BuddyBoss and LearnDash: 3 Pieces of Priceless Advice for Avoiding the Pitfalls – Part 1
I'm really tired of hearing from potential BuddyBoss and LearnDash users spooked because of all the negative hype they hear about these platforms. They read in the discussions groups about nightmare experiences from those that have gone ahead of them. I see what some people post about these platforms. I participate actively in several online forms. The comments we've all see online sound something like this:
- BuddyBoss is too slow.
- LearnDash has terrible support.
- I can't get the e-commerce features to work like I want them.
- LearnDash is buggy.
I've been working as a BuddyBoss developer with and without LearnDash since they were launched these products years back. "Yes," I have heard all these complains and many more.
BuddyBoss and LearnDash: My Humble Expert Developer Opinion
While working with both BuddyBoss and LearnDash on dozens and dozens and dozens of customer projects, we have had huge success getting customers what they need and want out of these systems.
BuddyBoss offers the community features for getting people productively interacting with each other . It's a platform that you own (unlike with Facebook groups). It offers more features than any one business will practically needs. We find that a subset of BuddyBoss community features is what site owners need. (We've also found that some people use too many of these features. More on that later.)
I've watched the BuddyBoss App closely for over three years when it was first released. As the founder of an agency specializing in membership and online course sites, the idea behind BuddyBoss App is extremely interesting. How cool is the idea offering a mobile app version of the BuddyBoss website we specialize as a practice. Until late 2022, we were hesitant. The BuddyBoss App wasn't stable. BuddyBoss released their BuddyBoss App WAY TOO EARLY. They charged people for something I considered a "good luck let's see how it goes" release.
This past Spring of 2023 we saw it reach a good level of stability for the first time. That's when we enthusiastically began working with it. It works well. The features it offers are valuable. It gets a business owner already using BuddyBoss the features they love in a mobile app format.
LearnDash is a solid learning management platform (LMS) with a comprehensive feature set. There is a healthy aftermarket of third-party add-on builders providing features that LearnDash doesn't offer out-of-the-box. We have worked with a good number of businesses that have experienced issues with the platform. Some were caused by inexperienced users incorrectly configuring the platform. Others were related to plugin conflicts. On occasion, we have run into LearnDash bugs that LearnDash has corrected.
All in all, it works and it works well.
So let me share with you five pieces of advice for making the most of these platforms and avoiding pitfalls that hold back business owners needing what BuddyBoss and LearnDash have to offer.
BuddyBoss and LearnDash Advice #1 - These Tools Don't Do Everything
You must select the right set of supporting technologies to go along with BuddyBoss and LearnDash. I'll get specific with advice on this later in this article. I see a lot is people begin with BuddyBoss and LearnDash or with one of these two. They cannot get something done that they need so they start shopping for plugins. Over time, they have a large collection of plugins each addressing an individual something they needed.
For lack of experience, they start accumulating plugins, but over time this cause them trouble. They start complaining about issues like.
- Wordpress plugin updates bring down the site.
- BuddyBoss is REALLY SLOW.
- LearnDash gets buggy.
- LearnDash lesson are disappearing.
The root problem is newbie Wordpress builders are addressing with individual smaller plugins what should be addressed with more strategically selected plugins. A smaller set of plugins can do a much better job of addressing issues common to membership and online course building than can many hacked together plugins.
My team and I recently ran into a customer with a Wordpress plugin count exceeding 100. We deactivate half of them and the site worked the same as it did before. Later we transitioned them to a more strategic set of plugins (more on that later in the article) and with a plugin count under 25, they had a site that worked really well at addressing their needs.
For a more details look a this, consider downloading my free Profitable Online Course Builders Starter Guide. That's a really helpful resource.
Now on to more advice on this.
BuddyBoss and LearnDash Advice #2 - Address E-Commerce Correctly
BuddyBoss is excellent for adding community features to a learning site. LearnDash is excellent for building online courses. That is where they are best-in-breed solutions.
I do NOT recommend using the e-commerce features included with each of these. They work. The provide useful basic features. What many business owners discover is they need more that these e-commerce features provide. My advice is to put WooCommerce to work for you. It integrates well with both of these. It has a wealth of e-commerce features and a strong aftermarket of third-party providers that supply what WooCommerce doesn't offer natively.
This one piece of advice can eliminate a number of shortcomings that keep business owners from launching sites that address their requirements.
Head on over to Part 2 of this article where I provide more advice for avoiding the pitfalls.