When it comes to turning your WordPress site into a Learning Management System (LMS), LearnDash is the choice of many! What makes it so popular is it’s ease of use combined with its power to extend the capabilities of your e-Learning website with the help of additional plugins and add-ons.
Believe it or not, these plugins can make all the difference. So, if you’re looking to get your hands on one of these tools to assist you, then fret no more!
Whether you want to add a new plugin to your cart or want to change your current LearnDash WordPress plugin, we have created this guide for all beginner to intermediate LearnDash users to help them succeed in their e-Learning venture.
Think of this guide as your mentor that will point you in the right direction before you hit download or buy a premium plugin. In this guide, we’ll talk about who is LearnDash for, what plugins are, how they can help, how to choose one, and some popular LearnDash WordPress plugins to check out!
And now, let’s dive right in!
Who is LearDash for?
Typically used by small to midsize businesses, LearnDash is for anyone who wants to build a course website using WordPress.
It allows entrepreneurs to launch their e-Learning business, create a course marketplace, or a membership website with multiple instructors. Famous universities and training organizations use LearnDash to provide certified training courses.
LearnDash successfully caters to the needs of casual as well as advanced WordPress users.
The interface is easy enough for non-developers to understand and use. At the same time, developers have all the advanced tools they need to configure the system.
What are LearnDash WordPress plugins and how can they help?
A plugin is basically a software component that adds a specific functionality or feature to your existing system or program without the need to code. In this case, YOUR WEBSITE!
Currently, LearnDash offers the required functionality to create courses and launch an e-Learning website on the go. You can create standard courses, offer a safe and secure learning environment, and manage learners all from your LMS.
But, let’s say you need to add new features to your website that can simplify the course creation, make management easier, enhance the learning experience, change the design of your course pages as per your needs, or help market and sell your courses.
A LearnDash WordPress plugin is that software piece that can make all those tweaks without altering a single line of code and create an unrivaled LMS. You can use these plugins to level up not only your course website but individual courses as well.
Now that we’ve got an idea of what plugins are and how they work, let’s look at the best way to choose one for your LearnDash site!
How to choose a LearnDash WordPress plugin?
Thanks to technology, there’s a plugin for nearly everything you want to achieve with your LearnDash site. So the real question is – what do you really need?
- Do you want to speed up the course creation process?
- Do you want to simplify student management?
- Do you want to make some custom design changes for course pages?
- Do you want easy integration with the popular payment gateways?
- Do you want to boost the credibility of your courses?
- Or, Do you need a more engaging learning environment?
So, it all comes down to what feature is missing in your current LearnDash website, or which function do you want to extend using the plugin! Keeping that in mind you need to look at the specifications, benefits, drawbacks, reviews, compatibility, and also check the demo before deciding to go with it!
Now that we have understood what plugins are, how they work, and how to choose one, let’s look at some examples that can add essential features and enhance your LearnDash site.
Must-have LearnDash WordPress plugins
If you have a series of courses relating to a specific subject then this plugin will work wonders for you. The content cloner add-on helps you duplicate the entire course hierarchy(Lesson, topic, and quizzes).
This add-on is a must have if you want to create courses the smarter way and save a huge amount of time.
Content Cloner Key Features
Course Content Cloner – With this feature you can quickly replicate the course template and content at the click of a button. It gets saved in a draft mode which you can edit later.
Bulk Editor – Using this feature, you can bulk edit and change the course, lesson, and topic titles all at once.
Content Cloner Pros
- Easy to use and friendly interface
- Quickest and smartest way to create LearnDash courses
Content Cloner Cons
- No live demos
- Does not clone questions
Content Cloner Pricing
NOTE: If you want all essential addons for your LearnDash site in one place. Check out LEAP!
The Uncanny Toolkit for LearnDash helps you enhance the learning experience in the easiest way possible. The free toolkit comes with 16 modules that add a lot of features to your LearnDash website like login forms, course, resume, and auto completion etc.
With over 30,000+ active installations, this plugin offers the easiest way to build great eLearning sites with access to powerful features.
Uncanny Toolkit Key Features
Resume button for LearnDash Courses – With just a click of a button, users can resume a course and pick up where they left off.
