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4.4 Web Solution Platform4.4.1 WordPress.orgWordpress.org started out as a blogging system and became the most popular free Content Management System you can find on the Internet (WordPress, 2017), it is used for over 50 million websites. Its success comes from being flexible with more than 10.000 themes and even more custom plugins. It is user friendly, an individual without any prior web development knowledge should be able to set up a webpage or blog. You can download and install a software script called WordPress. To do this you need a web host who meets the minimum requirements and a little time. There is also a service called WordPress.com which lets you get started with a new and free WordPress-based blog in seconds, but varies in several ways and is less flexible than the WordPress you download and install yourself. We decided that WordPress.org is superior compared to WordPress.com in our case due to its flexibility. Many hosting services already include a wordpress install option in their hosting package, making the life of the wordpress developer even easier. For our solution we choose WordPress.org over a custom built website for multiple reasons. A custom built website requires more resources and expertise to build and deploy. As students WordPress allows us to create the digital training platform for GAME with minimal web development knowledge and experience. With the right plugin and theme choices we are able to build a powerful platform that meets all the needs of our customer. In the following the two chosen LMS plugins that are most suitable to GAME’s needs are going to be presented. These two plugins are the result of our long plugin testing period. 4.4.2 LearnDash LMS  Learndash is a Learning Management System designed for WordPress, that manages to offer all the functionalities an LMS could need and more. Learndash’s purpose is to create a professional e-learning platform that is easily manageable and supervisable. It is heavily focused in delivering feature filled LMS.4.4.2.1 LearnDash FeaturesMembershipsLearnDash makes it possible to sell  individual courses and each course acts as its own “membership”, effectively granting content access to only those who are enrolled. In GAME’s case the courses will be free, but the option to monetize courses will always be available if needed in the future. When someone purchases a membership level, they are automatically enrolled in any course that is part of that level.Multi-Tier CoursesBreak-up courses into lessons, topics, quizzes, and categories. Learndash can sort courses by categories and the courses are built up of multiple layers. Courses are built up of multiple lessons and lessons can contain multiple topics. Quizzes can be assigned to any layer of the course.QuizzingQuizzes offer eight different question types with the options you need to customize the quizzing experience.Single Answer, Multiple Choice, Sorting, Matching, Fill-In-The-Blank, Free Text, Survey, and Essay questions all supported. Quizzes can be assigned to any type of course layer and can be setup to award certain amount of points or even a custom made certificate upon completion.Certificates & BadgesAward official certificates based on quiz performance, completing a course, or both. This is the function that lets Playmakers showcase their knowledge and course progress by acquiring certificates. Certificates can be customized and support dynamic data generation, including:First & Last NameCourse or Quiz NameDate StampsQuiz ScoreAvg. Score of All Quizzes in a CourseDetailed ReportingLearnDash reporting captures various details about users and courses. Data from reports can be used for statistics, for improving the website, to track user preferences etc. Reports can include a user’s enrolled courses, their progress, quiz attempts, their quiz scores, time spent on a course and more.Email NotificationsLearndash makes it possible to send email notifications based on user level, course enrollment or user groups. Theme Learndash is designed to be compatible with the majority of WordPress themes and page-builder plugins.  Choosing different themes won’t have any effect on the underlying structure of the website.4.4.3 Learnpress LMSThe other suitable LMS option for GAME’s needs is Learnpress, a free open source LMS plugin.Learnpress includes only the essential features included to avoid long page load times. The core features can be further expanded with the addition of Learnpress add-on plugins. Such as a plugin adding the feature to provide certificates is on the wordpress market for $39. 4.4.3.1 Learnpress features:Course creationCourse creation with Learnpress is designed to be really simple, the user creating the course can find everything relevant to course creation on a single page. The auto-save feature makes sure that changes take effect immediately. QuizzesQuizzes created with Learnpress can contain four question types: true or false, single choice, multiple choice and fill in blank. These question type option provide enough flexibility to test the students in multiple ways.LightweightLearnpress is prepared for a high traffic of users, it was developed with focus on performance. The core package containing only the absoluto be able to te essentials for a learning management system.ScalabilityNext to the main package additional features can be  obtained by downloading add-ons providing a high level of scalability if needed.Learner trackingIt’s a really important feature in any LMS to be able to collect valuable data about user activity and course progresses. A statistic generator can be found in the Learnpress core that collects user data that can be extracted. The Gradebook add-on for Learnpress when implemented shows students their personal results and progress. Learndash and Learnpress comparisonLearndash and Learnpress are both Learning Management System plugins. They are both designed to help with the creation of e-learning platforms. They not only meet the fundamental requirements for an LMS plugin but offer more. However each one has their pros and cons.First of all Learnpress is an open source LMS plugin, that is and always will be free.(LearnPress – WordPress LMS Plugin.) In contrast to that LearnDash has a price( the plus package costs $189 ) and it’s source is closed to safeguard their product.Learnpress being open source is actively developed by its community, anyone can use, change and redistribute its source code. This attribute of Learnpress increases it’s customization. The plugin is actively updated by users themselves when they discover bugs. When using Learnpress the course creator has to rely on the help of the Learnpress community when running into problems.LearnDash being developed and maintained by a company promises a level of seriousness that cannot be expected from a large community. The initial price of buying the LearnDash plugin package includes customer support service. This means when the webpage runs into problems with LearnDash, the customer support will take responsibility for fixing these problems. A group of professionals whose help the customer can rely on. Learndash’s close sourced system might be more suitable for sites whom need a higher level of security and don’t want to share their source to the public.Compared to Learnpress, Learndash has an overloaded kit with a collection of add-ons included in the initial package. Learnpress on the other hand has many user created addons, both free and monetized. Learnpress addons are community created so their guarantee can be questionable and need personal testing to examine that they function correctly. When a plugin contains a lot of features that are not beneficial for the website, thats what overloaded or bloated plugin mean. Learndash could be an example of a bloated plugin, including a large collection of features in a single plugin. Often bloated plugins tend to slow the website down. In contrary to this Learnpress only includes the absolute essentials in its core. With the option to be expanded by additional add ons. 4.4.3 Web HostingWhen choosing a hosting option in our case  we can put them in two simple groups.  Shared web hosting and dedicated WordPress hosting. 4.4.3.1 Shared HostingShared web hosting is the most popular hosting option due to its low cost. With shared hosting multiple websites share the same IP address and the resources of the server including memory, hard disk space and the bandwidth. The disadvantages of shared web hosting is limited memory speed, slower site speed, possible Search Engine Optimization and security issues due to multiple sites hosted on the same server sharing IP address.4.4.3.2 WordPress HostingWpengine.com is a hosting service fully dedicated to optimized WordPress hosting, th find out e perfect place to find out what dedicated WordPress hosting really means. I reached out to the wpengine support team where Jamie Lawrence, a Sales Development Representative at wpengine.com, answered my question.  After I asked about the advantages of dedicated WordPress hosting he gave the following answer: “The main benefits are in the performance and security of our offering, generic providers offer a standard hardware configuration, not optimised for any CMS which means no matter how much hardware you have, it will be inefficient. We provide a fully optimised platform, which is lightning fast and ultra secure and custom support for WordPress if you have a problem” After browsing through the hosting options provided by the hosts suggested on wordpress.org : Bluehost, Dreamhost and SiteGround, i quickly came to the conclusion that these offers are quite overpriced. I conducted my own research and came to the conclusion that the Inmotion hosting offers the best value for its price.

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