Back to: LifterLMS
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In the meantime, here's the lesson transcript.
In this lesson, we’re going to integrate M4AC with the LifterLMS learning management system plugin.
We won’t cover installation of LifterLMS. It installs and activates just like any other WordPress plugin and I’m certain you can handle that.
If you’re not familiar with LifterLMS, I’ll mention here that the core plugin has a lot of functionality out of the box. Most of which we won’t use in our situation. For example:
LifterLMS has it’s own membership protection. So, you could if you wanted use it without Memberium. But don’t forget, the reason we’re using M4AC to being with is the slick, tag-based integration with ActiveCampaign.
You can run quizzes and certificates and badges and other achievement-related
You can create course and membership catalogs, student dashboards, progress reports, etc.
For a few extra dollars a year, you can also get extensions for PayPal, Stripe, WooCommerce, Gravity Forms, and autoresponder services like ConvertKit and MailChimp.
All this is to say, LifterLMS is capable of a lot more than we’ll cover in this lesson and if you’re in the market for an LMS plugin, it’s worth some serious consideration.
In this lesson, we’ll cover two specific topics:
First of all, we’ll look at creating a course in LifterLMS. We’ll setup a very simple course with a single section and a single lesson so you’ll get a chance to see how that’s done.
Then we’ll discuss how to protect that course content with the M4AC plugin.
Let’s get into it.
Again, I’m assuming you’ve already installed the LifterLMS plugin.
2-Create A Course
In this lesson, we’re going to create a very simple course using LifterLMS.
To begin, from the WordPress dashboard, click Courses | Add Course.
Next, we’ll type a name for the course, let’s call it M4AC QuickStart.
There are tabs here for course description, details like course length, difficulty, restrictions on enrollment periods and capacities, whether or not you want to enable course reviews.
All of these things we’re going to ignore for the moment.
Before we can add lessons, we have to publish the course. So let’s do that.
Now, we’ll scroll down the page to a section labelled ‘Course Outline.’
Creating a course is really simple, we’ll click the button labelled Add and choose, Add New Section.
We’ll give it a name, we’ll call it ‘Introduction.’ And click Create Section.
Below, we can confirm our new ‘Introduction’ section exists.
We’ll click Add once again, and this time select, ‘Add New Lesson.’
I’ll name this lesson ‘Welcome.’ I’ll leave the description blank for the moment.
The dropdown at the bottom of the dialog lets me choose the section I want this lesson to appear in. Right now I have only one option. If there were multiple sections in the course, I’d select the section or module from this list.
As a note, you don’t have to get the section right when you create the lesson. You can drag and drop lessons around between sections later if you need to.
So right now here in the Course Outline, I have a single course containing a single section containing a single lesson.
To the right of my Introduction lesson, I’ll click the button labeled Edit Content.
I’ll scroll down to the Lesson setting section and under Video Embed URL, I’m going to paste the URL of my Welcome video. And click Update.
Again, the point of this lesson is not to build out a LifterLMS course. However, I do want to have some content in our one lesson so there’s something for us to see when we access it later.
The final thing I’ll do is add a featured image, so I’ll scroll down the page, click ‘Set featured image’, select the image and save.
So, to recap where we are right now… We’ve created a course called M4AC QuickStart. We’ve added a section called, ‘Introduction.’ We’ve added a lesson to the section called, ‘Welcome.’ We’ve added an embedded video to the ‘Welcome’ lesson. And we’ve added a featured image to the course.
Whether your course has one lesson or a thousand lessons, the process of creating and organizing sections and lessons is exactly the same.
Okay. Let’s move on. I’ll see you in the next lesson.
3-Create A ‘My Courses' Page
In this lesson, we’ll create a ‘My Courses’ page and set it up as a default login or home page for our Memberium users.
The process is very simple. From your WordPress dashboard, click Pages | Add New.
Type a name for your page. Let’s use “My Courses.”
In the content section, I’m going to use a LifterLMS shortcode that creates a tiled grid of all the Lifter courses the logged in user is subscribed to.
So here, I’ll type: [ lifterlms_courses ]
I only want users with an assigned membership level to access this page so under Content Protection, I’ll check the box next to Any Membership Level.
Now, let’s update the page and take a quick look at it.
And there it is, in it’s default state with only one course available, we see a single tile for M4AC QuickStart. Great.
The next step is to make this page the default home page for any member who logs in.
We do that in the WordPress dashboard by clicking Memberium | Memberships and click the Edit button next to M4AC QuickStart.
Earlier in the course, we set the Membership home page to the protected Welcome page we created.
Now we want to update that to our My Courses page. So here under Special Pages, we’ll open the dropdown list next to Membership Home page and select ‘My Courses.’
We’ll scroll to the bottom and click ‘Update Membership Level.’
And we’re done. I’ll see you in the next lesson.
4-Protect Your Course
This is where things get interesting.
It’s worth noting here, that out of the box, LifterLMS does a good job on its own of protecting content from random web visitors.
What I mean by that is Lifter won’t allow a visitor to see course content UNLESS they have an account on your WordPress site AND they’re logged in.
We can prove that by opening a lesson URL in an incognito browser.
From the dashboard, let’s quickly navigate to Courses | Lessons and on our Introduction lesson, let’s right click the View link and choose ‘Open link in an incognito window.”
