Creating a Great LearnDash Course Certificate

Your learners have completed your course, it’s now time to award them with a professional and appealing certificate!

The best way to give a physical award to your learners is to present them a certificate at the end of a course. Everyone knows what a certificate is so there isn’t any explaining you need to provide to your learners. You’ll be surprised at the number of them that actually will print it out!

LearnDash certificates can be broken into two parts:

  1. The background
  2. The dynamic text

The background is how your certificate will look while the text and dynamic text is what is placed on top of the certificate. At first glance this process may look intimidating but as the video above outlines it’s actually not very difficult. Also, you only need to do this once and then you can “set it and forget it”. Though if you do have trouble getting it configured, you can always contact support and we’ll gladly assist!

The first part of this process is choosing a background image.

The LearnDash certificate process is the most flexible in the WordPress LMS industry. You can literally use any design. You can choose a pre-made template or create your own in a program like Adobe Photoshop.

In this example we are going to leverage Canva to download a free template.

What is great about Canva is that you can choose a template and even modify it in their platform all for free. Add images or elements and position the text as you see fit for your course.

Once complete, download the image.

Next it’s time to upload the image and position the text.

With your certificate image created it’s time to upload it as a Featured Image when creating your certificate. This will only take a couple seconds. It’s worth noting that if you didn’t want to include any dynamic text to the certificate then you would be all done at this point.

However, many people want to show a learner’s name or course name. To do this we have shortcodes that allow you to place dynamic text onto your certificate image. In the video we show an example of course title and the first & last name of the learner, and the time (date stamp) that the certificate was earned.

Once the dynamic elements are in place simply save the certificate and you’re done! Well, almost done. 🙂

The last thing you need to do is assign the certificate that you just created to a course. Go edit a course and in the Associated Certificate dropdown menu choose the certificate. Save this change in your course and  you’re all set! Your learners will now get a great looking certificate when they complete your course.


Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Let's Talk! | Twitter

12 Responses

  1. Thanks for this article! Certificates do work well but one complaint I have is that there is no functionality to generate a preview without making a dummy course in order to assign the certificate to it and see what it looks like. I know you folks have a whole hierarchy of features and improvements that are on your mind but this was one aspect that I as someone new found jarring and unpolished. See 5:45 of the video here:

    That being said, I’m sure everyone on learnDash has a “Certificate” course that they use to preview all of the certificates they create

  2. Why when I say to the software that print out certification only if the student got 80% or upper, it is printed anyway? That means, the condition >= is not working.

  3. Hello,
    I can see a lot of things about how to create the design of a certificate but I can not find anything on how to set the criteria to obtain the certificate (final exam, minimum grade, videos watched …)? What criteria can we choose? What are the current possibilities and limitations? Can you help me ? Thank you !

    1. You can assign certificates to quizzes and courses. For quizzes, you set a threshold (% they must obtain to earn it). Courses require everything in a course to be completed before they can get the certificate.

  4. Is it possible to set that the user has to do X,Y,Z courses before able to print the certificate or is the certificate always part of the course? We are thinking of creating X,Y,Z courses and would need the user to buy and do all of them before the certificate can be printed or acquired. Or are we forced to do a one bundle of courses that include the X,Y,Z things to hand out the certificate to the user?

  5. its possible to change name, because in LD 3.0 take the name of the assigned topic, but i need show the name I gave.

  6. I have watched the video several times and followed it exactly. However, when I try to edit the certificate and insert the shortcodes, it will not allow my curser to enter the allocated spaces. The support response I received involved tweaking the layout codes, but since I am an educator and not a developer, I am not comfortable doing that (I’m fine using the shortcodes).

    It seems to me when I set up courses a few years ago, I could do this so I’m not sure what has changed. I know there have been lots of exciting updates but actually, for people like me, it would be so very helpful to just have the basic things be a little simpler and manageable.

  7. Wondering if anyone is having trouble with certificate creation. I have followed the instructional video several times and my certificates continue to come up blank despite inputting short code. Does anyone know the solution?

  8. Seriously Justin – I have watched the video and read your instructions so many times I think I can easily repeat them all! However, none of it is addressing the issue I am encountering. The video says to upload the image from Canva as a png. Somewhere else I read that it needs to be a jpeg. I tried both. In neither instance was I able to place my cursor onto the middle of the field and insert the needed shortcodes. It would be as easy as you say and the video describes if it did – but it doesn’t and I can’t seem to find out how to do this. In the older version, it was easy. At one point someone in support told me to insert code but didn’t tell me where to insert it. I have spent days on this now. I have no problem following the instructions in the videos but when they don’t address everything – then it’s a huge problem.
    You guys have always been very helpful. I hope this isn’t a sign of things to come.
    Pat Camillo

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