A 2022 LearnDash Review: Is it the Perfect Solution?

LearnDash logo

LearnDash's logo

The time to share your knowledge with the world is right now.


It’s estimated that the global eLearning market will reach over $450 billion by 2026.


But finding the right course creation tool to meet your needs can be tough because there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.


This in-depth review will help you decide whether or not LearnDash is the tool you’ve been looking for.


Let’s dive right in.

1. What is LearnDash?

What is LearnDash?

Put simply, LearnDash is an LMS (learning management system) plugin that integrates with your WordPress website.


From creating and delivering your educational content to monitoring your students’ performance and engagement — LMS software like LearnDash gives you full control.


From entrepreneurs to educational institutions or trainers — LearnDash is suitable for anyone looking to monetize their expertise.

2. LearnDash's features

From the learning experience to marketing and sales, integrations, and management — LearnDash has 8 noteworthy features.


Let’s explore them in more detail.

2.1. LearnDash’s interface

LearnDash’s Interface

LearnDash's interface

When it comes to LearnDash’s interface, it’s similar to the drag-and-drop WordPress page builder.


For those who aren’t too familiar with WordPress, LearnDash’s interface may prove quite the learning curve as expressed by some users.


LearnDash does however offer in-depth resources and support to guide you through the process — it might just take a bit longer to get set up.


The drag-and-drop functionality lets you visualize the layout and presentation of your course while you build it.


You can add sections, lessons, topics, and quizzes to structure your course as you see fit.


You can also use custom labels, for example, you may want to change the default “Lessons” or “Quizzes” labels to “Modules” and “Tests”.

LearnDash’s Interface

Reuse existing content with LearnDash

Everything you’ve created for all your courses can be seen in the document panel on the right-hand side of the image above.


This lets you create a new course or lesson by simply reusing existing content as opposed to having to create the same content again.


To make your course experience more specific to your brand, you can also add your logo and pick custom colors for your courses.

2.2. Drip content

LearnDash gives you flexibility in terms of when and how much of your course is accessible at any given time, for example, you can:

  • Deliver all your lessons at once
  • Drip-feed and schedule when you want to release a lesson (on a specific date, or [‘x’ days] after enrollment)

With the free Notifications add-on, you can also notify your students when they’ve been given access to a new lesson.

2.3. Focus mode

LearnDash Focus Mode

LearnDash's focus mode

Focus mode is a feature that’s been designed with the learner’s experience in mind.


This feature improves learner retention and increases your course completion rates.


Focus mode does this by minimizing on-screen distractions, ultimately optimizing how your course is displayed to your students.


The main navigation, footer, and sidebar elements are removed from the page so that the student can focus solely on the course content.

2.4. Student engagement

Student Engagement

LearnDash's student engagement features

From quizzes to leaderboards, awards, and certificates — LearnDash lets you set up a custom reward system for your students.


You can add a quiz anywhere in your course curriculum, and you can limit course progression until the user has passed the test.


The advanced quizzing feature also lets you:

  • Choose from 8 question types (single or multiple-choice, free text, etc.)
  • Use any media format for the questions, answers, and hints
  • Choose how you want the questions to be displayed (one at a time, several on a page, etc.)
  • Set a limit on the number of quiz attempts

When it comes to displaying student results, you’re also given several options, including:

LearnDash options

LearnDash's options for displaying student results

LearnDash lets you send your students reminders and confirmation emails for course enrollment, quiz completion, and more.


Although you can set up email sequences based on certain actions — LearnDash can’t completely replace your email marketing software.


Email marketing is essential to the growth and management of any eLearning business, and it’s a surefire way to make more sales on your courses.

2.5. Community management

Community Management

LearnDash's forums and groups for community management

When it comes to running an online membership business, community management is crucial.


For this, LearnDash gives you interactive forums and groups where your students can work together and share their insights.


This increases the interest of the learners and adds to the overall learning experience which leads to a greater course completion rate.

2.6. LearnDash’s pricing models

LearnDash’s Pricing Models

Select from several pricing models

With LearnDash you get several pricing models to choose from, with built-in support for PayPal, Stripe, and 2Checkout payments.


You can set:

  • One-time purchases
  • Subscriptions — Set a payment schedule for each course/course bundle for recurring payments
  • Memberships — Offer access to several courses under one membership fee (either a one-time fee or a monthly recurring fee)
  • Course bundles — Offer your customers a discount for access to more than one course
  • Bulk access — Customers can purchase licenses in bulk to provide access to their staff members

To add a shopping cart to your courses, LearnDash lets you integrate with WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads.


These integrations let you add payment gateways, coupons, discount codes, custom receipts, and more to your checkout experience.

2.7. LearnDash’s integrations

Integrations provide functionality that isn’t built-in — apart from the payment gateways and shopping cart integrations, LearnDash also integrates with:

LearnDash’s Integrations

LearnDash's integrations

2.8. Reporting

Unfortunately, you only get reporting on the Plus and Pro plan


The reporting offered on these 2 plans include:

  • Course data — Course progress for all users, completed courses, what lesson they’re currently on, and the time spent on a course
  • Quiz data — Quiz scores for all users, when the quiz was taken, and if the quiz was passed

LearnDash’s ProPanel lets you use filters to view specific data for a course, user, or group — with this data you can also send messages to filtered users.


