Learndash Review

Learndash Review – Popular LMS Plugin for WordPress

Learndash Review – Popular LMS Plugin for WordPress


LearnDash stands out as a highly sought-after WordPress LMS plugin catering to a diverse range of users, from established academic institutions to individual course creators and everyone in between.

With its robust capabilities, LearnDash empowers users to craft an unlimited number of courses, seamlessly integrate unlimited lessons and topics, assess learners through quizzes, and mandate assignments. Moreover, it offers built-in functionalities to facilitate one-time or recurring access fees, alongside advanced features such as content dripping and course prerequisites.

Undoubtedly, LearnDash ranks among the premier choices for WordPress LMS plugins. In our comprehensive LearnDash review, we delve into its features and functionalities to assist you in determining its suitability for your needs.


Introduction to LearnDash

LearnDash is a popular Learning Management System (LMS) plugin for WordPress, designed to facilitate the creation, delivery, and management of online courses. Developed by LearnDash Inc., it provides a robust platform for educators, trainers, and businesses to build their own branded learning portals. With LearnDash, users can create a variety of interactive and engaging courses, ranging from simple tutorials to complex certification programs.

Key Features of LearnDash

Course Builder: LearnDash offers a remarkably intuitive and user-friendly course builder interface, empowering instructors to effortlessly structure and organize course content, craft engaging lessons, quizzes, and assignments, as well as establish prerequisites and implement drip-feed mechanisms to deliver content gradually to learners, thereby fostering a structured learning journey.

Diverse Content Formats: Users have the flexibility to seamlessly integrate a plethora of multimedia formats into their courses, including captivating videos, immersive audio files, informative PDFs, and interactive quizzes, all designed to enrich and optimize the learning experience, catering to diverse learning styles and preferences.

Flexible Quizzing Options: LearnDash boasts a comprehensive suite of quiz-building functionalities, encompassing a wide array of question types such as multiple choice, true/false, and open-ended questions, among others. Instructors have the freedom to tailor grading criteria, provide personalized feedback, and fine-tune quiz timing to meet their specific instructional objectives and student needs effectively.

Advanced Progress Tracking: Both learners and instructors benefit from real-time course progress monitoring facilitated by LearnDash, featuring detailed reporting and analytics capabilities to meticulously track student engagement levels, course completion rates, and quiz performance metrics, thereby enabling data-driven insights for continuous improvement and optimization.

Membership and Subscription Management: Seamlessly integrating with leading membership plugins like MemberPress and WooCommerce, LearnDash empowers instructors to monetize their courses through versatile subscription models, one-time payments, or membership structures, offering unparalleled flexibility in revenue generation and business scalability.

Gamification Features: Elevating learner motivation and engagement to new heights, LearnDash incorporates dynamic gamification elements such as customizable certificates, badges, points systems, and leaderboards, fostering a competitive yet supportive learning environment that incentivizes progress and achievement.

Drip-Feed Content: Instructors have the capability to strategically schedule content release over time, gradually unveiling lessons or modules to learners, thereby facilitating a carefully curated and scaffolded learning experience that maximizes retention and comprehension.

Responsive Design: LearnDash prioritizes accessibility by optimizing course layouts and content for seamless viewing and interaction across various mobile devices, ensuring a consistently superior learning experience regardless of screen size or device type, thus accommodating the modern learner’s on-the-go lifestyle.

Customizable Design and Branding: Users enjoy unparalleled creative freedom with LearnDash’s robust customization options, enabling them to effortlessly personalize course layouts, colors, fonts, and branding elements to impeccably align with their unique brand identity, fostering a cohesive and immersive learning environment that resonates with learners.

Integration Capabilities: With its extensive range of integration capabilities, LearnDash seamlessly connects with a diverse array of third-party tools and services, including popular payment gateways, email marketing platforms, CRM systems, and more, empowering users to extend the platform’s functionality and streamline workflow processes, thereby enhancing overall efficiency and productivity.

Who Can Benefit from LearnDash?

LearnDash offers versatility catering to a wide range of users, including academic institutions, businesses, solo creators, and more.

For academic institutions, LearnDash supports robust features like SCORM and Tin Can API (xAPI), making it ideal for comprehensive educational implementations. Additionally, its ProPanel feature facilitates efficient assignment management, email communication, and detailed learner analytics, tailored to the needs of educational settings.

Moreover, LearnDash proves effective for smaller-scale applications. For instance, solo course creators can utilize its capabilities to effortlessly develop and deliver both free and paid course content to their audience, offering a convenient method to monetize their websites through online courses.

Similarly, businesses seeking to provide training for their employees can leverage LearnDash to streamline processes such as employee onboarding or certification. With LearnDash, tracking employees’ progress through their educational journey becomes seamless, ensuring completion of relevant materials.

In essence, LearnDash offers a myriad of possibilities, making it a premier choice among WordPress LMS plugins.

Understanding LearnDash Functionality

Here, we’ll provide a general overview of creating course content using LearnDash. Following this, we’ll delve into specific pros and cons.

Initial Setup

Upon activation, LearnDash initiates a guided “bootcamp,” presenting a series of steps to set up the platform efficiently. Each step includes a comprehensive tutorial video and accompanying text, allowing users to mark their progress as they navigate through the setup process.

LearnDash setup


In essence, I find this incredibly convenient as it ensures nothing crucial slips through the cracks.

LearnDash Pricing

LearnDash is exclusively available in its premium version, yet its pricing remains highly competitive compared to many other LMS plugins on the market.

Plan Price Validity Number of Sites
Single Site $199/year 1 year 1
10 Sites $399/year 1 year 10
Unlimited Sites $799/year 1 year Unlimited

LearnDash Pros and Cons

Let’s now delve into the particular strengths and weaknesses of LearnDash.

