How To Set Up LifterLMS in Less Than 3 Hours

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In WordPress, LifterLMS, LearnDash, and LearnPress are Learning Management Systems giants. These LMSs allow you to create, organize, manage and also market your training website.

Out of these, LifterLMS – a personal favorite – is a free plugin, that offers all the basic elements needed to build your e-learning platform.

If you’ve not set up WordPress already, you’ll have to start from there and then install LifterLMS to get your fully functional site ready.

It can seem like a grievous task but don’t vex yourself about it.

Here are all the basic steps to guide you through LifterLMS set up. We’ve made sure to keep things super simple that the whole process will seem easier than falling asleep after a heavy meal! 😉

Without further ado, let’s begin.

Lifter LMS

Here’s how the flow of the setup is:

  1. Download LifterLMSCore
  2. Setup a Theme
  3. Build a Course Structure
  4. Create Sections & Lessons
  5. Compose a Course Description
  6. Set Up a Payment Mode
  7. Set Up Course Pricing & Access
  8. Craft Lesson Content
  9. Compose Or Add An Assignment
  10. Build Or Author A Quiz
  11. Create An Achievement Or A Certificate

Now that you’ve got an idea that it’s done in 11 easy steps, let’s get you started with them one at a time.

#1 Download LifterLMS

The LifterLMS core free version is available on To get started with it, you have to:

  1. Go to Plugins.
  2. Click on the Add New button.
  3. In the search option, search for LifterLMS.
  4. Click on Install and then Activate button for LifterLMS.

The plugin should be successfully installed.

Activate LifterLMS
Activate LifterLMS

Once LifterLMS is active you’ll be able to see its various settings. But before getting down to those, you’ll need to first install a suitable theme.

Pro Tip: LifterLMS comes with 3 premium versions – Individual add-ons for $99/year (wherein you can choose one additional addon for your LMS), Universe Bundle for $299/year (for 5 sites, with e-commerce, design, marketing, and forms addons included), and the Infinity Bundle for $999/year (unlimited sites and all add-ons).

If you’re starting out and want the test the waters, the core version should suffice. However, if you want to start selling your courses, you’ll have to opt for a payment gateway (Individual add-on subscription). The Universe Bundle is the best option to grow your business. Whereas the Infinity Bundle is ideal for professionals and corporates.

#2 Setup a LifterLMS Theme

Setting Up A Theme
Setting Up A Theme

Once the installation part is done, the next step is to choose and set up a theme for your coaching platform.

A theme defines your educational website’s aesthetic. This year WordPress’s default theme is termed Twenty Twenty, it’s a clean theme with white as their primary color and magenta and purple as secondary shades. While LifterLMS works well with the default theme, you could choose a theme that’s specific to the LMS such as:

ProTip: When picking a theme, get an overall idea of the color palette you need and find a great color-scheme that matches your business.

Live Preview Of A Theme In LifterLMS
Live Preview Of A Theme In LifterLMS

Follow these steps to set up a theme for your LifterLMS platform:

  1. Go to Appearance.
  2. Click on Themes.
  3. Twenty Twenty is the default theme. if you want to change to other themes, search for them:
    • Click on Live Preview, to get a preview of the theme
    • Then click on the Activate & Publish button to select the theme that is being previewed as the theme for your website.
    • You can customize the theme as per your likes using the Customize option, to set the color scheme as per your needs.
    • If you want to install other themes, click on Add New Theme, click on Install and follow the same steps as above.

#3 Build Your Course Structure

How’d you feel if all the lessons weren’t broken down for you and all you had to learn from was just one lengthy lesson? Too boring and tedious right?

So let’s dodge this, and start engineering a course structure. A structured course reflects a well-planned course. Also, it’s eye-pleasing because the course dashboard in LifterLMS displays the entire course structure.

Adding A New Course In LifterLMS
Adding A New Course In LifterLMS

Below are the steps to build your course structure:

  1. Go to Courses
  2. Click on Add Courses
  3. Add Title i.e. the Name of your course
  4. Click on the Publish button to publish the course
  5. On the extreme right section, scroll down till the very bottom, you’ll see the Launch Course Builder button, click on it.
Launch Course Builder To Build A Course In LifterLMS
Launch Course Builder To Build A Course In LifterLMS

The Launch Course Builder button takes you to the next step to create sections and lessons.

