November 11th, 2014 Grow with LearnDash

We are excited to announce today the release of our latest integration, one that is sure to add an element of life to your courses.

Before getting into the details, we want to thank you all for your contributions to the LearnDash community.

Your continued suggestions, encouragement, ideas, and comments have been instrumental in the evolution of LearnDash.

Which brings us to our latest update, an integration…

Course Specific Forums with bbPress


What is bbPress?

For those of you who are not familiar with bbPress, it is a free forum plugin offered by Automattic (the same folks behind WordPress). It’s an extremely popular solution with over 1.5 million downloads. It’s the same forum plugin we use for our LearnDash support.

Key Features of the Integration

Automatic Forum Access: As soon as someone purchases (or registers) for a course, they are granted forum access so that they can create new threads and topics.

Public or Private Forums:  Allow visitors to see forum topics or block the forum contents entirely so they are exclusive for your enrolled users.

Multi-Forum Support: Associate as many forums as you want to your course.

Dynamic Associated Forum Widget: Place this widget in your course sidebar and it will dynamically display the associated forums for the course. Users can click on the associated forum name to be taken to the forum itself for posting.

As you can imagine, this integration allows you to add additional value to your courses. You can now create course-specific communities to engage your users even further. Make the forums exclusive to only those who are enrolled, or leave them open – the choice is yours!

As an example, if you are using LearnDash for a classroom, you can now encourage students to discuss the course content, post questions, or provide their reaction to it.

If you are running a business course, the bbPress integration will help you create an environment conducive to idea sharing and connection building – increasing the value of your entire offering.

How to Use bbPress with LearnDash

To start offering forums with your courses, all you need to do is install and activate:

  1. LearnDash
  2. bbPress
  3. LearnDash-bbPress integration

Once all three are running on your site, you can start to create forums specifically for your courses. To display the forums that are associated with each course, use the course forum widget (found under APPEARANCE > WIDGETS).

The associated course will also display for the specified forum, as shown below.

The integration is available for download on the support site.

What’s Next?

We take pride in driving the WordPress LMS industry to new levels, and the functionality we are currently working on will continue to do just that.

As we quickly approach the end of this year, we are working on a variety of fronts. First, as has been mentioned before, you can expect to see more integrations with today’s popular solutions.

At the same time though, we have new functionality that is currently going through testing – functionality that will not only impact how your courses are delivered, but potentially how you decide to configure your entire WordPress LMS.

Thank you all so much for your contributions to LearnDash, your feedback is what motivates us. And while it is close to the end of the year, you can certainly expect to hear from us again in 2014.

Until next time!

Don’t have LearnDash? Click here to purchase and get started with your online courses!

Justin Ferriman photo

About Justin Ferriman

Justin started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide. He is currently founder & CEO of GapScout. Justin's Homepage | GapScout | Twitter


68 responses

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Justin, this by far is one of the best integrations so far. It has been a popular request from some of my clients and will now eliminate clunky work arounds. As always, LearnDash just keeps getting better and better. THANK YOU!!!

Thanks Jeff, happy to hear you’ll have an immediate use for it!

Great integration. I’d hoped you would do it some day. Much better that having the elearning blog in the one side & the forum isolated on another side.
To push one step further, any chance to get some “social tool” like buddy press integrated some day ?
Keep up the good work !

Avatar Delphine

Hi Justin,

It’s really, really, really a good news.
I expected this connection with bbPress for some time.

And a big thank you to you and LD developers to make even more efficient in the environment of elearning.

… when links with BuddyPress to create a large community around our course? … 😉

Thank you.

Avatar Ludovic

Many thanks Ludovic – with bbPress out the door we are looking more closely into other integrations, including BuddyPress!

Hey Justin,

Looking forward to trying out your bbPress plugin. I’ve been working on my own MOOC based on LearnDash and I’ve loved building with it so far. Have you heard of or looked into the UltimateMember plugin? I really like it a lot. It’s got a great front end interface and they are actively working on integrating with other wordpress plugins (just like you!). Would love to see some integration in the future.

