Ruzuku’s claim; “We make it ridiculously easy to teach online.” is quite a bold one.
This made us wonder, does Ruzuku really live up to its promise?
If you're scouring the internet to find out the answer, you're in the right place. We're going to explore that exact question here in this article.
Let's dive in!
Most of us would agree that no LMS (Learning Management System) could possibly satisfy all the needs of each and every course creator. That would be impossible.
But, Ruzuku does a pretty good job.
Ruzuku, claims newbies can get their online courses up and running within two hours (or less) — and to be fair, lots of users report that this is totally possible!
Brought to you by designers Abe Crystal, Ph.D., and Rick Cecil, Ruzuku was launched back in 2011. Since that time it's taken the digital product creation industry by storm!
Ruzuku guides you through the entire course creation process. From naming your course to adding lesson content, everything is pretty intuitive.
You'll also be pleased to hear; you can publish content in virtually whatever form you desire and customize your lesson content as much or as little as you like!
👉 Ruzuku offers its users a wealth of features, so for your convenience, we've listed some of them below:
If you're just using Ruzuku's 14-day free trial or their ‘Bootstrapper' payment plan (more on these later), you'll struggle to create a student quiz.
Namely, because this feature is reserved for the ‘Up-and-comer' and ‘University' plans.
However, there's a workaround you can use.
Ruzuku permits you to include single-question polls in each of your lessons. So, if you want to create a ten-question quiz, you just need to craft and publish ten polls, simple right?
Alternatively, you can create quizzes using other online tools like ProProfs, Google Docs [Forms], Typeform, or Survey Monkey. Then once you've done that, you can then link the quiz to your lesson — so never fear, there are a couple of options available to you.
Ownership of Your Content
You own the entirety of your course content — including all of the rights and intellectual property. However, Ruzuku's terms of service specify that you permit them to distribute your content from their servers (which needless to say, is a pretty reasonable request!).
A Free Trial
With Ruzuku, you can try before you buy!
When you sign up, you'll get your first 14 days for free. Ruzuku doesn't ask for your credit card details. So, you can be sure you won't get a nasty shock when you look at your bank statements in a months time!
Best of all, you can (in theory) create the entirety of your course, launch it, and make your first sales…all without spending a dime.
You may struggle to send students a certificate of completion.
Unfortunately, at the time of writing Ruzuku doesn't permit you to send email communications (including certifications) between instructors and students (directly from their platform) — and there's no way of providing students with a badge of completion using an in-house certification system.
However, course creators can view how students are progressing and download and send messages to student email addresses using a personal email account.
So, yes, you could create a certificate using a free tool like Canva and then email each student a certificate of completion once they've finished the course.
However, it doesn't take a genius to work out, that this would take a lot of time and effort. This is especially true if you've managed to enroll lots of students who all boast a high completion rate.
Consequently, if providing students with completion certificates is essential to you, then Ruzuku probably isn't the best solution for your needs.
Alternatively, if you're already a Mailchimp user, you're in luck because Ruzuku offers a direct integration with this solution. But although you can launch automatic email communications via Mailchimp, you would still need to create a certificate. Urgh.
Publish Content How You Like
It doesn't matter whether you want to design and publish an evergreen course or offer scheduled sessions, you control how your content is presented.
If you opt to drip feed your lessons, your sessions will go live on a set date and permit several students to progress through the content (on a schedule of your choosing).
You'll find that Ruzuku's ‘Visual Outline Tool' makes it incredibly simple for course creators to choose and plan the dates your lessons are released.
Video And Audio
As part of Ruzuku‘s course creation platform, they offer a professional video and audio hosting service. You can upload an infinite number of video and audio files directly to their platform (no matter which payment plan you're on).
Alternatively, you can also embed videos you've hosted on other 3rd-party services. So, if you already have a wealth of video content stored elsewhere, this won't be an issue.
For the majority of course creators, it's essential to be able to polish the look of their course. So you'll be pleased to hear Ruzuku allows you to pick from seven different color schemes and four fabulous fonts.
