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LearnDash Review: Is It the Best WordPress LMS Plugin in 2022?

Updated on December 10, 2021

11 Min Read
learndash WordPress review

As innovation transforms all aspects of life, simplicity and ease of use are key. This also applies to the education industry, leading students and teachers to embrace online learning & teaching services with open arms.

Success in this domain is primarily dependent on a well-organized platform.  LearnDash is a WordPress LMS plugin that understands this, offering a structured view of lessons and courses to help both students and teachers alike.

Unlike other complicated tools, LearnDash is designed for all users, including non-techies, to allow them to experiment with their creative ideas without any technical blockages.

Curious about how you can build courses with LearnDash and how good it is? Keep reading this LearnDash review to find out the answers to all your queries.

Who Uses LearnDash?

LearnDash is a WordPress LMS (Learning Management System) plugin used by tutors, teachers, and entrepreneurs to create and publish courses on their WordPress websites. Furthermore, it also allows users to create their own eLearning platforms.

LearnDash holds the interest of many tutors and is perhaps the most popular LMS plugin, backed by its helpful features and an easy drag-and-drop interface.

use learndash

LearnDash is also preferred for its many monetization options, including subscriptions, single purchases, memberships, and pay-per-view for your online courses. In addition, payment gateways such as PayPal, Stripe, and 2Checkout can easily be incorporated.

LearnDash integrates with many third-party tools and plugins, making it even more robust for educational institutes, training organizations, entrepreneurs, and all those who want to create and sell online courses with ease.

LearnDash – The Key Features

A plugin without features is like a bird without feathers; features drive the plugin. While selecting the best WordPress LMS plugin, one must analyze these features and see how they compare.

This section will cover the key LearnDash features that differentiate it from other plugins and add to its usability.

Drag-and-Drop Interface

Newbies and non-tech-savvy users abstain from LMS plugins that offer complicated interfaces. Taking this into consideration, LearnDash offers its users an easy drag-and-drop builder to manage their pages.

The LearnDash course builder lets you add new lessons, quizzes, topics, and sections with simple, mouse-driven actions. You can stay on the same page, play with the elements, and watch the live changes to finalize your page’s structure.

drag and drop

 

Using LearnDash’s intuitive drag-and-drop builder, you can add lessons anywhere without dealing with any coding complexities. This easy editing feature accelerates the course-building experience and lets novice users experiment with their creative thoughts.

Advanced Quiz Builder

Teachers often test their students through quizzes, so any worthwhile LMS should include a quiz-building feature. LearnDash goes one step further by presenting its advanced quiz builder that also uses the easy drag-and-drop interface to add, edit, movie, and delete any questions to and from your quiz.

quizzes

You can create multiple quizzes on your website, add any type of questions, and even customize their settings as per your requirements. LearnDash allows you to either use its course builder or click on the course from the courses tab to create a new quiz.

Video Progression

Unfortunately, no learning environment is immune to cheating. In online learning courses, students often dodge the videos or forward them to mark the courses done.

While the virtual environment is conducive to new and creative ways of cheating, LearnDash takes some steps against this with its unique video progression feature.

video progression

Using LearnDash’s video progression feature, you can customize your videos to mark done only when a viewer has finished watching the full video, meaning they won’t be able to increase speed, forward, or skip videos. You can hide the play bar and limit them to only watching the next video when they’ve finished watching the previous video.

Performance

Performance plays a vital role in any website’s success. You can’t fool your visitors with bad performance, especially with an eLearning website where users expect the ultra best performance. Low-performance websites will frustrate your visitors, let alone pay for your course; they won’t even consider staying on your page.

You can avoid all these nightmarish thoughts by opting for a high-performance LMS plugin backed with a reliable hosting plan. I personally recommend the lethal combination of Cloudways and LearnDash for best speeds and optimum performance.

performance

When I tested my eLearning website hosted on a Cloudways managed DigitalOcean server (costs around $10), I got the above performance results.

The test website had Astra Starter Site- LearnDash Academy theme, Elementor plugin, five courses with multiple sections and lessons, multiple quiz questions, and assorted images.

Ease of Use

In this fast-paced era, no one fancies complex time-taking processes that confuse the user. Why would anyone opt for a complicated LMS that would take forever to learn?

LearnDash offers an intuitive and easy-to-use dashboard to its users so they can build courses for their students without any blockages. It allows easy integration with third-party platforms and offers multiple tools and features to facilitate the users.

courses

The newest version, LearnDash 3.0, especially offers the ultimate practicality and handiness with its drag and drop course creation and local navigation.

Compatibility

LearnDash’s compatibility with other plugins allows you to customize your website by integrating plugins to extend your online learning platform’s functionality.

