Seeking Advice on Optimizing Shopify for Educational Community

Seeking Advice on Optimizing Shopify for Educational Community

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Hi Shopify Community,


I hope this message finds you well. I'm Dejan Ilic, the founder of Hoop Mentality, a platform dedicated to providing valuable resources for basketball coaches and players. Our goal is to create a community-driven space where coaches can interact, learn, and enhance their skills through educational content, courses, and specialized services.


Currently, we're facing certain limitations with our Shopify setup, which seems more tailored for e-commerce than our educational mission. Despite our efforts to adjust, we find it challenging to create the community-like atmosphere we envision.


The current setup makes us feel like an ecommerce entity, treating coaches solely as customers rather than fostering a community of fellow coaches helping each other solve problems. Additionally, the individual pricing model lacks fairness, restricting coaches from making bulk purchases. Furthermore, the absence of a dedicated community feature on Shopify limits our ability to establish meaningful relationships within the coaching community. We strongly believe that a community feature is paramount to our educational coaching brand, enabling coaches to engage, share insights, and collaboratively improve their coaching skills. We've explored platforms like Tevello for certain features, but we're still not achieving the desired result.


Here's what we aim to offer:


  1. Free Content for Everyone:

    • Blog posts, guides, tutorials
    • A community space for coaches to interact
  2. Downloadable Digital Products:

    • All current and future PDFs, playbooks, and .zip downloadable files should be exclusively accessible to paid members contributing a symbolic $9/month
  3. Courses:

    • Separate one-time fee for courses
    • Exclusive access for paid members, non-downloadable for viewing only
  4. Services:

    • Video scouting, video editing, and live coaching, each with a one-time fee similar to courses
    • Users must be able to send us game URLs and custom text box requirements.


While exploring options like and Mighty Networks, we find that these platforms better align with our vision. They offer features such as tiered membership plans, content locks, events, and courses in a more community-centric environment.


We're reaching out to the Shopify community in hopes of gathering insights or potential solutions. We're contemplating the idea of integrating membership, courses, and community features with Shopify, although we recognize it could be a challenging task.


Our main concerns with transitioning to a new platform include the potential loss of current SEO (we receive 40-50 daily organic visits from Google) because they don't have 301 redirects, and the requirement for Stripe, which isn't accessible from Serbia. We're currently considering a workaround using Zapier and PayPal.


We're open to your suggestions and advice. Do you believe we should persist with Shopify, optimizing it for our educational goals, or explore alternatives? If the latter, which platforms would you recommend for a seamless integration of membership, courses, and community features?


Additionally, we've received a suggestion to maintain Shopify as our front end while creating a community subdomain for However, we're inclined towards a single all-in-one platform. What are your thoughts on this approach?


Your collective expertise is invaluable to us, and we appreciate any guidance you can provide.


Thank you for your time and insights.


Best regards,

Dejan Ilic

Founder, Hoop Mentality

Dejan Ilic
Founder, Hoop Mentality
Reply 1 (1)

Shopify Partner
104 2 16

Hi Dejan,

We have checked your project requirements and it seems some of our apps can be a solution for what you described.

> Furthermore, the absence of a dedicated community feature on Shopify limits our ability to establish meaningful relationships within the coaching community.
You can check our Mega Community app:
You can assign coaches as moderators, create communities for each coach, or create communities based on topics or basketball clubs. With Mega Community you can handle Services part of your requirements: paid communities allow posting and interaction with community members that can, for example, perform video scouting (via video added to a community post) and provide feedback using post comments.

To provide downloadable content and courses you can check
Courses Plus provides features starting from very basic level to a very advanced level, including subscriptions, memberships, different content access rules / payment tiers, certifications, and a lot more.

If you want coaches to provide access to players associated with them manually, there is such opportunity too via Managers feature of the Courses Plus app:

Don't hesitate to contact our support team, so we can help you to set everything up.