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Martin Barrett
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Is LearnDash A Plugin Or Theme

Is LearnDash A Plugin Or Theme?

WordPress is now one of the most powerful website-building platforms in the world and is no longer seen as just a place for blogging.

Whether you want to create a portfolio site, open an online store, or develop online courses, WordPress can handle it and is often the go-to website drag-drop page builder for many people. 

Many content creators, entrepreneurs, and professionals are drawn to the idea of being able to have a platform to share their skills with others, and even make some money on the side while they do it.

If you want to create your own online course or just want to share your knowledge with the internet, then LearnDash is for you. 

Many people wonder: Is LearnDash a plugin or theme? We’re going to clear up that confusion today, as well take you through some of the best themes you can install on LearnDash, as well as answer some frequently asked questions. Let’s get into it! 

What Is LearnDash?

LearnDash is an all-in-one solution for creating e-learning courses on WordPress and is basically an LMS plugin.

But it’s not just a mere plugin; the LearnDash plugin is designed for a variety of users and is able to adapt to different uses and purposes of an e-learning platform. 

LearnDash is designed for companies, developers, educational institutions, entrepreneurs, non-profits, or pretty much anyone who would like to set up an online course. 

It’s a powerful platform that exceeds the expectation of a WordPress plugin. It’s a total solution that is perfect for e-learning professionals. Check out our LearnDash Course Builder Review to find out more.

What Makes LearnDash Special?

What makes LearnDash stand out is how it is built and the platform that it uses, i.e. it is built especially for running on a WordPress installation. 

It can integrate smoothly with any LearnDash WordPress theme as it mainly uses Custom Post Types to display its content.

How it organizes its post types will blend in smoothly with any possible structure or theme. 

There are four custom post types offered by LearnDash. These are Courses, Certificates, Lessons, and Quizzes. This is basically how LearnDash helps you build your curriculum, no matter how basic or detailed.

Plus, the amount of integrations that you can combine it with is a lot more than competing LMS (Learning Management System).

It allows you to effortlessly integrate e-commerce features too, as well as membership features and other consumer and developer tools that are easily accessible to you.

What Should You Look For In A Good LearnDash Theme?

Although LearnDash can smoothly integrate with any theme you still have the extra benefit of being able to select the right one to suit you and your website.

If you’re running an online course for financial benefit, the experience your teachers and students have when navigating your site can be the most compelling reason why they create an account or not. 

There are hundreds of themes out there and a lot to consider when choosing the right one, but let’s take a look at the most important factors when choosing the best LearnDash theme:

Easy to use: One of the main things to look out for when choosing a LearnDash theme is how easy it is to set up and manage your courses and lessons.

The theme should also be able to be set up on the landing page and other relevant pages as well as the e-learning platform itself. 

Pricing: Put simply, a good LearnDash theme should be value for money.

Importing and templates: A good LearnDash theme should have a wide range of templates available and importing them should be simple. 

Updates and support: A good LearnDash theme should also have a range of support options available, and have regular updates.

Best LearnDash Themes


Developed by BrainstormForce, Astra is a strong theme with accessibility and user experience in mind. It has over a million active installs and is one of the leading themes on the market.

It’s secure, dynamic, and clean, and has many other features to write home about too. But probably the best thing about Astra is how it’s optimized for LearnDash specifically. 

Ease Of Use

Astra is very easy to use, and in a few easy steps, you’ll be up and running.

Astra and LearnDash often recommend each other and have detailed guides that take you through how to simply integrate one with the other. 

No matter what purpose you’re building your website for, Astra has flexibility design options for you.

They have a huge range of codes, pre-built layouts, and typography options designed specifically for performance.


Starter Templates is a plugin available with Astra that lets you import its set of pre-made sites.

Astra provides a wide range of template options that you can select, including e-learning website templates.

LearnDash Academy

This is the ideal template when creating your own educational websites.

They have blocks that help your students easily monitor their progress, a simple, quick-loading design, and features that let you draw more attention to your courses.

This template is an amazing springboard for you to develop your own design.

Online Course

If you want to have a website template for your online course that looks more like a business website, then this is the template for you.

The Online Course starter template is made to give your website a sleek, professional look that is brilliant for both individual creators and businesses.

This template also provides blocks that allow your students to check their progress through the courses and pick up where they left off.

Online Health Coach

If you’re a health coach, then the Online Health Coach starter template is the ideal template for you. It has a fantastic design that’s sure to grab attention and keep users engaged.

This template also has a blog dedicated to it with a simple approach so you can grow your design from there.


While Astra is free, there are a few advantages to buying the Pro add-on and fully integrating LearnDash into your site.

The Astra Pro package is $47, the Essential Bundle is $137, and the Growth Bundle is $187.

Updates And Support

Updates and support are all taken care of with Astra. Updates are smooth and frequent, with an announcement and change log each time an upgrade is implemented.