You can also upload your own logo and cover image. Ruzuku makes its required image sizes clear. So, you don't need to be an expert graphic designer to create a professional-looking logo and cover photo. Just head over to a solution like Canva, plugin Ruzuku's dimensions, and start designing!
Ruzuku has been expertly developed to ensure course creators have the tools they need to create information products that are simple for students to digest
This includes a straightforward framework course creators can use to structure their courses — which makes creating a new course as easy as pie.
Just head to your Ruzuku dashboard and click on the “Create a new course” icon. From there you should be able to hit the ground running.
You'll also be relieved to hear, Ruzuku permits you to set the price of your own course. Meaning, you have complete control over how much you charge your students. But, Ruzuku still handles all the boring stuff. They'll take customer payments on your behalf and handle the enrollment process of all your new students.
You should also note: The pre-set fee your students pay goes either through a shopping cart or a payment-processor (that you've chosen). At the time of writing, Ruzuku supports both Stripe and PayPal.
Ruzuku emphasizes the importance of peer-to-peer support. This is a surefire way of instilling a sense of community amongst your students, which works wonders for building a loyal following of people passionate about your information products.
Trust us; if you can successfully build an active community surrounding your first course, you'll find marketing and selling your next one way easier!
This is one of the reasons why Ruzuku encourages students to create a profile when they first enroll in your course. This includes their name, a photo, and a short biography. You'll find that by having these student profiles, it'll help both you and your students connect on a more ‘real' level when you participate in conversations on your discussion forums.
FYI you can post a beautiful looking discussion forum at the bottom of each lesson. This is the perfect place to pose questions to students. Not only does this space encourage students to reflect on your course content but also to communicate with one another as they progress through the lessons.
The participants can respond using a wide array of mediums. You can permit them to upload documents, videos, images, or just traditional text comments.
For instance, if you've created a photography course, it might be helpful for students to upload their snaps to share with you and their fellow students.
In addition to all the above, Ruzuku also offers a “notification” stream inside of their dashboard. This again makes it simpler for you and your students to stay on top of any discussions kicking off in the forums. Plus, it'll also give you, the course creator, a better idea of how students are most likely to contribute to the community.
You and your students will also receive automatic email notifications, which again works wonders for keeping all the relevant people in the discussion engaged in the conversation. Say for example ‘Alfie' posted a question, and ‘Sue' provided a response, ‘Alfie' would then receive an email notifying them of the reaction — pretty neat, right?
Last but not least, we also love that you can send weekly or daily emails summarizing the more recent comments and posts left in your discussion forums. You should find that when done well, these emails should encourage other students to get involved and contribute to the conversation. The more students actively participating inside of your course, the easier it'll be to create a vibrant community.
Once you've used up your 14-day free trial, you'll then have to shell out for one of Ruzuku's paid-for plans to continue using this platform.
You have one of three options to choose from:
1. The Bootstrapper Plan
💰 Cost: $ 74.75 per month (billed annually)
👉 This entitles you to:
- One instructor
- An unlimited number of courses
- You can enroll as many students as you want
- Unlimited video, audio, and data hosting
- No transaction fees!
- Your customers pay you directly
- You can accept payments via Paypal or Stripe
- Basic e-commerce with coupons
- Top-notch customer support for both you and your students
2. The Up-and-Comer Plan
According to Ruzuku, this package provides ‘best value' for your money.
💰 Cost: $83.08 per month (billed annually)
👉 You'll get everything in the bootstrapper plan, plus:
- You can launch an unlimited number of webinars. By this we mean, you can run video broadcasts and teleconferences directly through Ruzuku. This also includes webinar recordings, presentations, and live chats.
- Student polls and quizzes
- You can offer students both subscriptions and payment plans
3. The University Plan
This is Ruzuku's most comprehensive bundle, which is why it's the most expensive.
💰 Cost: $125 per month (billed annually).
