iOS App Update: Only Free Courses Can Be Viewed Through The App

Unfortunately, this update is about a loss of functionality rather than a new feature.

Apple has contacted our developers about the Teachable iOS app to let us know that the app doesn't meet a new App Store requirement. Specifically, they require the use of in-app purchases for paid content.

In other words, by allowing students to purchase courses through Teachable online, and not through in-app purchases, the Teachable iOS app is violating the App Store guidelines.

While we could allow in-app purchases, we believe that doing so will compromise the freedom we strive to give our school owners. This is because, in order to enable in-app purchases, we would have to concede the following points:

  • Apple would take a 30% cut from any in-app purchases
  • School owners would have no control over issuing refunds for in-app purchases
  • School owners would only be able to price their courses in limited options on the app
  • Billing information collected via in-app purchases would be unavailable to school owners
  • Coupons would be unavailable for use on the Teachable iOS app

Given the circumstances, we've chosen to only display free content (free courses) on the Teachable iOS app.

We've decided to do this rather than the alternatives of (A) removing the Teachable iOS app from the App Store completely or (B) releasing a product that removes personal control from school owners.

We're deeply sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. Rest assured that we are continuously exploring other options to provide a complete mobile experience to our users.

Linking Directly to Your Course's Checkout Page

As a school owner, there may be instances when you want to directly link someone to your course's checkout page. Now you can do quickly do so by going to Admin > Course > Pricing, finding the correct pricing plan you want to show, and clicking the Copy button in the Purchase URL column.

Doing so will automatically copy the URL of your course's checkout page with the relevant pricing plan—which you can use to direct individuals directly to the checkout page.

Similarly, when you edit a pricing plan, you'll be shown the direct checkout URL.

For more information, take a look at the Knowledge Base.

Stored Credit Cards for myTeachable Student Accounts

Students are now able to store their credit card information in the Billing area of their myTeachable accounts. This will enable them to purchase any course on a myTeachable-enabled school without needing to re-enter their card information.

When a student purchases a course with a credit card, they can elect to save their credit card to their myTeachable account by checking Save my card for future purchase on the checkout page:

On the Billing page of a myTeachable profile, users can see billing information for any schools they own and schools they're enrolled in. They can also view their stored credit cards and add or remove cards.

When a user clicks Add a New Card, they'll be able to input the information in this modal:

If they would like to make a card the default option for any new schools they enroll in, they can do so by returning to Billing, clicking the three dots to the right of the card in question, and selecting Set Default Card for New Schools. This does not affect their default card or billing information on any existing schools.

This update will make it a more streamlined process for a student to purchase courses on any school using myTeachable accounts.

To learn more about student billing, see the Knowledge Base.

External Affiliate Links

Until now, affiliate links only worked if they linked to the school the affiliate was promoting. Now, school owners have the option to allow affiliates to generate affiliate links for third-party sites as well!

To enable the external affiliate link generator, navigate to Settings > General > School > Affiliates. There, you'll see the Allow external URL redirects button which enables/disables affiliates to generate external affiliate links.

Once enabled, affiliates will be able to generate an affiliate link to external pages from their Affiliate Dashboard.

To learn more about affiliate links, see our Knowledge Base

Course-Level Affiliate Permissions

One of the most common requests regarding the Teachable affiliate program has been a way to control which courses an affiliate may promote. Today, that’s exactly what we’re introducing.

With the new course-level affiliate permissions, school owners are allowed to decide whether an affiliate can receive a commission for driving sales to all courses on the school, or to certain courses only. This is controlled on the level of each individual affiliate, so you can allow different affiliates to promote different courses if you choose.

To adjust an affiliate’s course permission settings, visit your admin area, navigate to Users, and locate the affiliate’s user profile. From there, click the Affiliate tab and scroll to the new Course Restrictions heading.

If you want to continue allowing an affiliate to receive a commission for all your courses, no further action is required. If you want to choose which courses an affiliate may receive credit for, check the box labeled Restrict commission to specific courses.

Now, you can go through the list of courses on your school. If you want that affiliate to receive commission for a course, make sure the Commissions Enabled toggle is turned on for that course. You’ll see a teal checkmark when it’s on, and a gray X when it’s off.

