Learn how to create a document library in WordPress with Katie Keith from Barn2 Plugins in this episode of the LMScast podcast hosted by Chris Badgett from LifterLMS.
Barn2.com has a bunch of really great WooCommerce plugins, as well as some table related plugins, which Chris and Katie are going to get into and talk about what all that means in this episode. At Barn2 they have come out with a document library plugin called Document Library Pro, which is really useful for people creating training based membership sites and online courses.
In 2010, Barn2 started as a WordPress web design company, and then started doing small websites for local businesses, eventually scaling up to international companies that needed a WordPress specialist. But they always wanted to sell products rather than services. In 2016 they found the time to launch their first plugin, and that started selling within a couple of days. So that year they focused on launching more plugins. And within about six months, they were able to stop providing websites for new clients and switched predominantly to selling the plugin products.
The first plugin Barn2 developed for WooCommerce was a password protected categories plugin. They found that on the WooCommerce ideas forum where people publish feature requests, it’s all public. And they went for the top idea that was not being planned to go into the WooCommerce core and that was realistic for them to develop and achieve as a small company. Barn2 also launched a generic table plugin, which is called Posts Table Pro. That lists any post type in a table, including WooCommerce products. They had requests to create more complicated tables, and that eventually seeded the creation of Document Library Pro.
Document Library Pro was developed as a dedicated plugin for documents rather than post types. It looks a lot like Post Table Pro in the front end. But behind the scenes it’s a proper document management solution. So you can upload documents either manually one at a time, or via a kind of bulk importer that they built. You can add document links and choose things like how people download the documents, so it’s powerful for your documents.
If you’re building a course website with a lot of resources involved, Document Library Pro is a good way to list them out in each lesson and show documents and resources in a table format where students can search to find the resources they need. To learn more about Katie Keith, Document Library Pro, and the great developments Barn2 Plugin has going on, be sure to head to Barn2.com
And at LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Thank you for joining us!
Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking to create, launch, and scale a high value online training program. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of LifterLMS, the most powerful learning management system for WordPress. Stay to the end. I’ve got something special for you. Enjoy the show.
Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. I’m joined by a special guest, Katie Keith. She’s from Barn2.com, which has a bunch of really awesome WooCommerce plugins, as well as some table related plugins, which we’re going to get into and talk about what all that means. I wanted to get Katie on particularly recently, I’ve known her for about a year. And it’s been great getting to know Barn2 and their business, but they have just come out with as of this recording, a document library plugin, called Document Library Pro, which is really useful for people creating training based membership sites and online courses. But before we get into it, Katie, welcome to the show.
Katie Keith: Hi. Thanks for having me.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. I’m excited to talk to you. Let’s just for quickly for the audience, how long have you been in WordPress and what was your story getting into WordPress plugins?
Katie Keith: We started in 2010 as a WordPress web design company. And we started doing really tiny websites for small local businesses. And then scaled up to international companies that needed a WordPress specialist. But we always wanted to sell products rather than services. I know that’s a common story for lots of WordPress companies. In 2016, we finally found the time to launch our first plugin and that started selling within a couple of days, which was amazing.
So that year, we focused on launching more plugins. And within about six months, we were able to stop providing websites for new clients and switched more predominantly to selling the plugin. And we haven’t really looked back since.
Chris Badgett: How did WooCommerce enter the story? Did you have clients that were doing online stores or something, or how did you get all this expertise in WooCommerce?
Katie Keith: Kind of two directions. Our first plugin, was WooCommerce because from the web design side of things, we knew that there was a big market there and we have some experience of it. So to find the idea for our first plugin, which was really specific plugin, WooCommerce password protected categories. So that does a very specific task. We found that on the WooCommerce ideas forum, where people publish feature requests, it’s all public. And we kind of just went for the top idea that was not being planned to go into WooCommerce core, that was realistic for us to achieve as a small company.
So we launched that and that got us down the WooCommerce route. But we also launched a generic table plugin, which is called Posts Table Pro. And that lists any post type in a table and including WooCommerce products. So we advertised it generically to list all sorts of things, but loads of people said, “I want more WooCommerce features, I want add to cart buttons, I want to be able to choose variations and things like that from within this table.
