Create an Online Course with WordPress and LearnDash

A Step by Step Guide to Create an Online Course with WordPress and LearnDash

Did you know that you can create an online course with WordPress and LearnDash?

LearnDash transforms your WordPress site into a powerful learning management system (LMS). In minutes you can create and sell courses, track user progress, deliver certificates, award points and badges.

LearnDash has established itself as one of the most widely used WordPress LMS plugin, making it a popular choice amongst colleges, schools, businesses, or any institution which requires an online educational portal.

It also integrates seamlessly with plugins like WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, BuddyPress, MemberPress, PayPal, Stripe, bbPress and many other plugins. If you are serious about offering online courses, then LearnDash is the WordPress LMS plugin for you.

If you are looking to create and monetize your own online courses, this article is for you!

In this guide, I will show you how to create an online course with WordPress and LearnDash.

In order to create an online course with WordPress and LearnDash, we are going to need few things:

  • WordPress Hosting – WPX Hosting
  • WordPress Installation
  • Learndash friendly theme – WP Astra
  • Learndash Plugin

Steps to Create an Online Course With WordPress and LearnDash

Step 1: Install and Setup Learndash Plugin

Now that your website is up and running, the next step is to install and setup LearnDash plugin.

To do that, go to Plugins > Add New and upload the zip file from your LearnDash account.

Upon activation, you will see a LearnDash LMS menu.

Learndash LMS menu

Next, go to LearnDash LMS > Settings page and click on the LMS License tab to enter your email address and the license key.

LMS license activation

Now, go to the General tab. Here, you will see the Active Template section. Make sure you select LearnDash 3.0 instead of legacy to gain access to features like Focus Mode, customized registration/login and color customization as well.

Learndash 3.0

Next, go to the PayPal Settings tab. This is where you will enter your PayPal information to receive online payments.

Paypal settings

Once the settings are configured, next we start creating courses.

Step 2: Creating Course with LearnDash

First, you need to visit LearnDash LMS > Courses page and then click on the Add New button.

Add new course

In the Course Page section, give your course a name and description.

Create course with WordPress and Learndash

Next, switch to the Builder section to add your course’s content, including sections, lessons, and quizzes.

Builder Section in WordPress and LearnDash

To add a lesson, click on New Lesson. Enter the title and click on the add lesson button.

If you hover over an individual lesson, you’ll see an Edit link, which will open a new page where you can add content.

In the lesson section, you need to provide a title for your lesson and then you can start adding lesson content.

Lesson Content

Here you can add images, embed videos, insert shortcodes and other features. You can design the layout according to your need.

Next, switch to the settings section.

lesson settings

In the settings section, you will see the options to control lesson support material, progression, assignment uploads, and lesson timer.

Next, move down to the Lesson Access Settings section.

Lesson Access settings in LearnDash

In this section, you can associate the lesson for your course. Learndash comes with drip content functionality. This means either you can release all the course content at once or you can gradually release them by choosing Enrollment based options.

Once you are done with the lesson, click on the publish button to save. Now, you can view your lesson.

Online course with WordPress and Learndash

Step 3: Adding Assignments and Quizzes

Creating Assignments in LearnDash

You can add assignments by going to the settings section in Lesson. You need to check the box next to the Assignments Upload option.

Assignments Settings

After checking the box, you can provide the assignment in your lesson. At the end of the lesson, users will see an option to upload their assignments.

Assignment upload

Once users have uploaded their assignments, you can view them on LearnDash LMS > Assignments page.

Assignment Section in LearnDash

Here you can approve or give comments on submitted assignments.

Adding Quizzes in Learndash

To add a quiz, go to LearnDash LMS > Quizzes page and click on the Add New button.

Quiz Section

First, you will need to provide a title and description for your quiz.

Quiz Details

Next, you need to switch to the settings tab and associate your quiz to a course, lesson, or topic.

Quiz Access Settings

Once you are done, click on the publish button to save your quiz.

Next, go to LearnDash LMS > Questions page and click on the Add New button.

Questions Section

Here you can add the Question and description about the question.

Quiz creation with WordPress and LearnDash

Scroll down and you will see a section Answer Type. Depending on the answer type, the options for your question will change.

Answer Type

Next, you can enter answer choices. You can also select what message to show on the correct answer.

Now, switch to the settings tab and associate your question to the quiz.

Step 4: Setting Up Registration & Login

If you use default WordPress login and registration pages. It will redirect users to the admin area once they log in.

You don’t want users to be messing around in your admin area, especially when everything that’s relevant to them is on the frontend.

For this purpose, you need to create a custom login/registration page for your LearnDash course, you have two options:

  • Use LearnDash’s login/registration functionality.
  • Use a plugin like Theme My Login.

This plugin gives a custom login page which looks the same as your blog’s theme. Basically, by using a shortcode, this plugin adds a login and logout link anywhere on your site. You can then direct users to that page to log in and log out based on their user role.

Step 5: Set Up WooCommerce to Sell Courses

Install and Configure WooCommerce

First, install the WooCommerce plugin from WordPress.org. Then, go through the setup wizard, which should automatically launch as soon as you activate the plugin. Here you can set up key details, as well as payment gateways.

Next, go to WooCommerce > Settings > Accounts & Privacy:

  • Uncheck the option to let people place an order without an account.
  • Check the option to log in during checkout.
  • Check the Account creation during checkout option.
Woocommerce settings

WooCommerce Integration with LearnDash

Once you set up WooCommerce, next you will install WooCommerce for Learndash add-on.

Go to Learndash LMS > Add-ons, locate the WooCommerce for Learndash add-on. Click on install now and activate the add-on.

WooCommerce for LearnDash

Create Products and Assign courses

Go to Products > Add New, enter the appropriate information for your product. Scroll down to the product data box, check the box for Virtual. Open the Simple Product dropdown menu and choose Course. Next to LearnDash Courses, click on the course you’d like to associate with this product.

Courses in Learndash

Once you are done, click on publish to save.

Set Up your Course

After your product is set up in WooCommerce, you will need to make a few changes to your LearnDash course.

Go to LearnDash LMS > Courses, click on the course that corresponds with a WooCommerce product. Next, switch to the settings tab and look for Access Mode. Select Closed and in the the Button URL field, enter the URL to your WooCommerce product page.

Now when users visit your course page, the Buy Now button will send them to the associated WooCommerce product page, where they can add the product to their cart & complete the checkout process.

Step 6: Create a Course Page

If you are offering multiple courses, then you will probably want a way to display all your courses so that visitors know their options.

To set this up, go to LearnDash LMS > Add-ons. Next, search for LearnDash Course Grid add-on. Click on install now and activate.

Course Grid addon

There are two ways in which you can add a course grid to any page. First, by using a Shortcode and second is by using a Gutenberg block.

Must-Have Plugin for LearnDash

Uncanny Toolkit Plugin

The Uncanny Toolkit has a collection of handy tools that make it a lot easier to build a nice learner experience quickly.

To set this up, go to Plugins > Add new. Search for uncanny learndash toolkit. To install the plugin, click Install Now. After installation, activate the Toolkit and you’ll be directed to the settings page.

uncanny learndash toolkit

There are 12 modules available. Only turn on the modules that you need. For more information on the modules and their usage click here.

Now I would like to turn it over to you

Are you going to create your online course using the above method?

Or maybe you have a question about something you read.

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.

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