How does a LearnDash specific theme help you achieve more with your LMS? In the LearnDash hemisphere, popular themes like Astra, Divi, and GeneratePress are all versatile, generic WordPress themes.
Meaning, they can be applied for various uses like e-commerce, e-learning, business blogging, personal blogging, etc. These are flexible themes and are quite easy to use.
LearnDash themes are designed and developed specifically for LearnDash which means they come with various features and will give you a certain edge in your e-learning efforts. Also, installing LearnDash addons can bring even more options.
Advantages of Using a LearnDash Specific Theme
Some themes like Astra and BuddyX offer LearnDash integration out-of-the-box. The edge a LearnDash theme will give you is a focus. A theme built only for a specific use will have the details that a generic theme might miss as it tries to maintain its generalized appeal.
Sole focus on e-learning leads to better understanding of student-teacher roles, the learner’s psychology, and their requirements, resulting in more structured architecture and intuitive user interactions.
Using a LearnDash-specific theme can assist you in reaching intricate details of user experience for your e-learning website, that might otherwise need a steep learning curve to execute.
#1 Detailed UI, designed to keep LearnDash in mind
The User Interface of LearnDash specific themes stands superior in providing a lively yet simplified environment for the learners on an LMS.
The motivation behind developing and evolving LearnDash themes is to make interactions and interfaces simpler for the learners so that engagement can be increased.
This motivation is focused only on increasing the quality of learning processes, and hence there are visible UI differentiators that make LearnDash made themes more suitable for the job.
Various filters and search bar make it convenient for a learner to browse courses. Such details can be missing in a generic WordPress theme or can be difficult to implement manually.
Upon closely observing these two LearnDash themes, it’s evident that there are a lot of factors (elements or interactions) that lead to greater engagement, such as:
- Navigating between the courses and lessons is very easy and intuitive
- Course Description Tiles or Cards are beautifully designed, presenting the relevant information in an eye-catching manner
- Sidebars have been brilliantly utilized for showing the relevant information and for navigation
- Pre-built pages like the home page, contact us page, login page, etc. save a lot of time in setting up an LMS
- Use of tags make navigation and search so much easier
Such UI details are difficult to replicate when using a generic theme because you will have to get these features or functionalities developed on your own. This will not only be time-consuming (and expensive), but you may also miss out on the best execution of the UI literature, theories, and trends.
With LearnDash-specific themes like these, you won’t have to reinvent the wheel and spend your resources on getting the optimized UI/UX.
These themes have been designed by UI experts, and as a result, no corner is left untouched when it comes to designing navigation and experience to the utmost simplicity. The result? Better completion rates of learners and increased engagement in general.
#2 Mobile-responsiveness thanks to mobile-friendly layouts
The focus to bring out the best experience for the learners drives LearnDash themes to provide the same level of UI/UX across all devices – desktop, mobile, and tablet.
Mobile usage has now surpassed the desktop usage for the first time. The percentage of website visits from mobile devices grew from 57% (2016) to 63% (2017) in the US.
A generic WordPress theme can be mobile-friendly, but themes like eLumine or Social Learner have been successful in replicating the rich UI/UX of desktop content on mobile devices.
This takes mobile-responsiveness and students’ engagement to a whole different level.
#3 Adopting LearnDash-updates is hassle-free and quick
With themes not built solely for LearnDash, a LearnDash update can potentially tear things apart. There can be inconsistency in the UI/UX like theme colors not applied to a few elements, inconsistent interactions, or even broken pages.
To cope with such a situation, firstly you have to identify all the errors and bugs that have arisen with the update. Then, naturally, comes the tedious task of fixing them manually. Note that an update can lead to malfunctioning UI/UX for the other plugins being used with LearnDash.
Developers of LearnDash specific themes closely follow the LearnDash updates and are quick to respond because that’s the sole focus area.
Developers behind these themes are very familiar with LearnDash and hence, fixing the bugs and errors in the theme isn’t very difficult for them.
You don’t have to worry about manually identifying and fixing the shortcomings and wait long to get the theme update that fixes all the bugs. This ensures that you can concentrate on the business or marketing aspect of your website instead of worrying about the development work.
#4 Diverse support for LearnDash-compatible plugins
Another advantage that comes with LearnDash specific themes is that there is better integration with plugins commonly used with LearnDash like BuddyPress, WooCommerce, Elementor page builder (see differences between Elementor free vs premium), etc.
Social Learner theme fully supports plugins like LearnDash LMS, BuddyPress for LearnDash, WooCommerce, Paid Memberships Pro, WordPress Social Login, GD bbPress Attachments, BP Global Search, BP Edit Activity, BP Group Hierarchy, BuddyPress Groups Extras, BuddyPress Docs, Invite Anyone, Gravity Forms, BuddyForms, All BuddyBoss Plugins.
eLumine theme supports plugins LearnDash, BuddyPress, bbPress, WooCommerce, badgeOS, Unyson’s framework, Divi page builder (see Divi vs Beaver Builder), Beaver page builder see Beaver Builder free vs paid), Brizy page builder, WP Bakery (see WPBakery review), Elementor, LearnDash pro panel, Ninja forms, Gravity Forms (see WPForms vs Gravity Forms), Theme my login, Uncanny toolkit pro, LearnDash WooCommerce integration, Contact Form 7, all plugins by WisdmLabs.