And so, it was very clear to us that we needed to launch a dedicated WooCommerce table plugin. So we still have Posts Table Pro and other plugins as we’ll talk about later, have sort of shut off from that. But that also got us into the WooCommerce direction, because WooCommerce product table has always been our best selling plugin. Simply because it featured request for a different plugin.
Chris Badgett: I love that story. It’s really around community driven demand. You’re not guessing.
Katie Keith: Exactly.
Chris Badgett: You’re looking at what people are trying to do. And when I look at your products, it really shows that they’re solving problems, very specific problems, which people are asking for. That’s cool. How do you kind of co-exist with WooCommerce? Think of yourselves as like an add on to extend further. How do you manage what you’re going to build, versus what WooCommerce may build one day?
Katie Keith: It’s always a risk that something we do, will get put into WooCommerce itself. It’s become more of a risk because they opened up their marketplace to third party developers a year or two ago. We have and … Kind of every plugin we’ve got, there’s a very close copycat on the WooCommerce marketplace, that from another company. There’s nothing we can do about that. And they’re often very similar to our own plugins.
And they have a add it all authority, because they’re on WooCommerce.com. And we could put our plugins on and try to join them, but I haven’t quite seen the business case for it yet, because they take something like 70% commission if you don’t do it exclusively. And so, if we sold on our website and the WooComments marketplace, they take so much commission and there’s all the extra work to maintain it.
So I have had conversations with them about setting our plugins on there, but I haven’t managed to justify it yet, but we might one day. So all we can do, is try to be the best. Make our products the best marketing and so on.
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Can you talk about how your business was impacted by COVID and the pandemic, in terms of just digital transformation of companies wanting to go digital maybe with their store, or do other things? How was Barn2’s plugins affected by the pandemic?
Katie Keith: Well, we were very lucky, because obviously a lot of businesses had a time. We were already working at home. We did rent an office, but we quickly gave up on that and we had home offices. So that wasn’t a problem. Our team was already distributed around the world so that was okay. And market wise, and our sales went up rapidly in March, 2020 and continued to for the summer. And it was across the board, there was an increase, but there were specific use cases. I know that Lifter saw that there was a huge surge in people wanting to offer training and that sort of thing online, because obviously everything had to suddenly be online.
So any of our plugins that dealt with that sort of use case increased as well. E-commerce obviously increased. And our biggest growth was in restaurant, because we had a plugin which based foods in a table in a kind of one page order form, a bit like Just Eat or Uber Eats or something. And suddenly restaurants were forced to take orders online all over the world, because they’d been made to close. But a lot of countries were still allowing them to offer takeaway food.
So to do a kind of COVID secure way of selling online, they were using our plugin to take those orders on their website, using WooCommerce plus our plugin. So there were quite a lot of growth areas and that was the biggest one. And we were very lucky.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. That’s super interesting. What about if … Pretend I know nothing about WordPress and we’re meeting on the street, what is the big deal with tables? Whether it’s for products, or some other kind of post table. What are tables and what are people trying to do and why are they important and when it comes to building a website?
Katie Keith: Well, in our context, we’re not talking about database tables behind the scenes, we’re talking about presenting information in a table. So our first table plugin, was actually from, we built it for one of our web design clients in early 2010 and launched it as a kind of more fully featured plugin. And it just turned out that people find it really helpful to display information in a table, because it’s more structured than the standard layouts you get with WordPress.
So most WordPress themes plugin into WordPress itself, tends to list information in a grid. So you might have like a blog where there’s three columns and maybe nine per page. And there won’t be much information about each post. There’ll be the title than an image. Not a lot else really, maybe a brief exer. But with a table, you can fit more information into a smaller space in a structured format.
So you can choose which columns to have within the table and with extra things like the author, or the categories, or the tax, or whatever you want. Even embedded media players and things like that and buttons and links. And you can have a column in the table for each of those pieces of information. And also you can add other things like search boxes and filter drop-downs. You can click on a column to sort it. And you can have a lot more within the same amount of space. So there’s less scrolling required for the user.
