Looking for that perfect LearnDash plugin? Read on, we’re going to cover the very best! In 2020, the modern learning environment isn’t a classroom at all. Far from it. Nowadays, people all over the world are learning in totally new digital environments, from websites, to apps, to classroom-sized Zoom calls.
Both in response to the COVID crisis and as a result of new learning trends, it’s safe to say that many teachers, tutors, instructors, and professors are fast moving to an online-only approach to education. And one of the best tools for taking your classroom online is LearnDash.
LearnDash is a premium WordPress plugin that allows you to quickly convert a WordPress website into a digital lecture hall. It’s a really impressive product – a complete solution for building an eLearning business on WordPress.
Along with powering thousands of niche online courses, LearnDash is used by Johns Hopkins University, ProBlogger, OptinMonster, Michael Hyatt and many other big names. While powerful on its own, LearnDash becomes even more useful and personalized when combined with the best LearnDash plugins.
We’ve curated this list of the best plugins that are currently available to get the maximum impact from the LearnDash LMS. And don’t worry if this is all new to you: we’ve gone for a balance of solutions — from the simple to the very complex — so that anyone can find something that suits their teaching needs.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
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12 of the best LearnDash plugins
One of the first tools that any LearnDash user will want to download is LoginPress. It’s a straightforward plugin that gives you complete control over your classroom’s login page. You can change colors, fonts, designs, messages, logos, buttons, and more. Perfect for matching your login page to your institute’s colors.
- Customize the login forms on your LearnDash website
- Use magic URLs instead of username/password combinations
- Offers a basic plan for free or upgrades with additional features starting at $39/year
Once you have a custom login page available to your students, the next thing you’ll want to add to your LearnDash site is a professional theme. And when comparing themes, it’s hard not to recommend the same LearnDash theme recommended by LearnDash themselves. Astra is a minimal theme that contains everything you need, and its integration with LearnDash makes it super easy to install.
- Starts free, but offers pro versions that start at $47/year
- Loads lightning fast
- Installation is a breeze
If Astra doesn’t fit your needs (or taste), not to worry! The Design Upgrade plugin from Escape Creative is a feature-packed LearnDash plugin that offers any customization features you could hope for. Fonts, buttons, modern features, animations, login setup, and more are all packed into this one add-on.
- Includes tons of powerful features
- Built to work with popular themes, including Astra
- Free, or $29/year for pro features
When speaking of must-have plugins for LearnDash, we can’t leave out the Uncanny LearnDash Toolkit. You can think of this plugin as a general-purpose tool that will allow you to do anything you’d want to do in LearnDash but can’t do without a plugin. It’s a simple, must-have solution.
- Plenty of useful tools, including login/logout redirects, show/hide content, user switching, and improved certificate management
- Free, or $149/year for pro features
If you’ve been teaching online for even a few weeks, you’ve no doubt noticed how much of your time is eaten up by small, menial tasks. That’s where a solution like Uncanny Automator comes in. This plugin makes it easy to automate significant portions of your work (such as automatically sending out certificates to students) so that you can spend your time on more meaningful work.
- Supports basic triggers (user views a page, leaves a comment, or logs in) and actions (send emails, assign roles, and change roles)
- Friendly for users who aren’t familiar with automation services
Zapier is, hands down, the internet’s most robust automator. This is a slightly more advanced automation plugin, so you’ll have to invest some practice into understanding how Zapier works (or hire an expert to get your set up right). It’s well worth the initial time/financial investment, however, as Zapier integrates with thousands of services (including LearnDash) and is capable of just about everything.
- Immense possibilities; anything you can think of, you can accomplish with Zapier
- Installation is easy
- Starts from free!
When trying to create content for online students, one of the major challenges is trying to scale your course for how many students you have. That’s where plugins like Content Cloner come in. Content Cloner is a free tool that makes it easy to copy and edit your LearnDash courses in bulk. You’ll then be able to quickly create content and lessons for all of your students without having to start from scratch — a huge time saver.
- Quickly copy your LearnDash courses and turn them into new courses
- Great for teachers who teach multiple classes/subjects
Anyone with a smartphone knows just how powerful notifications can be. This plugin for LearnDash, created by the LearnDash team themselves, makes it easy to incorporate notifications into your courses. You can notify students when they complete a lesson, pass a quiz, receive a grade, and much more. It’s so simple to add this to your LearnDash site, don’t pass it up!
- Send notifications for 13 different events
- Customize your notifications
Alongside notifications, a schedule is a great way to keep students engaged and present with your content. The Course Scheduler plugin definitely lives up to its name on this front. It adds a drag-and-drop calendar to your LearnDash site so that you can easily move your lesson plans wherever you like.
- Drag-and-drop UI makes this incredibly easy to use
- Loads of customization
- Multiple view and organizational features
10. Course Grid
Nearly as useful as viewing your courses in a calendar is being able to view them in a grid. The Course Grid add-on from LearnDash makes it easy to do just that. It’s a super simple plugin that makes it easier to organize and display your courses in…you guessed it, a grid. This is as useful for public courses as it is for paid, since it makes it easy for students to find the courses that are right for them.
- Built by LearnDash, so the installation is a simple as can be
- Makes it easy for users to filter courses by category, price, and status
- You can display a video instead of an image for each course thumbnail
While you might think of gamification as a tool for keeping younger students engaged, it’s effective for all ages. In this plugin, GamiPress, you can turn your courses into games by adding scores, badges, achievements, and leaderboards. If you’re looking for a way to make your lessons more fun, then this is a great pick for your online classroom.
- You can add points and rewards to quizzes, courses, lessons, and just about any other task on your website
- Optional leaderboard for students that like to compete
Stripe is the internet’s leading payment processor, offering a universal solution for accepting payments securely. If you plan on charging for your courses, then Stripe is a must-have for your site. It’s free to install, though Stripe does take a percentage of every transaction. But for that fee, you get an all-in-one payment solution that is simple to manage and contains lots of helpful reporting features.
- Create a free Stripe account and start accepting payments immediately
- Customers can make an account after making a purchase
- Supports PayPal as well as most major credit card providers
- Appears as an overlay on your website, so users don’t have to travel to a new page to make a transaction
Upgrade your LearnDash classroom today
There are a plethora of other LearnDash plugins available, but these are the ones we think are best to help you unlock the maximum potential out of your LMS.
If you’re truly committed to building the best eLearning experience possible, you should consider expanding onto the app stores, and grow your presence on iOS and Android as well as the web.
All the eLearning giants like Khan Academy, Coursera, edX and Lynda all started off on the web, then moved into the app stores to truly adapt to a mobile-first, app-first digital world. Apps will offer your students a more convenient mobile UX, improve retention and engagement, and give you a direct line of communication with them through mobile push notifications.
We hope you have got some useful recommendations from this article. If you’re interested in exploring the concept of eLearning apps check out our guide – convert a LearnDash website to mobile apps for iOS and Android.