BuddyBoss and LearnDash Enhancements You Didn’t Know You Needed
If you follow me, you'll know our team works a lot of BuddyBoss and LearnDash sites. It's where our team is at our best when building online courses for small business owners. These are great tools, but many people fail to realize is that these two tools, by themselves, have some significant shortcomings. Let me review these with you.
LearnDash is excellent for building learning environments. It's got a mature add-on after market that enhances what LearnDash does by itself. BuddyBoss can be used by itself, to build a Wordpress community site. From their very start, they have integrated nicely with LearnDash so it could be a way to add community features to an online course site. There's a lot to discuss here. Let's leave that for another article.
What these do NOT have is a mature set of features for taking payments and easily giving members access to the materials they requested. This isn't shortcoming of these tools. That's not what they were originally designed to do. Both have added e-commerce features at the request of users wanting them, but they don't have all the features most small business owners need.
They also fall short in providing tools for controlling access. LearnDash has added groups to their solutions. That has given site builders more control over what site visitors can access. But if you want to provide your members with several different membership levels that each give access to courses, sections of the site and resources like blog articles and videos, they fall short.
There are a few ways to address this. E-commerce features can be greatly enhanced by adding WooCommerce to the mix. WooCommerce is a free e-commerce tool that enables you to take payments. It has a LearnDash add-on that enables you to automatically give members access to one or more LearnDash courses. Using the LearnDash group feature I just mentioned, you can give members access to other resources connected to a group. Once configured, this WooCommerce/LearnDash integration makes selling your courses very straightforward and provides your members with a very elegant experience.
If you are wanting to get recurring payments, they offer WooCommerce Subscription, which is a $199 a year upgrade. With this you can offer monthly or yearly subscription. It provides some good collection features as well in case credit card payments get declined. It has a huge aftermarket providing all sorts of features you might need. Their pricing is very reasonable.
Together, these can be configured so this is fully automated.
The other feature that gives you function not provided by BuddyBoss and LearnDash is a membership program. Because of our experience working with Keap customers, we have a long history working with Memberium. This is a membership platform that is tightly integrated with Keap. That enables you to use Keap's e-commerce features for taking both one time and subscription payments. Memberium uses Keap's tagging features to manage membership access. With some simple Keap campaign work, you can fully automate access. The Keap Campaign Builder enables you to automate things with the ultimate flexibility.
That Keap / Memberium combination does come with a monthly price tag of $200 to $300 a month. That may sound steep for someone who's never used it, but most of our customers reach out to us after they become established Keap customers so they've already budgeted for this.
For a standalone system not connected to a backend CRM like Keap, we make use of Wishlist Member. This is a solution that has been around forever. It integrated really well with WooCommerce for taking payments like I describe above. It then enables you to protect just about any Wordpress resource. That means you can control access automatically to LearnDash courses, Wordpress pages/posts, and anything you are wanting to add as part of your solution.
Don't underestimate that importance of these two components when building a BuddyBoss and/or LearnDash site. You'll avoid struggling with the e-commerce and membership features provided by these. The final results will be a better working system that's much easier to manage as an asset for building your business.