November 12th, 2015 LearnDash Tips

devOne decision that many people struggle with when selling online courses is whether they should sell courses with membership plugins, or just use LearnDash.

I discussed the key considerations for this in a previous article (check it out here if you haven’t seen it already).

But alas not all setups require “one or the other”. Sometimes there is a need for both!

For example, you may want to sell individual courses, bundle packages, and access to non-course related content (pages or blog posts on your site).

To some extent this can be done by just using a membership plugin (like Paid Memberships Pro). However, there are other configurations that offer additional flexibility that could be more conducive to your course offering.

WooCommerce + LearnDash + Groups

This is a configuration we have seen before that opens up a lot of possibilities for your courses and what is included when someone purchases.

Before jumping into the details, let me preface this by pointing out that this isn’t the only possible way to get this configuration. For instance, you could use Easy Digital Downloads and similar add-ons to achieve the same result.

Perhaps I’ll address this in another article. For now, let’s stick with the following resources:

  • LearnDash
  • WooCommerce
  • LearnDash-WooCommerce integration (details here)
  • Groups by itthinx
  • Groups for WooCommerce (premium WooCommerce add-on, details here)

The Basic Set-up

After you have created your courses in LearnDash, install the LearnDash-WooCommerce integration so that you can sell your courses using the WooCommerce shopping cart.

Create your products in WooCommerce and associate the LearnDash courses. Note that you can associate one or many courses to a single product. This makes it possible to create course bundles (or perhaps discounts for bulk course purchases).

Now install and activate the Groups add-on as well as the Groups for WooCommerce premium add-on.

You’re going to use the Groups add-on to create “membership levels” (for lack of a better word) for your WooCommerce products.

Now, when someone purchases the product, they get automatically enrolled into the associated course(s) AND they receive additional capabilities that you assign to the Groups level you create.

This gives you the ability to not only grant course access but also to release other assets on your site to those who have purchased the applicable products.

With this configuration you can:

  • Offer free courses using LearnDash only
  • Sell courses using WooCommerce
  • Sell course bundles using WooCommerce
  • Offer tiered membership levels

If you want to add another element to your offering, you can sell subscription based memberships (this requires the premium WooCommerce Subscriptions add-on).

With these components in place you have no less than five different types of offers you can present to customers.

One benefit to a setup like this is that you can still offer membership levels but also allow for people to be enrolled in courses that aren’t part of a specific membership group (traditionally a limitation of membership plugins).

A Final Thought

A few things to keep in mind. First, the investment (both time and financial) to get this configuration up-and-running is certainly more extensive – although a fraction of the cost for creating an entire LMS from scratch.

That said, I’ve seen very few LMS sites that needed all of these components from “day 1”.

Work your way towards it. You may find that your courses and customers don’t really need this level of complexity.

The last thing to remember is that the tools mentioned in this article are merely an example using one shopping cart. You may find another shopping cart that is better for your needs (LearnDash integrates with four popular options).

Research which works best for you, for your theme, and for your ultimate learning program goals.

Justin Ferriman photo

About Justin Ferriman

Justin Ferriman started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Justin's Homepage | Twitter

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58 responses

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Hi Justin,

I really happy cause after 2 years of experience using learndash and helping people to create their own courses platform using Learndash . I’m very close to launch my own udemy.
What i’m using Avada Theme, Woocommerce , AfilliateWP, Instructor Role.

You can check it out :
A few course for the moment, but more upcoming soon.

Patricio Bustamante M.

That’s great news Patricio, really happy to see your own project come together!

Hi Patricio,
Your site looks great! I wish you all the best with it!


Thank you Justin,
A very timely article. I’m struggling with this issue right now. I’m using magic member, learndash and Easy digital downloads. My next step is to try Paid memberships pro and learndash because magic member has an exhaustive amount of features. Much more than I require. I need a simpler setup considering that I’m using so many plugins. I recently read up on Course Access manager and from what I read, I may be willing to give that a try if necessary.



I have my courses created in LearnDash and I have all the plugins to get my LMS going, but I am having some trouble with it.

One course that I have is aerial lift training. I have a woocommerce product page that has the product description and I have it set up to add the person to the aerial lift group. I also configured the course to only allow members of that group to access it.

When I check out the order goes through, but there is no registration or anything to be able to access the course. And if you go to the course, it lets me in even though i am not registered in the correct group. Am I missing something. Some help would be great! Thanks!