LearnDash Pros

1. User-Friendly Drag-and-Drop Builder

I introduced the course builder during the tutorial, but I want to emphasize its value once more due to its exceptional utility.


When confronted with an abundance of lessons, topics, and quizzes, it becomes challenging to conceptualize their interconnectedness and the sequential path students will traverse in the course.

Utilizing the course builder interface not only facilitates a clear understanding of the structure but also simplifies modifications through drag-and-drop functionality.

Moreover, it significantly expedites course construction by consolidating access to all content editors within a single interface.

2. Excellent Front-End Learning Experience

When considering LMS plugins, it’s common to prioritize backend functionalities. While these are undoubtedly crucial, it’s equally vital to prioritize the front-end user experience for learners.

LearnDash excels in this regard, offering one of the finest front-end experiences available. Learners benefit from a sleek, distraction-free interface equipped with valuable features such as progress bars and tables of contents.

Take a glimpse at the exceptional visual appeal:

LearnDash demo sites


Utilizing one of LearnDash’s complimentary demo sites within the Astra theme provides a plethora of beneficial features:

  • A comprehensive table of contents for the entire course located on the left-hand side.
  • A prominent course progress indicator positioned at the top of the page.
  • An easily accessible list of lesson content.
  • A prominently featured video at the forefront.
  • Intuitive navigation options allowing users to seamlessly transition to the next lesson.

While the appearance of your theme may vary slightly, the essence remains the same: LearnDash empowers you to craft an exceptional front-end experience for your visitors.


3. Detailed Video Content Support

In the contemporary landscape, the significance of video course content is immense, underscoring the necessity for LearnDash to incorporate specialized functionalities tailored for video integration.

With LearnDash, you gain access to seamless tools designed specifically for embedding videos within lessons and topics. Moreover, the platform enables the inclusion of video previews for courses, enhancing the overall learning experience.

Furthermore, LearnDash offers the flexibility to mandate video consumption as an integral part of course advancement. Additionally, it facilitates automatic playback or resumption of videos upon accessing a lesson, streamlining the learning journey for users.

4. Flexible Quiz Builder

LearnDash boasts one of the most impressive quiz builders among all LMS plugins I’ve explored. It shares a similar interface with the intuitive drag-and-drop course builder, which I’ve previously highlighted for its effectiveness.

What truly stands out is the seamless process of setting up questions and answers without the need to navigate through separate interfaces or popups. This streamlined approach not only accelerates the process but also provides a comprehensive view of the entire setup from a single location.

Moreover, the platform offers an extensive array of question types and settings, including advanced options for configuring quiz behavior such as passing grades, randomization, timers, and more.

learndash review

5. Advanced Features (Drip Content, Prerequisites, Etc.)

LearnDash offers a range of flexible features for customizing the functionality of your courses.

For instance, you have the option to strategically release course content over time, a method often referred to as “dripping.” This can be tailored to match the enrollment date of each user or set on a fixed schedule applicable to all learners.

drip content

You may also mandate that users fulfill one or more course prerequisites prior to enrolling.

course prereqs

Overall, it offers considerable flexibility in configuring your courses.


6. Automation Rules via Engagement Triggers

In the tutorial, I overlooked discussing LearnDash’s engagement triggers, a powerful tool for establishing custom email automation rules tailored to your course.

These triggers allow you to configure notifications based on various user actions, including:

– Enrollment or completion of a course
– Completion of a lesson, quiz, or topic
– Submission of an assignment
– And more.



This is great for marketing, UX, and otherwise setting up automation.


7. Vibrant Third-Party Extension Marketplace

Apart from its numerous official extensions and integration plugins, LearnDash boasts a dynamic third-party marketplace, simplifying the process of enhancing your course with additional features. Notable third-party extensions encompass:

  • Course ratings and reviews
  • Multiple instructors (similar to Udemy)
  • Front-end course creation
  • Private messaging
  • Custom course checkout and upsells
  • And a myriad of other options

To assist users in discovering these valuable additions, LearnDash curates a support page highlighting some of the most popular third-party plugins available.

LearnDash Cons

Let’s delve into the areas that could be improved:

1. Limited Built-In Payment Options

While LearnDash offers built-in features for one-time and recurring payments, they lack the flexibility found in comprehensive membership plugins or other LMS solutions like LifterLMS.

For instance, you’re unable to configure free trials or one-time signup fees, nor can you provide coupons or promotional offers. However, these functionalities can be achieved through third-party plugins such as WooCommerce or by integrating with a membership plugin, though they’re not inherent to the core LearnDash plugin.


2. Limited Built-In Membership Options

LearnDash provides basic membership features applicable to your courses, allowing you to restrict access to authorized users. However, it doesn’t extend these membership features to your entire site. For example, if you aimed to restrict access to a regular page for specific learner types, this isn’t feasible with the core LearnDash plugin.

Fortunately, LearnDash seamlessly integrates with most popular WordPress membership plugins, enabling you to incorporate more advanced membership features effortlessly.


Final Thoughts On Our LearnDash Review

LearnDash unquestionably stands out as a premier WordPress LMS plugin. When considering its functionality, its main competitor appears to be LifterLMS, which may be a more economical choice for basic course needs. However, for comprehensive quiz capabilities and advanced features, LearnDash typically offers greater value for money.

Given these factors, I confidently endorse LearnDash as an excellent choice for individuals or entities seeking to develop online course material using WordPress. Whether you’re an independent creator, a business seeking employee training solutions, or an academic institution, LearnDash proves to be a reliable and versatile option.

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