The global market for cloud-based LMS (learning management systems) is currently worth $16.19 billion. This number continues to grow as more and more people move from installed LMS systems to cloud-based solutions that users can access from anywhere.
In this LearnDash Cloud review, we dive deep to discover everything there is to know about the new cloud-based LMS that is taking the market by storm.
LearnDash Cloud Summary
If you’re looking for a powerful yet easy-to-use cloud-based LMS (Learning Management Platform), look no further than LearnDash Cloud. This platform has everything you need to get started, including hundreds of customizable templates, various course creation features, built-in marketing tools, and much more. You’ll also be able to test the software before buying it which is great for beginners who aren’t 100% sure about exactly what they need. Overall, you can’t go wrong with LearnDash Cloud!
Highly Scalable & Easy to Use
Limited Customization Options
Yes - Up to 15% Off
Starts at $29/Mo
LearnDash is a simple but powerful WordPress plugin to convert your website into a learning management system (LMS).
The platform has been around since 2012 and has deep functionality that allows you to create and sell custom courses on your WordPress website.
The plugin has a drag-and-drop editor and integrates with all major payment gateways. Some of its most prominent features include advanced quizzes, assessments, user management, and reporting. It also offers drip content scheduling, dynamic videos, and integration with other apps and platforms.
Another benefit of cloud-based learning solutions is that they are more cost-effective and you don’t have to make a huge investment to buy the entire software to get started. Your costs will be based on your actual usage metrics, such as the number of portals or users.
About LearnDash Cloud
LearnDash Cloud, the newest managed solution from the LearnDash platform, offers so much more than the plugin.
It’s a fully-hosted WordPress website with LearnDash and some other plugins and goodies built to make it easy for you to get set up quickly.
The comprehensive solution has everything you need to create your first course, promote, and sell it with none of the hassle.
Everything is hosted on a cloud server and you can choose from dozens of pre-made templates and plugins to fully customize your website.
This is a great solution for course creators, instructors, and coaches who want to focus on course creation and marketing rather than spending their precious time managing the technical aspects of the course website.
Is LearnDash Cloud Worth it?
Let’s start off this LearnDash Cloud review by seeing if it’s worth it.
The cloud-hosting solution is designed to give you the most optimized LMS experience to simplify your work.
Any course creator will tell you what a massive undertaking it is to buy a domain, get hosting, install WordPress, and then LearnDash. It’s a long process with a lot of decisions to be made along the way – which often leads to course creators failing to achieve full setup.
LearnDash Cloud makes the setup process easier by helping you create a fully hosted WordPress website that comes loaded with LearnDash.
Everything is available in one place. There’s no need to worry about things like hosting plans, WordPress installation, control panel, plugins, website security and speed – not to mention the endless updates!
LearnDash Cloud greatly minimizes these types of barriers, making it easy for anyone to become a course creator regardless of their technical background and experience.
You’ll save a lot of time and effort, not to mention money, since you’ll only pay one affordable monthly subscription. You’ll save money on hosting, maintenance, and other costs that add up so quickly when you’re building your website.
All in all, this is an excellent all-in-one platform to easily monetize your course and reach a global audience without handling the technical aspect of course creation.
Who is LearnDash Cloud Good For?
LearnDash Cloud is a fully customizable WordPress plugin that is adaptable and flexible for any type of business. The solution comes pre-installed in your WordPress website, as well as some plugins to help you hit the ground running. You get everything you need to create, launch and manage your course without the headache of maintaining it.
Here are some use case examples to help you better understand the scope of this software’s functionality.
- Beginners: If you are new to the course creation scene, or have never used WordPress, then LearnDash Cloud’s drag-and-drop course builder is an excellent and affordable option for you.
- Solopreneurs: If you’re a coach, consultant, instructor or private teacher who works alone and wears all the hats in your business, then you’ll love the maintenance-free nature of this tool.
- Small Businesses: Create a thriving knowledge business with a built-in wizard that lets you answer a few simple questions to build a unique online course or course marketplace.
- Schools: LearnDash Cloud is an all-in-one solution with hosting, premium templates, and full customization so you can provide your students with full-featured courses.
- Developers: Leverage the platform’s advanced features, such as dynamic videos, advanced quizzes, certificate creation, coupons, and challenge exams to create outstanding online courses for clients.