Additionally, you can use the free add-on Gravity Forms to create custom registration forms or even create a food ordering system in WooCommerce using LearnDash. Some of the popular plugins that are compatible with LearnDash are as follows:

  • WooCommerce
  • BuddyPress
  • Restrict Content Pro
  • Paid Membership Pro

Multiple Add-Ons

LearnDash allows its users to pick their favorite add-ons from an ocean of options on its website. You can use most of its add-ons for free, although some are offered as paid add-ons.

The add-ons help beautify your content via audio, video, and other media elements to deliver smooth experiences for your visitors and students. You may use the add-ons to create forms, use the Gradebook for grading, and take advantage of countless add-ons.

Can’t see your favorite add-on in LearnDash’s library? Don’t worry. Extending the ease for its users, LearnDash also offers third-party add-ons that you can download to upscale your website’s content.

How to Create an eLearning Website with LearnDash [Easy Steps]

We created a poll in the Cloudways User group on Facebook to check which LMS plugin is popular among Cloudways users.

Here’s the result!

LearnDash is a clear winner, so I was compelled to review this LMS plugin.

fb poll

Source: Cloudways Users

I’ll use the following three tools to build an online learning platform in this LearnDash review.

  1. Cloudways – Managed WordPress Hosting
  2. LearnDash – WordPress LMS Plugin
  3. Astra – Fast, Lightweight & Customizable Theme

Step 1: Set up a Cloudways Account

First, I’ll show you how to sign up on Cloudways and install LearnDash.

  • Skip the next steps if you’re an existing Cloudways user, and log in to your Cloudways account.
  • If you’re a new user, sign up for a 3-day free trial period.
  • On the signup page, enter the required details (Name, Email, Password, etc.) and click “Start Free.”

signup cloudways

Step 2: Launch WordPress on Cloudways

Next, you need to verify your email address. After account verification, you are good to install a WordPress application on any server.

Follow the steps below to launch WordPress on Cloudways:

  • Choose the latest WordPress version under the  “Application and Server Details” section.
  • Name your managed application & managed server.
  • Select your project.
  • Choose your preferred IaaS provider.
  • Select your server size and server location.

Click “Launch Now” to launch your managed server on Cloudways. You can also see each cloud provider’s pricing (both hourly and monthly) in the same section.

cloudways application

Wait for a few minutes as the server gets ready.

  • Access the Application Management panel by navigating to the Applications tab.
  • Select WordPress app.
  • Go to Access DetailsAdmin Panel.
  • Click URL.
  • Copy the Username and Password, paste the credentials in the WordPress admin login, and click Log In.

wordpress application

Step 3: Install the LearnDash Plugin on WordPress

Next, you will have to purchase LearnDash from its official site and download the zip file.

Follow the steps below to install LearnDash on WordPress:

  • Go to your WordPress Dashboard
  • Click PluginsAdd NewUpload Plugin
  •  Choose FileZip File
  • Click “Install Now.”

install learndash

Now, wait for a few minutes until your plugin is fully uploaded to the WordPress website.

Once uploaded, click “Activate Plugin” to complete the installation process.

learndash installed

  • Paste the License Key and Email Address you used to purchase the LearnDash plugin.

Entering the license key will unlock tutorials, tips & tricks, news, documentation, and support.

learndash license

Step 4: Install Astra Theme

I recommend using Astra to improve the ease of use in creating your eLearning platform.

Astra, the fastest and fully customizable theme, integrates perfectly with WordPress page builders such as WPBakery Page Builder (formerly Visual Composer), Beaver Builder, Elementor, and Gutenberg.

Follow the steps below to install Astra Theme:

  • Go to the WordPress Dashboard
  • Click AppearanceThemesAdd New.
  • Type “Astra” in the search box and click “Activate.”

astra theme

  • Go back to your WordPress DashboardAppearanceAstra Options
  • Click “Install Importer Plugin” from the Importer Site Section.

install starter site

  • Select your page builder from the given options (I chose Elementor).
  • After selecting your page builder, you’ll see “Astra Starter Sites – Library of 100+ Ready Template!”.
  • Type “LearnDash” in the search box
  • Select “LearnDash Academy,” → and then click “Import.”

learndash theme

  • Click “View Site” to see your stunning website design.

Step 5: Create Your First Course with LearnDash

After acquiring these three essential tools (Cloudways, LearnDash, Astra theme), we are good to go to create our first course.

Follow the steps below to create your first course.

  • Go to LearnDashCoursesAdd New.

add new course

  • Add featured image, description, title, and other course details.
  • Click publish.

first course

Other than that, you may also start with the prebuilt courses. You can view the settings and configurations of the prebuilt courses as they will help you understand how to create a course from scratch.

import sample course

Step 6: Create Your First Lesson

As mentioned above, you can preview the prebuilt lessons to help you with the course creation process.

