LDX Design

LearnDash 4.15 Design Features & Design Upgrade Plugin Compatibility

Sticky post

Hi LearnDash Friends,

If you’re reading this, you’ve heard about LearnDash 4.15 and the new “LearnDash Styles” design options they added to the Customizer. You found out about them at the same time I did.

If you didn’t know, I’m the owner of the popular Design Upgrade for LearnDash plugin (~20,000 active users). I’ve heard from some customers via email, and I’m being told there are many more asking questions in the LearnDash Facebook Group (unfortunately, I’m unable to respond in the group).

NOTE: I am a member of the Unofficial LearnDash Group here. Consider joining that if you’d like to ask questions about the plugin and these new LearnDash options. Tag me to be sure I see your questions.

I’m still in the early stages of testing the new LearnDash design features, and evaluating how I’m going to handle them alongside using my plugin. But I’d like to answer as many questions as I can for now. I’ll update this page when I can provide you with more.

Will updating to LearnDash 4.15 affect my Design Upgrade styles?

Some of them, yes. Others, no.

The options in LD 4.15 are very limited compared to what we offer. They do automatically apply some CSS, even if you don’t use any of their options, and some of that CSS will change the look of your site.

Which parts of my site will be affected?

I can’t give you an exact list, but in general, if there’s an option in the “LearnDash Styles” Customizer panel for something, you can expect there might be an issue with that particular element. So things like buttons, progress labels, course content headings, etc.

Features that Design Upgrade offers that LearnDash Styles does not, those will likely still work as they always have.

Can I use both the Design Upgrade plugin and some of the new LearnDash Styles?

Yes. However, see above for some potential conflicts.

In any instance where Design Upgrade & LearnDash Styles offer the same option, I’m pretty sure that LearnDash Styles will take precedence. It certainly looks like their styles are written more aggressively, and will load after our styles, making theirs win.

If only Design Upgrade offers the option, you should be able to use it just fine.

What about button & link hover styles?

The new LearnDash Styles do not provide any hover style options. And since their styles take precedence over ours, unfortunately, their button & link colors will be used for both normal and hover states. This renders our hover styles unusable, at the moment (I’m working on a fix).

Should I stay on LearnDash 4.14?

Generally, it’s best practice to keep your plugins up-to-date. However, if you want to continue to use the Design Upgrade plugin as you always have, you’ll need to stay on 4.14 for now.

The good news is that there are no security issues fixed in 4.15, and no other new features were added. The only reason you would NEED TO update to 4.15 is if one of the 6 small bug fixes they made apply to you. To me, it looks like they won’t impact most users. (see LD release notes)

So there shouldn’t be any security issues to remain on LearnDash 4.14 for now.

When can I expect an update to the Design Upgrade plugin to address all of this?

From the day I created the plugin almost 6 years ago, up to and including today, I’ve always been incredibly detailed and intentional with how I make updates. I don’t just respond quickly to “just fix things,” but I consider the long-term implications.

There’s a lot of CSS to comb through with this change, and it will take some time (weeks, not months). Rest assured, careful consideration will be made in all decisions.

I’ll email all customers as soon as an update is available, explaining the decisions made.

What does this mean for the future of the Design Upgrade plugin?

I’m not sure yet.

I hope to have a conversation with LearnDash in the near future about their plans for the LearnDash Styles. If they plan to continue adding design options to it, and those options overlap with ours, there will come a point where it won’t make sense to continue managing our plugin.

But we’re a long way away from that at this point.

As long as we still have a decent amount of users using our plugin, and getting value from it, I’ll do my best to continue maintaining it.


If you have any questions I didn’t address above, feel free to leave them in the comments.


LearnDash > Settings > General > Colors

Upon upgrading to LearnDash 4.15, it looks like LearnDash changes the default colors under LearnDash LMS > Settings > General > Design & Content Settings.

The new default colors used the dark blue & green mentioned below, and changed the Notifications & Warnings color to a different shade of yellow (from #ffd200 to #f2e600).

LearnDash 4.15 default colors
New, default colors in LearnDash 4.15

What’s interesting is that if you click the “Default” button, you can actually restore the previous color defaults in versions 4.14 and below, which were:

  • Accent Color: #00a2e8
  • Progress Color: #019e7c
  • Notifications, Warnings, etc.: #ffd200

LearnDash Customizer Style Defaults

When you update to version 4.15, LearnDash applies some default colors to various elements of your LMS.

They use the following 4 colors:

  • #002bc9 – dark blue
  • #01af36 – green
  • #333333 – dark grey
  • #ffffff – white

In general…

Dark blue is used for:

  • In Progress status background
  • Content header backgrounds
  • Button backgrounds
  • Breadcrumb links
  • Focus Mode navigation element background color

White is used for:

  • In Progress status text
  • Content header text
  • Button text
  • Focus Mode navigation element text color

Green is used for:

  • Complete status background
  • Progress bars

Dark grey is used for:

  • Incomplete quiz icons

LearnDash + BuddyBoss: The Ultimate Online Course Community Platform

Sticky post

Are you looking to build an online course community with WordPress?