LearnDash Cloud Functionality
1. Ease of Use
Creating and launching an online course has never been easier. LearnDash Cloud now comes with a built-in website which means you can easily expand your course site without having to spend countless hours trying to figure out the technical details of domain management and routine website maintenance.
LearnDash Cloud is built on WordPress, the most popular CMS (content management system) that’s used by millions of people around the world.
It maintains the flexibility of the open-source platform while removing the initial setup problems that are often a barrier to entry for a lot of users.
There is no need to worry about things like hosting the LMS on your server, updating plugins, or maintaining WordPress.
You can host your course on your own WordPress website and enjoy hands-off maintenance, security, automatic updates, and more.
Easy integrations make it possible for you to build an entire ecosystem by expanding your course website with additional features like a blog feed or webstore.
Follow these steps to get started with LearnDash Cloud:
Step #1: Sign Up On The Website
Head over to LearnDash.com/learndash-cloud. Click “Try Now” to register an account for free.
You can choose if you want to sign up as a course creator or learner. Enter your email and you’ll get instant access to the platform.
Step #2: Set Up Your Site
Once you enter your email, the platform gets to work building your sandbox. Once it’s ready, you’ll be directed there to set up your new WordPress course site.
There’s a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to navigate the platform.
There’s also a simple yet powerful drag-and-drop course builder which makes course building a breeze regardless of technical expertise.
You can use the onboarding wizard to help you set up your course in just a few minutes.
- Simply answer a few questions about your course and website;
- Then, you can pick a template and start customizing your course;
- You can then configure payment and other settings.
The course creation wizard guides you every step of the way.
Step 3: Start Adding Course Content
When you’re ready to start adding content to build your course, you’ll find a lot of tools at your disposal.
Here are some of the tools to help you create beautiful, functional courses that generate revenue and promote learning.
- Drag-and-drop course builder that requires no coding skills.
- Beautiful templates with full customizability to match your brand.
- Course cloning feature to make it easy to create new versions of your course.
- Paste video playlist URLs to create a new course in under a minute.
- Drip-feed content or set required lessons or prerequisites to keep learners on track.
2. Customizable Templates and Themes
LearnDash Cloud has a selection of superb educational or LMS-based templates that are optimized for the platform.
Each starter template is professionally designed and fully customizable, making it easy for you to transform it to align perfectly with your brand.
You’ll find a lot of popular options like Astra and Kadence built specifically for LearnDash Cloud.
Choose one that best fits your needs and customize it to your satisfaction.
You can build any type of course site, including
- Digital courses
- Photo courses
- Painting courses
- Business courses
- Fitness courses
- Design courses
- Sewing courses
- Cooking courses
- Life coaching
- Yoga, and much more.
You can use the easy drag-and-drop editor to move around different design elements in your backend.
Set colors, fonts, and logos to deliver your online course in a professional and engaging way.
The course builder offers you full control to create a course that engages learners and grows your revenue. These templates make it easy for you to get started, and if you have the tech know-how, you can add your own code.
Extend your course through developer docs, hooks and filters, and REST API for robust custom functionality.
3. Course Creation Features
One of the platform’s main goals is to help you get better learning outcomes. To this end, the course builder provides you with a variety of tools to keep students engaged.
On your website, course functionality is enabled by default. This means you’ll be able to offer your course to learners in the quickest way possible.
LearnDash Cloud includes options for advanced quizzing, FAQ, and dynamic video courses. You can set challenging exams to test your learners’ knowledge.
Choose from a variety of assessments, including multiple-choice quizzes and timed assessments. Learners can submit any type of media.
If you want to, you can add all of these and other reinforcements on a single course page. The platform also supports homework assignments that you can add after each lesson. You can access a handy grade book that tracks student homework.
Here’s a quick overview of the course creation features on LearnDash Cloud:
- Assignment Management: Approve assignments, comment, and award points on submitted projects.
- Advanced Quizzing: Choose from eight question types with flexible display. Add custom messages and more.
- Flexible Prerequisites: Set access to lessons, courses, and quizzes based on prerequisites determined by you.
- Dynamic Content Delivery: Drip-feed lessons on a schedule or set linear and open progression so students can stay engaged throughout your course.
- Notifications: Set up triggers for emails to stay on top of your learners’ progress. You can intervene if they require extra support.
