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March 25th, 2020 LearnDash

New to LearnDash, or considering using it as your LMS? We’re here to clear up the top 9 misconceptions about LearnDash before you get started.

We get a lot of questions from new users and buyers who are considering our LMS for their online course. For many educators, this is their first experience putting together a website, let alone an online course. Others may have more experience with WordPress and its ecosystem of plugins, but may still be unsure how LearnDash fits into it all.

Well, we believe the best customer is an informed one. So we’ve rounded up some of the questions we hear most frequently from new or considering customers, and have done our best to answer them. If you’re thinking of using LearnDash as your LMS, here’s what you need to know.

1. Does LearnDash work with WordPress? Does it need to work with WordPress?

LearnDash is a WordPress plugin, which means that, yes, it does work with WordPress, and not on anything else. WordPress is the top Content Management System (CMS) in the world; LearnDash harnesses those capabilities, and expands them to encompass e-learning as well. If you’re already running your website on WordPress, then choosing LearnDash should be a no-brainer.

2. What about my site? Isn’t that the same as

That said—some caveats! Many users don’t realize that the WordPress brand comprises two very different components: a for-profit company selling hosted websites at, and the non-profit branch run by the WordPress foundation. It’s confusing. We know.

We don’t recommend users try to run LearnDash on a site. While it may technically work if you have purchased the business plan that allows for premium plugins, it doesn’t run very smoothly.

Instead, our advice is to go the self-hosted route through, and install WordPress on your own domain with your own hosting where you have more control.

3. Will LearnDash take over my entire site? Can I use it with my current theme?

LearnDash is designed to integrate with most modern WordPress themes. This means that you should be able to safely install it on your site and begin using its features without compromising the current design of your site.

That said, there are a couple scenarios in which this might not work for you:

1) You’re using an outdated theme. If this is the case, we suggest you pick something newer, as older themes tend to fall behind best practices for usability and mobile-friendliness.

2) You’ve custom-coded something very particular into your current site. If this is the case, you can contact our support team to ask about your specific situation. That said, if you know enough to deploy custom coding on your site, you probably know enough to make it work with LearnDash.

If this is a major concern, you can also install LearnDash on a subdomain, which should resolve any potential conflicts with the theme on your main site.

4. Do I have to be a developer to use LearnDash?

You do not have to be a developer to use LearnDash. So long as you have a basic level of technical savvy, you should find the setup pretty straight-forward. We’ve built the plugin to have the lowest barrier-to-entry possible, even for those who don’t know how to code.

But, if you are a developer—or if you have access to developers—then LearnDash gives you more flexibility than any of the hosted LMS platforms could possibly offer. It really is the best of both worlds.

5. Do my learners need to sign in with their email address?

For most of our users, this isn’t an issue—after all, it’s rare to find an adult without an email address these days. But that’s just the point: it’s rare to find an adult

If you’re creating a course for children, then it is more likely that your audience doesn’t have an email address. In this case, while the parent will still need to have a email address to create an account, it is possible to let that parent create sub accounts for their children that do not require emails.

To do this, you will need the Parent and Student Access for LearnDash plugin, from Immerseus. It’s an excellent plugin that we highly recommend to anyone offering a course for children and young adults, but it can also be used for other use cases where access without an email address is desired.

6. Will LearnDash help me maintain my website?

Unlike many of the hosted options on the market, LearnDash isn’t a Software as a Service (SaaS). This means you’re purchasing the plugin, as well as related technical supports and updates. However, you’re not paying extra for us to run your site for you. We see this as a huge benefit—as do most of our users.

If you need help maintaining your website, you’ll need to talk to a developer. A qualified developer can also help you with a lot of customizations as well, so that your course does everything you want it to.

7. Does LearnDash store my data?

We don’t do hosting, which means we don’t store your data. This is good on several fronts. First, you’re not paying us to store your data. Second, because we’re not storing your data, you don’t have to worry about us storing your data insecurely. And third, because we’re not storing your data, you don’t have to worry about us doing anything with it that you or your users wouldn’t approve of.

