LearnDash Review

Are you wondering if LearnDash is the best WordPress LMS plugin? Do you want an honest review on LearnDash? Then, you’re at the right place.

LearnDash is one of the well-known online course builders for WordPress. It’s a perfect LMS plugin for all academic institutions, solo course creators, and everyone in between.

So, let’s find out in this detailed review of LearnDash. Here, we’ll look into its key features, add-ons, supports, pros, cons, and many more. 

A) LearnDash – Introduction

What is the LearnDash and Learning Management System (LMS)?

LearnDash LMS WordPress Course Builder Plugin

Learning Management System (LMS) is a software that lets you create online courses and training materials. Moreover, it delivers training materials to various audiences and provides everything from online courses, to real-time instruction sessions. 

LearnDash is one such LMS plugin that provides everything that you need for creating your own online courses. It comes with powerful administration tools and integrates with the latest technologies for your online classes.

Likewise, you can build your own academic or training courses through a drag-and-drop building tool. Besides that, it even lets you sell your courses by creating subscription portals, charging a membership fee, or even creating course bundles to sell on the market. 

At the same time, users can manage their courses by creating user/student profiles,  detailed reporting on class progress, and group management. LearnDash allows several different addons if creators need to integrate more tools. Also, LearnDash is mobile compatible and can use any WordPress theme they want for their courses. 

For example, Udemy is one such online learning platform that allows you to build online courses on your preferred topics. It’s a perfect marketplace for educators who want to sell and buy courses online and make money out of them. Similarly, Skillshare, Coursera, MasterClass are other such examples of online learning platforms. 

What is LearnDash Used For?

LearnDash is an extremely useful tool that lets you turn your WordPress site into a learning management system. For example, through LearnDash you can provide professional training to your clients or workers by creating organization-specific courses. Also,  educational institutions like universities and colleges can run their virtual online classes. 

However, schools, colleges, and universities can fully benefit from using LearnDash’s robust tools to create courses specific to their students. Also, it’s perfect for those looking to monetize online courses and small businesses looking for inexpensive ways for employee training.

Who Uses LearnDash?

Yoast SEO Academy
Yoast SEO Academy

LearnDash is a great LMS plugin that is used by both major educational institutions, as well as smaller websites and training centers. Here are some of the list of the organizations that use LearnDash:

  1. Yoast Academy – They are using LearnDash to run an online SEO training that covers all the SEO related topics from beginner to advanced.
  2. University of Michigan – With LearnDash implementation, this university is conducting online classes that can be taken from any corner of the world. 
  3. Fit Father Project – An online fitness program especially for fathers who are trying to lose their weight in the most effective and engaging way possible.
  4. SkillJet Academy – An elearning platform for entrepreneurs, business owners, and marketers who are looking for enhancing their knowledge and skills professionally.
  5. Infusionsoft (now Keap) – They are using it for conducting onboarding tasks for employees and training new clients.
  6. OptinMonster University – With LearnDash, OptinMonster is producing high-volume learning  programs to teach how to attract and convert website traffic into customers.

B) LearnDash Features

LearnDash is a premium LMS plugin that comes with a plethora of features to create and run online courses on WordPress. Now, let’s see the important features of LearnDash which make it one of the best LMS plugins.

  • Powerful drag and drop course builder
  • Drip-feed content
  • Advanced quizzing 
  • Flexible course prerequisites 
  • Dynamic results display
  • 100% customizable badges and certificates
  • Display award points and leaderboards
  • Add course specific discussion forums
  • Powerful reporting and administration tools
  • Allows you to set your price, choose the payment schedule, and start selling courses
  • Comes with lots of official and third-party addons for more functionality
  • Works with any WordPress theme
  • Well integrates with the most popular WordPress plugins

These are some of the features that get after installing LearnDash to your website. Now, let’s go ahead and see how to install and set up LearnDash.


C) How Does LearnDash Work?

In this section, we’re going to give you a general overview of how LearnDash works. Here, we’ll talk about how you can create courses and add lessons and topics with LearnDash. 

First, let’s look at how you can install and setup LearnDash:

How to Install and Setup LearnDash?

LearnDash is a premium WordPress plugin. This means that there isn’t any free version of this plugin available. Therefore, you have to purchase and activate the license to use this for creating your online courses.

Anyway, let’s look at the steps involved in installing it in detail.

