How to Customize LearnDash?
customize learndash

How to Customize LearnDash?

Are you tired of feeling limited by the standard features of LearnDash for your online course website? It’s a common frustration for course creators who want to stand out in a crowded market. Fortunately, with some know-how, you can customize LearnDash to meet your unique needs and give your students an unbeatable learning experience.

 In this article, we’ll cover the basics of LearnDash customization and show you how to overcome common roadblocks to achieve your goals. Whether you want to add custom styles, create custom quizzes, or integrate with other tools, we’ve got you covered. 

What is LearnDash?

LearnDash is a leading WordPress plugin for online course creation and delivery. It provides a comprehensive suite of tools for course creators to design, manage, and monetize their content. With its emphasis on deep learning and knowledge retention, LearnDash helps to increase completion rates and maximize the impact of online education.

The platform features a user-friendly dashboard for administrators, allowing for efficient management of courses, assignments, quizzes, and more. It also includes several advanced features such as progress tracking, quizzes and assessments, integration with payment gateways, and the ability to drip content over time.

In terms of customization, LearnDash offers a range of design options to match the branding and style of your courses. Additionally, it supports integration with other learning management systems and allows for certificate generation. These customizable features, combined with its robust instructional tools, make LearnDash a top choice for online course creators.

Why is Customizing LearnDash Important?

Customizing LearnDash allows users to tailor the platform to their specific needs and preferences. This can include modifying the layout and design, adding custom functionality, and integrating with other tools and systems. By customizing LearnDash, users can create a more seamless and personalized learning experience for their students, leading to increased engagement and better retention of the material being taught.

By providing students with personalized information, you can better address their requirements and enhance their course experience. Most students learn more efficiently when interacting with course content tailored to their needs. In addition, your students will be more inclined to give positive reviews, high ratings, and recommendations for your courses, which will help your online course business succeed.

Furthermore, Customizing LearnDash helps with your business branding. It allows you to match the look and feel of the platform to your company’s brand, making it more cohesive and professional. It also distinguishes your brand from that of your competitors. 

Customizing LearnDash can help you stand out from other course providers and attract more students. You can also add new custom functionalities, like custom quiz questions, custom course progression, and rules that fit your specific use case. 

The Different Ways to Customize LearnDash

The LearnDash plugin is simple to integrate with various WordPress themes, allowing you to effortlessly customize the overall appearance and feel of your e-learning website to suit your visitors’ preferences. 

There are several ways to customize your LearnDash site, including:

Theme Customization

Theme customization is one way to change the look and feel of LearnDash. You can customize the look and feel of LearnDash by using a custom theme or by editing the CSS and HTML of the default theme. 

  • Using Custom Theme

You may use a ready-made LearnDash-compatible theme offered in several online shops, like ThemeForest, Creative Market, etc. These themes are customarily made to integrate perfectly with LearnDash and are simple to adapt to your needs. The themes frequently offer certain formatting and style choices for LearnDash pages, like the course and lesson pages. You may modify the platform’s layout, colors, fonts, and other design components with a custom theme to reflect your brand better and enhance user experience. 

  • Editing the CSS and HTML of the Default Theme

To customize the platform’s design, you may utilize the LearnDash default theme and modify its CSS and HTML. This approach is time-consuming and requires some familiarity with web programming, particularly CSS and HTML. 

Customize The Layout

Customizing the layout of LearnDash allows you to change how the content is displayed on the platform. There are several ways to customize the design:

  • Use a Page Builder 

To customize the design of a course and lesson page, LearnDash may be connected with well-known page builders like Elementor, Divi, and others. This allows you to design unique LearnDash page layouts using a drag-and-drop interface.

  • Shortcodes

The shortcodes with LearnDash may add particular components to your course pages, such as a list of lessons or a progress bar. By positioning the elements in various locations on the page, these shortcodes may be used to build unique layouts.

  • Custom PHP code

By modifying the platform’s basic functionality with custom PHP code, you may also customize LearnDash’s design. Using this, LearnDash pages can have unique templates made only for them, or the layout can have additional components.

It’s vital to remember that altering LearnDash’s layout may be difficult and time-consuming, so it’s crucial to know what you want to accomplish before starting the modification process. It’s also advisable to employ a developer to assist with the customizing process if you still need to gain some understanding of HTML, CSS, and PHP.


Another option to customize LearnDash and give the software additional features is by using Add-ons. Several LearnDash add-ons and plugins can expand the platform’s capabilities, including the ability to add custom quiz questions and custom course advancement criteria. 