So we’ve sort of evolved into a company that has quite a few table plug-ins. If you want to list products in an order form, well, that’s a table. If you want to list a blog post in like an index, that’s a table. If you want to list resources within an LMS course, then the table layout works for that as well. So it’s quite interesting how diverse. Just your kind of boring concept.
Chris Badgett: I mean, it’s kind of Google’s mission to organize the world’s information. And essentially a website is … And when you get more complex, like a store or a school, you’re trying to organize information in a usable, intuitive way. So a lot of it is not just about data, it’s about the structure of the data and how it user can interact with it. I can nerd out with you. I don’t find tables boring. I think they’re super exciting. I want to come back to search in a second, but since we’re here, tell us about the genesis of Document Library Pro and why it kind of became its own product and what it is?
Katie Keith: Well, because plugin active WooCommerce product table, has always been Posts Table Pro, which lists any type of WordPress content. Basically any post type, which might be pages, posts, documents, events, anything really. So that creates a table listing those sort of information from WordPress. So Posts Tables has always been interesting, particularly from a marketing perspective, which is what I focus on. Because it has so many use cases.
So people use it to create an index of their blog posts, an audio library with embedded audio players, video gallery, list of upcoming events, but its biggest use case was always Document Library. And so, I had this idea for several years and didn’t act on it that really, we should have a dedicated Document Library plugin. Because the problem with Post Table Pro, is it displays information already stored in WordPress, but it doesn’t allow you to create that information in the first place.
So if you already have a post type, or you’ve want to display normal blog posts, or something, then that’s fine. But with Document, we were having to advise people to install a free plugin, to create a custom post type. There’s a really good one called Pod Switch, that you create custom fields and taxonomies and custom post types. So people would use pods to create their backend structure for their documents and upload the documents that way and so on.
And then they’d use our Post Table Pro plugin to list the documents in a searchable table. And it didn’t really feel right, or user friendly to be advising people to use multiple plugins. Even though Pods is free. As the only premium plugin was posting pro it just wasn’t right. And I felt it wouldn’t be great for conversions of things, as well as making it harder for the user.
So essentially, Document Library Pro, our dedicated plugin for that use case, looks a lot like Post Table Pro in the front end. But behind the scenes, it’s a proper document management solution. So you can upload documents either manually one at a time, or via a kind of bulk importer that we built. You can add document links and choose things like how people download the documents, by clicking on a file and type.icon or something, none of which is in Post Table Pro. So it looks the same, but it’s much more powerful for your documents.
Chris Badgett: I love that. I remember and I’m trying to remember what year it was. It would probably be around 2015 I made, or maybe 2016, I made a video about how to embed a PDF inside of a lesson. And you kind of would just send this file up into the WordPress media library and then you need to create a button, or grab a little icon of the PDF icon thing, and then turn it into a link. And so, I mean, I’ve been asked forever, “Hey, how do I deliver workbooks and digital files as part of a learning experience?” And when I saw your solution, I was like, that’s what people want right there. I mean, you’re basically allowing people to build their own little Dropbox. And the files can be hosted in different places, right? Not necessarily on your work website?
Katie Keith: Yeah [crosstalk]. A lot of people do host their files on third party sites like that. So we’ve allowed you to upload documents to the media library, or to just add the URL of where they’re hosted. From what you just said about embedding a PDF, sounds like our documentation for Post Table Pro, because it doesn’t have these built-in ways to add a button to a third party URL. It just displays information.
Chris Badgett: Right.
Katie Keith: So Document Library, has all that built-in. It would automatically create a link column, with a link to the document which might be on your media library, it might be on Dropbox or wherever. It doesn’t really matter. It could be a YouTube video even, but you click on the button in the table and it will take people to that URL, or download the document. So it’s a lot easier than, as you said, describing how to upload it and then add a button manually and link to it and so on.
Chris Badgett: I get asked a lot about Search and I’m not really WordPress Search expert, but what can you teach us about Search? And search doesn’t become a problem for courses, or these files maybe until you start scaling and the volume of stuff and people trying to find what they’re looking for easily. It starts becoming more and more important. Tell us about Search and WordPress, just any advice or tips and how it works with Document Library Pro as well.
