YES! LearnDash Memberships Have Arrived!

LearnDash Groups evolve to include membership capabilities. Create levels, sub-levels, sell access, award group certificates, and more!

“Do I need a membership plugin or platform in order to use LearnDash?”

I cannot tell you the number of times we get asked this from people who are interested in using LearnDash.

(The answer to that question is “no”, LearnDash has course content protection built-in).

While most people do not use a membership plugin with LearnDash, it is a question that does come up… and it was the inspiration for our latest update!

Sell Access to LearnDash Groups / Memberships

Sell Group Access

Starting today you can sell access to Groups directly.

Think about that for a moment…

Instead of selling access to individual courses, you now can create various groups that contain access to multiple courses (course bundles). When someone purchases access to the group then they get enrolled into all the courses associated with that group.

If the “groups” terminology is a bit confusing, think about this as “membership levels” instead. Create various membership levels and you can sell access directly to them. ๐Ÿ™‚

You can choose to sell access for a one-time price, or on a recurring basis (i.e. $19 every month).

The following methods are supported for selling access to your groups:

  • WooCommerce
  • PayPal
  • Stripe

We are continuing to add support for other LearnDash add-ons as well (if you have any suggestions then leave it in the comments).

Protect any Page or Post on your site according to Group Membership

This new feature opens up a ton of new possibilities for how you offer restricted content to your learners.

Not only are courses protected by your groups, but now you can block access to any page or post based on group access!

  • Have a resources page you want only available for a group? No problem – block it!
  • Special non-course related videos for a certain group? No problem – block it!
  • Holding a webinar for members of a particular group? No problem – block it!

This feature alone allows you to increase the value of your courses by granting access to non-course specific materials, bonus content, special downloads, and more with just a few clicks!

Split your LearnDash Groups into Sub-Groups

This is probably my favorite enhancement to LearnDash Groups. ๐Ÿ™‚

By popular demand, we have added an extra layer to LearnDash Groups so that you can now sub-groups to every group that you create!

This is perfect if you need to add some organization to the cohorts of learners that are going through your courses.

For example, now you can easily add layers to your business units, complete with a manager hierarchy.

Or, create additional sections for your classroom and track learner progress for a sub-group.

Group Leaders Can Now Create Courses for Their Members!

We have taken the idea of memberships one step further.

Not only can you assign Group Leaders to manage a LearnDash Group, but you can alsoย  give these Group Leaders the ability to create their own LearnDash courses for their members!

Where most membership levels are static, this feature means that the membership level can constantly evolve resulting in more value for the customers who purchase access.

Your course library will fill up with more great content created by the very folks that manage your membership groups.

Use the Course Grid to Display Your Memberships / Groups

List Memberships using the Course Grid Add-on

After all this work creating your LearnDash Groups, you are going to need a way to display these in a concise way to your potential customers, right? Don’t worry, we have you covered!

To create a Group / Membership listing page, simply install the free LearnDash Course Grid add-on! The same functionality that is used to display courses can be used to list your various Groups on any page of your site!

Ready To Get Started Creating Memberships?

The functionality of LearnDash Groups is extremely powerful, but only if you know how to use it! Don’t worry – all of this is explained in detail in our documentation! All you need to do next is:

  1. Update to the latest version of LearnDash
  2. Visit the Groups documentation
  3. Create Your Membership Levels!

We can’t wait to see how all of you use these new capabilities!

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
There is no better time than now to create your online courses and memberships! By joining LearnDash you not only receive best-in-class online course software (with an entire free website template to get started), but you also become a member of our vibrant, supportive community!


Groups / Memberships FAQs

Is this an add-on, or built into LearnDash?
These new features are built into the LearnDash plugin. No add-on needed.

I still want to use a membership plugin, is that okay?
Absolutely! We actually had a webinar on this very topic – check it out!

Can I sell group / membership access with “X” payment gateway?
Currently, you can sell with PayPal, Stripe, or any payment gateway that is supported when using WooCommerce.

Can users have access to two (or more) group / membership levels at a time?
Yes!

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. Let's Talk! | Twitter

110 Responses

  1. Wonderful.

    Can we simply sell group access without courses attached?

    That way I can have social group on buddy boss attached to a learner group and simply post the lessons into the BB groups which are private.

    Right now having a course (videos) and a protected forum are a little too much navigating for our folks.

    I would love to sell access to a group and then use the group as I see fit by adding content into the forumsโ€ฆ

    Does that make sense?

    Congratulations!

    1. Hi,

      look fantasic as always.

      Can group member link with custom wordpress roles ?