Avatar JT

Hi JT-

Thanks for the note. Happy to help, make sure to submit your support request at one of the places below so that it can be added to the queue:


Can we make the course available for a limited time with this and set the payment to renew or re occur every month?

Avatar Anudeep ananth

If you’re using WooCommerce (or another shopping cart) you can certainly have recurring payments.

How can I protect certificate course’s?

Give the course a price and none of the content can be accessed (including certificates)

HI there
we love Learndash have a set up where we have are using subscriptions groups the woo plugins
we can sell the courses ok but we want to integrate leardash using the same login as the client made when they purchased the course from woo and subscriptions!

is there a convenient way to do this or do we need to custom create this function.
many thanks


Avatar peet

Hi Peet-
LearnDash uses the standard WP user database. If other plugins you used leverage the same, then those accounts can be used to access LearnDash content.

Dear Justin,

I would like to create a bundle: A learndash course + a signle prodcut (woocommerce). But I can’t find how to do that.

Any idea?

Thanks in advance,

Setting up your product with LD and WC can be found here.

Hello , that’s very interesting for make our users enrolling automatically after purchasing, Sir can you give me documentation about all of this , Thank you so much

Avatar Med Ali Ben Jomaa

All documenation can be found on the support site. If you have specific questions please do open a ticket.

Hello ,Other Question Sir i like to ask our choosing that payment with woocommerce so we download learndash woocommerce integration and the issue that’s when our costumers purchased courses they will pass automatically to couses (mean auto enrollment after purchasing ) thanks for help us because that’s very urgently to our E-Learning project …

Avatar Med Ali Ben Jomaa

Support isn’t offered on in the blog comments. Please open a ticket.


I presale question. Is there a way that a “manager” can buy a group of courses not for himself but for his employees. Then he can enroll them on the course that he purchased?


Avatar Marco

Hi Justin,
Any plans for tighter WooCommerce integration? I’m using WC Memberships and Subscriptions and would love to be able to map courses onto WC Memberships and/or Subscriptions w/o having to add redundancies to the website using additional plugins to do that.



We are working on an update currently to our WooCommerce integration that includes additional Woo subscription support.

Thank you for your response, Justin! Also, any idea about the ETA? It would be ideal to have it by the end of summer so we can set things up for the Fall 2017 semester.

I don’t have an exact ETA but it will certainly be before summer.

Howdy, I am in the same spot as Victor, any updates on an ETA for integration with WooCommerce Memberships and/or Subscriptions?


Avatar Tim

When I create a new course that is supposed to be included in the membership, it doesn’t enroll the user that already paid for the membership. How do I get learndash to check for the membership group, then re-enroll in all the included courses? Right now, it only enrolls upon checkout with woocommerce, and unless you buy the membership again, it won’t enroll in the new course. Thanks for this wonderful lms

Avatar bill w

Depends on your set-up, but it should be noted that you either use a membership plugin (like PaidMembershipsPro) or an ecommerce one (like Woo) – but not both. Otherwise enrollment won’t work.

Thanks for the reply. I used groups setup like your post. It enrolls upon checkout, so there is no way to update a membership group. You would have to manually take the membership group and create a learndash group, and then enroll them in all the classes, and I’m trying to avoid that. With woocommerce and groups, you get a one-time enrollment, and then if you add a course to the group, the member is not auto-enrolled. I suppose I will look into woo membership because it claims you can update a membership.

Avatar Bill w

Hi Justin,
Is there a way to break a learndash e-course payment down into installments? Say, I have a course that I want to offer at a one-time payment of $600 or three payments of $200. How would I accomplish that? I’m currently using woocommerce. Thank you!

hello, Justin
Where I can find the learndash’s woocommerce on wp dashboard. thank you

Avatar Huiyu

Under LearnDash LMS > Add-ons (this menu only displays with a valid LearnDash license)

Mr. Ferriman,
Im wondering how to configure the user lost-password page, as the email link is not working here. Is there any shortcode associate with learndash or woocommerce related to this problem?
plus I am now using the woocommerce integration with learndash and a login plugin called woocommerce login/signup popup.
thx for ur reply.

Avatar pyn

That page isn’t a LearnDash feature, it’s WordPress related. Search the WordPress plugin repo and you’ll find various plugins that allow you to customize this page.

Hello Justin,how to forbid customers to copy the content from our website in Learndash?

