LearnDash is a WordPress LMS plugin with an impressive set of features including an intelligent course builder, engagement triggers, certificates/badges, advanced quizzing, and much more.
Who LearnDash is For:
The ideal LearnDash user is an online course creator who wants complete ownership of their course. In addition, they will want the ability to customize their course and don’t mind the maintenance that comes with a WordPress LMS plugin. A LearnDash user will need to update plugins and integrate LearnDash with a few other components (depending on the features and appearance desired).
I have to put this one as difficult since the integrations can be challenging. You’ll also have to update plugins frequently and make sure everything is still working correctly after each update.
In addition, LearnDash is not really a 100% solution. You will likely need a membership site plugin to run with it so you’ll have to spend time figuring out how to integrate the two together.
Other than that, LearnDash is fairly easy to use. Building your course will be just as easy as it is with any other tool. It’s easy to organize your lessons as well as enter in quizzes or assessments. If you’re already familiar with WordPress then you won’t struggle with that part of the process.
Once you purchase a LearnDash license you’ll gain access to an online account area. This area allows you to download the plugin and manage a few account details. From there, you’ll need to install the plugin on your WordPress site. As a tip I highly recommend installing LearnDash on a subdomain. Ultimately, you’ll have two different WordPress installs; one for managing your site/blog and one for managing your course area.
LearnDash is a superior LMS compared to anything else I’ve tried and the price should be much higher than it is. The advanced quiz features allow you to create very complex quizzes and assessments as part of your course curriculum. There really isn’t a quiz format or feature that isn’t found in LearnDash which will save you from having to purchase another tool if your course requires advanced quizzes.
LearnDash has a nice profile area where learners can see how they’re progressing. It also has advanced course progression features which prevents your learners from advancing through the course until they complete the previous lessons and quizzes. I’ve taken some courses like this and found it helpful from a learners perspective because it kept me from skipping ahead.
With LearnDash you can customize virtually any aspects of your course. Everything can be white-labeled to your business and will be under your complete control.
The LearnDash login and registration forms are native WordPress forms which, while usable, will not give your course a professional look and feel. You’ll want to use a plugin to improve this. Many membership site plugins (which you will likely need anyway) offer support for this, however, it would be nice if LearnDash had built-in support for this.
Again, while LearnDash is a fantastic LMS, it’s not ready to go out-of-the-box. You’ll also need a WordPress theme to make anything resembling a professional course.
LearnDash offers support for payment processor integration, however, even if you get those add-ons, you’ll still be stuck with the native WordPress registration and login pages. You might just be better off installing a membership site solution and wrapping that around LearnDash. That way you’re using a top quality LMS and then another solution for taking payments, connecting to your email marketing tool, and the administration of your clients.
|✔ Course builder||✔ One-time purchase||✔ User profiles|
|✔ Advanced quizzing||✔ Subscriptions||✔ Email notifications|
|✔ Lesson timers||✔ Shopping cart||✔ Group management|
|✔ Prerequisites||✔ Memberships||✔ Detailed reporting|
|✔ Dynamic forums||✔ Course bundles||✔ Assignment management|
|✔ Certificates & badges||✔ Course licenses||✔ Expire access|
Starting Price: $159 for 1 license with 1-year of support and updates. You will receive all features with this license.
Advanced Plans: $329 for 25 licenses with 1-year of support and updates. This also includes ProPanel which is an additional plugin offering reporting and statistics.
Annual Savings: There are no annual savings plans since the plugin is only available on an annual purchase plan.
Trial Option: There is no free trial option.
Free Version: There is no free version; all versions are paid plans.
Guarantee: There is a 30-day money back guarantee.
Training: Articles and documentation available in the support center.
Support: Email support.
Founded in: 2012 by Justin Ferriman and Kloe Ferriman
Headquarters: Michigan, USA
An alternative to LearnDash is LifterLMS. LifterLMS is another WordPress LMS plugin that doesn’t quite offer all the LMS features of LearnDash. However, LifterLMS has more membership site support and is closer to ready right out of the box. For a cloud LMS, take a look at Thinkific or Teachable.