Step 1: Purchase and Download the Plugin

First, you need to purchase LearnDash from its official website and then download it to your local device. The downloaded file will be downloaded in the form of a zip file

Step 2: Upload the File Into Your WordPress

Now, you need to upload that downloaded zip file into your WordPress site. For that, go to Plugins > Add New, and then click on the Upload Plugin button.

Upload LearnDash Plugin

After that, you need to select the downloaded file from your local drive and click on the Install Now button.

Choose Plugin File

Step 3: Activate the Plugin

Once the plugin has been installed into your WordPress, click on the Activate Plugin button. Then, your site is ready to create eLearning courses and programs.

Activate LearnDash Plugin

Step 4: LearnDash License Registration 

Okay, once you’ve activated the plugin, now it’s time to activate the LearnDash license. For that go to the LearnDash LMS Menu from your dashboard and select the Overview option.

After that there you’ll find the option to add your license details. All your license details shall be emailed to you after you’ve purchased the LearnDash.

LearnDash License Registration

Following that, you need to enter your email address and the license key into the respective field.  And, then click on the Save license button to save the changes.

After you’re done, you’re good to start creating your online courses.

Congratulations, if you’ve been able to install and activate the LearnDash plugin into your WordPress site.


How to Create a Course Using Course Builder with LearnDash?

Ok, we just installed and activated LearnDash into our WordPress site. Now, let’s look at the main purpose of installing LearnDash i.e. creating online courses for the WordPress website.

Here we’re going to see how we can use a course builder to create courses in LearnDash. LearnDash course builder is a pretty intuitive tool that lets you build any type of courses you want.

Let’s see the basic steps to do that.

Start by going to the LearnDash LMS Menu from your dashboard and select the Courses option. This will take you to the Courses page from where you can create your first courses or see your previously made courses. 

If you’re creating your courses for the first time, then you can create one by clicking on the Add New button. 

Add Courses to LearnDash
Add Courses to LearnDash

After that, it’ll take you to the Course Editor page for creating your first course. However, you’ll find this page quite similar to your native WordPress block editor. 

Native WordPress Course Editor
Native WordPress Course Editor

If you look closely then you’ll find new options appearing at the top of the page. That includes Course Page, Builder, Settings, and Groups.

Moreover, if you click on the Builder option, then it’ll take you to the drag-and-drop course builder. This is a good feature of LearnDash as it lets you set up your lessons, topics, and quizzes using a simple drag-and-drop interface.

LearnDash Course Builder
LearnDash Course Builder

Here, lessons are considered as the main knowledge block, and then lessons are subdivided into topics. Likewise, you can add new lessons, topics, and quizzes by clicking on the respective buttons.

Also, you can rearrange the course headings, lessons, topics, and quizzes based on where you want them. 

Hence, we can say that the LearnDash course builder is extremely straightforward to use for creating courses for your website.

How to Add Course Lessons and Topics with LearnDash?

Just now we looked at how you can create a high-level structure of your course using the builder. Now let’s look at how we can add lessons and topics to our course. 

First, go to the LearnDash LMS Menu from your dashboard and select the Lessons option. This will take you to the Lesson page from where you will see the list of lessons that you’ve created earlier. 

Add Course Lesson Button
Add Course Lesson Button

To create a new Lesson, click on the Add New button located at the top-right corner of the page. After that, it’ll take you to your WordPress block editor where you can start creating your lessons.

WordPress Lesson Editor Page
WordPress Lesson Editor Page

Likewise, in the sidebar, you’ll find an Associated Content section that tells you how this unit matches up to your other topics. 

Associated Content Section
Associated Content Section

Also, at the top of the page, you’ll find the Settings tab. Inside that, you’ll find many useful setting options that can enhance your lessons. 

LearnDash Video Progression Settings
LearnDash Video Progression Settings

Among them, one such option would be to add a dedicated video for your lesson. In this way, it’ll be easier and quicker for your users to learn their lessons. Similarly, there are features to configure too such as Lesson Materials, Assignment Uploads, Forced Lesson Timer, and more.

How to Create Quizzes Using Quiz Builder with LearnDash?

Ok, we just added our course lessons, now it’s time to create quizzes for our online course. Just like the course builder, you also get a dedicated quiz builder to add quizzes. Now, let’s look at how we can create a quiz from scratch.

Step 1: Select Quizzes from LearnDash LMS Menu

First, select Quizzes from the left LearnDash LMS Menu. This will take you to the Quizzes page from where you will see the list of quizzes that you’ve created earlier. 

