Webinars offer a simple yet powerful way to connect with a broad audience, whether you’re a big corporation or a solo entrepreneur. These virtual events remove geographical constraints, making it possible to engage with people from all over the world in real-time.
However handling webinars often means grappling with multiple platforms, from hosting to registrations. WebinarPress proposes a solution to this problem. It’s a WordPress plugin that promises to let you do everything you need—hosting, management, and even registrations—all within your own website.
How does it fare in real-world usage? Can you easily add registration forms to your existing pages? What about the cost?
In this review, we’ll explore these questions to see if WebinarPress lives up to the hype.
WebinarPress: Overview & Key Features
WebinarPress offers an all-in-one solution for hosting webinars directly within your WordPress site. With an intuitive setup process and compatibility across devices, this GDPR-compliant plugin streamlines the user experience while offering robust interactive features.
You can host live, real-time webinars with the plugin’s supported platforms, including Zoom, YouTube Live, Vimeo, or any service that offers HLS streaming or embedding. Plus, you can connect with email providers like Mailchimp and ConvertKit to ensure all attendees are synchronized automatically.
- Embed registration forms: Add registration widgets to existing pages. This avoids redirecting your audience to other platforms.
- Custom design: Tailor registration and confirmation pages to your brand. Use a real-time editor or your preferred page builder.
- Live chat and Q&A: Allow real-time chat between attendees and hosts. Automated sessions can email questions for later response.
- Extra registration fields: Add more fields to your forms. Collect phone numbers or job positions, for example.
- Attendee polls: Create single or multiple-choice polls. Use these during live and automated webinars.
- In-webinar CTAs: Add offers and action buttons during the webinar. These drive immediate action.
- Email alerts: Send reminder emails automatically. This helps keep your attendees engaged.
- Payment options: Integrate with WooCommerce to charge for your webinars. This lets you use various payment gateways.
- Webhook integration: Integrate with services like Zapier. This is possible via Webhooks and an internal API.
Hands-On With WebinarPress
In this section, I’ll show you how to use WebinarPress to set up and host your first webinar within WordPress.
First, download the plugin from its official website WebinarPress or WordPress.org page. Then, go to the plugins section in your WordPress admin, click Add New, and upload the .zip file of the plugin.
You should now see a new section for WebinarPress in the left-hand menu of your admin dashboard.
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Creating Your First Webinar
To create your first webinar with the plugin, open WebinarPress in WordPress and click “New Webinar.”
Doing so will launch the webinar editor, which enables you to choose the type of webinar you want to create, enter a name and description, choose the starting time, and more.
I wrote “First Webinar” in the title field and put a random description since this was just for testing purposes. In the host field, I wrote Dan Virgillito.
As for the webinar type, I chose to create a live webinar. However, WebinarPress also supports various other types, such as automated one-time webinars, recurring webinars set for specific days and times, just-in-time webinars that run at intervals ranging from 5 to 60 minutes, and “right now” webinars that attendees can watch instantly without any wait time.
Moving on, you can set the webinar’s start time using the WordPress default time zone. Plus, make sure to select the estimated duration for the session (I selected 1 hour).
For the content, I’ll use a pre-recorded YouTube video. You can simply navigate to your YouTube channel, select a pre-existing video, and paste the link into the designated field.
Note: WebinarPress also offers an optional feature to monetize your webinar. By enabling WooCommerce integration, attendees must purchase access to the webinar.
Using Visual Editors
Next, head over to the Design menu on the left and click on “Launch Visual Editor” to view the current layout of your webinar registration page.
The beauty of this editor is its real-time update feature. For instance, you can tweak the background color—let’s say, to a shade of blue—and immediately see the change reflected. The same applies to background images, text colors, and even subtitles.
For the sake of this tutorial, I left the design mostly unchanged.
Next, head over to the Confirmation Page. This is the screen attendees will encounter post-registration but pre-webinar. Like the registration page, the confirmation page also has a real-time editor for customizations. I kept the default settings for this too.
The third important page is the Countdown Page. This is displayed to attendees in the period between the confirmation and the actual start of the webinar. You’ll find a countdown timer and more customization options on this page. You can even add a video to engage your audience as they wait for the webinar to begin.
Finally, you have the Webinar Page, which also benefits from the real-time editor. Here, you can fine-tune the final look and feel of the webinar environment where your content will be displayed.
For further customization, the platform supports custom CSS styles. In addition, you have granular control over who has access to your webinar, with options to limit by user role or WooCommerce membership status. Custom fields can also be added to the registration form to collect additional information like phone numbers.
Configuring Interactive Elements
The platform also provides interactive features. You can enable an attendee Q&A section, a real-time chat, and even a hand-raising function. Questions can be directed to the host via email if you choose. You can also enable or disable the attendee list, usually visible only to team members.
A crucial element is the Call to Action (CTA) feature. It prompts attendees to take action, like signing up for a product, newsletter, or another webinar. You can opt for a manual display or set it to appear at a specific time. CTAs can be simple buttons or more advanced HTML elements.
Integrating Mailing List
Integration with mailing lists is seamless, and GDPR compliance features such as opt-in checkboxes and explicit email consent are available. You can also modify email templates for this specific webinar or stick to global settings.
Making Your Webinar Live
Once you’ve configured your settings, hit ‘Save and Publish.’ Your webinar is now live, and its URL can be promoted via various channels. As the host, you can monitor attendee interaction from the Webinar Room in your WordPress admin panel. From here, you can manage chats, answer questions, and even start and stop the webinar.
The platform’s real-time interaction options are visible from both host and attendee perspectives. Attendees can ask questions and chat with each other during the webinar. When it’s over, simply click ‘Stop Broadcasting’ to conclude the session.
WebinarPress offers three licenses to WordPress users:
- Free: Costs $0/month, and provides access to the bare-bones version of the plugin.
- Single site: Costs $197/year, provides access to the full version plus email support.
- Agency: Costs $497/year, provides access to the full version plus WordPress multisite and priority email support.
The license key is valid for 12 months from the date of purchase. Upon expiry, the plugin returns to the bare-bones version, and users stop receiving updates or support from the developer.
SPECIAL OFFER: As a bonus for our readers, you can get a 20% discount on any WebinarPress license. Just use the promo code “WPLIFT20” at checkout. It is an excellent opportunity to get started with WebinarPress at a reduced cost. The best thing is that this exclusive offer is available for the Lifetime (each and every renewal).
Webinars make connecting easy, but behind the scenes, it’s often a different story. WebinarPress helps to clean up that backstage chaos by putting all the controls on your WordPress dashboard.
So is it worth it? If you’re after a one-stop solution for hosting to registration, WebinarPress makes a strong case for itself. Because sometimes, simpler is just better.
Don’t confine yourself to costly third-party services for hosting live and recorded webinars.