LearnDash Hosting - Everything You Need to Know

Julia

Julia Raznik · 24th June 2021·Website Tips

LearnDash Hosting - Everything You Need to Know

What Is LearnDash Hosting?


If you’ve decided that LearnDash is the perfect platform for your eLearning website, you’re going to need to back it up with an excellent hosting package. We’ve broken down everything you need to know about the tool, its best features, and, most importantly, what to look for in a managed host.

What Is LearnDash and What Is LearnDash Managed Hosting?


  • LearnDash - A WordPress plugin that can be used to design and build educational content. This versatile drag-and-drop course builder can create multiple-choice tests, dynamic content delivery, results tracking, and video learning. Commonly used by corporations and university lecturers to distribute information, it’s becoming increasingly popular with the rise of remote working

  • LearnDash Managed Hosting - By hosting your LearnDash platform via a managed service, you’ll benefit from easy scalability as your website grows. Plus, you’ll have access to a dedicated support team that can optimize your site so it runs as efficiently as possible. This means more users can access your training

Who Can Benefit From LearnDash Hosting


Essentially, any organization that needs to distribute learning materials to a wide audience online, but doesn’t have the skills to develop its own platform will benefit.

The data host will take care of any technical issues while the easy-to-use drag-and-drop builder means you can create unique educational content in no time at all.

What Are the Features and Benefits of LearnDash?


Features and Benefits of LearnDash
  • Focus mode - This feature eliminates distractions for your users allowing them to focus on the content. It removes navigation, footers, and sidebars, meaning no time wasted with idle web browsing

  • The new course builder - You can build an unlimited number of courses here. Create lesson plans, add unique content, develop targeted assessments, and even reward users for progress

  • Quizzing and assignments - Create multiple choice and free-form quizzes alongside leaderboards to encourage competition. Plus, give your users assignments to complete with automated reminders before the completion date

  • Monetization options (PayPal integration) - The platform can be easily monetized too. Charge your customers for one-off access to eLearning courses, or apply a recurring payment plan for long term learning

  • Course forums - Allow your users to discuss your training materials and collect feedback via the member forums

  • User documentation - The LearnDash platform has dozens of guides and articles describing how to get the most out of the platform and advice on creating exceptional courses

  • Reporting and administration tools - You can easily track your user’s progress, test results, and monitor engagement with the platform. You can use the data to make tweaks and improvements

  • Automatic notifications - Set automatic notifications for both your platform administrators and your users. Get alerts when courses are complete or when feedback has been received

  • Group management - Divide your users into groups. Great for managing team progress or creating specific courses to target individual training needs

  • Use any WordPress theme - As a WordPress plug-in, LearnDash comes with built-in compatibility with all WordPress themes

Drawbacks of LearnDash


Drawbacks of LearnDash
  • Tricky to learn - With so many features on hand it can be quite difficult for newbies to get to grips with the platform. To create the best content you’ll need to understand the many options and settings available at each stage of the creation process. That being said, LearnDash does provide extensive user documentation to help out

  • Lack of reporting features on the entry-level plan - The entry-level plans are lacking in features when compared to upper tiers, particularly when it comes to reporting

  • Pricey - It can be expensive using LearnDash. The basic plan starts at $159 per year, rising to $329 for the most expensive package

Options to Look Out for When Choosing LearnDash Managed Hosting


Choosing LearnDash Managed Hosting

1. Number of visits (or bandwidth) allowed per month

While LearnDash itself allows for unlimited users, you’ll need to make sure you choose a hosting package that has enough data allowance to handle your expected number of visitors

2. Server location

The closer your host’s servers are to your customer base, the faster your website and training programs will be. Make sure to choose a package that has servers in your primary geographic region

3. Scalable infrastructure

If you expect your training platform to grow, or simply want some flexibility to cater for peaks and troughs in traffic, you’ll need to consider scalability. Managed cloud hosting could be a good option here as it can easily scale up to handle as many users as you’d like