Thanks Chris – haven’t heard much regarding UltimateMember to be honest. Will need to check it out.

Great news! One more awesome feature by LearnDash.

Wonderful feature! I didn’t realize I needed it, and now, I can’t imagine I’d want to do without..

You keep making me go Wow! Great job!

Avatar Gerard Godin

One of my favourite items to get in my inbox is a LearnDash update! Always awesome news!

Avatar Amanda

This is a great thing 😀
What is also cool is that bbpress is fully integrated with BadgeOS… Jus as LearnDash 😀
LearnDash for course, BadgeOS for awards, BBpress for community… This is a very powerful trio

Great point about the additional BadgeOS integration!

Yippee! This makes my life so much easier now. I was trying to figure out the best way to incorporate forums and now you’ve done it again – made my wish come true. Thanks Learndash team 🙂

Thanks Tanya, happy to hear that you’ll be able to start using it straight away!

So glad I decided to go with learn dash definetly worth every penny spent. Don’t know how to thank you enough

Thank you for the very kind words John, we are happy to have you part of the LearnDash community 🙂

Thanks Justin.
It is a great new feature, and i will need it in the near future.


Very very cool…I always look forward to getting LearnDash emails to see what you guys have been up to…This makes me very excited to see how it can improve my course!

Avatar Timothy

This is an awesome integration! I already had bbpress on my radar but still had to figure out how to implement it, thank you for solving the puzzle 🙂

Avatar Andre

Hi Justin

Just to say a BIG thank you for this integration… if I understand correctly now I can automatically associate the forums for my students that I currently have in BBPress in which case its great help to me!

It would be fantastic if you could do similar integration with BuddyPress where one could assign BP groups to a course and maybe see a list of your classmates on the system to be able to invite them to be friends.

I have done that outside of Learndash already on my campus but it would be great to have it inside the system. Also if you could integrate LD groups with Buddypress groups it would save a lot of admin and we could then do reports on groups level.

Really well done!


Thomas Smith MIEx, ITS, DEO

Thanks Thomas! Yes you understand correctly – you can use the integration with any current forums you have in place as well. BuddyPress is on our radar for sure 🙂

Awesome! until now we had forums in silo groups and courses in silo, clunky work arounds with URLs to link the all in one. This together with BadgeOS is giving some real feature rich functionality, THANK YOU!

Avatar Lee

One in my wish list when I first got LD. I knew it would come. And it did. Just great news for all of us. Thank you very much.

Avatar Celito

It’s great to hear that you’ll be able to use the integration Celito 🙂

Awesome update Justin!! You continue to amaze!! Thank you for such an amazing plugin 🙂

Avatar Katie

What if I’m using LearnDash with a membership plugin and I want to use the forums for both? How will this integrate?

Avatar Dianne

Hi Dianne-
If you use PMPro as your membership plugin, then the bbPress integration will work just the same.

Hi Justine,
I added the bbpress plugin and then new integration, but when I try to publish a new forum I get “You are not allowed to edit this post.”. I have the latest version of Learn Dash. What should I try to debug this?

Avatar Jamie

Hi Jamie-

Thanks for the note. Send us a note here with a screenshot and we’d be happy to assist further.

I just bought LearnDash and would love to use this feature but I cannot find the LearnDash-bbPress integration plugin anywhere …. where can I get this plugin?

Avatar Dakota

I’m just starting to review elearning programs… and am very impressed with what this can do. I especially like this ability to do the bbpress integration with forums. Just 30 minutes into review and compare/contrast… that is so powerful an integration tool. Thank you for your work on this… and making my life easier trying to set something up. Haven’t decided yet… just saying… very impressed.

Avatar laura

Thank you for the kind words Laura 🙂

This is wonderful news for course creation. Is there an option for simple-press? I am already using that on the site i wish to use learndash on.
Please let me know.