      For example,

      I create group A.
      Member with in group a i would like to assign role to.. ALevelMembership once they buy access to group.

      The reason i ask is i use learndash along with other plugin base on native wordpress roles.

      if it can work it would be great!

    2. Hi Simon … Iโ€™m a Social Learner user, considering converting to the BuddyBoss Theme. With this new LD membership functionality, is that conversion necessary?

  2. Awesome. I don’t suppose corporate purchases are supported? We want to be able to sell a bundle of courses to a group of people within an organisation. Have to use a membership plugin to do that at the moment.

      1. +1 – This functionality would be amazingly helpful for us too. Thanks for all the great updates Justin!

      2. Same here, we sell to Corporate HR depts. That would mean we don’t need to use any other plugins! At the moment we use WooCommerce memberships and Teams.

      3. +1 โ€“ We really would like to see this functionality in LearnDash. These are great improvements for the Plugin!

        The Idea with the assignment of native WordPress roles would also be a huge improvement of this new Version of the LMS/Memberships-Extension.

      4. This is also the question I came to ask, being able to sell corporate membership (Or giving one membership tier the ability to create other members on their own) would be EXTREMELY beneficial to my main client, and would really prop this addition up amongst the competition that also have this crucial feature.

    1. Hi,

      Is it possible to apply Learndash groups to non-course pages in a website? Iโ€™m asking as currently using Restrict Content Pro which can do both. Ta.

    2. What membership plug-in do you use to be able to do this? I’m setting up a membership and I need to be able to sell bundles of courses to groups of people (for example, selling a team account where everybody on somebody’s team gets their own login), just like you said. How do you accomplish this right now?

  3. Great work Justin! Looking forward to this membership/access tiers feature integrating more tightly with thrivecart payments. Full thrivecart learndash integration would be a dream come true. Any chance on an ETA or update if it will be prioritized at all? Thank You.

    1. Thanks Issiah! We plan on adding more payment options. You could use our Zapier integration for selling group access using thrivecart.

  4. This is awesome! Sub-groups is an incredible feature, will be taking advantage of that right away! Thanks for continuing to innovate!

  5. Please do include payTM, UPI, and razorpay channels too as in India people prefer to pay through mobile.

      1. Yeah, we can. But while selling physical books and digital courses together with Woocommerce, the “My Orders” section gets confusing.

  6. Hi Justin,

    Can you tell us what the introduction of Sub-Groups means for reporting ie. in relation to Group Leaders using ProPanel?

    Can Group Leader accounts be granted reporting capabilities just for the sub-groups for which they are assigned in their organisation? If the Group Leader has been assigned more than one sub-group then are they given the ability to run reports across all sub-groups together and/or to filter through individual sub-groups to which they have been assigned?

    1. The GL will have visibility for the group and sub-groups to which they have access. Let’s say you have Group A –> Group B –> Group C

      If the group leader is assigned at Group B they can see all users at that level and also Group C. But not Group A.

      Same for a User. If the user is enrolled at Group B they can see all courses in Group B and Group C. But not Group A.

  7. Looks great! Previously anyone enrolled in a LD Group took the start date of when the course itself was added to the group, so people joining the group later could not benefit from drip lessons (because their working enrolment date was often much earlier than their purchase date). Has this function remained the same?

  8. How can group leaders or organizers create courses, or am I misunderstood? Although the functionality would be in demand, if the organizer himself could create courses in the external interface without affecting the Word Press panel

    1. It’s a setting. If you want to allow Group Leaders to create courses you turn that setting on so that they have access to the course builder in the dashboard (but not the other stuff on your site).

      1. Hello Jastin, that’s a great feature, it saves me from installing other plugins.

        Can you tell us where to turn the setting on ?

    1. Yup! ๐Ÿ™‚ More info coming in a coming email but shoot support a note if you have specific questions.

    2. On a related note, I’ve wanted to include their group in a merge field in a Gravity Forms evaluation form, so that those could be filtered by group. Hadn’t worked, so ended up creating a user meta that essentially duplicates the group name. Another place it would help to have Group identified is the assignments page.
      Thanks for all the great work!

  9. Hi Justin,
    Is the updated Group Leader role equivalent to Instructor Role for LearnDash? any advantage in using one or the other?

    1. It’s a bit different. We don’t have an instructor role (but a 3rd party addon does). That has different features for a particular use-case.

  10. Hey Justin! Congratulations on finishing this! It looks really good. I read through all the support documentation you linked to, and I have one question.

    If you are selling access to a closed group through WooCommerce, is it possible / or how does one set the closed group to have a prerequisite of a specific LearnDash Course?

