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How to create a course

When you Login as an Instructor, you will see the Instructor Dashboard.

Navigate to LearnDash > Courses, as we highlight below.

Next, click the Add New button at the top. If you’re an existing LearnDash user, you’re already familiar with the process:

On the Course Page, add your Course Title and some introductory text.

You may even add a SmartVideo video here to introduce your course instead:

Which leads you to:

Note the highlighted box in the above screengrab:

  • Video – Choose your video source. Could be WordPress media library, YouTube, Vimeo, or another source
  • Poster – Add a custom poster image. If you don’t set any poster image, SmartVideo picks the first frame from your video
  • Basic options – Set width, height, autoplay, muted and loop
  • Advanced options – Toggle on/off video player controls, play videos inline (for iOS Safari browsers), and responsive design
  • Advanced – For additional CSS classes

Also note that we are using the Gutenberg editor for our example. However, SmartVideo is also compatible with the classic editor, Beaver Builder, Divi and Elementor. We also offer seamless integration with Squarespace, Shopify and others.

Are you learning something here today?

I hope so. Moving on swiftly.

How to Design a LearnDash Course

Click the Builder tab to start designing your course:

Our course is blank as of now, but not for long. Here’s what to do next.

Click New Section Heading:

Next, add your section heading. We shall call this one Introduction, and hit the Add Section Heading button:

Voila! Now we have new section heading in the redesigned LearnDash course builder:

Now, let’s bump things a bit and add our first lesson 🙂 Click the New Lesson button, as we detail below:

After that, enter a title for your lesson and click Add Lesson:

So far so good, you’re doing incredibly well. You’re a fast study.

You can add text content to your lesson, a SmartVideo video, or any other media supported by WordPress. For our tutorial, however, we are adding some text, and a Swarmify video.

Also, always remember to click the Save Draft button to avoid losing your changes accidentally.

Next, mouse over the lesson you just created, and hit Edit:

Doing so leads you to the lesson page so you can add your content:

Isn’t it brilliant and so easy to use?

Let’s add a smart video, and some text below it for our first lesson.

For the tutorial, I borrowed a video from AppSumo’s YouTube channel, but as you can see in the image above, it’s already converted into a SmartVideo player. No YouTube branding and no links back to YouTube whatsoever. Also, note where I placed the video link in the Video block to the right.

Pro Tip 1: If using YouTube, use the embed link e.g. https://youtu.be/k0Vzt-NGjT4 instead of the direct link i.e. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0Vzt-NGjT4. For Vimeo, make sure you are using the embed link like this: https://player.vimeo.com/video/445319847 instead of the direct page URL like this: https://vimeo.com/445319847

Pro Tip 2: If your YouTube videos are set to Private, change that to Unlisted instead

NB: Inside the lesson page, you can add:

  • Featured image for your lesson page
  • Tags
  • Categories
  • Lesson tags
  • Lesson categories
  • Post attributes

Next, click the Settings tab at the top to toggle on the Video Progression feature:

The video progression feature forces learners to watch the video fully before the user can access the lesson’s associated steps. Here, more details about the image above:

  1. Click here to open Settings
  2. Toggle on video progression
  3. Enter the same video URL you added to your lesson earlier

NB: Below the video progression feature, there are several other settings including:

  • Autostart
  • Video controls display
  • Video pause on Window unfocused
  • Video resume
  • Assignment uploads
  • Forced lesson timer
  • Lesson release schedule settings – immediately, enrollment-based, and specific date

After that, click the Update button at the top:

Now, if I view my sample lesson in the front-end, I see this:

My lesson page complete with an accelerated SmartVideo video player! How suave? You’d follow the same procedure whether your video was hosted in the WordPress media library, Vimeo, Amazon, Google

Drive, or elsewhere. Swarmify SmartVideo will continue accelerating your content in the background.

If you have existing videos in your courses, SmartVideo starts accelerating them automatically when you toggle on Optimize background videos and existing videos.

Note that your videos are optimized in 1.5x to 2x the length of your video. Longer videos will take longer to optimize, but other than that, there is absolutely nothing to worry about 🙂

Now, go ahead, add more SmartVideo video lessons, and publish your course, and let us know how that goes. We guarantee you a faster video experience and happier students from the get-go.

Oh yeah, here’s how my SmartVideo Basic Course looks on the front-end, complete with our single lesson, and the intro video I added earlier. I didn’t choose the text intro after all lol:


SmartVideo and LearnDash offer you the perfect solution you need to create super-fast video courses. Both plugins offer you all the tools you need to create remarkable courses, while accelerating video content to deliver instant-start and buffer-free videos to your students.

On top of that, your videos will look and perform well across multiple devices. And if you’re using a third-party video sharing site like YouTube, you can now say goodbye to stubborn branding, recommended videos, and links in your video courses.

Please note: there is no download option for the uploaded videos.

Presto Player

You can use Presto Player too.

It is your choice.

Please see this link for more information:

How To Use Presto Player With Any Video Host

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