- Support for Forums: Use the bbPress integration to link forums to your LearnDash Cloud courses.
The platform supports videos, audio, images, SWF files, HTML5, SCORM, and xAPI, among others. Note that SCORM and xAPI require a third-party premium add-on.
Whether you have just one student or 100,000, there’s no limit to how many courses you can create or the number of students who can enroll.
4. Enhanced Learner Experience
LearnDash Cloud comes with a seamless student interface and features to help you maintain the focus of your learners. These include:
- Focus Mode: This feature helps to keep your learners engaged by eliminating distractions.
- Rewards: Reward your learners with badges, certificates, course points, and more to help motivate them to completion.
- Automated Notifications: Encourage accountability for all the students in your class by sending notifications and assignment reminders via email.
- Video Progression: Don’t let learners miss a second by making it a requirement for them to watch a video entirely before moving on to the next lesson.
- Learning Paths: Your learners can test out your course by taking challenge exams to see how well they are progressing.
- Gamification and Leaderboards: Show off top quiz scorers as a fun way to maintain engagement, motivation, and healthy competition among your students.
5. Built-In Marketing Tools
Your ability to market your course plays a determining role in your success or failure as a course creator. LearnDash Cloud comes with built-in marketing tools to make it easier for you to reach new students and promote your new course.
They include tools to:
- Create course landing pages on your website
- Build a list of email subscribers to nurture toward purchasing your course
- Start a blog and add an email signup form
- Promote your course on social media and track your results
- Analytics tools to see how your marketing campaigns are progressing
…and many others.
6. Lightning Fast Hosting
Hosting is included in LearnDash Cloud, which means you don’t have to worry about purchasing it separately.
The web host offers lightning-fast hosting speeds and you get elite performance, expertise, support, and scalability.
The ultra-flexible infrastructure is highly optimized for eLearning and is built with innovative technology that makes the learning management system run quickly.
It comes with features like:
- Autoscaling: Additional PHP resources are deployed automatically during traffic surges to prevent website crashes.
- Cloud Acceleration: The hosting provider offers intelligent dimensional caching for unparalleled speed and performance.
- Automatic Updates: You get hands-off maintenance thanks to automatic updates so you can focus on content creation, lead generation, and course sales.
- Robust Security: LearnDash Cloud comes with built-in security (iThemes Security Pro) to maintain the integrity of your data at all times. This tool comes pre-installed and offers PCI-compliant infrastructure that will make your online store’s payment and transaction data 100% secure.
- Site Backup: Your data will be stored with the platform’s sister company, Nexcess, and it will be automatically backed up every day.
Nexcess is a motivated managed web hosting provider with over two decades of experience. The company has 10 global data centers and offers 24/7/365 hosting and app support. You get peace of mind so you can focus on creating great content and not maintaining software.
7. Seamless Payments
LearnDash Cloud offers seamless payment integration with Stripe, PayPal, or RazorPay for fast and easy payment processing with no fees.
You can process payments for online courses directly on your own site. This means you don’t have to redirect your learners to a third-party website. This can be bad for building trust.
The platform has no direct involvement with your customer transactions and doesn’t collect fees on your course sales.
You deal directly with the payment gateway you select, and once the transaction is complete, it triggers LearnDash Cloud to enroll that user into your course.
You can say goodbye to slow, clunky systems that make payments take forever and increase your cart abandonment rate. Say hello to seamless, lightning-fast transactions that will increase your conversion rate.
And the best part? You don’t have to wait for days or even weeks for payment to show up in your account!
8. Pre-Installed ProPanel Analytics
Tracking metrics is crucial to your course’s success. LearnDash Cloud puts powerful analytics capabilities at your fingertips thanks to the ProPanel feature which comes pre-installed.
This feature provides actionable insight into the progress and engagement of your learners. At a glance, you’ll be able to understand how each of your learners is doing so you can meet their needs and help them achieve their educational goals quicker.
This reporting add-on gives website owners an edge by making it easy for them to assess their courses.
You can see a snapshot or dig deeper into student progress using the data available to you. Track enrolments and easily review pending assignments. Use filters to target struggling students and offer them personalized assistance or encouragement.
Here’s what you get with this powerful tool:
- ProPanel Overview: Shows you the number of learners, courses, pending assignments, and essays.
