How To Sell Courses, Bundles, and Memberships Using LearnDash

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.

Author

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. Twitter | LinkedIn

29 Responses

  1. 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 : http://munkun.com
    A few course for the moment, but more upcoming soon.

    Saludos
    Patricio Bustamante M.

  2. 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.

    Tansey

  3. Justin,

    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!

    -JT

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

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

  5. 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

    Peet

    1. 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.

  6. 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,
    Beatriz

  7. 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

  8. 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 …

  9. Hi,

    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?

    Thanks!

  10. 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.

    Thanks,

    Victor

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

      1. 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.

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

            Thanks!
            Tim

  11. 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

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

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