Katie Keith: Yeah. I’ve noticed a lot of our plugging users don’t think about this and I’d like them to more. So by default, a Document Library Pro would include a search box that’s the table. And you can also choose whether to add filter dropdowns. Which kind of do the same thing, because when you type a search, it just filters by that search term. Doesn’t it? So it really does the same thing. It’s just that the filter dropdown is giving the user ideas of what to search for essentially. But they’re kind of the same.
But people might, this is like five or 10 things in a table and they still include the Search box. And I wish they’d hide it, because it’s not relevant then. Search it’s for interrogating large amounts of data. So let’s say you have a course with multiple lessons. And at the end of your course, you’ve included quite a large resource library with maybe 50 documents and other resources that you’re linking to, to help for further reading or whatever.
And all the references from the course, you might put them all in this resource library. Well, that would require a search box. And ideally, you could also add filter dropdown so that they could narrow it down by topic, or year, or whatever you thought would help them to find what they want. You could even tag your resources by lesson. Say that even though it’s all at the end of the course in a dedicated lesson, they could select the lesson that it relates to, or something. So I think, think about the relationship between the search box and the filters, whether you need them at all because of the number of resources and just what your users are likely to be using.
Chris Badgett: That’s cool. Can you tell us any more about just how Search works? If you just turn it on, what is it searching, the title? Let’s say it was … What is it actually searching in WordPress?
Katie Keith: Well, the WordPress search box that you can have in WordPress itself, is fairly basic and it searches I think it’s just the title. But there are plugins you can use with it, like SearchWP or Relevanssi, or something, which they don’t add their own search boxes. They improve the logic of the search that comes in WordPress and that’s for your site-wide search. If you use the search box that comes with Document Library Pro, which is just for your resources or documents, then that has kind of two options.
One, is that it can search through the title and the content, which is quite candy. Because let’s say you’ve got a bunch of text on the single document page, or something, but not actually in the table because that would make it too long. So that would allow you to search for that behind the scenes. The other option is that it looks within all the columns at the table. So there’s a few different kinds of logic options there.
And we’re currently working with the developer of SearchWP, to develop an integration for Document Library Pro, so that if you install an add-on that he’s working on with Document Library Pro and SearchWP, then it will let you use the more advanced logic in his plugin with the Document Library.
Chris Badgett: Very cool. Very cool. Let’s shift gears and talk a little bit about your journey as a course creator. What inspired you as a software company, to start getting into making course type of content?
Katie Keith: [inaudible] six months ago probably, that we’re always looking for ways to support our customers better and also improve things like marketing funnels, to get people to know our products before they buy them. And we already have a YouTube channel and lots of tutorials and things. All of which are publicly available, so that people can learn about these things before they make a purchase.
And we thought that for certain use cases, it would be useful for people to have a step-by-step course, an online course, about how to do something. Particularly, where our plugin is only part of the solution. So let’s say that you’re a restaurant you need to suddenly start selling online. You don’t really know what you’re doing, but you’ve been closed because of COVID or whatever. And you’ve got to take online orders.
So our plugin helps with the displaying of the products on WooCommerce website. But you might also want other things like the ability to send new orders to the printer in the kitchen, or to receive a text message notification of new orders. And there’s other things that restaurants might want. And so, I thought instead of just talking about our plugins, I could create a course that takes you step-by-step through the process of setting up a website for restaurants to use that use case.
I also, even things like how to set up web hosting and WordPress, because you can’t assume that everybody already has all those things in place. So I picked out, I think we’ve got three online courses now, all about specific use case. So we’ve got the restaurant one, how to build a wholesale store and also how to build a document library. And it’s kind of bigger than what you’d get in one tutorial.
Chris Badgett: That’s super smart to fulfill … You have your finger on the pulse of your customer and more specifically certain use cases. That’s a really interesting way you describe it, in that to really get the job done and solve their problem, we’re going to need to kind of cover things even beyond our own product, to get them the result that they want. And step-by-step training removes all the overwhelm of, oh now I got to go find this tool and how do I do this? And they ended up kind of in an unorganized way, just trying to piece together what they need. Whereas you’ve kind of organized it for them. That’s awesome.