- ProPanel Activity: Displays activity on your courses such as lessons, topics, and quiz activities, in real-time.
- ProPanel Filter: Allows you to filter by individual courses, users, groups, or dates.
- ProPanel Reporting: Filters can help you find the results you need so you can target specific students or outcomes.
- ProPanel Chart: The Reporting tool lets you create in-progress charts and breakdown filters for learner progress.
The ProPanel software is valued at $49/year for one website, but you get it for free with your LearnDash Cloud subscription. It includes full updates and support.
LearnDash Cloud Pros and Cons
This LearnDash Cloud review has shown that it is indeed a powerful platform. However, like any other software, it has its benefits and drawbacks.
Below, I’ve listed some of its most prominent pros and cons to give you a better idea of the platform’s capabilities.
- Ease of Use: With LearnDash Cloud, there’s no need to worry about managing complex software; everything is done for you by the LearnDash Cloud hosting platform.
- Hosted on #1 CMS: The LMS is hosted on WordPress, the most powerful and widely used content management system currently out there.
- Scalable: LearnDash Cloud is designed to grow with your online education business, whether you have 100 students or 100,000.
- Groups Plus Add-On: Groups Plus is a powerful group management and reporting toolkit that helps make organizational management easier for educators.
- Easy Collaboration: LearnDash Cloud makes team teaching simple by allowing you to organize your students into different groups and sub-groups.
- Compatibility: LearnDash Cloud is compatible with all themes coded to WordPress standards. It also works seamlessly with starter templates that are designed for Cloud specifically.
- LearnDash Cloud Marketplace: Extend the flexibility of your online course with add-ons from over 100 developers on the platform.
- Affordable Pricing: This all-in-one platform is a budget-friendly solution for all course creators.
- Limited Customization: If you love control and want advanced customization of your site, then you may be better off with the Learndash WordPress plugin instead.
- Doesn’t Support Custom Coding: Custom development is outside the platform’s support scope, but the support team can point you in the right direction.
- Doesn’t Work Well on WordPress.com: LearnDash Cloud doesn’t run smoothly on the hosted version of WordPress, and it’s recommended that you only use it on the self-hosted version (WordPress.org).
LearnDash Cloud Competitors
LearnDash Cloud is now so much more than just a plugin. It’s a fully-managed cloud solution. Fully managed means more freedom, flexibility, and time to do what you want since you don’t have to worry about installation, security, or updates.
LearnDash Cloud is a worthy alternative to learning platforms like Kajabi and Thinkific where you can just upload your video courses and be ready to go without having to worry about any of the technical nitty-gritty.
But, if you find that it doesn’t tick all the boxes for you, here are three top alternatives to consider.
LearnDash Cloud vs Teachable
Teachable has some features that are unique to this dedicated learning platform, such as the ability to create online schools or academies and populate them with multimedia courses.
LearnDash Cloud still uses WordPress, and you can build your multimedia course right onto your website, but the platform’s user experience isn’t quite as streamlined as Teachable.
Also, Teachable focuses on high-volume organizations looking to teach online, train employees, or sell online courses. The platform is ideal for anyone who wants to host email marketing campaigns and track performance through social media.
Teachable has a free plan that lets you preview the platform’s core features with ease. However, Teachable does not offer learning assessments, whereas LearnDash Cloud does.
You can integrate your CRM into Teachable, but all in all, LearnDash Cloud is a better choice for anyone who heavily focuses on content creation. It’s built on the world’s best content management system and supports significantly more marketing functions.
LearnDash Cloud vs LearnWorlds
LearnWorlds is an online course platform that lets you monetize your experience, skills, and audience.
It comes with all the tools you need to create, sell, and promote your online course. You can create a free online school with this software or offer memberships and subscriptions to your audience.
Like its competitor, LearnWorlds enhances the learning experience with features like interactive videos, quizzes, and assessments. However, unlike LearnDash Cloud, LearnWorlds offers a more comprehensive range of built-in tools to create and market your online course, though it has its share of alternatives you may want to consider.
These include live classes with Zoom, SCORM and HTML5, Whitelabel, advanced device de-authoring, and tools for building a custom mobile app for your learning business. This makes it a somewhat more sophisticated infrastructure that’s ideal for more established course creators.