👉 You'll get everything in the other two plans, plus:
- Your own domain name
- You can register multiple course instructors and site managers
- You'll be assigned a dedicated account manager
What If I Don't Like Ruzuku?
If you sign up to one of Ruzuku's paid plans and you don't like it, never fear. They offer all their customers a 100% money-back guarantee within the first 30 days of taking out your subscription.
You'll also be pleased to hear that Ruzuku doesn't delete your course content once you get a refund. Instead, Ruzuku keeps it on their database in case you need it at a later date.
Other Things to Note About Ruzuku's Payment Plans
You can change your payment plans at any time (either upgrading or downgrading). Just go to the “Plans & Billing” page inside your Ruzuku account and follow the instructions from there.
Ruzuku accepts all major credit cards, so you shouldn't have too much bother accessing this platform.
Benefits of Using Ruzuku
👉 There are tons of advantages to utilizing Ruzuku, some of which we may have already mentioned, but here they are:
- You can create an unlimited number of courses.
- Course developers can enroll an infinite number of students
- You can drip feed content
- Course creators can opt for self-directed lessons, i.e., the next module unlocks as a student completes the previous one. Alternatively, you can make all of your modules available to students as soon as they enroll.
- You can publish content as text, video, and audio files.
- If you've opted for either the ‘Up-and-Comer' or ‘University' payment plans, then you can host live video conferencing with up to 1,500 participants from your Ruzuku dashboard. You also get access to a live teleconferencing feature for up to 200 participants. This is also automatically recorded and uploaded into your course.
- You can accept student payments via either Stripe and PayPal no matter which Ruzuku payment plan you opt for. Both gateways are secure and trusted amongst the majority of online shoppers.
- If the price point of your course is particularly costly, you'll be pleased to hear you can offer students a payment plan. However, this is only available if you've purchased the ‘Up-and-Comer' or ‘University' package.
- You can also create ‘Subscription' plans for your students when you opt for either Ruzuku's ‘Up-and-Comer' or ‘University' pricing tiers.
- Course creators can create discount coupons for consumers to use (no matter which payment plan they opt for). This works wonders for enticing new students and marketing your course.
- At the end of each of your lessons, you have the option of creating a ‘Discussion Prompt.' This allows students to upload text, photos, videos, or docs. Many course creators use this feature to encourage students to upload ‘homework' here. Best of all, these discussion threads are pretty attractive — they're not the 90's style forums you might be imagining!
- If you opt to add these discussion threads into your course, you can encourage students to create a profile when they enroll — including a short bio and photo.
- You can track your customer's payment history, pricing levels, and course progress. Yes, both individual and group student tracking is available!
- If you want to have affiliates promote and sell your course, Ruzuku takes care of that as well. Just head over to their ‘Affiliate Management' section, and you can create affiliate-specific coupon codes and price points for affiliates to use. You can also track their progress directly from the Student Dashboard.
- Last but not least, users report Ruzuku's customer support teams are incredibly quick to respond to their queries. Not to mention, the service they provide is usually both friendly, helpful, and actionable — what more could you ask for?
- A high degree of flexibility: This is most apparent when it comes to pricing your course and delivering your content. It doesn't matter whether you want students to access all your modules from the get-go, or you'd prefer to drip feed lessons over a set period. The option is yours.
- You can make copies of your course. This comes in handy if you're taking the split testing of your info product seriously. You can keep running campaigns until you find the combination of price points, coupon codes, and content that converts the best.
Like all online tools, Ruzuku isn't perfect; so there are a few drawbacks you should be aware of:
When it comes to creating sales pages using Ruzuku, there's a template you can use. Yes, it looks clean, and it does the job. However, customization is incredibly limited.
There's a good chance this is the first point of contact a potential student has with your brand, and as such, you'll probably want the freedom and flexibility to style this page exactly how you want it.
More specifically, Ruzuku users also complain that the cover photo section on the sales page is too small. There's also a general consensus amongst course creators that they would like to have more freedom to move things around on the page and upload videos. It seems very strange that Ruzuku's sales pages are the only place where you can't directly upload a video!