Tell us about your experience with just getting comfortable and ready to make all this content. A lot of people get hung up in the gear, or the being on camera, or maybe you were already doing YouTube videos, so you already kind of had some practice. What did you need to do to become comfortable to start cranking these out, these courses and all these individual lessons out?
Katie Keith: I’m not really interested in the gear, but it’s really important these days. People spend 1000s of dollars on their set up, with their microphone and their lighting and things like that. And I’m just not interested. I forced my husband to swap offices with me, because we’ve got two home offices and we both run the company together. Just because the light is better in my new office. Because I’ve got a window in front of me.
So I had all these lights and they were no good. And I just … You got to find the right location so you can get really into the lighting, or you can’t just find the right spot. And then everybody does that backgrounds for Zoom and things don’t they? And make sure it looks right. And it’s interesting because in the past, nobody ever really saw your office when you worked at home anyway. And now you’ve got to think about all of those things. Will you be on camera? If, say you need a good enough camera and if your voice is recorded, you need a good enough mic.
But I’m by no means an expert. And I do hire someone to do my YouTube videos now. But I did the courses myself because I felt that that would benefit from a more friendly approach I suppose. I thought it needs to be clear, but maybe it doesn’t have to be ultra professional, because it’s about getting a relationship with your students, isn’t it?
Chris Badgett: Yeah. I love that. That way of looking at it. There’s this middle way, between perfectionism and paralysis. And everybody eventually hopefully finds the middle way. And I think you’re absolutely right. Video, it’s no substitute for in-person or whatever, but in terms of developing trust and a relationship. And people purchase software, not just from a company, but other human beings that are also going to be around as a relationship going forward between a company and somebody using the software. I think it is a smart use of time just to invest in at least creating some of the courses yourself. And the very act of creating the course, it really gets you in tune with the use case, right?
Katie Keith: Yeah. Because I was creating a whole website from scratch. I wasn’t just installing our plugin on my test site that already has tons of content on it. I was starting from scratch for the purposes of the course. So it is an interesting exercise. And then your student watches you do that and hopefully copies along.
Chris Badgett: How did you … There’s kind of two personality types. Some people like to be super organized and structure, do the outline in advance. And then other people just like, they just start and then just start making the training or whatever. What was your approach to being ready to record and to actually … A lot kind of happens. And then you go into the moment where, all right, now I’m creating the actual content. What did you do to get organized or not? Or did you just go? Yeah.
Katie Keith: Middle way really. So I put a Google doc together with just the course outline and some bullets of what I wanted to cover in each lesson. And then for some of them, for the action ones where I was actually setting up the website, I just had a kind of little note next to my computer that you couldn’t see with what I wanted to cover, but not a script. Whereas for other parts of it like introductions and conclusions, then I wrote more of a script, which isn’t ideal because you can always see you reading it on your screen however good you are.
You can use software to make it move along as you’re reading, so it doesn’t look like your eyes are moving, but you can always tell. But I did choose to do that even though you could probably tell I’m reading. So it’s about getting that balance. Whereas when you’re installing a plugin and showing how to do something, you can be a bit more natural, I think. And just talk through what you’re doing and give a few tips along the way.
Chris Badgett: So tell me about your decision to use LifterLMS. Why did you pick that?
Katie Keith: I have used LearnDash on one of our web design clients sites. We still look after actually. Or it’s … I don’t know, it just never quite did what we wanted and so on. So I thought, and I’ve obviously I know you Chris, so I thought we’ll try Lifter. And also that has a free version, which not all of the WordPress LMSs do. So we installed that and had a play with it and it did everything we wanted. In fact, I think I fed back to you that I think the free version has far too much in it business wise, that I felt we should have been made to pay. But yeah.
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome.
Katie Keith: There’s a lot of free features like certain types of certificates and all the little notifications and batches. And tons of stuff in the free version, which I was surprised about. So that was good.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. Awesome. Awesome. Well, how do you think about future courses or whatever? You’ve made three, it started with one. Tell us about the decision, or did you always know you were going to make multiple ones and do you have others kind of planned around different use cases? How do you think about the future and your courses?
