How to Use Wishlist Member with LearnDash

The article below is no-longer applicable. Wishlist Member v3.1+ now has built-in compatibility with LearnDash. Please contact Wishlist Member support if you have any questions related to this functionality.

Wishlist Member is one of the original WordPress membership plugins. Here is how to use it with LearnDash.

If you have been involved in WordPress for any amount of time then there is a good chance that you have heard of Wishlist Member. For years it dominated the membership plugin landscape because of its well-rounded features and solid marketing.

Today the membership space has grown up a bit and while Wishlist Member may not have the same market presence, it is still used by many.

One reason for this that I have noticed is that many software systems (such as SamCart) make a point to integrate with Wishlist Member so that people can connect the application to their WordPress site. In fact, I have seen this across many hosted e-commerce solutions.

Should You Continue to Use It with LearnDash?

This is a question we get often when it comes to Wishlist Member. People want to know if they should still use it or scrap it altogether. It’s a matter of preference really. Using a WordPress membership plugin is not a requirement when using LearnDash.


If you do want to just use LearnDash, then you can easily ‘swap’ your current protected content into LearnDash course content.

  1. Install the Post Type Switcher plugin (free)
  2. Go to your Pages menu and select the desired pages via the checkbox
  3. Choose “Edit” from the dropdown menu, then click Apply

You will now have the option to make edits to all the pages at once. The Post Type Switcher plugin will add a dropdown menu to this editor (outlined in red below). Simply select “Lesson” from this list and when you click “Update”, all the pages will turn into LearnDash lesson content!

This entire process only takes a couple minutes.


Of course you can continue to use Wishlist Member and LearnDash as well, no need to change your current configuration.

This process takes slightly longer, but not much.

First thing you need to do is to activate custom post type protection in Wishlist Member. This is a required setting so that you can protect LearnDash course content.

Next, you need to create your LearnDash content. You can follow the steps outlined in the “LearnDash Only” section to quickly switch regular pages and posts to lessons. Or, you can create new content – whichever makes the most sense for you.

At this point you have two options:

  1. Protect each Lesson, Topic, Quiz individually (takes longer)
  2. Protect only the Course page in LearnDash (quick)

Your first option is to go through your content (which is now official lessons, topics, and quizzes in LearnDash) and to protect the content as you did your regular pages and posts using the Wishlist Member protection settings in edit mode.

If you have a lot of content then this can take some time. It’s not hard, just takes some time. Your course price in this scenario should be set to “OPEN”. It won’t be accessible because Wishlist Member is protecting it.

The second option is a lot quicker.

Set your course price type to “FREE” then just protect the Course page in Wishlist Member.

When you do this LearnDash automatically protects all the associated course content, and Wishlist protects the course page (so it can’t be accessed unless the user has the appropriate membership level). If the user does have the membership level, then they can visit the course page and self-register. In doing so, they are mapped to the course and all the associated content becomes available to them.

And that’s it. That’s how you can leverage Wishlist Member and LearnDash together for your membership program. Including formal courses to your protected community is a great way to add value to your offering.


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

6 Responses

  1. Hi, I have been using wish list member for a couple years now and have loved it. Just recently I’ve had one issue. When people sign up using my integrated PayPal link it does not automate an email with login instruction nor does it dump the new client into the back end of word press in my member list. If someone could provide assistance It would be much appreciated.

  2. Just wondering about the reverse of this – we are already using LearnDash but would like to add Wishlist to the site to have a more enhanced membership offering as well as courses. Is this hard to configure or reasonably straightforward? we also already use SamCart.

  3. This is great if I want to use for Membership Levels in Wishlist but how does it work for Paid Per Post? If the person purchases my course will they be able to access all the material that goes with the course. Thanks for this info…I purchased LearnDash because of it…now wondering how to integrate paid per post?

    1. If you are using a price type other than ‘open’ then they won’t be able to pay for a single lesson unless they first enroll into the course.

  4. Does Wishlist member automatically enroll users into a course(s) based on the membership level? I want to use ThriveCart which integrates with Wishlist Member to create users after purchase and assigns them to a specified membership level. Does that information flow to LearnDash to enroll or would the user have to click on the course and choose to enroll?

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