LearnDash is a powerful online course platform that lets you efficiently create and manage your learning business. With LearnDash, you have complete control over every aspect of your sales and marketing, including pricing models, upsells, and more. Besides engaging your students with quizzes and assignments, you can offer badges and certificates for their accomplishments. From easy course creation to dynamic content delivery, LearnDash provides is a great option to create a successful coaching business, but it may have some drawbacks to consider. In our LearnDash Review, we cover the top features along with pros & cons so you can decide whether it is a platform worth trying. Let’s dive in!
Top Features of LearnDash
LearnDash has unique features to make learning management a breeze for creators and students.
Drag & Drop Course Builder
Crafting courses can be a breeze with LearnDash’s drag-and-drop course builder. Despite its ease of use, newbies may need to spend some time to become comfortable with navigating the process. Additionally, while the number of elements may seem daunting at first, it’s nice to have so many options available.
Dynamic Content Delivery
Content creators can set the pathway in various ways, from a drip-feed lesson to linear progressions, you can use multiple pathways in different courses to help your audience get the maximum benefit out of your course. This is really a standout feature of LearnDash, which makes it great for both creators and audiences.
LearnDash offers over eight types of quizzes: single choice, multiple choice, free text, sorting, matching, essay, fill-in-the-blank, and survey-based quizzes. And quizzes can include any type of media – from videos to audio, or simply text with images. In addition to an impressive number of question types, LearnDash has advanced implementation options. You’re able to randomize the order of your questions, display them flexibly (show all questions at once or one at a time, for example), and also provide hints as students go through your quiz.
Keeping the audience focused throughout an online course can be a challenge. To help improve course completion, LearnDash offers various engagement tools to grab your audience’s attention.
- Automated Notifications – Students complete coursework in different ways. Some of them may take more or fewer lessons than usual. Depending on their actions, you can send automated emails to pat them on the back or remind them to continue their lessons. Setting up the process may take a bit of time, but it is very effective in keeping people engaged.
- Discussion Forums – Things get more interesting in a peer-to-peer discussion where learners can ask their questions without hesitations and discuss things they need to. It creates a friendly environment among the audiences of the same course, which results in better engagement and higher retention. But asking a question in the forum should be easier for learners so that they get encouraged to do so.
- Leaderboards – This is a great way to create competition among learners. You’re able to display the best performers in quizzes or assignments and reward them for inspiring the whole audience to be more active.
- Badges & Certificates – Awarding badges on performance and certificates for accomplishments is important to keep learners engaged and satisfied. It also increases the credibility of your courses. But the variety of badges and certifications isn’t that great compared to many other similar platforms. We suggest LearnDash upgrade the array.
- Course Points – Giving out points for every completed lesson is another way to engage the audience better. It intrigues the audience to earn more points to get access to the locked content.
Marketing and Sales Tools
Creating courses isn’t enough to get the desired exposure. Luckily, you get various marketing and sales tools on the platform to use in your favor.
- One-Time Purchases – Instead of calculating monthly subscription fees, customers can pay a one-time payment to access your courses. This easy checkout system boosts conversion in the case of small courses.
- Subscriptions – When you create an extensive course that might be too heavy for your audiences’ pockets, you can break the price down into smaller bits to make it seem lucrative. And you can also bundle multiple courses in this model to gain more attention.
- Shopping Cart Integrations – With the WooCommerce integration, customers can add various courses to the cart to save the hassle of paying repeatedly. And you can use a lot of payment gateways in the process. Offering coupons or promo codes are also easy. LearnDash deserves a thumbs-up for this feature.
- Sell Memberships – Memberships can sometimes be highly beneficial for both creators and audiences. Customers get access to various courses at a discounted price for the membership. And creators can offer one-time or recurring prices for memberships to increase their revenue.
- Sell Bundles – Selling one course per customer is too mainstream. LearnDash allows you to bundle multiple courses so that customers can get access to them by going through the checkout page once. This feature is highly beneficial when running flash sale campaigns.
- Bulk Access – If you are selling your courses to corporate organizations, you can grant bulk licenses so that the organization can distribute access to the staff.
Reporting and Management
Having better insights into the courses and learners is essential to manage the learning process better.
- Group Management – Dividing learners into groups make it easier to manage everything. You can even assign others to manage the activity of the courses and learners to achieve a streamlined process. But it requires more options.
- Assignment Management – Course creators have the ability to approve or reject assignments learners submit. You can also comment on things and give points on assignments.
- Gradebook – This is a paid add-on that you can sync with quizzes and assignments to help in grading learners.
- Detailed Reporting – It helps you get a bird’s eye view of everything going on. From enrollment details to course progress, from conversion rate to retention, all these little details in reports help you improve your strategies for a better future. The reporting could be better, though.
A learning management tool is never complete without third-party integrations. LearnDash offers several integrations, including payment gateways like PayPal and Stripe, to business and marketing tools like Slack, ConvertKit, Zapier, and more. Plus, with the tight WooCommerce integration, you get full control over the checkout experience. Lastly, LearnDash lets you create your own custom integrations using a RestAPI. This may require a developer, but its one of the reasons using a WordPress-based LMS is so flexible.
Pros & Cons of LearnDash
Though the features mentioned above are intriguing, LearnDash has some drawbacks too. Let’s run a quick check.
- Open-source platform (on WordPress) allows heavy customization
- Tons of built-in tools and optional add-ons are available
- Supports several media formats, including SCORM and xAPI
- Easy checkout system with multiple payment gateways
- Detailed reporting with advanced metrics
- Large user community
- Can be tricky for non-techie users
- Some features require paid-addons
- Annual pricing only for plugin version
LearnDash Plans & Pricing
LearnDash’s pricing is a bit different than you see on similar SaaS platforms, and this is because LearnDash is primarily a WordPress plugin. You can choose the traditional plugin, which allows you to run LearnDash on one or more WordPress websites, or you can choose the new LearnDash Cloud option, which gives you an entire website without the need for additional web hosting.
- 1 Site – starting at $199/year
- 10 Sites – starting at $399/year
- Unlimited Sites – starting at $799/year
- LearnDash Cloud – starting at $29/mo
- Includes web hosting, premium templates, and add-ons
- Includes ProPanel, which lets you monitor student enrollment and progress with advanced reporting
Our Take on LearnDash
LearnDash is a learning management system (LMS) that allows users to create courses without much hassle, and the ability to sell them efficiently. The platform includes a drag-and-drop course builder which means you can create courses without knowing how to code. It offers a number of sales and marketing tools to increase revenue through upsells, subscriptions, bundles, bulk access, and more. LearnDash includes engagement tools to help keep your audience focused throughout their course, and it also provides detailed reporting to better understand everyone’s performance. The platform supports multiple media formats so that you can make rich content which is a must for an online course platform. We also really like the number of versatile add-ons and third-party integrations. LearnDash is available via plugin for $199/year, or you can get the new Cloud option for $29/month. Both options come with a 15-day money-back guarantee.