Step 2: Enable Quiz Builder Option

Since you need to enable quiz builder in order to manage and create full quizzes. For that, go to the Settings tab and activate the Quiz Builder option. Also, don’t forget to save the changes that you’ve made.

Activate Quiz Builder in LearnDash
Activate Quiz Builder in LearnDash

Step 3: Create New Quiz

After that, go back to the Quizzes page and select the Add New button to create the new quiz. After that, it’ll take you to the Quiz Editor page for creating your first quiz. Here, you can create your quizzes similar to how you create content in your native WordPress block editor. 

LearnDash Quiz Editor Page
LearnDash Quiz Editor Page

Step 4: Select Builder Option

However, we’re going to use Quiz Builder to create our quizzes so select the Builder option appearing at the top of the page. 

LearnDash Quiz Builder
LearnDash Quiz Builder

Step 4: Start Creating Question Answer for Your Quiz

To create a question, click on the New Question option and type in the title for your question. Then, click on the Add Question button.

Add Question Answer for Your Quiz

After that, you can start creating your question answer for your quiz. While creating you can also select multiple question types such as multiple-choice, fill in the blanks, single choice, assessment, etc. And, to create more questions click on the New Question option.

Create Question Answer for the Quiz
Create Question Answer for the Quiz

Likewise, if you click on the Question Settings, then it’ll list out some of the options that you can add. Such as providing a message for the correct answer or displaying a message for an incorrect answer. Also, you can provide solution hints to make it easier for your users to solve the problem. 

LearnDash Question Settings
LearnDash Question Settings

However, if you go to the General Settings of Quizzes, then you’ll get even more advanced settings options to configure. Some of them are passing scores, retakes, question order randomization, a quiz certificate, leaderboard, quiz timer, and more.

LearnDash Quizzes General Settings
LearnDash Quizzes General Settings

That’s it! This is how you create your quizzes using the quiz builder in LearnDash.

How to Set Up the Course Access with LearnDash?

Once you’ve added your course content, the next step is to set up access to your course, which you can do from the course’s settings. The main reason to do so is that it lets you control how your users can gain access to your course. 

For that, go to the LearnDash LMS Menu from your dashboard and select the Courses option. After that select the course and open it to the new page. 

Select LearnDash Course Option
Select LearnDash Course Option

Once you’ve done that, go to the Settings option located at the top of the page and click on it. There if you just scroll down a little then you’ll see the Course Access Settings section.

Course Access Settings
Course Access Settings

As you could see that there are five options provided to you:

  1. Open – It’s public on your website and everyone can access your course.
  2. Free – You can access the course only if you have registered and enrolled for it. 
  3. Buy Now – Need to purchase (one-time fee) the course in order to gain access.
  4. Recurring – You need to pay a recurring fee for access.
  5. Closed – You can access the course through admin enrollment, group enrollment, or integration. 

You can select any one of the access modes that you see fit for your course. Likewise, you can also set up other restrictions, such as course prerequisites, course points, and access expirations.


D) Free and Premium Addons

LearnDash add-ons are used to add more functionality to your online courses. It provides you with a good sum of free and premium add-ons that help you improve your online course.

Therefore, let’s look at some of the free and premium LearnDash add-ons:

AddonsDescription
WooCommerce Integration (Free)Lets you sell your courses using the most popular shopping cart on WordPress
Stripe Integration (Free) Sell your courses with Stripe payment gateway
Certificate Builder (Free)Build LearnDash certificates with a visual drag-and-drop interface.
PowerPack for LearnDash (Free)Includes 50+ modules to power up your website
Course Grid (Free)Create custom course library displays
Zapier (Free)Connect your LearnDash over 300+ third-party applications  
Gravity Forms (Free)Create custom registration forms for your LMS
MailChimp Integration (Premium)Create segmented email lists for your online courses
Group Registration (Premium)Lets you easily sell multiple licenses for your courses
Multiple Instructors (Premium)Add multiple course instructors
LearnDash Gradebook (Premium)Manage grades for students in real-time
Notes for LearnDash (Premium)Students can take notes as they go through the  courses
Private Messaging for LearnDash (Premium)Allows 1-1 or group chat with private messaging

E) LearnDash Pricing: How Much Does LearnDash Cost?