    For example, I have Spanish Level 1 students, and they have a Spanish Level 1 LearnDash course. I want to them to be able to purchase any Spanish 1 group using WooCommerce. So if there are 5 groups, they could purchase 1 or 5 of them. But if someone has a French Level 3 LearnDash Course, they wouldnโ€™t be able to purchase any of those groups.

    (I tried in the past to use Course Prerequisites to sell courses with a prerequisite, but the payment only goes through PayPal or Stripeโ€”not WooCommerce.)

    Thank you again! I can tell you and your team worked incredibly hard on this!

    1. It is very unfortunate that for two years now I bought the LMS but have not been able to make use of it, because the Developer was unable to fix it correctly. But anyway, I am still paying for it and wish to continue use it.

      Please what is the work of this Group Leaders functionality? And how can we be able to use it?

      Please elaborate more of the use of this GL uses.

  11. Cool.
    Some feedback: I think a more useful feature (at least to me) would be the ‘coaching pages’ (as seen on lifter). Teachers spend more of their time (once the course is up) getting students over hurdles. Let’s face it, this is where real learning happens.

        1. I have used and quickly uninstalled private sessions. It is not very well implemented. If you search the facebook group there’s some posts on it from Kari I believe

  12. If you already have groups set up with a dummy course as a front: Course X (no real content in X), because it’s tied to Group X (which includes courses a,b,c,d,e,f) for the sake of selling membership via groups, there isn’t much reason to change that set up. Yes?

    Is this mostly a standardization or clarification on how one can use groups? I’m not understanding (possibly beyond subgroups) how this is different from functionality we already have. It looks easier to set up, but for those who already have this workaround – any changes we need to make? Any functionality gained or lost?

  13. Thank you for these update!. I was waiting for something like that.
    I bought Gravity Forms to Automate the enrollment process for my alumns because I ca not use neither Paypal nor Stripe. But I realize that Gravity Forms only allows access for specific Courses, not Groups. Could this be possible with this update? (Give access to a Group, not a selection of courses because if in future I want to add some course for this Group/membershiplevel, it is not possible with the current Gravity Forms features.

  14. If I’m not mistaken, I’m currently seeing a limiting with using Groups in a recurring membership system if using a payment gateway (I use Cartflows + Woocommerce). Is it possible to have members only remain in a group only if they continue to pay for their subscription? Similarly, our program has an option to purchase a 1-year long membership. Is there a way for me to set things up so that when someone purchases this option, they’ll be put in the group for a year and taken out when it’s over.

    I’m guessing this is only really possible if access mode is set to recurring, but even with this, there’s only the option for a monthly payment.

    Would be awesome if there was some sort of way for this integration between WooCommerce and Learndash was possible now or in the future!

    1. Yeah, how do recurring payments and renewing memberships work with Woocommerce? I need a geolocation tax rate system like Woocommerce offers, but I would love to offer automatically recurring payments without the need for that very expensive Woocommerce subscription plugin. My teaching business is currently more like a hobby.

        1. I do have the subscription add-on and have recurring payments already setup for members in my membership program. To clarify my original post, what I am seeking to accomplish is integrating WooCommerce subscriptions with Learndash groups so that a customer is added to a group to a group when they purchase a subscription, and are automatically removed from the group when they are no longer paying the subscription.

          Similarly, I would like to be able to have a member added to a group for X amount of months if they were to purchase say a 1-year membership.

  15. I’m using ThriveCart and the LearnDash ThriveCart Beta add-on. We use PayPal with ThriveCart. Will this work?

    1. Possibly if you set-up the purchase of a course to auto-enroll into a group. Or, use our Zapier integration so that when a sale is made in thrivecart it enrolls the user into a desired group.

  16. Hi Justin
    I am thinking about purchasing LearnDash LMS for WordPress as I am wanting to create a homeschooling site that sells courses for 11yr olds through to 16yr olds and this update might answer a few issues i was facing. The idea is that the parent purchases an individual subject for an academic year or a bundle of subject courses for their child. The child would have a ‘child’s account’ to access the course and the parent would have a ‘parent account’ so they can check on their child’s progress etc.. This is the one aspect that is preventing me from purchasing Learn Dash at the moment. Is there a way that this can be done through the new membership update? I would like the parent to purchase the course, create an account and then be able to create the child accounts themselves…but with the child being able to log in independently. Any help or recommendations you can give would be much appreciated before I go ahead with the purchase.
    Thanks
    Adam

    1. We don’t have this at present Adam, sorry. The roles would need to be custom created with a role editor plugin. I have noted your use-case.

