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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.

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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.

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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:

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  • 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