One of the most popular Learning Management System (LMS) plugins for WordPress, LearnDash has revolutionized e-learning.
The feature-rich plugin boasts of several functionalities like drip feeding content, varied question types, flexible course requisites and many more.
Additionally, LearnDash has integrations with other WordPress plugins like WooCommerce, BuddyPress, bbPress, BadgeOS, Gravity Forms and more.
Like any other LMS plugin, LearnDash relies on WordPress themes for deciding the look and feel of the course. What you create on LearnDash is seen through the lens of your theme. In e-learning specially, a well-designed course is as visually appealing as it is literarily excellent.
However, from the tens of thousands of themes out there, selecting a theme that aligns perfectly with all the functions in LearnDash is rather difficult.
To give you a heads-up for such a situation, we present five themes that work flawlessly with LearnDash to give you a beautifully designed course.
Developed by Cactus themes especially for colleges, universities and educational organizations, University is the quintessential LMS theme. Cleanly designed, it allows you to leverage all great things in LearnDash while increasing user retention on account of its easy accessibility.
The main features of the University theme are:
- 9 different Homepage variations
- Unlimited Page Addition as per the requirements of the lesson and course
- Includes Revolution Slider and Page Builder
- Integration with WooCommerce, BuddyPress, Facebook and Disqus
- Addition of Contact Forms possible
- Newsletter creation functionality
- Events can be created along with courses
- Built-in events calendar
The theme is priced at $59 for a yearly license. A complete theme for all your e-learning requirements, University is a smart and sophisticated LearnDash theme.
While other themes may be compatible with LearnDash, Pathshala has been designed exclusively for it, so of course it integrates seamlessly. Additionally, it has several features like the Drag and Drop page builder which helps you create courses in the blink of an eye.
A comprehensive look at some of its other features:
- Drag and Drop Visual Page Builder by Unyson
- Breadcrumb navigation
- Integrated with WooCommerce, BuddyPress and bbPress
- Fully Responsive on smartphones, tablets and PC’s
- Customizable color palette
- Automatic creation of course category archive pages
- Search engine optimized
- Additional Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section can be created on your site
- Grid layout helps easy navigation
One of the best features of this theme is that it uses breadcrumb navigation which lets the user know where exactly he/she is in the course or the site. This gives easy accessibility to all parts of the site.
Pathshala is developed by WisdmLabs and costs $59 for a one-year license.
The responsive theme by Web Savvy Marketing, Fernando, is a handy tool for authors and speakers. Including features for promoting eBooks, speaking engagements, online training programs and selling or buying digital goods, the theme explores a different niche in the e-learning industry.
Additionally, it has several unique functionalities like:
- Social media integration
- Pre-styling for TubePress to display YouTube videos
- Integrations with Soliloquy, iThemes Exchange, TablePress, FooGallery and Gravity Forms
- Variable column classes
- Call to Action feature
- Email list builder
- Built on the genesis Framework
Fernando is a Child Theme for Genesis and hence has a robust architecture. Priced at $79.95 per year, it is an excellent option for eBook authors, consultants, writers and speakers.
Invent is a highly flexible theme, designed to work for multiple platforms like commercial websites, creative agencies and design portfolios in addition to the regular educational applications.
The theme has over 8 customs post types that give your website a unique feel every time. Optimized for LearnDash, Invent has a multitude of features that make designing your course extremely easy. Some of these are:
- Over 30 page builder widgets
- Customizable color schemes
- Extensive font and styling options
- Premium Revolution Slider, Flex 2 Slider and Nivo slider integrated
- Translation files for French, German, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese
- Page Section configuration that allows you to work on the page, one element at a time
- Social Media widgets for Flickr and Instagram
Connecting to the local populace can be a great asset for e-learning courses. Invent is a premium theme priced at $59, is SEO friendly and localization ready, which makes it a great option for e-course design.
#5 Social Learner
The Social Learner theme built by BuddyBoss is one of a kind in terms of integrating LearnDash with BuddyPress. True to its name, it has great social interaction options which give a boost to marketing your courses online.
Also, it bespeaks gamfication options that promote user engagement. Some of its more advanced features include:
- Placing learners into groups
- Memberships and membership levels customization with restricted access
- Integration with WooCommerce and Paid Memberships Pro
- Consolidation with over 25 social websites including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google and more
- Admin Panel for customizing and managing site layout and visualization
- Fully integrated with all BuddyPress plugins
- Right-To-Left language layout functionality
The most marketing friendly theme, Social Learner uses high definition displays to make your site look sleek and stunning. The only drawback is that it is rather steeply priced at $179 per site with support and updates for a year.
Apart from the theme cost, add-ons cost another $49. However, if aggressive market promotion is a priority for your LearnDash course, the Social Learner theme is worth the cost.
A lot of the themes out there have a generalized approach which is why they might not always be compatible with LearnDash.
Each of the themes mentioned above have been tested and optimized particularly for LearnDash. They also have cool features like customizable logos, parallax scrolling and multilingual translations.
Along with LearnDash’s inherent functionalities, each of these adds newer features that make course design a thing of beauty and a joy forever!
E-learning is all about how well the course and course material reaches your students, which is why it is a good idea to decide the theme based on your target audience. So decide the kind of courses you want to build using LearnDash and pick the appropriate theme accordingly!