If so, there’s no better combination than LearnDash & BuddyBoss. Using these two products, you can create and sell online courses, create groups and discussions, and provide an entire social network for your students, all without leaving your website.

I’ve built dozens of LearnDash sites, and consulted with over 100 online course creators, and BuddyBoss is hands down the best tool for creating a community-based online learning platform. I’ll show you exactly what you get with this killer combination through screenshots, short videos, and tons of links to discover if LearnDash + BuddyBoss is the winning combination for your next project.

The Best WordPress LMS Themes for Every Platform

Sticky post

So you’ve chosen to build your Learning Management System (LMS) on WordPress. Congratulations!

You may have even picked an LMS plugin to go with, which is more than half the battle.

Now it’s time to figure out which WordPress LMS theme to pair with your plugin.

7 Free WordPress LMS Plugins to Build Your Online Learning Platform

Sticky post

Updated for 2024

If you’re asking yourself, “How do I create a free LMS website with WordPress?,” you’ve come to the right place. We’ve researched & tested out all 10 of the free WordPress LMS plugins on the market, including feature lists, free vs. pro comparisons, design, integrations, and more. Currently, I think 7 are worth considering, and the remaining 3 have more work to do.

It’s worth nothing, all of the free WordPress LMS plugins on this page are very limited in features. If you’re serious about building an online learning site, you should definitely consider paying for a WordPress LMS plugin. With the free versions of these plugins, you’ll likely hit roadblocks as you start to build out your courses.

BuddyBoss vs. BuddyPress: What’s the Difference?

If you’re looking to build a social networking site for WordPress, you’ve probably heard of both BuddyBoss & BuddyPress.

In this article, I’ll explore the similarities & differences between BuddyBoss vs. BuddyPress, and tell you which one you should use for your next project.

13 LearnDash Alternatives: LMS Plugins & Platforms with Similar Features

LearnDash is the most popular LMS platform for WordPress, by far. And one of the more popular LMS options in general.

However, others are gaining in popularity. This article will explore LearnDash alternatives in the WordPress space, as well as hosted/SaaS LMS platforms outside of WordPress.

Since LearnDash is a WordPress LMS plugin, we’ll first look at the other LMS plugins you can use with WordPress. If you’re already using WordPress and/or committed to the platform, you’ll want to choose a LearnDash alternative WordPress plugin.

There are some free WordPress LMS plugins, but none of them offer the features that LearnDash provides. You’ll want to go with a premium solution.

However, if you’re open to non-WordPress LMS solutions, jump down to the section on other SaaS/hosted LMS platforms.

How to Downgrade/Rollback Your LearnDash Version

Did you just update to a new version of LearnDash and it caused some issues with your site? Or perhaps you just don’t like some of the changes that were made in the latest LearnDash release.

This article will explain the steps you can take to downgrade or rollback to a previous version of LearnDash.

BuddyBoss Price Breakdown: Platform + Theme + App + Hosting

Are you interested in building a community site with BuddyBoss, but find yourself asking, “How much does a BuddyBoss site really cost?” Well, you’re in the right place.

I’ve been working with LearnDash & BuddyBoss since 2018, and I can tell you, there’s more to the BuddyBoss price than just what you see on the sticker.

There’s also several different ways you can build a BuddyBoss site, and each one comes with a different price tag.

Let’s take a look at all of BuddyBoss’ products, how much they cost, and what other costs you need to factor into your budget. We’ll look at a base cost, or what you’d need to get started with only a handful of members, as well as an “established site” cost, once you’ve built a solid, profitable membership.

What is LearnDash Focus Mode & How to Use It

If you’re new to LearnDash, you might have heard of “Focus Mode.” This article will explain LearnDash Focus Mode in detail, provide screenshots and videos for how to set it up, and discuss the many different ways you can customize it.

10 BuddyBoss Alternatives to Build a Community Platform in 2024

When it comes to building community sites with WordPress, BuddyBoss has long been regarded as a go-to plugin, powering large online communities and membership sites with ease.

While BuddyBoss stands out for its comprehensive feature set and seamless integration with popular WordPress LMS plugins (LearnDash, Tutor LMS, LifterLMS), there are a handful of viable BuddyBoss alternatives I’ll cover in this piece.

I’ll explore free alternatives, discuss the differences between WordPress & SaaS solutions, look at a few mobile app alternatives to the BuddyBoss App, and provide pricing for each alternative solution to the BuddyBoss Platform & Theme.

BuddyBoss is a great option… but it’s not the only option. Let’s dive into the BuddyBoss alternatives you can use with and without WordPress, to build the ultimate online community platform.

How to Create Dynamic Links to BuddyBoss Profile Pages

BuddyBoss creates several pages dynamically & automatically for each and every member of your site. When you use BuddyBoss’ main header menu, and the default vertical & horizontal tab navigation on profile pages, these links are automatically created for you, and they direct the member to their own custom profile pages.

But what if you want to insert a link to a user profile page somewhere else on your site? Or add a button via a page builder that links to a specific profile page, saved discussions, etc.?

Page 1 of 12