  17. It opens up extraordinary possibilities, it’s just amazing to package the same content in different ways and allow access to more trivial content that didn’t deserve a lesson, thanks ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

  18. A few requests:
    Gradebook with transcript creating and printing option
    Have multiple instructors for a single course, and ability to assign permission levels to instructors.
    A “co-admin” level that you can set permissions for, so that there is one main admin with access to everything, and co-admins would have access to certain maintenance features/areas only.
    Full white label branding (school/business logo instead of learn dash on the admin panel tab – or at the very least on co-admin tab if that feature were implemented). White label and co-admin idea is to protect developers and designers, and to keep clients from “breaking” the system by having full admin access.

  19. Hello Justin!

    Great news, i just have a question. We already integrate Memberpress to our Learn Dash Installation. But we want to migrate to this new feature. We just launch the website, we have a few members, is there a way that can we migrate them or install this new feature on an easy way?

    Regards,

  20. Wow! Amazing news! Thank you for this update! Yesterday I was looking for a solution like that for my website!

    Can you please help me with this quick questions?
    1. Where can I find Group Content Protection Setting?
    2. How to add a group membership to WooCommerce product?
    3. Can a single user be a member of more than 1 group and have access to 2-3 group protected content?

    1. I found group content protection settings ๐Ÿ˜‰ But how can I restrict page or post for specific group?

      1. Activate the necessary post type under LEARNDASH LMS > GROUPS > SETTINGS, then you’ll see the option on the post/page you specify.

        1. 1. I’ve done that but where do I assign access to specific page for the grop?

          2. How to add a group membership to WooCommerce product?

          3. Can a single user be a member of more than 1 group and have access to 2-3 group protected content?

  21. Thank you for this! And for not making us pay for an addon! That is why I’m willing to pay the annual license fees for upgrades like this.

  22. This is awesome Justin! I have used LearnDash for government entities since the initial release but now that I am retired and getting ready to launch my own personal photography course platform, this works out perfectly with what I have been mapping out! Kudos to the team on the constant development of LearnDash!

  23. Extremely new to all of this but my road block is in the registration form and the quiz results. As a nonprofit we are required to provide certain answers to grant applications that I have yet to figure out how to obtain if we go forward and keep learndash. We are able to create a course. We are able to link our merchant service piece to stripe. However, we can not create a custom registration form to consist of the required fields we need answered then reported out on. The quiz answers, we need to see what the answer that is selected actually is. We appreciate knowing the score, but it does not help us determine where our program needs to be improved nor the population we are serving. Not all our participants pay for the courses. Those who can not afford to pay are often provided access through grant funds and private donations, hence the need to provide the reporting.

    1. You can disable the registration button on the LD login form. Instead use Ultimate Member to create a custom registration page, form and fields. You can create a custom “welcome/registration” email to send to your self containing custom fields you have created, this will help store your data and give you answers you need. Re quiz i think you can see the information within users inside wp admin.

    1. That depends – there are still reasons why you may choose to use a membership plugin. They are quite robust and work great with LearnDash.

      1. Justin, I recently purchased MemberPress to use with Learn Dash and have added the integration plugin. The problem: Member Press does not offer support since they did not create this integration and they keep referring me back to you guys. When I reach out to support at Learn Dash, they seem confused by my questions and not familiar with this integration. I find myself once again spinning my wheels trying to get help. I really like Learn Dash and feel very comfortable with it. And I also like Member Press. Now is there some way I can get my questions regarding merging the two resolved? I have read the docs and watched the videos. They don’t address my questions. Thanks!

  24. Hi there,
    It is a very good news!
    I feel a bit lost though.

    Some questions:
    – The group grid in the buddy boss theme does not display the price and I see bugs on the group page. What is the best way to show a grid of groups with the price that, when paid, directly sends to the Social BB groups?
    – In buddy Boss, how can the social group leader manage the price of the group? Because you see, I’d like my teacher to use the Budy Boss interface only for group management, and not a double group interface…
    – The GRID BUILDER Add on, which I love for courses, has no group feature. Is it planned to have it with the paid functionalities?

    Many thanks
    Bastien

  25. Looks great.
    Im guessing it would replace much of Activemember360 functionality.
    Do you have a comparison?

    1. AM360 has a very tight integration with ActiveCampaign that still may be useful for your use-case.

  26. good job

    congratulations to you, the developers, and to us who now have an important feature in times of recurring economy.

    Thank you and a big hug from southern Brazil.

