How to Setup LearnDash Membership LMS on WordPress?

Online is the new way of learning today. It is projected that the online learning industry will grow at a CAGR of 20% between 2022-2028. So, launching a WordPress website with various online courses is a profitable venture in the coming days. Plus, membership websites are the next big hit. Why? Because popular membership sites are today making over 100K per year. Wow! So, if you are also planning to setup a WordPress membership site, use LearnDash and create practical online courses. The reason? Digital courses are convenient and cheap. Many people use online courses to learn new things and hobbies while working full-time. And friends and acquaintances even give virtual course memberships to one another as gifts.

In addition, dedicated WordPress plugins like LearnDash have made it easy to create multiple-tier membership courses. You can use LearnDash’s native groups’ function to set detailed membership rules in no time.


Find out our guide on how to build a membership website on WordPress if you want to know more about membership website setup. Now, let’s jump on how to setup LearnDash membership site.

Introduction to LearnDash

LearnDash is a leading WordPress learning management system. It is a number one choice of Fortune 500 companies, universities, entrepreneurs, and training organizations to create online courses.

WordPress users can easily install and activate the LearnDash plugin on their website. Simply go to WordPress admin dashboard > Plugins > Add New > LearnDash.

It is a paid tool. LearnDash’s pricing structure is — a Basic plan for $159/month, Plus for $189/month, and Pro for $329/month. There is also a free demo available to test the LMS.

Today, many popular brands are using LearnDash to create their online courses, such as:

Here are some features that make it easy to setup LearnDash membership site:

  • Simple drag-and-drop online course builder.
  • Make interactive courses with advanced quizzes, custom messages, question banks, etc.
  • Dynamic content delivery using drip-feed lessons, linear and open progression, etc.
  • Set course access based on certain prerequisites.
  • Send email notifications to learners.
  • Encourage conversation among learners using specific discussion forums.
  • Set rules for learners to submit assignments before moving to the next lesson.
  • Award points to learners and create leaderboards.
  • Issue certificates and badges to top learners.

How to Setup LearnDash Membership Website?

After installing LearnDash on your site, you can create course groups and assign courses to each membership level. LearnDash allows you to restrict content for each membership level.

LearnDash allows you to sell courses in bundles rather than single courses. Here’s how it works:

Create LearnDash Viewer Groups

The best thing about setting up a LearnDash membership is that it lets you sell courses in bundles. So, rather than asking students to subscribe to your single courses, you can bundle up courses related to one subject and create a subscription plan. This way, you can sell more courses with limited effort.

Here are some tips for creating LearnDash groups:

  • Price Groups: You can create groups based on monthly renewal or one-time subscriptions. Mostly, new students don’t want to buy a monthly subscription without trying the course. So, a one-time subscription is suitable for new students and a monthly subscription for your regular students.
  • Set Restrictions for Groups: Ensure that people who are part of a group can only access your membership courses. To do so, head over to your WordPress admin panel and open the LearnDash plugin. Next, click on Group Content Protection and choose the content you want to exclude from a group.
  • Assign Group Leaders: If you have a large online course gallery, you can assign group leaders for different categories in LearnDash. This will make it easy to manage different courses on your WordPress website.

Create Sub Groups

LearnDash lets you sub-categorize your courses into smaller and manageable chunks. For example, if you have created a course on search engine optimization in 2022, you can divide your course into on-page SEO and off-page SEO topics.

Create Multiple Membership Levels

This is the most crucial step in this guide. Setting membership levels is essential to generating significant revenue from your online courses.

Multiple memberships let you set different pricing standards and promote your courses with free demos.

If you set too many membership levels, it will only create confusion and reduce your income. Therefore, you should set a maximum of 4-5 membership levels in each course. Here’s how you can setup multiple membership levels in LearnDash:

  • Step 1: Open the LearnDash plugin on your WordPress panel and look for the Membership tab. Click on the Settings option and Create a Membership to assign membership tiers to your courses on the Membership tab.
  • Step 2: You can also create membership discount codes to provide special offers to your potential customers on this tab. On the LearnDash Pro, you will also get the option to create videos to explain your discount process.
  • Step 3: You can create group tabs to build a learner’s community. This option will allow your students to discuss and learn from one another.

Connect Courses to Memberships

Once you have created membership tiers, you can connect them to your courses, quizzes and other elements. This part will decide what courses you will offer under which membership level to your customers.

You should aim to create an attractive membership plan that can motivate more students to subscribe to it.

Under the membership tab, You simply have to check a box next to the item you want to add to your membership level under the membership tab. For instance, courses, discussion forums, quizzes, communities, rewards, etc.

You can also offer some free courses to provide previews to your potential customers. Many learning platforms offer some free basic courses to attract customers like Udemy, Coursera, etc.

If you have already created online courses and now want to add a membership level to them using LearnDash, you can follow the steps:

  • Step 1: Go to the LearnDash panel on your WordPress website.
  • Step 2: Navigate to the course you want to add membership. Click on the Require Membership.
  • Step 3: Select the membership level viewers must’ve to access your content. Save the changes once you are done.

Close The Course Loop & Link The Pages

After adding the membership level to your courses, it is important to close the loop. Otherwise, people can access your courses without a membership.

Here’s how you close the course loop:

  • Step 1: Go to the course menu on LearnDash.
  • Step 2: Navigate to the Course Access Settings option and click on the Access Mode.
  • Step 3: Select the items to apply on the course like Open, Recurring, Free, Buy Now, or Closed.
  • Step 4: After that, insert the course’s URL, and you are done. Now, whenever someone clicks on the Take this Course button, they will be redirected to your added course URL.

Ready to Setup LearnDash Membership Site?

LearnDash can make it easy to setup multiple-tier membership courses. You simply have to create viewer groups and set membership rules.

The software helps you create interactive courses using elements like rewards, group discussions, etc. Plus, LearnDash is a dedicated WordPress plugin with a simple interface. Remember to add manageable membership tiers in your courses. There is no purpose in going beyond 3-4 levels. So, if you want to sell online courses and make money, LearnDash is the best tool. Though the tool is not free, it is worth every penny.

Rest, best of luck with your new online learning venture. And you can always follow us on social media to learn more about WordPress website development.

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