Katie Keith: I think I’ve covered our main three use cases, which are kind of industry-based.
Chris Badgett: Yeah.
Katie Keith: And I haven’t fully got my head around whether to do more feature-based courses, if that makes sense. Because [inaudible] they could use case, like I need to build a restaurant. You can kind of anticipate the student’s needs from start to finish in many ways. If they want to do something like speed up shopping in their WooCommerce store, I could do a course for that, but I don’t know if it would be … It doesn’t feel like it comes together so well as a use case. So I’m sort of just keeping an ear open as I always do, for how people are using our plugins. And if any other major use cases come up, then it might be time to look at doing another course.
Chris Badgett: That’s cool. I was looking at another software company that uses LifterLMS and they on their website, they had a, they called it a Learning Center. And then inside of that, there were courses, documentation, blogs. And how do you as a software company … So I’m interested in this question. How do you think about the differences as a software company between a YouTube video, your documentation, courses, blog posts? Will just leave it at those. How do you use those tools differently?
Katie Keith: Yeah. And I think your right. I have seen some software companies that bring it together very well, because it’s not about the platform from the user’s perspective. The platform is just a vehicle to deliver information. So people come to your site wanting information, wanting to achieve a certain solution I suppose. And they don’t know if they want to go on your blog, or your YouTube channel, or your courses. And I’m not saying we’ve got this right yet, that’s probably a future project. I have seen people that bring it together into a resource center, where it’s centered around the topic rather than the vehicle. And I think that is a good thing to think about which we haven’t got right yet.
Chris Badgett: How do you think about YouTube yourself? Is that one of the ways you could tell where the market demand was, based on some of your YouTube views, or virality or? How do you use YouTube as a software company?
Katie Keith: Yeah. We’re just starting to improve that. It’s so huge. And we’ve always had to sort of, I suppose a trickle of sales YouTube. But we until the last six months or so, we haven’t really invested in doing regular videos. I would say at the moment, our YouTube strategy is kind of to echo our blog. Our blog, isn’t really a blog, it’s a series of tutorials. So each blog post is an in-depth tutorial about how to do a particular task usually with our plugins, but not always.
And we track which of those generate sales. And our YouTube strategy at the moment, is to look at which blog posts are generating the most sales and to do an accompanying video, which would be published on YouTube and its own rights and also embedded within the post. Because people have different learning styles of course. Some like to read step-by-step instructions, others like to watch you doing it in a video and copy along. So for our best content, we’re trying to provide multiple mediums in that sense.
Chris Badgett: I love that. Yeah, YouTube, I’ve learned that lesson as well, that when I make a tutorial piece of content versus just talking head about ideas or whatever, the video get 10 times the views and engagement or whatever. So YouTube, especially in WordPress, is a particularly powerful for tutorials. But it’s people really want that. And they get … I mean, when I think back about it, I actually learned WordPress, started learning how to use it in 2008 by watching YouTube videos. ‘.
So there’s always been a relationship between YouTube and WordPress. It’s super interesting. Well, could you just say those three main use cases again, that are a perfect fit for Barn2? We’ve got restaurants. Who else we got?
Katie Keith: Wholesale. So that’s building a kind of hidden store for your wholesale users. The other one was Document Library. And which is basically, which is quite a wide term really because we would include any sort of resource library, which might be audio, video, document, whatever really. But bringing together resources.
Chris Badgett: Just for the listener who maybe into e-commerce and WooCommerce, but maybe new to the concept of wholesaling, how is a wholesale site different from a retail site, or can they both be on the same site? How does one think about the difference between wholesale and retail?
Katie Keith: Yeah. The key difference is pricing and user experience. Most WooCommerce wholesale price plugins only look at the pricing side of things. So if you log in as a wholesale user, then you’ll get a certain discount, which is just how shops work. You have the retail price and the wholesale price. Often you have multiple wholesale prices based on volume or something like that. But a lot of wholesale plugins forget about the user experience. Which is that, a retail customer doesn’t know what products they want to buy necessarily. They might want to spend time browsing large images, viewing separate pages for each products and so on.