Plus, if you need any help, Astra’s support team is always on hand. Submitting a ticket straight from their website is easy, and you will be provided different levels of support depending on what version you are using.


eLumine is one of the most popular themes for LearnDash, with a sleek user interface and powerful features.

With its organized, clean design and built-in customization options, eLumine allows you to make user-friendly courses quickly.

If you need help getting started with eLumine, there are 3 Starter Sites that are ready to import and can be ready in no time. 

Ease Of Use

eLumine is designed specifically for LearnDash, and it’s no surprise that it works so smoothly with it! It’s super easy to establish all your course pages and customize them so they’re in line with your branding. 

Plus, eLumine has layouts that are exclusive to LearnDash that are user-friendly and makes your courses as engaging as possible. 

eLumine also has box-width and full-width displays, day/night modes, font sizes that are easily adaptable, and seven unique styling options to create an incredible learning experience.


eLumine has 3 Demo Sites that are ready-to-important and are easy to download. They are definitely not your typical sites that only provide you with a couple of pages.

Is LearnDash A Plugin Or Theme (1)

They help you structure your courses, topics, lessons, pages, and quizzes from the ground up, making sure you can start running your courses soon after installing the customizable theme. 

Every template is completely responsive, and some are even integrated with bbPress and BuddyPress plugins so you have forums and profile pages at your fingertips too.

Furthermore, the templates are totally customizable, with appealing color palettes and fonts, so you can edit the site to suit your needs.


eLumine has a variety of pricing plans, for lifetime and annual licenses, and they also have other beneficial LearnDash essential additions bundled together. 

A yearly eLumine single-site license costs $100, and a lifetime Single Site license is $300.

Meanwhile, the yearly eLumine and LearnDash Essentials Add-on package is $385, while the lifetime package is $995.

These include a 1-hour consultation with a LearnDash expert to help set up your theme, as well as 4 extra plugins.

Updates And Support

eLumine has a great responsiveness and support structure, and they are excellent at handling every support issue you might have and are always ready with a solution to any problem you have.

On top of that, updates are consistent and come with improved designs, new features, and more options to keep your intellectual property safe.


Tutorque is a dynamic WordPress education theme for online courses, training courses, online schools, language schools, and many other organizations. 

Tutorque also provides total support for Elementor and over 30 elements of WidgetKit Pro and gives you access to custom widgets and features such as accessibility, a range of header variations, multilingual support, one-click demo import, and WooCommerce integration.

Main Features Of Tutorque

  • Over 30 elements are ready-made.
  • Integration with bbPress, BuddyBoss, and BuddyPress.
  • It has 7 starter templates.
  • It is compatible with LearnDash, Lifter LMS, and Tutor LMS.
  • A variety of header variations.
  • One-click demo import.
  • Conversion-friendly and SEO optimized.
  • It comes with WidgetKit Pro.
  • It has WooCommerce integration.

Ease Of Use

Tutorque is super simple to use and can be integrated fully with LearnDash, Lifter LMS, Tutor LMS, and Wishlist Member.

Plus, because it fully supports Elementor page builder, it’s easy to build pages, and the theme is fast and lightweight for the smoothest user experience.

This lightweight theme is also fully compatible with bbPress, BuddyBoss, and BuddyPress plugins so building a community is practically effortless.


Tutorque has 7 sleek starter templates that are designed specifically for online learning.

They are also totally compatible with LearnDash as well as other LMS.

You just need to customize the appearance and feel and edit the content so it works for you.


Tutorque has three competitively priced, budget-friendly pricing options that provide great value for money.

Their Personal package (a single-site annual license) is $49, their business package (an annual license for 10 sites) is $149, and their Agency package (an annual site license for unlimited sites) is $199. 

Updates And Support

Tutorque allows you to set up the plugin independently with great support and well-written guides.

There is also email support available with a web form you can find on their website, and the theme is simple enough that it takes minimal support to set up.

Why Is It Important To Choose The Right Theme?

While you can pick any old theme, install LearnDash, and begin to build your site, carefully researching what theme you would look for your site is actually very important so you make use of LearnDash’s brilliant features to the fullest. 

After all, the last thing you want is to set everything up only to see that your theme is unable to support a feature like calendar integration.

You should also pick a design that you are comfortable using and has a decent amount of options for customization. 

While LearnDash is very powerful by itself, when it’s coupled with the right theme, you can take your e-learning site to the next level!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Customize LearnDash Themes?

Yes, a lot of these themes have great customizable options.

Do You Have To Design Your LearnDash Website?

No, you don’t have to worry about designing your LearnDash themes, as they have demos that are ready to import so you can get your online courses ready as soon as possible. 

Are Any Of These Themes Limited To The Education Sector?

No, you can use these themes for a wide range of sectors to educate and train users.

Final Thoughts

We hope our article has informed you on whether LearnDash is a plugin or a theme, and that selecting the right theme for your online course doesn’t need to be a hassle.

While all the themes we mentioned are excellent, Astra really stands out for being smooth, lightning-fast, and with ready-made demo sites to get your site off the ground quicker.

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