And, here you’ll see, it’s bounced us to the course home page. And if we click on the Welcome lesson, first of all, it doesn’t go anywhere but there’s also a hover message telling us “You don’t have permission to access this content.”
So any random non-customer with a link can tell your course exists and they can see the structure of the course… the modules and the lesson names but they can’t access the content.
Now, personally, I don’t like the idea of non-customers being able to see the course structure. To me it’s a little sloppy. So I’ll show you how to prevent that a little later.
But first, let’s see how you grant M4AC members access to your LifterLMS course.
From the WordPress dashboard, we’ll click Courses. We’ll click on our course title.
We’ll scroll down the page a little. And here on the right, there’s a section labeled, ‘Lifter Memberium Integration.’
The first field in this box is labeled, “AutoEnroll Tags.”
In this field, you enter one or more ActiveCampaign tags.
And as soon as you enter a tag here, any WordPress user on this site—whether they already exist, or they get created at some point in the future… it doesn’t matter. Any WordPress user who has one of the tags you specify in this field automatically gets access to the entire course.
I know, it almost sounds too simple to be true. But the integration really is that simple.
The only thing you need to do is add a tag in this field. And any user with that tag gets access to the course.
Not only is the integration simple to set up but once you add the tag, it protects all the content in your course.
If you were to build out your content structure on your own, without an LMS plugin, you’d have to protect each page individually by clicking the Memberium checkboxes on each page.
If you had a hundred lessons, you’d have to click a hundred checkboxes.
The reason this integration is so important and powerful is that once you specify the enrollment tag at the course level, all the content inside that course is automatically protected. The only users who can access it have to be logged in AND have one of the AutoEnroll tags.
It can be a one lesson course like ours or it can be a thousand lessons. All you need to do is specify one or more tags in this field.
One more thing before we finish up.
I mentioned earlier that I don’t like the course outline to be available to random website visitors. First of all, it just seems sloppy to me to have the structure available but not the content.
But more importantly, if a paid customer or member navigates to the course home page and starts clicking around, they might be confused as to why they can’t access content they’ve paid for.
The fact they can see the lessons but not access them can be misleading. So in these situations, I prefer to push all non-logged in users to the restricted access notification. That makes the situation clear to both members and non-members.
How do we do this? We’ll is also very simple.
We’re still on the M4AC QuickStart page. Here, under Content Protection you’ll see a selection of checkboxes.
You’ll find these on every WordPress page and post. These are Memberium options and they’re not specific to the LifterLMS integration.
All you need to do—and again, we’re doing this at the course level so we only need to click a single checkbox to protect all the sections and all the lessons in the course—all we need to do is check the box next to any membership levels we want to have access to the course outline.
You’ll notice, we can give access to all membership levels, a specific level, all logged in users, only logged out users, or users with specific tags.
We’ll take the simple approach for now and only allow users with the M4AC QuickStart membership level to see the course outline. I’ll click the checkbox.
And save the changes by clicking Update and it’s done.
If you recall earlier, when I opened the course homepage in an incognito browser, I could see the outline. Let’s try it again now.
And here, we confirm as a non-logged in user, I’m redirected to the Restricted Access notification page so even if I am a paid customer, it’s clear to me the reason I’m being blocked is that I’m not logged in.
That’s it for this lesson. I’ll see you in the next one.
5-Test Your Integration
In this lesson, we’re going to test the LifterLMS integration.
To keep this lesson focused, we won’t go all the way back to the shopping cart level.
Instead, we’ll take this approach:
- First of all, we’ll identify a user that already exists in our WordPress site who doesn’t have the MBR: M4AC QuickStart tag.
- We’ll confirm they don’t have access to the course.
- We’ll assign them the membership tag we’ve set up as an AutoEnroll tag for the course.
- Then we’ll open an incognito browser, log in and confirm they can access the course.
First step, from our dashboard, let’s navigate to the Users screen.
There’s a user here at the bottom by the name of David Power. What a coincidence.
I’m going to open an incognito browser and log in to the site as that user.
So, I’ve landed on the My Courses page and it tells me “No products were found matching your selection.” This is a LifterLMS default message but what it’s basically telling me is that the account I’m logged in under isn’t enrolled in any courses.
Great so we have a user who’s not yet enrolled.
Now, let’s think back to a few lessons ago and recall our AutoEnroll tag is MBR: M4AC QuickStart.
So let’s add that tag to this user.
You may not have seen this before but if we click on the user name and scroll to the very bottom of the Edit User screen, there’s a section called “Memberium User Data.”
And under ActiveCampaign tags, it displays a list of all the tags this user currently has.
And below that, we can add new tags right here in WordPress. No need to go to ActiveCampaign. This comes in handy when you’re testing.
So, we confirm once again visually, this user doesn’t have the membership tag for M4AC QuickStart.
So let’s start typing the tag in this field. And I’ll select M4AC QuickStart.
Next, I’ll click Update User.
Now let’s hop back to our incognito browser. And if things are working and the AutoEnroll tag functions the way it should, when I refresh this screen, the M4AC QuickStart tile will appear and I can navigate to the course lessons.
So let’s refresh the browser. And boom.
There’s our course listing. And if click through, there’s the home page and when I click on the lesson, there’s my welcome video.
We’ve successfully integrated LifterLMS with Memberium and it’s working exactly the way it should.
I’ll see you in the next lesson.