Khan Academy gives online users the ability to learn just about anything from the comfort of their homes.
The always-free educational resource boasts hundreds of courses, classes, and lessons on hundreds of subjects, all created by experts in those fields.
If you are interested in creating an educational website similar to Khan Academy, you’re in the right place.
In this guide, I’ll show you exactly what tools are required to make a site like Khan Academy. Not only that, I’ll take you through the process of creating this new website step-by-step so that the result is the beautiful, functional, powerful website.
What will your website look like?
Part of the reason for the popularity of Khan Academy is the website’s simple, straightforward design.
Khan Academy doesn’t do anything fancy regarding design or layout. Rather than make the website flashy, they let their great quality content do the talking.
When you use the tools recommended here, your website will be just as stylish and effective for creating an LMS (learning management system) website.
Here’s a peek at how your site will look:
This top WordPress theme places function over fashion, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not beautiful and inviting in its own way.
While it can be used exactly like Khan Academy where you, the site owner, create all the content, you can also use it to make a tutorial marketplace like Udemy where teachers join the site and submit their own courses.
You’ll be able to tailor the site fit your needs exactly, but more on that later!
What skills do you need to create this website?
I know that you’re probably not a computer programmer.
You probably don’t know much about coding, or even about web design.
None of that matters when you use WordPress. The platform is easy-to-use, even for beginners, especially when you use one of the best themes.
You’ll always have an interface with menus and drag-and-drop options to make any changes you want to your site. While you will need to learn how to use WordPress, you can learn by doing and it’s just like learning how to use any other software like Microsoft Word or Photoshop.
How to create a website like Khan Academy
Making a WordPress website like Khan Academy takes just five simple steps:
- Select a domain name
- Get web hosting
- Install WordPress
- Install & configure a WordPress theme
- Launch your new website
Now, let’s take a look at each of these simple steps, so you know exactly what you need to do in order to complete them.
Tools that you need
To create a WordPress website, you need three major tools.
These tools are a domain name, web hosting, and WordPress.
The domain name is simply the URL of your new website. It’s the web address people type in to navigate to your website online.
Finding an available domain name is tricky, but will save you lots of money compared to purchasing a pre-owned name from a broker. The .com extension is preferable over other domain extensions, but it’s not the end of the world if you select a .net or .org instead.
Web hosting is the service you use to keep your website live. The server is where the website’s files are stored and how they are delivered to each visitor’s browser when they visit your domain.
Bluehost is one of your best options for web hosting. Not only is it extremely affordable and reliable, but it also allows you to register a domain name for free when you signup.
I used Bluehost to get my first WordPress website online 8 years ago, and they continue to offer an affordable and user-friendly service.
Once you have web hosting and a domain name, it’s time to install WordPress.
Installing WordPress manually isn’t so hard, but most hosts have an auto-installer you can use to simplify the process. Bluehost takes things a step further and auto-creates your WP site when you signup.
I thought about removing this step since you don’t actually need to do anything, but it’s important to understand what’s happening behind the scenes.
Why choose WordPress?
WordPress is the world’s most popular CMS and powers more than 25% of the web.
While it’s certainly not without its flaws, it’s entirely free and has an excellent community built around it.
Because there are so many people using WordPress to make sites, there is a massive developer community making themes and plugins for these users. That’s why you can find a pre-existing solution to build any kind of site you can imagine including one like Khan Academy.
At this point, you have a basic WordPress website online. You can publish posts and pages, and anyone in the world can visit.
You can follow along with this WordPress site creation tutorial if you want more detail on those first three steps.
The last thing to do is to select and configure a WordPress theme. The theme will dictate the aesthetic and function of your new website. This is how you’ll transform the design and add the video course tools you need.
Get Course Builder
Remember the sneak peek I shared earlier?
That design came from the Course Builder WordPress theme. Here’s another look at a design you can make with this awesome theme.
As you can see, this theme is highly flexible and can be adjusted to fit a wide variety of aesthetics.
When it’s your goal to create a website like Khan Academy, it’s hard to do better than this multi-purpose, intuitive design that emphasizes creating your own online courses.
Course Builder is created from the ground up with teachers, schools, and educational centers in mind.
It gives you a step-by-step process in which to create and deliver educational and instructional courses to online students and visitors in a seamless fashion.
And it does all of this while maintaining a beautiful and stylish aesthetic. Despite its simple and straightforward appearance, this top WordPress theme also looks stunning.
Perhaps the most important single feature is the course building tool. It enables you to design video or text lessons, upload images and diagrams, create tests and quizzes, comment and leave grades, and so much more.
The LMS Course Builder even lets you sell your course or create a subscription plan so that you can easily monetize all of your hard work. Payment gateways include PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, and 2Checkout.
Additional highlights of this WordPress theme are its drag-and-drop page builder, included premium plugins, and wide availability in most languages.
The LMS functionality for building courses comes from the free LearnPress plugin which is made by the same developers that make Course Builder. In addition, you get access to all of LearnPress’ premium add-ons which are worth more than $500+ combined. This makes Course Builder a huge value.
Alternative WordPress themes to Course Builder
Despite the quality of Course Builder, it’s not the right WordPress theme for everyone.
Two alternative themes to create a website like Khan Academy are Masterstudy and Eikra.
Masterstudy is an elegant and intuitive option for education businesses. It comes chock full of features to create both free and paid courses.
A few highlights are the teacher profiles, student reviews, visual composer, multiple layout options, and 100% responsive design.
Eikra is equally stylish and functional. The powerful WordPress theme utilizes the same plugin as Course Builder, LearnPress, to add its course building functionality.
Eikra makes it incredibly easy to create a clean, professional website to sell your educational courses.
Launch your new Khan Academy website
All it takes to make a website like Khan Academy is to:
- Get a domain name
- Get web hosting with Bluehost
- Install WordPress
- Install and configure a theme (I recommend Course Builder)
After you complete these steps, all that’s left is to launch your new website. You now have a powerful platform to provide educational content to your visitors.
Though we’ve outlined all of these steps in detail above, you can find an even more comprehensive overview in the step-by-step how to make a WordPress site guide.
With a solid marketing plan, you’ll be prepared to onboard new users every day using your new website built like Khan Academy.