If you’re launching a course on your WordPress website, you’ve probably come across a least a mention or two of OptimizePress. The OptimizePress theme along with the OptimizeMember plugin functionality gives you a way to restrict your course or other paid content. It also comes with an amazing drag and drop builder interface that I find extremely easy to use with an end result that is polished and professional.
I build the DIY SEO for Small Business Course using Optimiz Press, but when it came time to do a review I reached out to Genevieve Mari. She works with OptimizePress on a daily basis and loves it so much, she’s created her own OptimizePress training course and free Facebook group to help others use the tool even better. Here’s the honest take with both the good and the bad on OptimizePress from Genevieve. ~Kelly
by Genevieve Mari
I’m not going to lie; I am a huge fan of OptimizePress. In fact, it is the platform and plugin I recommend most and it is the only platform I work with.
Why? Because, 99% of the time, it is the perfect answer to ALL of my clients needs.
But despite my love affair with OptimizePress, I am still very well aware of where it could be improved and why some might shy away from it.
OptimizePress is Different
First things first, I want to make sure you really get what you get when you chose to work with OptimizePress.
See while most people speak of it as a membership plugin, it is so much more then that. In fact, OptimizePress is NOT a membership plugin, it is a theme (with a plugin version of it’s theme) that COME WITH it’s own membership plugin called OptimizeMember.
So many are unclear on that and this is where it really stands alone to most other “membership” type plugins. Not only can you lock and load your content, you can fully build your site (as well as specific type pages) with the OptimizePress Theme. In fact, you can even build a blog site and never even use it’s membership capabilities.
So let’s go over all the WHYs OptimizePress has won me over.
1. It’s affordable!!!! Who doesn’t want to save money right??
At its lowest price point, you get 3 API keys, which is the equivalent of three separate sites. And that includes over 30 templates for you to use to build your site should you not feel brave enough to start with a blank page. I especially enjoy these templates when looking for inspiration!
2. It comes with over 30 templates.
Seriously, who can’t manage to build a site with over 30 template to chose from? And I’m talking about all sorts of templates; Landing and optin pages, sales pages, course/membership pages, webinar pages, Thank You pages, etc.
Best of all, all these templates are 100% customizable so that you can give every page you build the exact look and feel that you want. Your branding will following you with this platform!
3. You can build your pages/site from a blank canvas!
While daunting for some, many enjoy the freedom of creativity that a blank page can offer. So if you are bold and design-inclined, you have the power to create anything you want when using the blank page as your starting point.
4. It comes with it’s own membership plugin
This is actually an incredible partnership of theme and plugin, meaning that your membership plugin integrates seamlessly with your site. And this plugin is fairly straightforward to configure, although I would say that most of the “user” errors happen in this part of the set up. After comparing it to other membership plugin, I feel it is the most user-friendly plugin in town.
Moreover, it integrates with PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, and many more shopping carts as well as a variety of email marketing services such as Mailchimp, Aweber, Infusionsoft and Ontraport, just to name a few.
5. It has a lot of advanced features.
Like the overlay optimizer (think two step opt-in boxes) and launch funnel set up. And if the nitty-gritty is what you are after, you can really get it completely customized to your needs. Whether you are setting up one or many courses on the same platform, OptimizePress’s advanced capabilities mean that there is very little stepping in the way of you have the exact site you want.
What You Should Watch Out For
Now, despite my love affair of OptimizePress, I am well aware that there are reasons for some to be less then thrilled with it.
First of all, if you already have a theme installed and set up on your own site and want to use OptimizePress, then you need to use the OptimizePress plugin. This is where problems can happen. OptimizePress is a very robust and big theme/plugin, and therefore can sometimes clashes with other themes and plugins. So before installing OptimizePress plugin, it is highly recommended to verify the compatibility of your theme with the OptimizePress plugin. You can do so here (https://optimizepress.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/200553686-Incompatible-Themes-Plugins).
Fortunately, the work around to this incompatibility issue is to create a sub-domain or sub-folder and house your OptimizePress install (it would be the theme at this point) there instead.
Secondly, and speaking of it being such a huge theme and plugin, it also requires a good hosting package to support it. The basic hosting requirements can be found on OptimizePress’ support site as well. For some, this might present an issue but for most entrepreneurs running a business, you basic hosting package should be just fine.
I won’t lie, there is definitely a learning curve to using OptimizePress and most of my clients will hire me to set up their membership while they build their pages. But it’s not impossible and with some guidance and support, I’ve seen some really nice sites come from some of the members in my OP support group.
My OptimizePress Wish List
Now here is what I would change.
I hate the drip content featured in OptimizePress. It is set up to work based on when someone signs up to your course/membership site, and not to a date you set in the system. Which means that if you want the content to drip over a weekly period, the startup date of each sequence will be set up based on when each user purchases registration to your site. This is less then ideal for entrepreneurs selling packages where they want to follow their group through the program.
What I would love to see incorporated within OptimizePress is an affiliate plugin or structure embedded into the OptimizeMember plugin. Because OptimizePress doesn’t always play well with other plugins, this would fulfill a need that many course builders have.
Also, an easier integration of other shopping cart systems, like SamCart, I feel would be appreciated by those trying to move away from PayPal.
But all and all, as a “full package” platform, with a theme, membership plugin, templates, and more…all for less then $100, OptimizePress is pretty hard to beat!