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BuddyBoss vs LearnDash: Which One (or Two) Do I Need?

When starting an online course, membership site or membership portal, we hear a lot of business owners asking, "Do I need BuddyBoss or LearnDash? Do I need both?"

What they are really wanting is a comparison between these two. The problem is these two are not competing solutions. They are complementary platforms that work very well together.

As a BuddyBoss and LearnDash expert team, we recommend BuddyBoss for LearnDash users wanting to add social networking and community features to their learning site. Think of it as a platform for replacing what you could add to your site using a private Facebook group. You give your members a way to communicate and interact with each other as part of their learning process.

If you want to learn more about BuddyBoss, check out What the Heck is BuddyBoss? which explains what BuddyBoss is and how it is built.

LearnDash is a learning management system (LMS). It's a platform building your online course. You can organize your course building it as a set of individual lessons like you would writing chapters that make up a book. If your course is longer, you can divide lessons up into sub-lessons. LearnDash calls these topics. You can then usevideos, written copy, images, downloadable PDF files, worksheets, etc. for the content in your course. You can make your course as simple or complex as you like. It's all up to you.

LearnDash has good quizzes or assessments features. The quizzes can be used to confirm that students understand the materials. They can be used as part of a certification program to confirm they student understands what is being taught. You can configure quizzes so members can only move forward after they have completed a quiz with a passing score.

The BuddyBoss vs LearnDash question may come because of the way BuddyBoss' original launched several years back. They sold a package they called the Social Learner for LearnDash.  I reviewed that platform when it came out. It was a very innovative release with BuddyBoss touting itself as a LearnDash add-on to provide social media features. They promoted themselves along with LearnDash as two tools that worked well together.

BuddyBoss vs. LearnDash

Given what LearnDash can do, why don't we review how it works with BuddyBoss. As I mentioned earlier, BuddyBoss provides social media-like features. It supports member-to-member communication. Students can "talk" to their fellow classmates. They can enter into discussions with each other using forums. You can use these and messages to enable instructors and students to communicate with each other.  BuddyBoss allows anyone logged into the site to:

  • communicate via a message interface with others,
  • receive notifications so the know there is something to check on the site,
  • post their own newsfeeds when you are the organizer or moderator for a course, lesson, topic, or groups, and/or
  • participate in discussion groups and even traditional forums.

BuddyBoss and LearnDash intergrate very nicely to provides some highly functioning gamification features. This can be enhanced with tools like GamiPress to add gamification features to you site. With gamification, students don't just move along the LearnDash course to gain a certification they need. They can feel the challenge and get caught up in friendly competition with others taking the same course to achieve the goals you set up in the course. This can be especially valuable if you offer your program to an organization. Sales team members can be very competitive with each other and this enables you to use that to motivate them to get through your program.

When these tools are used by a small business owners for their program, creating a community is even more valuable. What we've seen happen in tight-knit communities is that people stay with the program because they don't want to lose contact with "their friends." They continue paying you, after completing your course materials, to stay connected with others in your program. It gives you a chance to sell them additional programs and work best because the community keeps them around.

There's lots more to this, but that is the beginning of what you need to know so you appreciate what LearnDash has to offer and how it works with BuddyBoss.

Hope this helps.