Add-ons are one of the easiest and most common ways to customize LearnDash pages. Let’s take a detailed look at the various Add-ons available, their significant features, and how they can be utilized!  

Custom Development: 

If you are looking for a feature or specific functionality that is not readily available as an add-on or out of the box, WordPress developers, specializing in LearnDash, can help you modify the plugin through custom code. This is the most expensive customization option, but also the one that allows you to get the most tailored platform.

Customization by LearnDash Add-ons

Add-ons are extra plugins or extensions that may be used to increase LearnDash’s capabilities. These add-ons might offer additional functionality like platform integration, new payment channels, etc. Similar to other WordPress plugins, they may be installed and activated. 

Add-ons give you access to many different extra features, from learning features, like additional course elements to improved management, reporting and gamification capabilities. These add-ons are typically installed as separate WordPress plugins and then integrated with the LearnDash plugin. Once installed, they can be configured and activated from within the LearnDash settings.

Popular Learndash Add-ons

Several LearnDash Add-ons are available, each with a unique set of functions. It is advised that you first identify the precise needs of your project and then seek add-ons that may meet those criteria. These Add-ons will be grouped according to their functionality.

Functionality Customisation Add-ons

Customizations are one of the most frequently requested topics regarding LearnDash. A few choices are available out of the box to alter the appearance of the course pages, lessons, etc. However, here are some add-ons that can be useful for your functionality customization;

  1. Advanced Quizzes Add-on

Advanced Quizzes for LearnDash is an add-on that allows you to create custom and interactive quizzes for your LearnDash courses.

It provides a variety of customization options, including the ability to

  • Create custom question types, such as fill-in-the-blank, matching, and sorting questions.
  • Create custom feedback messages for correct and incorrect answers.
  • Add multimedia, such as images and videos, to quiz questions.
  • Set time limits for quizzes and individual questions.
  • Randomize the order of questions and answers.
  • Create and manage a question bank, allowing you to reuse questions across multiple quizzes.
  • Create and manage multiple quizzes within a single course.
  • Create custom results pages to display different messages and content based on the student’s performance.
  • Allow students to review their quiz answers and see the correct answers after they complete the quiz.
  • Allow students to retake the quiz if they are unsatisfied with their score.

Advanced Quizzes add-on also allows you to set up different types of quizzes, like:

  • Survey Quiz: A survey quiz allows you to gather feedback from students without affecting their course progress.
  • Graded Quiz: A traditional quiz affects the student’s course progress and allows you to assign points to questions.
  • Final Quiz: A final quiz is typically used as a final assessment for a course.

Note that some add-ons require technical knowledge to set up and configure. It’s recommended to consult with a developer or professional if you’re not familiar with the technical aspects.

  1. LearnDash Certificate Verify and Share Add-on

A popular choice for increasing the perceived value of your course certificates is the LearnDash Certificate Verify and Share add-on. It allows students to verify the information on LearnDash certificates directly on your site. Allowing your students to view and share detailed information about earned certificates to confirm the veracity of their credentials. Plus, it also allows you to add a unique QR code or ID to each certificate. Thus, they can use their certificates as evidence of their knowledge and skills.

Furthermore, students can share their achievements by posting their certificates on Facebook, Twitter, and Facebook or directly adding their credentials to their LinkedIn Profile.

  1. LearnDash Group Chat

You can include a live group chat function in your LearnDash courses using the LearnDash Group Chat add-on for LearnDash. With the help of this add-on, you can foster a sense of community in your online classes so that students may connect and talk about the subject matter. Students will feel more connected to their classmates and the topic, which can boost engagement and retention in your classes.

With the help of this add-on, you may customize it in many ways, such as:

  • Create and manage multiple chat rooms for different courses or groups.
  • Control who can access the chat rooms by setting user roles or membership levels.
  • Customize the appearance of the chat room, including the font, size, and color of the text.
  • Add emoticons and emojis to the chat room.
  • Set up moderator controls, such as the ability to ban or mute users.
  • Control who can see and participate in the chat, including the ability to set up private chat rooms for specific groups of users.
  • Integrate with other plugins, such as BuddyPress, allowing users to chat with friends and connections.

Design and UX Add-ons

Design and UX (user experience) add-ons for LearnDash can enhance the look and feel of your LearnDash courses, making them more visually appealing and user-friendly. Some popular design and UX add-ons for LearnDash include

  1. LearnDash Course Grid

With the LearnDash Course Grid add-on, you can display your LearnDash courses in a grid format, making browsing and searching through them simple. It is a functional method to present all of your courses in one location, giving your website a lovely and tidy appearance. 

