September 21st, 2015 LearnDash Tips

devEvery now and again we receive some pre-sales questions as to whether it’s possible to create a “Udemy Clone” using LearnDash. As such, I thought I would write an article addressing the finer details since the answer to this question isn’t necessarily a simple “yes” or “no”.

First, for those of you who may not be familiar with Udemy, it’s a platform that allows you to create and sell courses.

Udemy then takes a cut of your course sale. I’ve written about the pros and cons of this in the past from a course author standpoint.

However, this article is meant to address the other side of the equation, and that’s owning a site with the same business model as Udemy. It’s pretty straight-forward:

  1. Allow people to sign-up and create online courses
  2. Take a percentage of any course that they sell

With regards to this characteristic of Udemy: yes, this can be done using LearnDash.

Creating Your Udemy Clone

Udemy boasts a lot of features (and they should, they have received tens of millions of dollars in funding). Let’s take a look at the basic Udemy features and how it can be accomplished using LearnDash.

Core Feature #1: Course Creation

This is the bread-and-butter of LearnDash. Robust elearning courses can be made with our software.

Core Feature #2: Discussion

Udemy has the option to have course specific forums. This too is possible in LearnDash. The primary ways are to use the free bbPress integration or the free BuddyPress integration (depending on your exact needs).

Both of these options will allow you to have forums specific to your courses. The latter will enable more robust user profiles, group possibilities, and user interactions.

Core Feature #3: Instructors & Revenue Splitting

The final (and most defining) core feature is the ability to allow instructors to create their own courses and for you (as the administrator) to set a commission percentage.

To accomplish this using LearnDash you can use the Instructor Role add-on.

Done & done!

One Final Step

The final part of your Udemy clone is to choose a WordPress theme.

There is no “one-size-fits-all” option in this area as the theme you use is really dependent on your personal preferences. With regards to LearnDash, any modern theme will do.

If you want a list of themes that work well with LearnDash then send us a quick note referencing this article.

Something To Remember…

I feel it’s important to end this article with a word on expectations.

While creating your Udemy clone is certainly possible with the tools mentioned above, it’s also important to remember that copying every single element of Udemy is going to be difficult to accomplish.

Udemy has received millions of dollars in funding (recently securing an additional $65 million).

While LearnDash and WordPress offer cost-effective ways to get similar functionality, you’ll be hard-pressed to create an exact clone for just a few hundred dollars.

But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing!

You really don’t want to copy another business model exactly. Put your own spin on your offering so that you can stand-out. You’re likely to find more success by being unique.

So that’s it!

If you’re interested in creating a Udemy clone then you can do so using LearnDash and our add-ons. You won’t be in it alone either, we’re here to help you along the way!

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

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22 responses

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Hello Justin.
I am excited with the news Udemy to clone a site, or want to know the theme working with Learndash and thus have a spectacular site.

Thank you!

Thanks for the comment! Send a note from here and we can get you a pretty healthy list of potential themes.

Hi Justin,

I actually wanted to know if your system can help clone a for me. You see, my company is a start up and we wish to deliver low cost, high quality Latino health and wellness education within a social learning environment operated by independent peer specialists.

We are part of a healthcare startup accelerator called Health Wildcatters and we wish to develop an MVP and looking for a platform for our unique content.

Can you share your thoughts? Our customers are small, medium sized employers with large Latino populations but our content is bilingual — then we move on to health systems as they need help engaging their Latino populations as well.


Maria del Carmen

Hi Maria-

The main difference between Lynda and Udemy is that Lynda offers their courses for a monthly fee. This can be accomplished using LearnDash as well in a variety of ways (depending on how you decide to sell course access).

Hi Justin,

I wanted to know would use Woo-commerce & s2member or Woo-commerce & Wishlist Member with your Udemy clone setup?

Avatar Aaron

I personally wouldn’t use WooCommerce AND a membership plugin. LearnDash already protects the content so the latter isn’t necessarily needed. You can read more about membership plugins and LearnDash in this post.

Hi Justin,
I would like to offer customers the option of paying for individual courses or signing up for a monthly membership which gives them unlimited access. Is this possible with LearnDash?

Avatar Heather Timm

Hi Heather, yes this is possible. A little more configuration is needed but certainly can be done.

Hi Justin. I am interested in doing the same thing as Heather. Would you be able to do a separate blog post to explain how to do a configuration like this?

This information is great.
What do you suggest we add to the mix if we would also like;
1. A private members area for visitors to view the other general website content (e.g blog posts)?
2. The ability for persons to pay for more than 1 course at a time?

Thanks a lot

Avatar Tansey

Hi Justin,
Already I use learndash for internal training but I wanna make trade it and your Udemy and Lynda project seems good and I need widely information how can we got it and explain process as detailed.
Another thing that also I wanna find course and sell them in learndash wordpress web, How can I find ready courses for my web? Could you give me web names and also I should have registration because I will sell them.
The last question, I wanna give e-learning inTurkey and I need Turkish courses, do you know easy way to translate videos not loose originality to make translation.

Avatar ersin

Hi Ersin-

Ready made courses tend to be expensive. Unfortunately I’m not aware of any outside of the well-known (i.e. Skillsoft). I’m sure with some Google searches some will pop up. Regarding translating videos, that is not an area I’m familiar with.

Hi Justin,

Can you embed your unlisted youtube videos on learndash i.e. in the lessons you created?

Avatar Moslem Anoar

If you can do it on a regular WordPress page or post, then it can be done in LearnDash.

Hey, great plugin!
How is video hosting for the online courses working with LearnDash?
And how do videos get protected so that nobody can see videos before buying? And is it possible to do an online stream instead of downloading the video afterwards (downloaded contet can be copied).
Best regards,

Avatar Tim Philippus

Hi Tim-
There are many options for hosting videos. You can host on your own site or use a third party platform (I am a fan of VimeoPRO and Wistia personally).

Hey Hello,
I want to start this kind of business, the question i wanted to asked is how and where to get the course to be uploaded on the website apart from instructors that sign up on the site.

Courses aren’t uploaded unless you’re using a program like Articulate Storyline. You create the content within LearnDash.

Hi Justin,

I recently bought the LearnDash, Pro Panel, Instructor role and a few others. I would like to operate an LMS where the baseline of the courses are configured by admin and assigned to an instructor. Instructors should also have the ability to modify only the courses assigned to them. This is basic bread and butter of also all LMS. I have I have been an online Professor for ever.


Avatar Matthew a Taylor

Hi Matthew, thanks for choosing LearnDash! That isn’t a feature we support, but seeing as you’re using the instructor role add-on you could inquire with WisdmLabs (the add-on creators).

Thank you Justin.

My team has actually concluded on building our Udemy Clone platform around LearnDash Technology. The major concern we are having now is how each Course Creator’s videos will be hosted. Are they to be hosted onsite, or each creator is to sort out his own video hosting?

Also, does LearnDash have a plugin that takes care of the revenue sharing between the platform and the Course Creators?

Does LearnDash also have plugin to take care of Affiliates?


is there any functionality in instructor role or any other plug in to automatically create mailbox for the instructor ?

Comments are closed.

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