  • To create a new lesson, go to LearnDash LMSLessons Add New.
  • You can add a lesson title, description, details, images, videos, etc.

add lesson

 

You can also add lessons using the course builder. Here you can directly add and assign the lessons to any particular course and for this, go to LearnDashCoursesBuilderNew Lessons.

add lesson in courses

Also, you can add different lessons with just a single click and even search for specific lessons that you want to include in any course.

Step 7: Create Your First Quiz

Creating and adding quizzes to your courses is simple! All you have to do is go to LearnDash QuizzesAdd New, then just add the title and content for your quiz.

add quiz

Follow the steps below to add questions to your quiz:

  • Navigate to Builder (Located on the top section)
  • Click New Question.
  • Enter a title and create your questions.
  • You can select any question type from a single choice to an open answer.

In the image below, I’ve selected multiple-choice questions (type) and created four different choices. Also, I’ve marked the correct answer to this question.

quiz and questions

LearnDash Pricing: Is This WordPress LMS Plugin Affordable?

Pricing is one crucial factor that some users take as a primary factor for a plugin’s selection. One shouldn’t make their plugin selection just based on its pricing since cheap plugins mainly cost you in other ways and offer substandard services.

That said, some emphasis on pricing plans is essential – what’s the point of an efficient and featured-packed plugin if you can’t afford it? I personally advise you to check a plugin’s cost, features and usability, and make the final selection for the allrounder LMS plugin.

LearnDash LMS understands the needs of different users and hence offers its three pricing plans as follows, each suited for a different scale.

learndash pricings

Basic

  • Currently available at the discounted price of $159 (original price: $199).
  • Provides license for one website.
  • Offers unlimited courses and users.
  • Course content protection, advanced quizzing, and drip-feed lessons.
  • Provides the bonus feature of a demo site template.

Plus Package

  • Currently available at the discounted price of $189 (original price: $229).
  • Provides license for up to 10 websites.
  • Includes ProPanel.
  • Offers all benefits that the Basic version provides.

Pro Package

  • Currently available at the discounted price of $329 (original price: $369).
  • Provides license for up to 25 websites.
  • Offers all benefits that the Basic and Plus Package provide.

LearnDash Review: Pros and Cons

Every plugin has its pros and cons, and LearnDash is no exception.

I have tested the plugin for quite some time and have weighed its pros and cons without bias in this LearnDash review. I’ll share my findings in this section.

Pros

  • Fantastic front-end learning experience.
  • Easy course organization thanks to the drag-and-drop feature.
  • Built-in unique video progression support.
  • It provides the ability to reuse lessons in other courses.
  • Compatibility with other plugins.
  • Excellent quiz builder.

Cons

  • Limited built-in membership and payment options.
  • Only available for WordPress websites.
  • Requires integration with third-party applications for better functioning.

Final Thoughts: Is LearnDash the Best WordPress LMS Plugin?

All in all, LearnDash is one of the best choices for WordPress LMS plugins. It justifies its popularity among tutors and teachers with a plethora of features, functionalities, and unique factors. Furthermore, its affordable pricing and ease of use allow users to try their hands with this plugin.

I have presented all my findings backed with my experience of using the popular LMS plugin in this LearnDash review. Does this WordPress LMS plugin fulfill all your requirements? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Is LearnDash any good?

Yes, LearnDash is surely a good option for users looking for the best WordPress LMS plugins. Backed with a plethora of useful features, ease of use, and multiple add-ons, this LMS plugin differentiates itself from its competitors and is favored by tutors and entrepreneurs worldwide.

How easy is LearnDash?

LearnDash is super easy to use thanks to its drag-and-drop builder, allowing novice and non-tech-savvy users to build their courses without any prior experience. All it requires is the user to play with the drag and drop elements to create their own courses.

Is LearnDash expensive?

No, LearnDash is not an expensive WordPress LMS plugin. In fact, considering all its benefits and features, it is a very affordable LMS plugin for tutors and entrepreneurs.

It offers three different plans keeping various audiences in mind. The plan is offered at a discounted price of $159 per year. The plus package is available at $189 per year, and the pro package at $329 per year.

Why is LearnDash so slow?

Although LearnDash is not that slow, some users have complained about its responsiveness. The speed problems typically occur when users overpack their courses with tons of additional objects that slow down the website.

Share your opinion in the comment section. COMMENT NOW

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Farhan Ayub

Farhan is a community manager at Cloudways. He loves to work with WordPress and has a passion for web development. Mostly, he spends his time interacting with the people in the WordPress community. Apart from his work life, Farhan spends his time gaming and playing sports. Feel free to contact him at [email protected]

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