Clean Front End Login – Add a new and modern login form to any page in place of the default WordPress login form. Also, enable the front end password reset via emails and user verification after the admin’s approval.
Auto-completion of Courses – The plugin automatically marks all the lessons complete after the respective quizzes and topics are marked complete
Hide Admin Bar – With this feature admins have the power to limit the user capabilities by hiding the admin bar for specific user roles.
UnCanny ToolKit Pros
- Translation ready and multisite compatible
- Control the visibility of your course content
- Switch to a specific user without the need of passwords.
- Automate the the next steps of course and quiz completion
- Redirect your users to a specific url after they login/logout, or enroll for a course.
UnCanny ToolKit Cons
- Live demo unavailable
- Only the Pro version is translation ready
UnCanny ToolKit Pricing
Uncanny Toolkit Free
Uncanny Toolkit Pro starts at $149/year for a single site.
When it comes to customizing the design of your course pages, topics, lessons etc. Design Upgrade for LearnDash is the choice of many. It’s a free plugin by team at Escape Creative that help you redesign every aspect of your LearnDash courses.
The free version allows you to customize 30 different areas of your LearnDash pages. With the Pro version you can redesign as many as 90 different aspects of your courses.
Design Upgrade Key Features
General Design and Spacing – Using this option you can customize the border radius, link colors, link hover colors, etc. You can also create equal height columns in the course grids and other small changes.
Font Sizes and Buttons – The plugin allows the users to change the font size across the board theme depending on your WordPress theme. They also have the ability to make all buttons look alike by tweaking the borders, colors and font size.
Focus Modes – Using this setting you can easily change the visibility of your content such as, headings, breadcrumbs, links, buttons, etc.
Design Upgrade Pros
- Smart and intuitive user interface
- Provides tons of options to customize the design of each page.
- Compatible with LearnDash 2.0, LearnDash 3.0, and ‘Legacy’ Templates
Design Upgrade Cons
- Design Upgrade Pro not compatible with BuddyBoss / Social Learner theme
- No option to use custom icons or check marks
Design Upgrade Pricing
Design Upgrade Free
Design upgrade Pro starts at $29/year for a single site.
Want to include multiple course authors to easily create, manage and sell more courses? The Instructor Role for LearnDash is a multi instructor plugin that lets you create a course marketplace where authors can create, manage, and sell courses without sharing any admin rights.
This premium plugin by WisdmLabs is a must have if you want to expand your e-learning business with minimum hassle.
Instructor Role Key Features
Dedicated Dashboards – Admins and instructors get their own personalized and customizable dashboards for easy course creation. They can create courses, lessons, and topics etc.
Add Unlimited Instructors – Admins can add unlimited instructors, teachers, or course authors to create courses and share the burden of student management as well.
Limited access to Instructors – With this feature, admins can choose not to share their admin privileges and limit the capabilities to make sure they don’t view courses created by others for site security.
Instructor Profile Page – Instructors get a professional and customizable Instructor Profile Page to add details such as their photo, bio, expertise, qualification, courses created, ratings, and so on.
Student-Teacher Communication Module – This module enables all the interaction between the respective student and teacher on the LMS itself. Students can raise their doubts and teachers can reply to them via emails.
Instructor Role Pros
- The plugin has an intuitive Interface
- Allows integration with third party plugins like WooCommerce and EDD
- Lets you identify problem areas and develop actionable solutions
- Calculates commissions automatically based on a fixed percentage
- Reports can be exported as CSV
Instructor Role Cons
- No free trial (but full refund if requested within 15 days)
Instructor Role Pricing
Annual Plan – $80
Lifetime Plan – $200
If you need a helpful tool to monetize your courses and keep a track of the transactions, you can count on WooCommerce Integration. This add-on allows you to sell courses with the WooCommerce shopping cart and earn money.
WooCommerce works with nearly all payment gateways for secure and configurable shopping options.
WooCommerce Integration Key Features
Course Mapping – With this functionality you can easily add single or multiple courses as products and sell them as a WooCommerce product.
Automatic course Access Removal – If your learners are refunded or have canceled their subscription, this feature automatically removes them.