Whereas a wholesale buyer, does know what they want. They’re not buying it for themselves, they’re buying it to resell. So what they want, is a quick kind of one page order form, I.e. table, where they can choose quantities and variations, few data factual stuff about the product. And very quickly add all the products they want to their carts, or from that one page. So it’s a completely different experience of selecting products for retail and wholesale.
So our wholesale plugin brings those different elements together. And yes, you can run it alongside your retail sites, because it’s when you log in as a wholesale, user that you see the wholesale layouts and pricing and so on. And your normal public customers continued to see the standard layouts and pricing, which you would always have in WooCommerce.
Chris Badgett: Very cool. Very cool. Well, let’s end it back on the Document Library. And I’ll give you a few seconds to think through what I’m going to ask you, which is all the different types of documents people may consider for a learning site. Whether that’s a training based membership site, or a single online course. One of the things that the way I like to teach people about building these types of sites is that, it resonates with what you’ve been saying in this interview in that, you like to support your use case and solve their problems.
When somebody is trying to learn something, a course, it’s just a vehicle as an example, or what they need, is they need to be surrounded with support. So that might include some video content, some audio content. But the opportunity to provide documents or digital downloadable files to help support the learning process, what are some ideas to get people thinking of why they might benefit from coming up with a recent Document Library strategy, for their online course or training based membership sites? Can you list off some ideas for people?
Katie Keith: Yeah. Well, it’s kind of, if you went to a training course in-person, in the olden days, then you would nearly always be given some sort of written information and handouts, wouldn’t You? We’re kind of replicating and improving on that experience for online learning. And because then and of course, you go to a course either in-person or online. And that’s a one-time thing. One of the beauties of online learning through an LMS, is that you can access the course in future until whatever it expires.
So that’s better than a in-person course, where you have to use your memory don’t you? Or it’s gone forever. But you’re still not realistically going to be logging back in and going back through the lessons regularly. You want to be able to download materials and save them somewhere that fits into your workflow. You might have some sort of resource, within links in your computer, or folder of things you look up for useful information. You might have a company sort of process document and you want to copy something into there, or link to it.
So there’s lots of reasons why you’d want to take what you’ve learned from an LMS course and bring it into your everyday workflow. And to do that, you need to be able to access links and download documents. That might be videos or something that you’ve saved for future reference. It might be a PDX that you’ll refer to any future. I said lots of different things, but the point is, that you would refer to it later and incorporate it into your day-to-day work. And that way, it makes it real because you can properly embed your learning into what you do in the future. You don’t just forget it and move on.
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. That’s a good way to describe it. And I’ve taken online course and content where I’ve literally gone to the print shop and printed out the workbook and then I go old school. And also the offline learning use case, maybe they’re just a …. It’s an option for somebody who’s getting on a plane or something without WiFi to take audio or video lesson with them offline. The idea of portable content that’s not requiring an internet connection, is super powerful.
One of the things that makes … There’s not that much competition in what’s called portable content. There’s music and there’s audio books and there’s podcasts. And course creators can get in the mix. Whereas when you go to the internet, there’s 1000 things vying for your attention. So portable content is super powerful.
Katie Keith: Yeah.
Chris Badgett: Well, I want to encourage everybody who is listening, to go to barn2.com/courses and take the free, e-course, create an online document library. That’s on the barn2.com website. Any final words for the people, Katie?
Katie Keith: Not particularly. So yeah, I think if you’re building an LMS course, then think about how you might incorporate resources into that. And have a look at Document Library Pro and whether that’s a good way to list them. Either within each lesson, you might have addition many table at the bottom or something with the documents and resources for that one lesson. Or you might have a resources lesson writing at the end of your course, which would have lots of resources on and a more sort of searchable format. So just think about what would work for you.
Chris Badgett: Katie, thanks for coming on the show. And it’s amazing everything you’re up to. Thanks for sharing your story. And we’ll have to do this again sometime.
Katie Keith: Thanks for having me.
Chris Badgett: And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. Did you enjoy that episode? Tell your friends, and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the next episode. And I’ve got a gift for you over at lifterlms.com/gift. Go to lifterlms.com/gift. Keep learning, keep taking action, and I’ll see you in the next episode.