Avatar Mildred

Hi Mildred! This particular integration only works with bbpress. We don’t have a similar one for simple-press.

Hi Justin,

I have a quick update for people looking to have a LearnDash BuddyPress setup. WisdmLabs has created the LearnDash BuddyPress Integration plugin to help set up BP groups and display all LD group activities on BuddyPress.
We’ve just launched the extension and are open for suggestions and feedback.


Hi can this create a feature where in students can ask questions and view other students’ questions and their respective answers but only the teacher has the permission to answer the questions ?

Hi Anudeep-
Thanks for writing. This would be a bbPress feature rather than LearnDash, particularly with posting and view permissions. There is full documentation at

I see the BBpress widget in my sidebar when on a course (top-level) page, but do not see it when on a lesson or topic page of that course. Can the widget be persistent on all child (or related) pages to its associated course? Thank you very much for your hard work.

Hi Greg-
Thanks for writing. Send our support a note and we can assist.

Hey Justin, this looks excellent! I’m so impressed with Learndash! I was stuck between Sensei and Learndash, but after digging into your features I can see that you guys are really knocking it out of the park!

Quick question about Bbpress: does it allow students to upload photos of their projects? If not, is there another extension that will allow students to upload a photo for a course they’re enrolled in? A project gallery for a course would be absolutely amazing, but the ability the upload a photo into a forum would also be a great workaround. Thanks for making Learndash so feature-rich, and for answering all these comments! As an instructor, I know how time-consuming it can be!

Hi Davina-

Thanks for the comment. bbPress does have a free add-on that allows for uploads – here is one.

Any experimentation with integrating LearnDash with Discourse ( bbPress is disappointing for many reasons, largely because little effort is being put into maintaining the software, and releases lag by at least 12 months.

Discourse has decent integration in WordPress:

Hi Jeff-
Thanks for the comment. None at this point but we’ll look into it!

I am a new LearnDash user, and would be interested in any beta tests if you develop something for LearnDash-Discourse integration. In the meantime I will see if WordPress integration alone might be useful, once the SSO is done.

any update on this 🙂

Status still the same – tied up with some major developments right now.

+1 I would love an integration with discourse.

By the way Justin, I’m in love with the course builder! Great job. That saves so much time!

I’m interested in it too

Avatar misterzi

Hello! Any news about this integration with Discourse? Thanks!

Avatar Krystel

Discourse is quickly becoming the gold standard for a simple to setup, yet insanely robust community platform. With powerful API documentation and a huge open source community of folks comitted to the development of the platform, I’d say this is the best community software to integrate with.

Here’s their API documentation –

Also, check out their growing list of customers: Got some pretty big names in that list. Twitter, Hubspot, Samsung SmartThings, Patreon, etc.

I’d love to see a native integration here!

Avatar Jordan Dayton


Is it possible to add a forum at the bottom of a course and/or lesson? In the way that there is no new tab openend when the User clicks a forum-theme?

Avatar Bernd Bott

You can try using the bbPress shortcodes to place a forum elsewhere.

Hello Justin!

I want to know if there is a possibility to have forums but by group. There is if I sell trainings for companies, I rather each company has its own forum, so they will chat among them only. Thanks.

Use BuddyPress for this instead of bbPress.

Dear Justin,

Congratulations on launching 3.0. Very impressive work!

I came across this thread and agree that it would be wonderful to have Discourse integrate with LearnDash.

Wishing you continued success,

“Yippee! This makes my life so much easier now. I was trying to figure out the best way to incorporate forums and now you’ve done it again – made my wish come true. Thanks Learndash team ?”

I agree with you, this is great

“Yippee! This makes my life so much easier now. I was trying to figure out the best way to incorporate forums and now you’ve done it again – made my wish come true. Thanks Learndash team ?”

I agree with you, this is great

I am seriously looking at using discourse as well. Any info on things to look out for, etc?

Avatar Jamie

I keep hearing about Discourse. Does it integrate with Learndash?

Avatar John Romaine

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