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Simplero is an all-in-one coaching platform targeted at ‘infopreneurs’. It launched in 2008 with an aim to simplify online coaching businesses by providing everything an online coach would need in one platform. Simplero offers its users a website builder, email marketing tools, a course builder, and much more! The platform reports that over $160 million has been made through Simplero for more than 2000 course creators from over 8 million customers.
We wanted to put the platform to the test and find out if it can produce industry-leading web designs and if the course-builder enables even the most beginner users to create great online educational content. Simplero claims that users cancel up to 10 different software subscriptions after signing up to their platform, it’s a bold claim that we want to get to the bottom of. Read the rest of our review to find out more detail about the company’s claims and the strengths and weaknesses of the platform’s core components.
If you don’t feel like reading the full review right now, no worries. You can save some time by skipping ahead to the bottom line to find out if Simplero is the right platform for you.
Simplero call their course creators infopreneurs which describes anyone who has information valuable enough to sell to willing students. The platform is targeted at people who are looking for an all in one solution to help make running an online coaching business easier. Instead of having 10+ accounts for various online business software, Simplero claims that they can cover all of that capability from just one login.
There is very limited drag and drop functionality on the Simplero platform. It’s available within the course builder and the website builder. You can use it to rearrange the order of your course module content and website content blocks. This does make adding in new elements to your course easier and rearranging content blocks on your website pretty simple. However, the website builder could benefit from an on-page drag and drop interface to help users with designing their websites.
Simplero has a unique and innovative onboarding process. Once you’ve signed up for your free trial or paid subscription, you’ll be greeted by the CEO, Calvin. Calvin explains that most users will be at the stage where they need to start with growing an audience or they might be ready to start selling to their audience. He then asks you to decide on which bracket you fall into. Which one you choose will influence the rest of the onboarding process and Simplero will help you to focus on tasks appropriate to your needs. In both sections, there are about 5 or 6 videos lasting roughly about an hour in total duration. The videos give you tips, pointers and advice appropriate to where you and your business are at.
Other than the onboarding video series there is also a knowledge base full of step-by-step guides to help you get started on the platform and a unique support call feature. New members are offered two free support calls with a Simplero expert which lasts around 30 minutes. The experts will talk you through how to use the platform and what you can do to maximize your business.
Simplero has gone the extra mile when it comes to onboarding content. They have created a series of helpful videos that tell users how they can grow a large audience and how they can sell effectively to that audience, on top of provisioning useful guides that detail how to use the platform itself.
Simplero offer’s a website builder and a course builder so we’re going to talk through the capabilities of both of these features. Before we get into it, it’s important to note that users don’t get a choice of website or course design templates. There’s a one size fits all template that you will be able to make unique by creating text content and uploading your own images. This might be a good thing for beginner users who just want a quick and easy solution to building a website and an online course. However, it could be frustrating for other users who want to put their personality into the design of their website and courses. There is definitely a danger of websites built with Simplero looking very similar to each other.
The Simplero website builder is a point-and-click style editor. Editing text is done on the page, you can type directly into the text box and use the formatting menu to make style changes to your text. Everything else is done from within the editor sidebar.
There are 36 different types of content blocks which include simple elements like text boxes, columns, hero images and spacers as well as more advanced elements like countdown timers, product listings and social media integrations. The content blocks are simple to add and easy to edit, but the overall design lacks a wow factor. The designs are not necessarily bad, but it doesn’t grab your attention as it could.
To rearrange the elements you need to go back to the section overview of the page you are working on which is located in the editor sidebar. From there you can drag and drop your content blocks into position.
It’s possible to add a video background to your web page to make it stand out from the crowd, you’ll just need to click ‘choose media file’ from the custom background video section in the sidebar and upload a video file. It’s as easy as that!
You can create your own custom colors using the color editor and match your brand colors precisely with a HEX code. This is also great for making sure that all of your custom colors stay consistent across all of your web pages.
The course builder is simple but has everything you need to create an online course. Most of the hard work will be done outside of the platform like creating video content and text content for your lessons. Once you have it you can use the fields provided within the course builder to make it compatible with the Simplero platform.
You can add a lesson or a quiz for each module section. Within each lesson, you can add additional content like PDFs, videos, and audio files for your students to stream or download while working their way through your course.
Simplero has set up a trigger feature within the course builder that allows you to automate certain processes, which is great for saving you time by reducing admin tasks. Triggers are ‘if-then-rules’, so when ‘this event or action’ happens then ‘this action’ should happen. For example, you can use the trigger function to give students access to another course when the course they are on has been completed.
Overall, when compared to other course builders, Simplero’s course builder seems pretty basic. However, sometimes basic gets the job done and we’re not saying that you can’t create a valuable course with the platform; just that other platforms offer more jazzy and impressive features.
Simplero brands themselves as the all-in-one platform for online coaches and they certainly do offer much more than just a course and website builder. While the Simplero versions of the software you need to run an online coaching business might not be to an industry-leading standard, they do have the benefit of being all in one place, which saves you time and the stress of juggling 10 different software accounts.