    Cheers

    Roberto

  27. It seems like I need this or any Membership feature to manage users and any number of courses they might be interested in… but are the courses limited to be sold as a subscription?
    I’m looking for the capability of allowing a member login to manage users, then each user can choose to purchase access to any number of courses:
    e.g. Course A (@flat rate of $X) / Course B (@flat rate of $Y) / Course C (@flat rate of $Z)

    Is this feature designed for a use-case scenario like this, or should I be looking elsewhere?

    1. You could sell three groups/memberships with various courses at different prices. Or, you can just sell courses individually as has always been possible. Third, you could sell courses individually AND sell group options (for groups of courses).

  28. Hi Justin!
    Great update! Maybe it will replace our needs with WooCommerce Membership! Can wait to test it.
    Are there any known bugs with this new version of Learndash when used with BuddyBoss?

    Thanks!

  29. Thank you for the feature. Recurring payments for bundles of courses is vital and a really good addition. On question:

    Is the customer able to go to a purchase-page of some sort after purchasing recurring-payment access and download their invoices/receipts of all past payments?

    1. No this isn’t a feature in LearnDash. The invoice will be auto-sent via PayPal (for example). If you need a download area like that then that is available in WooCommerce.

  30. This is great! Thank you! I haven’t used groups before. Frankly it’s a bit overwhelming as there’s a lot to learn – but this is a good thing! I plan to membership-ize my site in the future.

    I guess it would be possible to make the entire website content membership-based wit this, right?

    Oh, and my suggestion for LearnDash support would be a commenting plugin like Disqus. I’d love to have the Disqus comments link to Learndash profile or something like that.

    1. Thanks Michael! Yes, there are a lot of possibilities. You can indeed make a traditional membership site with this feature, though if that’s the route you are going (without the need for courses) then a membership plugin would probably be best.

  31. Is there a way to use groups, or nested groups, or anything else here really to restrict access to specific lessons within a course?

    Example: Main Group = Access to all lessons in the course. Subgroup – Access To only specific course lessons? I see how to do it with Posts/Pages, but I’m not seeing the ability to do it with lessons.

    Reason – We sell courses, with bonus lessons (that should appear in the course), that users can upgrade to.

  32. We are evaluating the eLearning & membership tools. Does this mean that BuddyBoss would not be necessary to build up the membership and community?

    1. BuddyBoss is a theme/system that leverages LearnDash for online courses. The groups in BuddyBoss are different than what is referenced in this update. You can still use LearnDash (and these new features) with the BuddyPoss platform.

  33. This update completely breaks video progression. Avoid updating at all costs. All 4,500+ of my students are currently stuck in their courses with no way to move forward whatsoever. Was any testing done before release? I’ve contacted support and received no response.

    1. Hi Robert, I see you have a ticket with support already. A manager is having a look. In the interim, I’d recommend reverting the update from the hosting account or back-up and then installing the new version on a dev environment first. Support will continue to work with you to get things squared away!

  34. I currently use LearnDash with WishList to govern access. What would the transition look like to integrate all the memberships into LearnDash and not loose my recurring payments for memberships in the transition?

  35. Hello, Justin,
    that’s fantastic news. Thank you for introducing a membership feature! This comes at just the right time for me!

    For me two improvements would be essential:

    1. I urgently need the possibility to make certain blocks (Gutenberg) in my posts visible only to group members/guests. It is important for me to be able to address both target groups.

    2. I would like to be able to give all my members access to a specific Custom Post Type (without having to edit all CPTs). It would also help me if I could make this setting directly in the template.

    Are there already plans to implement the two functions? I would be very happy if these possibilities would be considered in the further development.

    Thanks a lot in advance!
    Best regards, Francis

    1. Plans for #2 (or a form of it) are in the works. Nothing for #1 but might be possible already by just putting the block between the [ld_groups] shortcode.

  36. This is awesome! Any chance of getting coupon or promo codes for groups or individual courses. This is the only reason I need to pair with a membership plugin for my clients now.

  37. Great update – Much MUCH needed flexibility with groups!

    However, during the update to 3.2 all my course pages that have the shortcode [course_content] stopped working. I think this is related to the Bug Fix in the change log “Fixed pagination issue when [course_content] shortcode is used on a Course”

      1. definitly something needed right away… If we have rolling courses, like every three months, those that have taken the course need to be removed.

  38. I am still waiting for the groups functionality to allow term-based course enrollment. So you have some Course, call it Course X. Then you have Course X – Spring, Course X – Fall, etc. These terms could be groups, but LD Groups don’t have timing, and no 3rd party group add ons allow group/term-specific enrollment.

    I think a ton of users would find this ability extremely useful. Otherwise, what is the current LD way of handing repeating, term-based courses?

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