As I have conversations with people creating their first online course I often hear them talk about two distinct things:
- Learner experience
- Content security
And what many often come to realize is that paying attention too much to content security can ultimately lead to a poor learner experience.
The desire to secure your course content, especially if your selling it, is understandable. You put in a lot of time to come up with the content itself and to organize it a way that is optimal for learning the key points. It is disheartening (heck, frustrating) to think that someone can come along and just steal your work.
The good news is there are some very simple things you can do when creating and selling online courses to make your content more secure. For example, if you use videos in your courses then I highly recommend leveraging a program like VimeoPRO (or something similar) for hosting the videos.
Speaking strictly from a security standpoint VimeoPRO is fantastic. You can specify the exact web address where the video is permitted to play. If anyone else tries to download it or hotlink the video then it won’t work.
You can also leverage download manager plugins to secure your course’s downloadable assets. Again, another easy security measure.
Don’t want someone to share their log-in information? Well with WordPress and LearnDash you can limit account access by IP by using free plugins as well.
The best part about both of these methods for content protection is that it doesn’t negatively impact the learner experience. When you start thinking about ways to disable copy & paste, booting out inactive users, using overcomplicted Captcha methods at sign-in… well then you start to run into issues.
If the user experience is impacted by the security measures you put into place you are sending your learners a clear message: you don’t trust them. If you don’t trust them then they will have a hard time trusting you.
Do yourself a favor and don’t waste too much time thinking about ways to lock down every part of your online learning program. If someone really wants to steal it then they will. Spend your energy instead on creating the best course experience as possible.