Building with Gutenberg, Astra, and LearnDash

When I set out to build Taylor’d Ink, it was 2016. I had just quit my day job and all I wanted was to own my own business… A few years and an entire lifetime (or so it feels) later, it’s done. And, it’s nothing like I imagined when I started.

My goal for the Taylor’d Ink website changed along with my career. When I started working for GiveWP, I no longer wanted to own a marketing agency. Instead, I decided I want to teach people to do what I do. Besides, everyone in web development should have at least one project that makes them money while they sleep, right?

So, without further ado, let me introduce you to the new and improved Taylor’d Ink 2.0.

Taylor'd Ink: Writing Made Easy. Content Writing for Better SEO and Audience Engagement course is free for beta testers.

A Minimalist Website Design

Taylor’d Ink is all about writing. So, to focus on what the brand is all about, there are absolutely no photos. The only exception are the Gravatars on user profiles. All images are text-based and always will be. I even stripped some of the LearnDash styling away so that the courses themselves weren’t too flashy in comparison with the rest of the site. Even this might get tweaked a bit more in the future.

The "Course Content" section styling took out the divider border.

Building with Gutenberg and Astra Theme

While Astra Theme has some really amazing site templates, I finally graduated from template adjuster to website designer. Of course, I have to use all the newb WordPress tools to develop anything and I don’t do it with the best web development practices. But, I like to think my most recent sites are pretty nice. Astra has the best built-in Customizer tools for someone like me: a cowgirl with no coding background.

In a similar way, Gutenberg took the beginner-level usability of WordPress to a whole new level for me. Granted, I could have used Beaver Builder or Elementor, but I had already learned Gutenberg like a pro to write about it for work. Why not use it to build pages? Astra Theme also works wonderfully with Gutenberg and they have a library of site templates built with it.

You’d be surprised how easy it is to build a page with Gutenberg once you’ve gotten used to it. I had to give it about a 6-month learning curve to really love it.

Incorporating Learning Management with LearnDash

When it came time to decide how to set up online courses, I went through a variety of options. Eventually I settled on LearnDash because it was not only on sale at the time, but it also:

  • Creates a beautiful front-end interface without much effort.
  • Helps manage user profiles/ registration.
  • Integrates with WooCommerce (and others).
  • Has a large user-base and online community with great support.
  • Makes it easy to build courses in the Course Builder.
  • Supports Gutenberg within the course/lesson/topic content.
  • Seemed the most reasonably priced for its value.

After I started using LearnDash, I had the opportunity one random summer day to meet with the creator. Hearing about his passion for his product let me know that my site’s learning management system is in good hands.

Wrapping up with WooComerce and a Custom Profile Page

Last minute I decided to add WooCommerce so that I can provide free resources that require user registration in order to download alongside my paid courses. Thanks to WooCommerce shortcodes and LearnDash blocks, I finished up Taylor’d Ink with a Profile page that took me less than 2 minutes to put together. That time includes Googling the right Woo shortcode to use. This page is extremely simple on the back end.

The profile page gives users a preview of their LearnDash learning statistics as well as their WooCommerce customer information.

It has exactly 2 blocks yet creates an entire comprehensive profile page. I love how easy it is to put things together quickly with Gutenberg.

Check it Out and Tell me What You Think

The WordPress world is filled with brilliant minds and collaboration usually brings about better ideas. So, please take a look at Taylor’d Ink and let me know what you think. If you’re feeling brave, beta test my content course while you’re there.