This helps in achieving a seamless experience both for the learners and for you while you manage and administer your LMS with the added plugins.
Using a LearnDash-specific theme with rich support, it becomes easier to blend in all the elements of the website in a singular design theme to achieve consistency and design balance.
The kind of diverse support shown above makes sure that every time an update of LearnDash is rolled out, there is no anomaly in UI/UX throughout the website, i.e., including the complimentary plugins.
#5 Special E-learning elements to increase engagement
Developed by UI/UX experts who specialize in the field of e-learning, LearnDash specific themes include some special elements designed to make browsing, navigation, and studying lessons easier for the learners.
The aim is not only to make it easier for learners to use the LMS but to keep the UI attractive so that learners stick to a course or the LMS.
Example #1 Course Completion Status Meter
The quantification of the progress made by a student in a particular course helps him or her to plan the remaining course accordingly. It gives visual feedback to the learners, also encouraging them to finish the course quickly once it is substantially progressed.
Example: 2 Course Description Cards
The amount of information shown in the Course Description Cards and the way it’s presented affects how learners browse and select courses. Crisp information with beautiful presentation and the right interactive buttons adds value to learner’s experience on the LMS.
Above image shows Course Description cards on eLumine Theme. The tags in the image field mark the status of the course (completed/enrolled).
Other details about the progress in the course in the ‘Completed’ section complimented with a visual that shows the percentage of the progress along with a circular representation for the course.
Above image shows The Course Description Palette on Social Learner Theme. The progress is shown using the blue bar. The ‘Completed/Enrolled’ status is beautifully placed on the featured images. The cards are compact, yet including a lot of important information.
Example 3: Internal Communication for Learners
Incorporating communication channels inside your LMS can be done by installing external plugins. But the advantage with themes built specifically for LearnDash is that implementation of the social tools is more detailed and you don’t have to spend money on buying external plugins to do the job.
Another advantage is again related to updates. When a LearnDash update arrives, you don’t have to worry about how the additional plugins will accept the update and that if they do, you don’t have to spend time fixing the bugs.
Having social communication as a core feature of the theme is thus, anytime a more comfortable option to have.
Example 4: Gamification
Awarding badges for achievements and activities boost the engagement tendencies of the learners. This is again a unique in-built feature of LearnDash-specific themes like eLumine and Social Learner.
Setting up a points system in response to activities again motivates the learners to stick to the LMS and spend more time using it.
Example 5: Some small details that add up to create a significant impact
Some functionalities or elements scattered here and there can look not so powerful, but they significantly add to the overall appeal and ‘feel’ of the LMS.
Such features are difficult to think of with a generic theme whereas LearnDash specific themes are full of them. Also, let’s not forget that these themes are ever-growing and regularly gets updated with better UI/UX elements.
That way, you won’t have to worry about maintaining the latest UI/UX standards as the makers of these themes work every day to make the themes even better. All you’ll have to do is to anticipate what’s coming more to your LMS.
#6 Well-built starter sites, imported in a few clicks ensure building a complete site
Once a LearnDash specific theme has been downloaded and installed, there is still much work to be done, for instance, configuring each theme setting with respect to requirements, setting up all the menu items, setting up headers/footers, setting font family and size, building courses etc.
But many LearnDash oriented themes come with demos. The new demos introduced with, for example, eLumine theme makes sure that all the specifics mentioned above along with numerous other aspects of a theme are setup automatically, once the demo has been imported. A very useful feature when you need to save up on time and require a fully functional LMS as well.
LearnDash Specific Theme Summary
Themes built specially for LearnDash give you added advantages over generic themes in terms of:
- Detailed user interface and experience, designed to achieve optimum engagement.
- Better mobile-responsiveness and mobile UI/UX, so that mobile experience matches the desktop experience for a learner.
- Easier implementation of LearnDash updates without having to worry about fixing bugs across the website.
- Great range of support for various additional plugins, adding to the seamless experience.
- Special e-learning elements embedded to improve navigation, user interaction, and accessibility.
Which is why investing in a LearnDash theme like eLumine will help you to profit from the knowledge of UI/UX experts who are behind the development of such themes.
You won’t have to gain or implement your knowledge of UI/UX while using a LearnDash specific theme. You can instead rely on the makers of these themes for quick updates and UI/UX innovation.
Greater detailing can be achieved in the LMS (compared with using a generic theme) to make it a friendly, comfortable place to learn.
The great support for other plugins ensures consistency in UI/UX every time a major LearnDash update rolls out. Such advantages can end up giving you a superior edge in a competitive e-learning atmosphere.
Because they will bring you increased learner’s engagement due to the sophisticated details carved in LearnDash themes like eLumine. And if you want to add more features to your LearnDash website and have easier way to handle increasing number of students, then Instructor Role plugin will be great addition for any LMS site. If LearnDash is not what you are looking for, Tutor LMS plugins is another great choice for creating and selling courses (see Tutor LMS review).
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