LearnDash Expert LMS Version 3.6 Adds Some Nice New Features
As a LearnDash expert consultant with a gang of LearnDash expert team members, we build a good number of LearnDash sites. Every month, we work on 3 to 6 sites including sites for customers that we support ongoing.
So part of what I do on the team is to keep a close watch on LearnDash releases. The 3.6 version was just released and I’m going to walk you through the main enhancements so you don’t have to do the research yourself.
FYI, LearnDash got purchased this past September and I worried that enhancement releases would slow down or that the development efforts would lose focus. Two months later, that doesn’t seem to be the case. The LearnDash 3.6 release contains a good number of features that aren’t just ho hum lipstick on the pig features. These are decent enhancements we can use to build better online course sites.
LearnDash Expert User Interface Improvement
LearnDash 3.6 brings on two updates that enhance the user experience. The first is post-purchase redirection. In previous releases, LearnDash didn’t have features for taking buyers to a specific page after a purchase based on the item they bought. You had no way to display an upsell item which was geared to what they purchased.
LearnDash 3.6 allows you to define a URL for each course. This is a change to the Buy Now feature available on the course configuration page. You can then program each product differently.
This is an interesting upgrade that makes adding WooCommerce as an e-Commerce tool unnecessary for some scenarios.
The second is post-purchase emails. Before this release, you typically had to use another emailing system to get any post-purchase messages out. We often used WP SMTP with SendGrid or a tool like Keap, one of our favorites, to send confirmations.
LearnDash offers a nice interface for creating your own email to be sent out right after a user purchase. It doesn’t replace LearnDash Notifications or the need for an autoresponder solution, but it’s a nice addition where there previously wasn’t any function.
LearnDash Expert Subscriptions
We typically recommend WooCommerce and WooCommerce Subscriptions when you want to charge your buyers recurring payments for an online course. That’s a highly functioning feature, but it requires adding and configuring several plugins and paying for the Subscription plugins. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s one more thing you have to do. It’s also not something you want to do if you aren’t really technical.
Each course now provides a “Recurring” feature where you define:
the course price,
the billing cycle (i.e. monthly, every 14 days),
a trial price if you want to offer a free trial, and
the duration of the trial.
You can do that using LearnDash only. It supports both PayPal and Stripe which covers all the bases.
LearnDash Integrity for Protecting Content
We use a lot of different products to protect content on our LearnDash sites. There are solutions like MemberPress and others that provide a Wordpress centered solution. We build a lot of sites using Memberium for Keap/Infusionsoft or ActiveCampaign users. That keeps your content well secured, but does come with additional work and cost.
I do want to mention that there is no foolproof way to keep people from stealing your content. We have to strike a balance between keeping things secure and allowing paying customers to get easy access to their content. But I do like the features they have added.
LearnDash 3.6 now provides a set of features to keep your content more secure. In the LearnDash expert dashboard, they’ve given us a new tab called, “Integrity.”
It allows you to select which protection options you want. The first is Prevent Hotlinking. This prevents other sites from linking directly to images and videos stored on your site.
LearnDash provides a feature to prevent multiple people from logging in at the same time with the same account. That’s a good way to discourage people from sharing passwords and sharing their account with others.
They have added a feature to prevent members from right-clicking and doing a copy and paste of your content. They disable the right-click so you can no longer do that.
They now offer a reCAPTCHA to keep those pesky spammers from registering using the LearnDash registration forms. It also keeps spammers from adding comments to your site.
There are times when you just have to upgrade and use third-party solutions, in addition to LearnDash, to get the job done. The features they are adding are closing the gap so there are fewer times when you have to.
I’ll continue to watch LearnDash and the new features they're releasing. I’ll write them up and give you my take so you can keep up.
Let me know what you think.