Additionally, the LearnDash Course Grid add-on is a simple method to enhance your website’s aesthetic attractiveness and user experience. It makes the website simpler for customers to locate what they’re searching for by developing a landing page that features all of your courses.

The LearnDash Course Grid add-on lets you adjust the grid’s structure. This includes the number of columns, thumbnail size, and space between courses. You may also select which details, including the title, description, cost, and progress, are shown for each course.

The add-on also enables you to filter and order the courses according to many factors, like date, course completion, cost, etc. Students may quickly discover the course they’re seeking thanks to a search bar also provided.

The LearnDash Course Grid can be used with different languages and works on any device. It is also compatible with various themes, making it easy to add to your website.

  1. LearnDash Focus Mode Pro

Create a distraction-free learning environment for your students with the help of the LearnDash Focus Mode Pro add-on for LearnDash. By removing any potential distractions from your website, this add-on will assist you in enhancing your students’ overall educational experience.

The LearnDash Focus Mode Pro add-on allows you to customize the focus mode settings, including the background color, font color, and font size. It also allows you to hide the navigation menu, header, and footer so that students can focus solely on the course content. It also allows you to enable a “focus mode” button on your website, so students can quickly turn on and off the focus mode when needed.

The add-on is fully customizable, and you can choose to enable focus mode for specific pages, posts, courses, or your entire website.

  1. LearnDash Instructors Tab

The LearnDash Instructors Tab allows you to show a list of instructors for each course on your website. By letting your students know who will be instructing the course and understanding more about the instructor’s credentials and expertise, you can help them have a more personalized and exciting learning experience.

The LearnDash Instructors Tab add-on allows you to create a separate “Instructors” tab on each course page, where you can list the instructors for that course and provide information such as their name, bio, picture, and contact information. You can also assign multiple instructors to a single course and choose the order in which they are displayed on the tab.

Admin-related Add-ons:

Several admin-related add-ons for LearnDash are designed to help administrators manage and organize their course content. Some popular options include:

  1. LearnDash Course Planner Pro

LearnDash Course Planner Pro enables administrators to build and manage course schedules and deadlines. Administrators may establish prerequisites for passing a course, as well as the beginning and ending dates for lessons, quizzes, and courses, with the help of this add-on.

Using the course planner pro, administrators may design unique emails to alert students to impending deadlines and course completion. This helps keep pupils informed and interested in their education. The course planner pro also offers a calendar view of all due dates and timetables, which helps monitor the progress of every student.

  1. LearnDash Attendance

LearnDash Attendance is a course administration add-on that allows administrators to measure and record student attendance. The add-on offers a record of attendance for each student and enables administrators to set up attendance monitoring for particular sessions and quizzes within a course.

The add-on offers a range of attendance monitoring options, including automated tracking, where attendance is recorded based on student activity within the course, and manual tracking, where administrators may manually identify students as present or absent. It also enables measuring attendance for webinars and live events.

Some of these add-ons require technical knowledge to set up and configure. Consult with a developer or professional if you need to familiarize yourself with the technical aspects.

How to Install and Use LearnDash Add-ons

Installing and using LearnDash add-ons is a relatively simple process. Here is a general overview of the steps involved:

Step 1: Purchase and download the add-on

First, you will need to purchase and download the LearnDash add-on you wish to use. Add-ons can be purchased from the LearnDash website or third-party websites that sell LearnDash add-ons.

Step 2: Install the Add-on

Once you have downloaded the add-on, you can install it on your WordPress website by going to the Plugins section of your WordPress dashboard and clicking on “Add New.” Then click “Upload Plugin” and select the add-on file you downloaded. Once the plugin is uploaded, activate it.

Step 3: Configure the Add-on

After activating the add-on, you will need to configure it to suit your needs. This will typically involve going to the settings page for the Add-on and adjusting various options and settings.

Step 4: Use the add-on

Once the add-on is configured, you can use it to enhance your LearnDash courses. The specific steps for using the add-on will vary depending on the add-on, but you should be able to find detailed instructions and documentation on the LearnDash website or the website from where you purchased the add-on.

Note that some add-ons may require specific LearnDash versions to function correctly, so it’s essential to check the add-on’s compatibility before installing it. It’s also a good practice to have a backup of your website before installing any add-ons or making any changes.