4. Latest PHP version

PHP is the coding language that actually allows you to develop web apps for WordPress. You’ll need to have the latest version compatible with LearnDash to be able to run your site effectively

5. PHP workers

LearnDash PHP Workers

PHP workers will allow you to handle simultaneous uncached requests. This essentially determines how quickly your site can process user actions. The more workers you have the more site traffic you can handle

6. Memory (RAM) & processing power (CPU)

These are both factors that affect the processing power of your website. If you have particularly resource-hungry plug-ins or large numbers of users, it’s best to increase your RAM and CPU power

7. WordPress-specific security

We’d highly recommend opting for a WordPress hosting package. This way, you’ll have access to a team of security experts that know the platform’s vulnerabilities and how to plug them. In addition, the team can help you optimize the LearnDash platform for security

8. Routine, automated backups

Always opt for a package that has regular, automated backups. No matter how secure your website is, everyone is at risk of cyber attack. With routine backups you’ll have a fallback solution should you lose your data

9. Available, reliable, knowledgeable support

This needs to be 24/7, 365 days a year. Websites are running constantly and you could run into issues at any time. Luckily, with a managed service you can rely on a knowledgeable support team to fix problems within agreed timeframes

10. Multi-user permissions

LearnDash Multi-user permissions

It’s likely you’ll need some developer support when building your LearnDash platform. This means you’ll need a data host that allows you to grant administrator privileges to others, whilst restricting access to only those systems and processes they’ll need

11. Server Analytics

The most basic type of site analysis tool is Google Analytics. Most data hosts will be compatible, but it’s always worth checking what other tools are available to monitor your site traffic and user behavior

12. Site uptime

As a minimum, you should expect a 99.99% uptime guarantee from a managed hosting service. Anything less and it could impact the experience of your LearnDash users

LearnDash Video-Based Training


LearnDash Video-Based Training

It’s incredibly simple to upload videos into your training courses. LearnDash allows you to embed videos from your YouTube channel as well as upload original content.

You can even use a ‘video progression’ feature that requires users to watch the entirety of a video before it can be marked as complete. It’s a useful way to ensure your users aren’t skipping content.

LearnDash Alternatives


  • iSpring Market - This tool is much easier to get to grips with than LearnDash, but doesn’t have quite as many features. It’s aimed at those running large training centers as well as small businesses

  • Teachable - A slick platform that focuses on selling your courses to a wide audience. As such, you’ll find a range of marketing tools bundled with the platform

  • Podia - The target market of this platform is freelancers and solo entrepreneurs looking to sell their services to as wide an audience as possible

Summary


LearnDash is an incredibly powerful platform that can build some pretty impressive online learning courses. It’s no surprise that it’s used by Fortune 500 companies to train staff as well as by smaller businesses looking to sell content. The huge range of features means you’ll be able to pull together some unique quizzes and assignments and the smooth integration with WordPress makes it an ideal choice.

It can be a little pricey for some, but we feel it’s worth it for the feature set you get. The platform is a little complicated for beginners to get their heads around, but you can access dozens of guides and blogs to walk you through the basics.

Frequently Asked Questions


Is LearnDash a Theme or a Plug-In?

It’s a plug-in and a multi-functional tool. You can, however, use it with any WordPress theme you like, letting you keep your course style in line with your website.

Does LearnDash Support Live Training?

No, not directly, but you can use a third-party plug-in to integrate your LearnDash site with another platform. In addition, you can set up conference calls with compatible apps too.

Does LearnDash Offer a Free Trial?

No, but if you’re not completely satisfied with the platform you can request a full refund within 30 days of purchase.

Does LearnDash Have a Support Team?

No, but you can access lots of helpful information via an extensive library of guides on the LearnDash homepage. Plus, you can ask for help from fellow users via the forum.

Can I Use LearnDash Without WordPress?

No, you must have a website built using the WordPress content management system.

Julia
Julia Raznik