We’ve listed some of the additional features the platform offers below but one that we wanted to call out here is the simplified financials pages. This page helps you manage invoices, recurring payments, affiliate payments, refunds and revenue reporting all from one place. We know how much time each of these business tasks can take so having the ability to manage it all from one place could really save business owners like you some time.
Something else the platform offers free of charge to all annual subscriptions is a site migration. If you’re already set up on another platform and looking to move your website and content over to Simplero, you can leave it up to one of the experts who will transfer your lessons, take care of 301 redirects and all of the other technical stuff that goes on when moving a website.
Taking SEO seriously can help you to build sustainable organic traffic to your website. We conduct our own independent SEO audits on every platform we review so that you know what’s possible for your website in terms of SEO and how well it’s likely to perform in the search engine ranking pages (SERP).
Simplero has supported some of the important SEO functions needed to perform well in the search engine ranking pages, however, there are a few things missing which will make it hard to outrank other websites if you’re targeting competitive keywords. One of the highlights of the platform was the fast loading-times. It finished in the top 10 of all of the website builders we have reviewed on our Google page speed test. This is good news because Google considers page speed as a direct ranking factor and will always favor faster websites over slower ones. The platform also supports sitemaps, caching, auto-image optimizing, canonical tags, page titles, meta-descriptions, and friendly URLs which all contribute to the overall SEO performance of your website. Users can also use the code editor to optimize the site further and add in any missing elements for better performance. Of course, this won’t be easy for a beginner user who doesn’t know how to code, but it does provide an opportunity for more advanced users or those with the budget to hire a professional.
What let Simplero down was a lack of schema data, no minifield code and no way to edit image alt tags. These are all crucial elements that are needed to impress the search engine bots and basic enough that most competitor websites will have them covered. This will then make it very hard to outrank competitors going for the same keywords.
Simplero had mixed results and despite having some strong points like the page speed, it was let down by the missing basic elements. We would have no problem recommending Simplero from an SEO point of view for one-pagers as it’s possible to still perform well, however for larger websites it will be much more difficult.
The website builder will already have everything you need to start selling products to your audience. When you create and save a new course, you can then select it as a product to list from the drop-down menu. You’ll find in the menu in the editor sidebar when working on product listing content blocks.
You’re able to sell your online course with one-time payments, payment plans or go for a subscription model. Creating a coupon to offer customers a one time discount is a great way to boost sales and the perceived value of your courses, and it’s really simple to make one with Simplero. As well as selling online course products you can also set up membership sites that would work on the subscription model.
Finally, the platform is also set up for you to sell products like ebooks, videos, and audio files. This is great for offering a variety of content to your students and gives you more ways to generate revenue.
If you want to give your students the ability to book time with your or another mentor then you can set up appointment bookings for your website by linking your simplero platform with Acuity Scheduling. This is the bookings platform that Simplero recommends and you can find out more about how to link it up to your website in this article on Acuity scheduling on Simplero.
You can connect a number of payment processors to your Simplero account but the main two that are supported by the platform are Stripe and PayPal. If you are looking to collect payment for subscriptions or payment plans then you will need to link Stripe with your website as it’s able to take automatic payments whereas PayPal can’t.
Simplero is also set up with Spreedly which is a third-party solution that allows you to connect with over 100 different payment gateways. Online coaches with a global reach could benefit from using a service like Spreedly because some payment gateways only work in a select few jurisdictions. Spreedly will make sure you can collect payments from students no matter what country they come from.
Simplero does offer a 14-day free trial which allows you to test out the platform before signing up to a long term plan.
Please note that you will have to put in card details when you sign up for a free trial and the Rule The World subscription worth $149 plus 20% VAT will be automatically started after 14 days. If it’s only the free trial you were after then make sure you cancel in time.
There are three pricing plans available from Simplero. They include Build, Launch, and Rule The World. The entry-level plan Build starts at $29 which is inline with most of the competitor e-learning platform starting prices. However, Build doesn’t allow you to sell any course and is only for users who are in the ‘growing an audience stage’ that the CEO talks about in the onboarding videos.
So, the starting price for an account that allows you to build a website and sell courses is $99. This is the Launch subscription which allows you to keep 1000 contacts and gives you 100GB of storage. You can sell up to five courses and have one membership site with this subscription. This is very limited for the high monthly cost, especially when Thinkific allows you to create and sell three courses for free…
It’s an obvious attempt to upsell customers to the most expensive plan which costs $149 per month. You do of course get access to a full suite of online marketing software for that price, but it still seems expensive when looking at other e-learning pricing plans.
The only way to get in contact with the Simplero support team is with ticket support. You’ll need to click the contact us button found in your navigation bar and you will be asked what you need help with. If the suggested articles that are brought up don’t answer your question you can then click to contact support and fill out a contact form. The ticket support team is available 24/5 and works at reduced hours at the weekend.
Simplero also offers a private Facebook group that you can join to speak with other members of the Simplero community and get the latest updates from management. There is also a bank of how-to guides and end-user guides that help you understand how to perform basic and complex tasks on the platform. Finally, Simplero hosts weekly live workshops taught by a member of the Simplero team and is designed to help you succeed on the platform and in business.
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