#4 Create Sections & Lessons

You’re done with the core of this setup process, now you get to building sections and lessons. They are the base of any course. Each course is divided into multiple sections, where each section is a sum of multiple lessons. Just create sections, add in lessons, name them and you’re good to go.

This guide is designed in a format where you create the entire structure of the course first and, focus on the content part in later steps. It’s a “pretty take-it-easy“ process. You got this!

Adding Sections And Lessons To A Course In LifterLMS
Adding Sections And Lessons To A Course In LifterLMS

Below are the steps to create a section:

  1. After clicking on the Launch Course Builder button, you’ll view options to create sections and lessons.
  2. On the right section of the dashboard, Select the Section button under Add elements.
  3. Click on the title of the section that you just created, to rename the section as you wish to.
  4. Repeat steps 1 and 2 to create a new section, or you can add lessons to the section by the below-mentioned steps to create a lesson.

Here’s how you can create a lesson:

  1. Exactly below the Section button, click on the New Lesson button to add a new lesson under the selected section.
  2. Click on the title of the lesson that you just created to rename the lesson as you wish to.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 to create a new lesson.
  4. To add a lesson to a particular section, click on the + button next to the name of the section when hovered over the title and, repeat steps 1 and 2
  5. Once you are done with creating the layout of sections and lessons, click on the Saved button.
  6. Once saved, click on the Exit button to leave the course builder page.

#5 Compose a Course Description

Once you are done with creating the layout of courses, let’s get to adding a short description of the courses.

A description of a course is like how salt is to food, if it’s there it makes things better but, when it isn’t there you just feel incomplete. And students, we’ve experienced this. Adding in a short and precise description of the course gives your learners an idea about the course and assists them to make decisions.

Follow the below steps to add in a description:

  1. Hover Over the Course name
  2. Below the Course name, click on the Edit option.
  3. Immediately below the course name, compose a short description of the course which will be visible to all the viewers.
  4. Scroll down to Course Options, under the Sales Page Content, select Show Custom Content and write a description of the course that will be visible to students who are not enrolled in that course.

ProTip: Make the description short, crisp, and captivating like a sales pitch, because the end goal is to increase the number of enrollments.

#6 Set Up Course Pricing & Access

It’s up to you if you may want to keep your courses free or paid. But if you’re looking to sell your courses, you will need to set up pricing and restrict access to your course content from a business point of view.

Access Plans And Add New Plan
Access Plans And Add New Plan

Let’s get to how this can be done:

  1. Click on Courses.
  2. Hover over the name of your course and click on the Edit button below the name of the course.
  3. Once inside the edit course page, scroll to Access Plans, click on the drop-down button to expand it.
  4. Click on the Add New button to define access time periods and payment options for that course.
  5. Give the plan a name by filling the Plan Title text box with the name you choose.
  6. Give the plan a short description if needed by filling the Enroll Text text box.
  7. Set the price of the plan, in the Price text box.
  8. Set the frequency of payment by selecting any one of the given options (to receive payments on a subscription basis)
  9. Select the access expiration from the given options that tailor to your needs.
  10. Set the course availability either visible to anyone or to members only.
  11. You even have the option to set up a trial offer. To do this, enable the trial option, set the trail offer price, next you enter the trial length which ranges from 1 day to X Years.
  12. You can even put sale prices for your course, along with its starting and ending date.
Access Plan Settings
Access Plan Settings In LifterLMS

#7 Set-Up A Payment Mode

Continuing from #6, setting up a payment mode for paid courses is necessary. LifterLMS Core includes The Manual Payment Gateway which involves receiving offline payments.

LifterLMS Settings
LifterLMS Settings

Following are the features of the Manual Payment Gateway features:

  • Payments for one-time payment access plans
  • Payments for recurring payment access plans
  • Refunds
  • Invoices and Receipts
  • The user is given access only after you manually update the status after receiving the payment.

Let’s get to putting in place the manual mode of payment up:

  1. Click the LifterLMS Settings button.
  2. Click on Checkout Button on the top bar.
  3. Enable/Disable Manual checkbox is ticked by default.
  4. Add a Title and Description in the text box as designed.
  5. In the Payment Instruction textbox type in the information regarding the payment method, that will be displayed to the end-user.
  6. Click on the Save Changes button once done.
Setting Up Manual Payment In LifterLMS
Setting Up Manual Payment In LifterLMS

Pro Tip: To handle payments online and for hassle-free purchase management, opt for either one of LifterLMS payment gateway add-ons such as Stripe, PayPal, or WooCommerce that accept credit cards and other methods of payment.

