LearnDash Expert Enhancements You Didn’t Know You Needed
If you follow me, you'll know our team works on a lot of LearnDash expert sites. Our team specializes in building online course sites for small business owners. It’s our preferred tool for building online courses. What we have found is that a lot of business owners building their first online course site, choose LearnDash. They do that for all the right reasons. It’s the right tool for many of them.
What they don’t realize is that they will have to overcome two major shortcomings that are NOT provided by LearnDash
LearnDash Expert Explains What’s Missing
Given that I’m a LearnDash expert with over five years of working with the platform, I want to say it very clearly from the start. This is a VERY good tool. We do a lot of consulting in this space. We highly recommend it.
Of course, like any tool, it has its weaknesses. It’s our “pick of the litter” for building online courses with a very mature third-party market of add-ons. These add-ons fill in the gaps providing features LearnDash doesn’t offer.
There are two areas, in particular, where LearnDash is weak. The first one is their e-commerce features for taking payments. The second one is their features for managing member access and providing members access to Wordpress assets, in general.
In my LearnDash expert opinion, I don’t consider that this is a failure on their part. LearnDash did NOT originally offer an e-commerce feature. That was added later. LearnDash released their group feature in the past few years. That is a feature we use a lot, but it’s not a full-blown membership building tool. Groups enable you to do things that couldn’t be done before.
Let’s discuss how we recommend you address these.
LearnDash Expert Discusses WooCommerce
We often add WooCommerce to our LearnDash expert sites. It’s our recommended e-commerce plugin when you are on a stand-alone LearnDash site that is not connected to a CRM like Keap or ActiveCampaign. (In that case, we would use Memberium to make the connection, but I digress.)
WooCommerce is a no-cost solution. If you want a subscription or recurring payments for your site, you will have to pay for WooCommerce Subscriptions which is $199 a year. There is a LearnDash / WooCommerce extension that you enable once you’ve installed both plugins and that enables you to sell a product and automatically give access to a set of courses or via the LearnDash group feature.
Once configured, this WooCommerce/LearnDash integration makes selling your courses very straightforward and provides your members with a very elegant experience.
A membership access tool is the other feature we always recommend for any online course builder. What most online course builders soon discover is that they need to offer a course and then they need to allow members to upgrade from that to a set of courses. And that can later include providing access to other non-LearnDash Wordpress assets. For example, you might want to give access to a blog category of articles that goes with the membership.
That is something that can be done with LearnDash several plugins, but it gets complicated quickly.
What we recommend is a tool like Wishlist Member. Wishlist Member was a pioneer in this field. They’ve been doing what they do for many years. The tool integrates nicely with WooCommerce so you can take payments and automatically give access to resources of all kinds. Anything you can build with Wordpress can be protected using Wishlist Member. This includes LearnDash courses, Wordpress pages/posts, and anything you are wanting to add as part of your solution.
Please do NOT underestimate the importance of adding WooCommerce and Wishlist Member to your mix. They will give you features you will struggle to implement with LearnDash alone. It will enable you to create highly functioning solutions that are flexible, easy to enhance, and make your site maintenance and operations as simple as possible.