WooCommerce Integration Pros
- Highly customizable and extensible
- Easy to use for beginners
- Allows selling courses in bundles
- Allows offering coupons and discounts
- Enhances the checkout experience
WooCommerce Integration Cons
- Set up is not quick and easy
- Not suitable for a small number of courses and audience
- Even though the plugin is free to download you need to pay for extensions
WooCommerce Integration Pricing
Recommended: Benefits of integrating LearnDash with WooCommerce.
BuddyPress is a cool way to allow your learners to interact with each other. With the BuddyPress integration, you can create communities, add profiles, create groups, and enable private messaging.
Using BuddyPress and LearnDash together is a great way to encourage communication and create a sense of association in the learners.
BuddyPress Key Features
BuddyPress Groups – This feature allows you to tie any LearnDash course to a buddy press group. Course participants automatically get added as members to the groups.
BuddyPress Activity – This feature allows the users to interact in real time in the buddy press groups. Admins can also control the activities.
bbPress Forums – bbPress is an additional add-on that you can enable if you are using BuddyPress. It ties forums to every course group. You can use it even without BuddyPress
- Flexible, powerful and, supports third party extensions
- Profile management for group members
- Private messaging for users in the group
- Option to create groups inside of groups to encourage communication
- Some addons are not always compatible
- Users cannot add description in their bio
- The plugin is bulky and slow
The Badge OS integration for LearnDash allows you to reward your learners with badges for when they upload their assignments. It also allows you to define an unlimited number of achievements.
Incorporating reward points and badges is a great way to motivate your learners to take up more courses. Additionally, users can also store their achievements and share it on social media.
BadgeOS Integration Key Features
Create custom achievements – The plugin allows you to define achievement steps like purchasing a course, enrolling in a group, achieving a minimum percentage in a course, completing a specific lesson etc.
Create custom badges – As the plugin allows you to create unlimited achievements, you can create a custom badge for each one like completing a course, quiz, lesson, activity, and course purchase etc.
BadgeOS Integration Pros
- Simple interface for defining steps for users to earn rewards
- Offers unique triggers to define achievements.
- Earned badges are Open Badge Compatible and shareable with credly
BadgeOS Integration Cons
- Works only with LearnDash version 3.0 or higher
- Users need to install the BadgeOS v.3.6 or higher to use the Learndash BadgeOS Addon
- No Gamification Ownership for Learners
BadgeOS Integration Pricing
The Rating, Reviews, and Feedback plugin by Wisdmlabs offers a smart way to incorporate reviews, ratings, and feedback in your courses. It’s a 3-in-1 plugin to boost the credibility of your courses using the ratings and reviews provided by the users and even improving the rank of your courses in the search results.
It’s a great way to encourage the users to leave genuine feedback ,build the instructor’s reputation, and boost course enrollments.
Rating, Reviews, and Feedback Key Features
Ratings System – A 5 star rating system to display ratings on the courses. Admins also have full control over the display of these ratings.
Reviews System – This feature allows users to leave reviews after they have completed a course. Admins can also approve or reject the reviews before publishing them.
Feedback System – This feature offers a customizable feedback template to get genuine feedback from your users for actionables. Using this feature, you can also and auto feedback emails and feedback forms.
Notification reminders – Instructors can automatically send email notifications to remind students to leave reviews one they’ve completed a course.
Video and Image Integration – This feature allows learners to include images and videos in their reviews. This makes it easy to understand exactly what they are pinpointing.
Ratings, Review, and Feedback Pros
- A 15 day free trial is available
- The ratings, reviews, and feedback can be displayed anywhere in the course
- Users can search and filter to look for reviews
- Instructors can comment on published reviews
Ratings, Review, and Feedback Cons
- No import or export feature
- No lesson specific review option
Ratings, Reviews, and Feedback Pricing
Annual Plan – $80
Lifetime Plan – $200
To conclude, whether you’re a newbie starting your e-Learning business or someone who’s already familiar with the online learning space, you will require plugins to extend the capabilities of your LearnDash site and meet your expectations.
Plugins can give you the extra edge to increase the working and enhance your website today as well as in the future. There are a lot more plugins available and for that you can check the WordPress plugins directory.
But I hope this guide comes in handy when you’re in doubt. You can refer to it before making the final call.
If you have any further questions feel free to comment below.