Tips and Best Practices for Using LearnDash Add-ons

Here are some tips and best practices for using LearnDash add-ons:

  • Use add-ons that complement LearnDash: This will ensure that the add-ons are fully integrated with your course content and don’t create any conflicts or issues.
  • Keep it simple: While it can be tempting to install and use a lot of add-ons, it’s essential to keep in mind that each additional add-on can add complexity to your course management. 
  • Test add-ons before using them in live courses: Before using an add-on in a live course, it’s a good idea to test it out in a sandbox or test environment. This will allow you to see how the add-on works and make any necessary adjustments before it goes live.
  • Keep your add-ons updated: As with any WordPress plugin, it’s important to keep LearnDash add-ons updated to continue functioning correctly. 
  • Learn from others: One of the best ways to learn about using LearnDash add-ons is to see how others use them. Look for online communities, forums, or groups where users share their experiences and learn from them.
  • Keep security in mind: Always make sure that the add-ons you install come from a reputable source and have been reviewed by other users. Also, ensure that the add-ons are compatible with the latest version of LearnDash and WordPress.

LearnDash Personalization by Custom Development

Custom Development refers to modifying LearnDash through the creation of custom code. This method provides maximum flexibility in terms of customization and allows for the creation of unique and tailored solutions for your online course website.

It is a more advanced approach that requires a higher level of technical expertise compared to using add-ons. Custom development allows for custom features not available through pre-existing solutions.

In contrast, add-ons provide quick and convenient solutions but may only sometimes perfectly meet the specific requirements of a project. While add-ons can be a great starting point for customizing LearnDash, custom development offers greater control and the ability to differentiate your online course website from others truly.

For example, consider a scenario where you want to add a gamification feature to your online course website. Using an add-on, you can find a pre-existing solution that allows you to assign points or badges to students based on their progress. However, this add-on may not qualify for complete customization of the gamification feature to match your unique requirements.

With custom development, you would have the ability to create a completely custom gamification system that is tailored specifically to your needs. For instance, you could create custom badges, set unique point values for different actions, or even integrate the gamification system with other tools, such as your website’s leaderboard.

Common Learndash Custom Development Tasks

Custom development allows you to add innovative features to LearnDash. Some of the most common custom features that can be added include

  • Gamification
  • Advanced E-commerce
  • Single Sign-On 
  • Custom Content Types or Quizzes
  • Customizing the User Profile
  • Unique grading and certification systems

Each of these custom features can enhance the overall functionality of your online course website, providing a more engaging and interactive experience for your students.

Finding a Developer For Custom LearnDash Development

Finding the Right Developer

Determine your requirement

Before you search for a developer, you must clearly know what you want to achieve with custom development. This will help you find a developer with the relevant experience and skills to handle your project.

Look for recommendations

Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find a trustworthy developer. Ask friends or colleagues if they know of any developers who have worked with LearnDash before. You can also search online forums and communities for recommendations.

Check portfolios and previous work

Before hiring a developer, look at their portfolio and previous work. This will give you a good idea of their experience and skill level. Make sure they have a solid understanding of LearnDash and WordPress development.

Hiring the Developer

Negotiate the scope of work

Once you have found a developer you like, negotiate the scope of work and agree on a timeline for the project. Make sure you clearly understand what the developer will deliver and when.

Agree on a budget

Decide on a project budget, considering the complexity of the custom development and the developer’s experience. Make sure you have an explicit agreement on the budget and payment terms.

Sign a contract

To protect both parties, signing a contract outlining the scope of work, timeline, budget, and payment terms is essential. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that the project runs smoothly.

Tips and Best Practices for Working with a Developer

Follow the tips below to ensure a smooth and successful custom development project for your LearnDash platform. 

Here are some tips and best practices to ensure the process runs smoothly.

Clearly Define your Requirements

Before hiring a developer, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of what you need. Have a detailed list of features and functionalities you want to add to your LearnDash platform. This will help the developer understand your expectations and deliver what you need.

Establish a Project Timeline

Setting a timeline helps manage expectations and ensures that you and the developer are on the same page. Ensure that the project is completed on time to provide a realistic deadline, including time for testing and revisions.

Communicate Regularly

Effective communication is vital to the success of any project. Make sure to keep the lines of communication open between you and the developer. Regular check-ins and updates will keep the project moving in the right direction.

Be Open to Feedback

A developer’s expertise can bring new ideas to the table to enhance the end product. Be open to feedback and be willing to consider changes or modifications.

Test and Revise

Before launching the final product, thoroughly test the customized LearnDash platform. If necessary, make revisions to ensure that everything works as intended.