By far we’ve already known that LearnDash is a premium WordPress plugin. Although it’s a premium plugin, it’s still quite affordable and offers wholesome features in each of its plans. 

LearnDash offers three different plans to choose from Basic, Plus, and Pro.

LearnDash Pricing
LearnDash Pricing
  • Basic – $169 for 1 site.
  • Plus – $199 for upto 10 sites.
  • Pro – $339 for upto 25 sites.

Along with these plans, you get unlimited courses, drip-feed lessons, content protection, advanced quizzing, course forums, free integration, and more. Likewise, the Plus and Pro package include a ProPanel feature that helps you monitor student course activity, view students’ progress and quiz results. 

As a bonus, LearnDash has also provided demo site templates in all of its plans to help you get started.

However, after purchasing LearnDash if you feel that this isn’t the one for you then they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Lastly, we’d like to recommend you to start with the Basic Plan as it’s quite budget-friendly and perfect for beginners to get started with. 


F) LearnDash Documentation and Support

When it comes to its usability, LearnDash is a beginner-friendly and easy-to-use LMS plugin. However, sometimes you may encounter a situation where you’d need some help. 

Hence, at such times you need strong support and documentation so that your problems are taken care of.

LearnDash Help
LearnDash Help

LearnDash tries its best to offer its user the best support in one way or another. In that process, LearnDash provides you everything that you need for support within its website. 

While using LearnDash, if you ever feel that you need to keep up with the latest LearnDash tips, eLearning trends, and webinars then you can check out their LearnDash Blog. There you can find many articles and tutorials that can help you get your courses online and sharpen your skills. 

LearnDash Blog
LearnDash Blog

Similarly, you can check out their Knowledge Base and search for your answers. It contains all your answers that you might need starting from Getting Started to Account & Billing. Also, you can type up your queries and search for the documentation.

LearnDash Support  and Documentation
LearnDash Support and Documentation

However, if you’re still unable to resolve your issue, then you can request a ticket system. After that, they’ll provide your dedicated support team to take care of your issue.

LearnDash Official Facebook Community
LearnDash Official Facebook Community

Besides, you can also join their official LearnDash Facebook Community. There you’ll find passionate LearnDash users who are already ready to help one another and solve each other’s problems. All you’ve to do is put forward your topic and discuss it with other fellow members.


G) LearnDash Alternatives and Competitors

Alright, now let’s look at some of the top LearnDash alternatives present in the market that come with their unique features and functionalities.

So, here are some of the alternatives to LearnDash.

1. LifterLMS

LifterLMS WordPress course builder Plugin

LifterLMS is a popular and beginner-friendly WordPress LMS plugin with many powerful features. It comes with a user-friendly drag-and-drop course builder that provides the easiest design building experience possible. Likewise, its built-in content restriction allows you to restrict any WordPress page on your website to members only.

In contrast to LearnDash, LifterLMS is a freemium (free + premium version) LMS plugin. Moreover, it also doesn’t give you a free trial but you can pay $1 and use it for 30-days straight before purchasing it. However, it’s quite expensive in comparison to LearnDash and also you have to pay extra to buy individual add-ons.

If you are looking for a detailed comparison, then check our article on LifterLMS vs LearnDash.

2. Teachable

Teachable WordPress LMS Plugin

Teachable is yet another popular LearnDash alternative that lets you create online courses and coaching services. Its easy-to-use features make customization painless to build your website. Besides, you can use their domain to easily link your existing website to Teachable.

The best part about Teachable is that it’s a standalone platform so you don’t have to worry about its updates and backups. Like LearnDash, it also doesn’t offer any free plan to its users. Although it has affordable pricing, it still charges a 5% transaction fee on its Basic plan.  

3. LearnPress

LearnPress LMS and Quiz Plugins

LearnPress is a complete WordPress LMS plugin that can be used to easily create & sell courses online. It gives you full control over your LMS and lets you monetize your courses with PayPal and WooCommerce. Additionally, its user-friendly interface makes it extremely simple to do everything with ease. 

Unlike LearnDash, its initial setup sometimes can be a bit hard for most beginners. However, LearnPress is a good alternative to LearnDash if you’re looking for something simple yet powerful LMS plugin. Also, it’s a freemium plugin so you can download its free version from the official WordPress Plugin directory. 