Of course, LearnDash Cloud has all the features a top-rated course builder should have, including a drag-and-drop editor, certificate creation, challenge exams, and other advanced features. The main difference between the two is that one functions as a standalone system while the other is built on WordPress CMS.
LearnDash Cloud vs TalentLMS
Like LearnDash Cloud, TalentLMS makes it so that you won’t have to worry about stressful tasks like domains or daily website maintenance. Simply focus on creating and selling your course, and the platform will take care of everything else.
The software is ideal for every team and every use. You can use it to train employees, customers, and partners and empower them all with sales training, partner training, remote workforce training, marketing training, customer support training, compliance training, onboarding, and more.
You can use this software on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Supported specifications include SCORM 1.2, Section 508, and xAPI/Tin Can API.
This is a great LearnDash Cloud alternative to consider if you require an online course platform for training purposes. But there’s a major difference between the two platforms when it comes to pricing.
TalentLMS offers a free trial, after which you can subscribe for $69/month. LearnDash Cloud comes in a lot cheaper at $24/month paid annually.
LearnDash Cloud lets you get started in minutes. It’s the easiest way into the WordPress LMS, providing you with a fully functional website complete with stunning templates, customization tools, and other features to build successful courses.
Here’s what you get with each plan.
- Free Trial: $0/Month: You can sign up as a learner or instructor to experience LearnDash Cloud risk-free. You’ll be able to access the software’s core features to see if it’s a great fit for you.
- Monthly Plan: $29/Month: The monthly subscription plan includes hosting, security, a webstore, ProPanel analytics, and the LMS solution together with customizable templates, quiz features, dynamic videos, and dedicated support.
- Annual Plan: $299/Month:
- Discounted price works out to $24/month
- Secure, high-performance hosting
- Free ProPanel Analytics solution ($49 value)
- Complete LMS solution + templates
- Advanced features (quizzes, dynamic videos, assessments, etc.)
- Third-party integrations
- Dedicated support
There are no hidden fees and all plans come with a 15-day money-back guarantee. You can see all details on their pricing page.
LearnDash Cloud empowers course creators to succeed by making it as easy as possible to get started with the software.
However, if you still need assistance, you can get it a number of ways, including:
- Email Support: LearnDash Cloud users get full access to the platform’s responsive support team. You can open a ticket at any time from the website or your dashboard.
- Robust Documentation: LearnDash Cloud has a library of resources like start-up guides and video tutorials to help you get set up even if you have zero technical knowledge.
- FAQs: Get the answers you need on pre-sales, course creation, product support, and more on the website’s FAQ page.
- WordPress Ecosystem: As a LearnDash Cloud user, you get access to the entire ecosystem of the world’s number one CMS.
- Facebook Group: LearnDash Cloud has an active Facebook group with over 25,000 members where you can interact with like-minded users, share your experience, get support, and discover tips to get the most from the platform.
LearnDash Cloud offers many integrations so you can add functionality without breaking your website. There are 20 free and 14 premium integrations that you can use to help you run your knowledge business.
- Email Marketing: Integrate MailChimp to automatically segment your email lists.
- Zapier: This app allows you to easily connect LearnDash Cloud to 300+ third-party apps with just a few clicks.
- The Events Calendar: Connect your LMS to the most popular Events solution.
- Restrict Content Pro: This integration lets you set different membership levels for your course.
- WooCommerce: Integrate this popular shopping cart to sell your course online.
- Solid Affiliate: A referral plugin for WordPress to help you make more sales and manage affiliates.
- Gravity Forms: Create custom registration forms for your LMS.
- Slack: Add real-time learner activities to the Slack app.
Is LearnDash Cloud Legit?
LearnDash Cloud has always been a popular self-hosted LMS. Now the platform offers a convenient cloud-based solution to so many users who lack the technical knowledge to deal with the day-to-day maintenance, security, updates, and other aspects of WordPress hosting.
This comprehensive and intuitive learning management system has a lot to offer in terms of features and customization options to help creators build, manage, and deliver effective online courses.
It’s ideal for a wide variety of users, including individual educators, training organizations, and even large corporations who want a fully managed solution with solid infrastructure and robust security.
If you are ready to turn your expertise into revenue, then sign up for a free LearnDash Cloud trial to deliver your online course in a quick, easy, and professional way.
This wraps up the LearnDash Cloud review.