ProPanel gives you the following 4 reporting widgets:

LearnDash ProPanel

LearnDash's reporting widgets

  • Overview widget — This gives you an overview of the number of students, courses, pending assignments, and essays
  • These are clickable links that’ll take you to a more detailed overview of each
  • Activity widget — This displays real-time activity on your courses (course, lesson, topic, and quiz completion)
  • You can select what course and quiz data you’d like for filtered reports
  • Reporting widget — This widget lets you narrow down your results by filtering the data by course, user, or group
  • The course filter gives you a list of users enrolled in a specific course, along with progress statistics for each user
  • The user filter gives you a list of courses associated with a specific user, along with the progress status for those courses
  • The group filter gives you a list of users in a specific group and the course progress status for each user
  • Chart widget — This gives you 2 charts that display data specific to your filter request (course, user, or group)
  • The overall ‘Progress Distribution’ chart will appear on the left
  • This will illustrate the user or course status (“Not started”, “In progress”, and “Completed”)
  • An ‘In Progress Breakdown’ chart will appear on the right of the Progress Distribution widget
  • This gives you a breakdown of all users or courses that are “in progress”

This is the extent of reporting provided by LearnDash. 


Some users have stated that the reporting offered is underwhelming:

Users reporting

Regardless of your plan, you don’t get any insight into email marketing or marketing in general.


However, for reporting needs that aren’t met by LearnDash, you can opt for a free or paid-for third-party integration.

3. LearnDash's pricing

LearnDash Pricing

LearnDash's pricing plans

LearnDash has the following 3 annual plans:

  • Basic (normally $199) — now $169
  • Plus Package (normally $229) — now $199
  • Pro Package(normally $369) — now $339

The ProPanel is only available on the Plus and Pro Package plans, and the limit of on-site licenses varies depending on your plan:

  • The Basic plan gives you 1 site license
  • The Plus Package gives you up to 10 site licenses
  • The Pro Package gives you up to 25 site licenses

Apart from the variation in site licenses, all 3 plans include the following:

  • Unlimited courses and users
  • Free integrations
  • Course content protection
  • 1-year support and updates
  • Drip-feed lessons
  • Advanced quizzing
  • Certificates and badges
  • Course forums
  • Email notifications

Unfortunately, LearnDash doesn’t offer a free trial, so you’ll have to pay to try it out — they do however have a 30-day money-back guarantee.

4. LearnDash's pros and cons

LearnDash Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Great tools for learner retention
  • Several pricing models
  • Great customization capabilities to make your course uniquely yours
  • Integrates with Zapier and several other useful tools
  • Custom reward system

Cons

  • No free trial, free plan or monthly fee option
  • Steep learning curve
  • No built-in email marketing capabilities
  • Requires external integrations for added functionality
  • Reporting is basic

5. Recommended if . . .

LearnDash is recommended if:

  • You currently run your website on WordPress
  • You’re looking for a solution that is solely focused on courses
  • You’re willing to pay $169+ yearly to start creating and selling your courses online
  • You’re looking for flexible pricing models
  • You’re willing to pay $199+ for reporting

6. Not recommended if . . .

LearnDash isn’t recommended if:

  • You have little to no experience with WordPress
  • You’re looking for a solution that focuses on more than just course creation and monetization
  • You’re looking for a more affordable solution
  • You’d like to try it for free before fully committing to a monthly/yearly payment plan
  • You’re looking for a more all-rounded tool to lessen or remove the need for third-party integrations

LearnDash is a popular choice, but it isn’t the only one of its kind — we have an exciting alternative that offers what you’re looking for and more.

7. Systeme.io: The best LearnDash alternative

systeme.io logo

systeme.io's logo

Systeme.io is an all-in-one online business-building tool — offering you everything you need under one roof.


From course creation tools to email marketing, website building, and more — our built-in functionality means that you won’t need any third-party integrations.


Our course builder is incredibly easy to use; with our simple drag-and-drop interface, you’ll have your course ready in no time.

systeme.io course builder

systeme.io's course creator

With systeme.io you get the following for free:

  • Detailed analytics on course sales and student progression
  • Unlimited file storage space and video hosting
  • Offer full or drip access to your students
  • Share your courses with others on our marketplace
  • Integrate your courses with PayPal and Stripe payments from your sales funnels and websites

To help you market and sell more of your courses, we also offer email marketing tools — send unlimited emails on all 4 of our plans, including our free plan!

7.1. Systeme.io's pricing

Systeme.io Pricing

systeme.io's pricing plans

You may be thinking that more means a steeper learning curve and a hefty price tag, but this definitely isn’t the case with systeme.io — take a look at what our customers have to say.


For your courses, you get unlimited membership site members regardless of your plan.


The number of courses you can create will depend on your plan:

  • Free plan $0 per month — Create 1 course
  • Startup plan — $27 per month — Create 5 courses
  • Webinar plan — $47 per month — Create 20 courses
  • Enterprise plan — $97 per month — Create unlimited courses

But you get far more than just course creation tools for these prices — you get a complete toolbox of features.


You can click here for a more in-depth look at what each of our 4 plans has to offer.

8. Is LearnDash worth it?

LearnDash is a great course creation tool, but is it the best solution?


It lacks some noteworthy features that require third-party integrations and this can quickly add to your expenses.


If you’re looking for more built-in capabilities, but for less — then look no further than systeme.io.


With systeme.io, not only will you be able to create, market, and sell your courses, but you’ll also have the tools you need to expand and automate your entire online business.


Well, what are you waiting for? Get started with our free plan today!

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systeme.io is 100% free, forever