Once you’ve set these permissions, affiliates will receive credit for only the courses you’ve marked, rather than for all courses on your school. You can return to their profile at any time to add or remove courses from their permissions list. Affiliates can always see their list of eligible courses in their dashboard, but it’s also helpful to let them know directly when you make a change.

For more information on setting up affiliates, take a look at our Knowledge Base.

Custom Affiliate Cookie Period

In Teachable's affiliate program, affiliates are credited for purchases that a student makes within a certain amount of time after they initially click the affiliate link. That amount of time is known as the "cookie period."

Originally, the cookie period for affiliates on Teachable was set to a default length of 365 days. Now, in order to give school owners more control over their affiliate programs, we're introducing the ability to set a custom cookie period for affiliates on your school.

To set a custom cookie period for affiliates, navigate to Settings > General > School > Affiliates. There, you'll see a box where you can specify how long your affiliates' cookies will remain active after a student clicks their affiliate links. The cookie period can be set anywhere between 1 and 365 days.

To learn more about the affiliate program and cookie periods, see the Knowledge Base.

New Primary Owner User Role

We've heard feedback from many instructors that while they would like other people to help administrate their schools, they don't want to give up control of everything (e.g. power to change financial information or delete the school).

In light of these requests, we've built a new user role to distinguish the main administrator from secondary administrators. Introducing: the primary owner!

A primary owner is, in essence, the "super-user" of the school, and will possess administrative privileges that other owners will no longer have.

Here are the abilities that only the primary owner will have going forward:

  • Deleting the school
  • Updating PayPal email address/payout information
  • Updating Teachable billing and plan information
  • Updating custom gateway credentials
  • Removing other owners/changing owners' passwords
  • Transferring primary ownership to someone else

There can only be one primary owner per school.

For new schools, the school creator will be set as the primary owner by default. Any existing schools that currently have multiple owners will receive an email asking them to designate a primary owner. This email will be sent to the original school creator.

Read more about user roles in the Knowledge Base.

Drip Content by Date

Until now, if you wanted to use our drip content feature, it worked in a very specific way: student access was based on the number of days after they enrolled. This system works well when you want to control students' progress on an individual basis, but less so when you want all the students to work through the course together.

Now, with this update, you can choose to schedule drip content by specific dates instead of days after enrollment. This will allow you to, for instance, accept enrollments before the course opens, then automatically schedule it with drip to open on a certain day. It's something we've heard instructors ask for in the past, so we're happy to deliver!

To schedule drip by date, navigate to your chosen course from your school admin area and select Drip from the sidebar:

Then, in each section, choose Release by Specific Date, and set the date when the section will open. The best way is to use the black arrow to the right of the box and choose a date from the calendar, like so:

Once you select the date, it will be auto-saved in your browser. You can come back to change the date at any time. Optionally, you can also set up an email announcement to notify your students when each section has been released.

Keeping Schools Secure With SSL

We know how important personal security is, so we’re excited to announce that as of today, Teachable will create SSL certificates by default for all new schools. On October 25, 2017, SSL will be enabled for all existing schools as well. Should you wish to enable it earlier, you can do so immediately by going to Settings > General > SSL Security in your admin area.

SSL ensures that any data on your school is encrypted and your students won't have to worry about the security of their information.

From your Settings area, you can preview how your site will look on SSL, then enable it without needing to wait until October 25 (when it will happen automatically).

If you don’t want SSL security on your school, you can also disable it from this area at any time. However, we strongly advise keeping it on to avoid security issues and search engine penalizations.

For the majority of people there should be no issues after enabling SSL, but those of you who have “mixed content” (some content on HTTP and other content on HTTPS) may experience browser warnings and improperly displayed content on certain pages. To avoid this, check on any content you’ve embedded from other sources (images, videos, etc.), and ensure that the source page uses HTTPS as well. (Previewing your school on SSL will give you the opportunity to catch any issues ahead of time.)

For more information on SSL and mixed content, take a look at this Knowledge Base article.

School Deletions

We now have a native method for school owners to delete their Teachable school. Now you won’t have to contact our Customer Support team if you want to delete that school you accidentally created, you can do it within the Admin page itself.

Simply navigate to the Settings > General and then go to the Status section. From there, you can press the Delete School Permanently button to begin the process.

Once your school is deleted, it is gone permanently. Make sure to save any course content or school records you’d like to keep.

For more information, take a look at this Knowledge Base article.

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