The only workaround is linking out to a video you've hosted via a third-party, which seems like an awful lot of effort for something that should be relatively simple!
So, to ensure your sales page blends seamlessly with the rest of your brand, consider using a software that's better geared towards creating sales pages.
💡 Top Tip: Just make sure it integrates smoothly with the courses you create on Ruzuku. Otherwise, you could end up opening a whole new can of worms!
Who Should Use Ruzuku?
Ruzuku is a fabulous option for solopreneurs and independent experts who want to create, launch, and market their own online courses.
If you're new to this niche, then Ruzuku is a terrific platform. On the whole, it's incredibly flexible and straightforward to use. It doesn't matter whether you're using the visual editor to craft a lesson or you're adding resources for students to download, you can keep things as simple as you like…or get a little more sophisticated.
The beauty is, the choice is entirely yours.
As you delve deeper into the course creation process, you'll inevitably start experimenting with third-party tools.
👉 Most likely, apps and resources that empower you to create beautiful:
- Audio files
Just to name a few, but you get the idea!
In no time at all, you'll find yourself getting increasingly bold and creative with the teaching tools you use inside of your course.
So, in short, Ruzuku is best for course creators who want to hit the ground running and for those who don't fancy getting overly bogged down with the technical side of online course creation.
Tips for Making the Most Out of Ruzuku
If you want to make the most out of Ruzuku's platform, be sure to heed the advice below:
Take a look at Ruzuku's blog. Over there they provide a ton of handy hints and tips on how to get the ball rolling. Their blog includes article titles like: ‘4 essential steps to getting momentum on your course idea' and ‘Why you’re stuck at the idea stage of your course' — all of which are definitely worth a read!
We also highly recommend creating a course outline.
By this we mean, thinking about what you want to teach and breaking it up into modules (before you sign up for your 14-day free trial).
Then, give each of these modules a title and write a brief description of what your students will learn inside of your modules. You may also want to consider the kinds of downloadable resources you'll create and provide students. That's in addition to potential discussion topics or questions you'll pose to course participants at the end of each lesson.
Before you sign up for Ruzuku's free trial, we also suggest creating your logo. Pixel dimensions are as follows: (333px by 64px). The same goes for your cover photo (100px by 100px), as we've said before, you can head over to Canva and create something that looks really professional.
Once you've done that, you're ready to sign up for your Ruzuku trial!
Now, create as much of your lesson content as you possibly can. It doesn't matter whether it's traditional text, videos, audio clips, or infographics, just get it done! Don't spend days making things look fancy. Ultimately, that's a waste of your precious free trial time. So, don't spend ages learning new techniques, play it safe, and stick to what you know. Or, if you're set on doing something differently, learn the skills you need before signing up.
💡 Top Tip: If the majority of your course content is videos, note that videos larger than two GB will need hosting elsewhere and then embedded in Ruzuku. So, do some research to see which hosting service will best suit your needs.
Are You Ready to Start Using Ruzuku?
If you want an intuitive and flexible platform to create your first online course, Ruzuku is an excellent choice. Within days you could have your first information product live and selling!
As we've said earlier in the article, it’s not the best platform if you want to award students with course completion certificates. It's also not ideal for keeping sections of content locked until you've received and approved a homework assignment.
You should also bear in mind, Ruzuku is a tad more expensive than its competitors, so be sure to shop around before you part with any of your hard-earned cash.
👉 However, as you can probably tell from reading this review, there's a lot to recommend Ruzuku, namely its:
- 14-day trial
- Speedy customer support
- Exhaustive ‘knowledge archive.'
Just to name a few!
When you use your 14-day free trial wisely, you could have all your content written or uploaded onto Ruzuku, and secured your first paying students. That's all before handing over your precious credit card details!
Have you got any experience using Ruzuku? If so we'd love to hear all about it in the comments box below. Would you recommend it to a friend? Let us know!