Also, because we’re not hosting any of your content, you don’t have to worry about losing access if you should choose to move to a different LMS.

8. How many sites can I use my LearnDash license on?

Domains and subdomains are counted as separate licenses. In other words:


are all different installations of LearnDash, and each will use up one of your licenses. The number of licenses you have depends on your package. The Basic package comes with 1 license, Plus comes with 10, and Pro comes with 25.

9. What’s the best way to add to my course?

Finally, we often have users who launch a course, but then want to add more lessons and topics to it as they go. Unfortunately, this can cause problems in the way a learner’s progress through the course is calculated. Currently, course progression is recalculated after each lesson is completed, so if more lessons are added or removed while a learner is mid-course, their course progression may shift unexpectedly.

This can cause confusion to the learner, and disrupt their learning experience. More importantly, because progress is calculated when a learner completes a lesson, if the instructor removes lessons such that the learner’s last completed lesson becomes the last lesson of the course, the usual trigger to recalculate course progression never happens. Future updates will remove this glitch, but instructors still risk confusing learners if they add or remove lessons and topics while learners are mid-progress.

Because of this, if you need to add more modules, it’s better to release a new edition of your course, so that course progression for new learners remains intact. On the other hand, so long as you aren’t adding new lessons and topics, it is good practice to keep your courses up to date with the current information.

Do your research so you know you’re making the best choice for your program.

There are many excellent reasons to choose LearnDash for your LMS. However, even we will acknowledge that we’re not the right choice for everyone. We welcome questions, because it means our customers are doing their research and choosing the platform that fits their needs.

If you have any more questions about LearnDash, drop them in the comments below, and we’ll do our best to answer them.

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27 responses

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Can we create separate logins for 1) Student 2) Teacher 3) Parent 4) Admin? A parent page may not show all lessons and courses but enable us to populate it with other data from Learn Dash.

Avatar B V P Raju

LearnDash doesn’t control logins but rather we just use WordPress’ capabilities. So, any plugin or code you use that can modify the core WordPress functionality can be used.

Hi, i’ve some questions:
1) Does it support arabic? it accepted arabic when i tried typing but it doesn’t accept right-to-left typing so i have to do lots of adjustments. plz confirm

2) Can i easily reuse content in different courses?

3) Can i upload a ppt as a course? i didnt find from where to do that

thanks a lot

Avatar Lobna

Hi Lobna! Here’s the answers to your questions:

1. We do have Arabic users and the plugin has been translated into Arabic:

2. Yes!

3. You can upload PPT documents to the media library and insert them into your courses, but I don’t know that there’s a way to automatically convert a PPT to a course, if that’s what you’re asking.

Avatar Laura Lynch

Hi, I have the intention of creating a language course and one of the things I need to do is to add right next to a sentence an audio file so that the learner can listen the right pronunciation. Is it possible to do it on Learndash.

Hi Richard!
Yes, you should have no problems uploading audio files to the WordPress media library and embedding them in your course.

Avatar Laura Lynch

Hi, I have used Learndash for creating elearning website for a school, Is it possible for me to collect data from learndash database and develop reports by coding according to my needs?, because if I use a ready made plugin for reports, I will have to make a lot of customization in the report design which is not allowed in most of ready made plugins.

Avatar Hassan Abdelhamid

Hi Hassan,
LearnDash is open source, so you should be able to make whatever customizations you need!

Avatar Laura Lynch

Does LearnDash require write access to install. here is the scneario I am running into: does not blacklist any WordPress plugins. However, some plugins are known to require write access to their own file system as part of their setup process. That is not possible on

Thanks for clarification (posting to the FB group too)

Avatar David

Hi David,

In answer to your question, I would say technically “no,” but functionally “yes.”

