxonomy enables you to create a unique course structure without the default constraints of in-built WordPress hierarchies like categories and tags.
Now that we know how LMS plugins work, let’s understand how to create an app for a course-based website.
How to create an app for a course-based website?
AppMySite supports the core functionality of WordPress websites. This means in-built WordPress features like posts, pages, categories, and menus are synced to the app automatically.
The challenge here is to sync custom-made taxonomies and post types to the app as well. The following sections provide a guide on the same.
Step 1: Complete the essentials
First, you should complete the initial steps of designing your app. The Appearance module within your AppMySite provides a ton of options to customize the design of your app.
The following points briefly explain the elements and screens you can design:
- App icon: Design an icon for your course-based app with the tools available or upload your own design.
- Launch screen: Create a launch screen for your app. There are a number of tools available using which you can design your launch screen. You can also upload your own design for the launch screen.
- Login & sign up: Just like the launch screen, you can either create new designs for the onboarding screens with the tools available or upload your own design. Additionally, you can update the color scheme of the buttons and fields in the app.
- Color theme: Set a color theme that will be reflected across all your app screens.
- Home screen: Design sections, manage section visibility & arrangement, and more in the Home Screen section.
Once you design your app, the next step is connecting your course website and app.
Step 2: Establish connectivity with Application Passwords
You have two main options to connect your website and app on AppMySite, Application Password and WooCommerce REST APIs. It is recommended that you establish connectivity through WordPress Application Passwords.
The following steps briefly explain how you can establish connectivity with Application Passwords:
- Install and activate the AppMySite plugin on your website. If you already have the plugin installed, make sure it’s on version 3.0.0 or higher.
- On your website’s admin panel, go to the Users module and generate a new application password as the administrator.
- Login to your AppMySite account. In the Connectivity module, verify plugin installation on the Install Plugin screen.
- On the API details screen, turn on the WordPress toggle. Enter your admin username and application password.
- Your website and app will be connected through an application password.
Once connectivity is established, you can now show custom post taxonomies within your app.
Step 3: Show course taxonomies in your app’s side menu
AppMySite enables you to show custom post taxonomies through the app’s side menu. The following steps explain how this can be achieved:
- Add course taxonomies or any other relevant post types to your website’s main menu. You can find this option on the Menu screen in the Appearance module of your website’s admin panel.
- In your AppMySite account, go to the App Menu screen in the App Settings module. Import your website’s primary menu here.
- Your app will now show the course taxonomies you added to the website’s primary menu. Make sure your app is on code version 1.10.0 to support custom taxonomy and post types.
Step 4: Manage post settings
Support for custom taxonomy and post types is available in limited native view and complete webview. In case your custom posts are not reflected optimally in the native view, you can turn on webviews for the post screens.
You can configure post settings in the App Settings module. To turn on webviews for the post screens, go to Posts in the App Settings module. Turn on the webview toggle here to show all your posts in a webview interface.
This will basically enable you to show your course content in a webview interface.
As an Android & iOS app maker, AppMySite now goes beyond supporting the core functionality of WordPress websites. You can even show custom post taxonomies created by third-party plugins in your app.
This piece breaks down how you can create an app for your course-based website. The steps covered here should help you import custom course taxonomies to the app, thereby reflecting a significant portion of your website’s functionality in the app.