So, these are some of the LearnDash alternatives and competitors you might find in the market. If you want to see more of these LMS plugins, then check our article best WordPress LMS plugins


H) LearnDash Compatible WordPress Themes 

LearnDash works almost with all the themes that are coded using WordPress standards. However, if you’ve already installed WordPress themes, then LearnDash will try to adapt your theme’s styling.

Now let’s look at some of the LearnDash compatible WordPress themes:

1. Astra

Astra Free Popular WordPress Theme

Astra is one of the best WordPress themes to pair with LearnDash. It has well integration with LearnDash that lets you build a professional and well-branded course website in no time. It gives you full control over your LearnDash design to provide a high-end e-learning experience.

Likewise, you can enable distraction-free learning by removing unnecessary links from the header and footer of your website. With Astra and LearnDash, you can build a conversion-friendly sales page where you can add all the details that your students are looking for. 

2. BuddyBoss for LearnDash

BuddyBoss for LearnDash

BuddyBoss is an advanced LearnDash theme for building your online courses, schools, academy, and more. It comes with powerful LMS capabilities along with full LearnDash support. Besides, you can mimic a classroom-like environment with advanced Zoom integration.

Similarly, you can increase your students’ engagement with live chat and Q&As, screen sharing, virtual whiteboards, and more. Also, you can launch your white-label mobile app using BuddyBoss App Integration for remote learning. 

3. LMS Responsive Theme

LMS Responsive Theme

LMS Responsive Theme is another LearnDash compatible WordPress theme that helps you easily create courses, lessons, quizzes, and so on. It’s a clean and modern theme that comes with 7 unique home pages and 30+ impressive page templates. 

Additionally, it supports 8 different types of quizzes for students to take after the end of each course. You can easily handle all your online learning appointment bookings with a powerful calendar scheduling feature. Also, it lets you sell tickets for events, webinars, workshops, training courses, and more.

However, there are some other LashDash compatible WordPress themes that you can find in the market. Such as Lincoln, Education Center, Edumodo Education Theme, and University Course and Event Theme.

However, if you want to learn about LMS themes, then check our article on the best LMS WordPress themes


I) Pros and Cons of LearnDash

Here are some of the pros and cons of the LearnDash LMS plugin.

Pros:

  • Easy to use and set-up 
  • Provides outstanding front-end learning experience
  • Easy to customize
  • Drip-feed option
  • User-friendly drag-and-drop course builder 
  • Superb built-in video progression support
  • Seamlessly integrates with LMS and other WordPress themes
  • Well integrates with all the popular WordPress plugins
  • Works across a WordPress multisite network
  • Excellent and affordable pricing
  • 30-days money back guarantee

Cons:

  • Sometime it becomes overwhelming and complicated for beginners to use this plugin
  • No free trials 
  • Poorly compatible with WooCommerce and Products
  • Limited built-in payment options

J) Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is LearnDash ProPanal?

LearnDash ProPanel is an enhanced reporting tool that displays the real-time activity of your courses and provides consolidating reports and assignment management.

This is a premium add-on that is included only in Plus and Pro packages.

2. Can I use ProPanel without LearnDash?

No, ProPanel doesn’t work without LearnDash. In order to use ProPanel, a LearnDash plugin is required. 

3. Does LearnDash offer free trials?

No, LearnDash does not offer free trials. 

However, after purchasing it, you decide it doesn’t work for you within 30-days then you’d be eligible for reimbursement per their refund policy.

4. How can I pay for my courses in LearnDash?

LearnDash accepts different types of payment options to pay for your online courses and learning. As they accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover Card.

Therefore, they only accept payments online so that you can access necessary files and support them immediately after purchasing them.

5. Do I need a membership plugin to use LearnDash?

No, you don’t need a membership plugin to use LearnDash. As LearnDash ensures to protect your content without the need for a membership plugin.

6. Is LearnDash compatible with my WordPress theme?

Most likely that LearnDash will work perfectly with most WordPress themes.

7. How can I renew my LearnDash license?

Don’t worry. LearnDash will automatically renew your license after one year. However, you can cancel it at any time.


Conclusion

That’s about it. This is a brief review of the LearnDash LMS plugin. We hope that you’ll agree with our review.

If you’ve any further queries about LearnDash, then please leave a comment below. We’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible.  

Also, check out our complete beginner guide on How to optimize your WordPress speed. And also check out the 25 best free minimalist WordPress themes. Be sure to go through it once. If you like this article, then please share it with your friends and colleagues.

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