The only thing we normally write into that directory tree is Translations into the wp-content/plugins/sfwd-lms/languages/directory, which is optional but will happen by default. However, you might have issues with plugin upgrades—not just with LearnDash, but with other WordPress plugins you are using on your platform, as it does not sound like the environment you are using is very WordPress-friendly.

Avatar Laura Lynch

I’ve installed Learndash as plugin into my existing WordPress site and I want to know if I can have seperate theme for the learning platform. At the moment the whole thing is confusing as it doesn’t look anything like the platform in the video. What am I missing?

Hi Laura — can you provide specifics on why LearnDash isn’t compatible on We have users who have been using your plugin on their sites successfully. But we’re happy to work with you on getting it compatible. Is there an email we can reach out to? Thanks!

I am considering purchasing LearnDash for one of my clients, but I would like to use it on the staging site first and when approved, I would like to use it on the “live” site. Do I have to purchase 2 licenses for this or can I just transfer the license from Staging to Live? My client is very short on funds (aren’t they all, lol).

I have the same question. Did you find an answer?

Avatar Alberto

Looking how to prevent download of all material, resources published on Learndash.
I am just running my first training, THANKS to Learndash ! It was not so complicated to create.
Now it’s so wonderful to live that, with the student group.
But I am discovering that students can download the material, it’s OK for files, like pdf which I want them to download, but not for all, especially mp3 : audio and meditation which I do not want people to download to protect the value of the course.
Is it possible to prevent people to download mp3 on Learndash or is there a solution by publishing the audio on another platform and connect Learndash with this third platform ?
Thanks to Learndash, otherwise really satisfied, happy of the product. Thank you.
Have a nice day

Avatar Kris

I would need my elearning to be able to be used in a town, area and in other countries. Each site would need to be able to use our learning modules but then adapt them to make them relevant for their area. Is this possible? Can other areas that I sell our modules to then have their own ‘child’ site under our main mother site? Could the ‘child’ sites add their own courses to potentially share back to other areas under the ‘mother’ site?

Avatar jenny hartnoll

Thanks for your good site
I wanted to know how many tests I can take online in simultaneous tests and how much CPU and RAM are consumed.

Avatar davoud

I am trying to understand how to integrate LearnDash with TouchNet (the approved payment processor with my institution). Any experience with what I need to be ready for?

Does Learndash do animation or more gamification type quizzes or tutorials?

Avatar Jae L Whitaker

Not as built-in features, but we do work well with other WordPress plugins that can let you experiment with this kind of functionality. This post talks about how to achieve some of the types of quizzes and tutorials you’re thinking of:

Avatar Laura Lynch


In this article you mention that even though learndash will technically work with business hosting, it is not recommended to go down that route as it will not run smoothly.

Can you please elaborate on that and explain in more detail the technical reasons why hosting is not recommended by your team?

Thank you in advance.

Avatar Stefanos

Hi, in addition to our own training our staff have to complete mandatory external health and safety training – is there a way to embed access to a training course (on another training site) for users on our site? We don’t want to have to run two different platforms.

Avatar Catherine


Our website was built and is currently hosted by DropFunnels, which is a WordPress-based platform but they don’t allow any plugins to be installed. Is ther another way for us to use LearnDash as our LMS with this current setup?

Avatar Jason

Hi, I want to have LearnDash on my website as a subdomain. I assume I can have WooCommerce on the main site along with product pages, landing pages, check out etc, and happily send people back and forth between these two domains ok? Thank you!

Avatar Simon

Yes, that should work fine!

Avatar Laura Lynch

can we assign different scores to answer options in MCQ questions?


What is the color of Apple?

Answer Options – user need to choose anyone
RED – 2 Point
Green – 1 Point
Grey – 3 Points

Avatar Pankaj

I have one question; is it possible to integrate learndash as an “educational section” in a custom built app?
regards, Joel

Avatar Joel Thedéen

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