Customization by Custom Design

Custom design refers to creating a unique look and feels for your LearnDash platform that reflects your brand and enhances the user experience.

By customizing the design of your platform, you can create a more visually appealing and professional-looking platform that helps set your brand apart from others. Custom design makes attracting and retaining students easier and creates a more engaging and memorable learning experience.

Whether creating a new platform from scratch or making changes to an existing one, custom design can help you create the look and feel you want for your platform. By working with a designer, you can create a customized look and feel tailored to your specific needs and requirements, ensuring that your platform stands out from the rest.

LearnDash Themes

What are LearnDash Themes?

LearnDash Themes are pre-designed templates that change the appearance of your LearnDash platform. They are easy to install and use, allowing you to customize the look of your platform quickly.

Available LearnDash Themes

There are a variety of LearnDash themes available, each with its unique design. Some popular themes include BuddyBoss and the LearnDash Academy Template available with Astra. It’s essential to research and chooses a theme that fits your specific needs and goals.

Advantages of Using LearnDash Themes

  • Time-saving: Themes are pre-designed, so you don’t have to start from scratch.
  • Consistency: Themes provide a consistent look and feel across your platform.
  • Cost-effective: Themes are usually less expensive than custom design solutions.

Disadvantages of using LearnDash Themes

  • Limited customization options: Themes come with pre-determined design elements, and customizing those elements can be challenging.
  • Compatibility issues: Some themes may differ from your current setup or add-ons, leading to potential technical problems.

Creating Forms and Buttons With Custom Design

Custom forms and buttons create a unique and visually appealing experience for your course website. Customizing forms and buttons require technical skills and knowledge of CSS, HTML, and JavaScript. However, achieving this with the right tools and guidance is possible.

When customizing forms, the goal is to make it easier for users to navigate your site and input information. Customizing buttons serves the same purpose but with a focus on making buttons look visually appealing and enhancing the overall design of your site.

Importance of Professionalism and Aesthetics

Maintaining professionalism and aesthetics when customizing your site’s design is essential. This enhances the user experience and reflects positively on your brand. Hiring a professional designer can help you achieve the desired level of professionalism and aesthetics. They can provide expert guidance and design elements that match the look and feel of your brand.

How to Find and Hire a Designer for Custom Design

There are many designers out there, but not all of them know how to create the right design for a platform like LearnDash. To make sure you get someone who knows how to work with this specific plugin and can create something beautiful and functional at the same time, here are some tips for finding and hiring a designer for your project.

Evaluate Your Needs

Before searching for a designer, take some time to evaluate what you need for your LearnDash site. Identify elements that need customizing, such as the site layout, color scheme, and typography. Having a clear idea of what you need will make finding the right designer for your project easier.

Search for a Designer

There are many ways to search for a designer. You can start by asking for referrals from friends or colleagues. You can also use freelancing websites like Upwork, Fiverr, or 99designs to find a designer.

Screen Prospective Designers

Once you have a list of potential designers, review their portfolios and look for designers who have experience with LearnDash. Ask for references and case studies to understand their design style and process. Consider the designer’s communication skills and availability.

Tips and Best Practices for Working with a Designer

Define the Project Scope

Clearly define the project scope and your expectations for the custom design. Communicate the project details and timeline to the designer to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Provide Feedback

Be open and honest with your feedback during the design process. Provide specific and constructive feedback to help guide the designer and ensure the final product meets your needs.

Keep the Communication Open

Maintain open and transparent communication with your designer throughout the project. Make sure to promptly respond to any questions or concerns to keep the project on track.

Budget Appropriately

Consider your budget when working with a designer. Custom design is not a one-time cost and may require ongoing updates and maintenance. Make sure to allocate enough budget to ensure a high-quality final product.

How to Customize LearnDash

Customizing your LearnDash platform can significantly enhance the user experience and increase engagement. You can tailor the platform to meet your needs with various options, such as add-ons, custom development, and custom design. Whether adding new features, improving the look and feel, or creating custom content types, there’s a solution for everyone.

To recap, here are the different ways to customize LearnDash:

  • Add-ons are pre-built functionalities and features you can add to your platform to improve it.
  • Custom Development involves creating custom features or functionalities to meet your specific needs.
  • Custom Design involves improving the look and feel of your platform through custom themes, forms, and buttons.

We hope this article has been informative and provided a clear understanding of the different ways to customize LearnDash. If you’re interested in customizing your platform, check out our LearnDash services for more information on our offerings.

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