Avatar Li

It’s not really possible. You can check out Copyscape to prevent copy/paste, but nothing can prevent someone from clicking “print screen” on their keyboard.

hello again,Justin

I would like to know how to allocate the account to students by license plugin. it is just like the steps from 1. buy courses off line 2. we received the fee 3.referring to the courses they choose, we allocate an account and initial password and license pin, then send to the students one by one .

thank you

Avatar Huiyu

Yes you can manually create a user account and enroll them into a course.

Hello Justin,
I do not really understand clearly of creating a user account manually? How to operate? Could you tell some details?

Avatar Huiyu


Is it possible to restrict access to a set of courses in LearnDash to the members of a group WITHOUT automatically enrolling them in all the courses available to them?
We have hundreds of courses, and there’s no sense in automatically enrolling to all, but want a membership level giving optional (self-enrol) access to all. If Groups not ideal for this, is there a better combination of add-ons for this purpose?

What I want to achieve is:
0. Have the courses in LearnDash. No one can enrol by default (no purchase offered for the specific course). Instead of any payment/enrolment button he/she sees a link to the corresponding subscription purchase page.
1. The user subscribes (e.g. WooCommerce+Subscriptions+Groups/Memberships/Whatever).
2. The user gets permission to enrol in all courses in a specific category, but NO auto-enrolment.
3. The user can go to the course he/she is interested in and now can enrol in it.
4. The user cancels his/her subscription and loses access to all courses in the related category as soon as the membership ends.

LearnDash may be just the thing I’ve been searching for. I need a course builder with Vimeo hosted videos secured behind the MemberGenius membership plugin that handles all aspects of a membership site such as member analytics, cancellations, etc. MemberGenius lets you easily use JVZoo, Warrior Plus, or ClickBank as the payment platform plus have access to thousands of affiliates. When someone signs up to become a member, they can instantly access their login link at the payment platform. They login at MemberGenius portal which then links or redirects to LearnDash to access the courses. Does this make sense?

Avatar Jerry

There is no docs about how we can create bundles and packages with courses? Pls Create documentations for using learndash.

Avatar dariush

This can be done with WooCommerce. Just associate multiple courses to the product while following the LD-Woo documentation.

I have a written a small tutorial on how to integrate WooCommerce with LearnDash here

Yeah, this link comes back as untrusted and dangerous. If you go past the warning you’ll see the website is dead.

Avatar Scott

Article got deleted mistakenly, I am working on rewriting it. My apologies for it.


Do you have a link to the help documentation for this and the LD-Woo plugin?

Thank you

Avatar Scott

Great read. Membership-Levels with Learndash and for example Woocommerce is one of the most complex things you can do with learndash, with many small pitfalls that can make or break the intended end user experience, especially if we are talking B2B.

Would you mind publishing another article focusing on learndash in combination with woocommerce memberships (which I believe is the most widely used one), and how re-enrollment works after course expiry.

Avatar Peter

I want to let the users of my website to chose from two options –
1. one time payment for single course.
2. monthly subscription.
I’m using woocommerce in order to sell my courses.
Also, I want to let the users register to the website, even if they don’t buy anything.
Which plugins do i need from those that described here?

Avatar Hadar

You can use Woo for this.

I can set monthly subscription program using woo?

Avatar Hadar

I am new to learndash. Which add-on do I have to add so that I can lower the price of a course depending on quantity?

Hello Justin, I hope you are doing and feeling great! 🙂 Question: I run a membership+subscription site where, if you buy a membership, you can access ALL the courses while your subscription remains active. How can I allow access to all the courses when a client purchases a membership? I understand I can associate courses to a product, but I post a new course every week. So, instead of associating individual courses to a product, I would love to associate them all. Thank you in advance for your feedback.

Avatar Leo

Hi Justin
Have encountered a new issue with the LD & Woocommerce integration. The ‘general’ tab has disappeared in the product page meaning i can’t link any course to products. Used to work fine but is now broken.

Avatar Simon

How can you set it up to charge different prices based on the membership level?

Avatar Natanz

How can I add the option to pay/enroll via Donation? My client wants to have her clients be able to enroll in our course by either purchasing in full price, or by single mother donation, I am stuck!


How can I bundle 2 or more courses to sell once at a discount from a regular price?
Like in any shopping site buy 1 get 1 free of buy both together in a single click at 20% discount etc.

Avatar karan singh

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