#8 Craft Lesson Content

You created a foundation of the course, now let’s get you to build the structure up by composing the content. LifterLMS lets you create your lessons using all types of media also lets you link URLs and embed them into your content.

To do this:

  1. Click on Courses and pick a course you want to Edit.
  2. Scroll down till you see a list of sections and lessons.
  3. Click on the lesson you want to add content to and, click on the Edit option.
  4. Click on the “+” buttons to add new content.
  5. Add your lesson content to the lesson. Lesson content can be
    1. Video
    2. Audio
    3. Text
    4. Images
    5. Downloadables
    6. Other embeds.
    7. Select the type of content you wish to add and once done, click on the Save To Drafts button to save the content or Update button to publish the content.

#9 Compose Or Add An Assignment

Let’s hope you are catching up well :-). Just a few more tweaks and the entire set-up is done.

Setting Up Assignments In LifterLMS
Setting Up Assignments In LifterLMS

Let’s get you started on setting up assignments:

  1. Hover over the course you want to add content to and click on the Builder option.
  2. Click the CheckBox icon below the lesson name to open the assignment editor.
  3. Create a new assignment by clicking on the New Assignment button or you can add an existing assignment by clicking on Add Existing Assignment button to the lesson.

Pro Tip: Try to shuffle the types of assignments. Here are a few innovative online assignment ideas that’ll help you keep assignments interesting especially, for students like me.

#10 Build Or Author A Quiz

Quizzes are fun and quite important on any LMS. LifterLMS makes building quizzes a lot easier, just keep your questions and answers ready.

Quiz Builder In LifterLMS

ProTip: Test your quizzes prior to publishing them to make sure they are configured to your liking.

Setting Up Questions For Quiz In LifterLMS

Follow these steps to build your custom-made quiz:

  1. Click on the Courses option, pick a course and click on the Builder option.
  2. Click the QuestionMark icon below the lesson name to open the assignment editor.
  3. Create a new quiz by clicking on the New Quiz button or you can add an existing quiz by clicking on Add Existing Quiz button to the lesson.
  4. Click on the Add Question button to start constructing a quiz.
  5. Select the type of questions you want to build your quiz with. From multiple-choice questions, true or false, fill in the blanks, reorder items, long answer, short answers and many more.
  6. Add your quiz questions and answers, and to continue adding questions click on Add Questions.
  7. Once the quiz is constructed, switch the published mode on to make it accessible to students.
Publishing Quiz In LifterLMS

#11 Create An Achievement Or A Certificate

How elated would you be if you receive an achievement after completing your lesson or a certificate once you complete the course? Or how boring it would get if you complete a lesson and nobody would appreciate that? Achievements are like a subtler version of certificates, and a means to encourage your trainees.

Setting Up Achievements

ProTip: LifterLMS allows you to trigger engagements at every stage, keep this in mind and make virtuous benefit of it to encourage students often.

  1. Click on Engagements.
  2. Click on Achievements or Certificates
  3. On the top of the screen next to achievements, click on the Add Achievements button or Add Certificate button to add in a new achievement or a new certificate respectively.
Naming An Achievement

Once an achievement is added, we need to set an engagement trigger to activate the achievement and certificate.

What is an engagement trigger? It is an event on the completion of which, the selected engagement will activate and will be displayed or sent to the user. It could be an achievement, a certificate or an email.

Setting Up Engagement Trigger for Achievements

Follow the below-mentioned steps to activate the engagement.

  1. Click on Add Engagement under Engagement
  2. Add a title to the new engagement.
  3. Under engagement options, from the given options of Triggering Event select anyone.
  4. Select the Engagement Type to Award An Achievement or Award A Certificate as needed.
  5. From the drop-down menu of Select An Engagement, select a created achievement of your choice.
  6. Enter the number of days to wait before triggering this engagement, in the Engagement Delay text box.

Over To You

It wasn’t that bad, was it?! A step-by-step guide makes things pretty convenient and soft.

This is exactly how the entire plugin is built easy and user-friendly. Also, to take things to the next level it’s best to check out the pool of extensions the LMS offers.

And remember, if you encounter issues setting up LifterLMS, we’ll help you tackle them. Our comments section is open for discussion.

Nirali Andaria

Nirali Andaria

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