Design Upgrade for LearnDash


LearnDash is a powerful learning management system (LMS) for managing your online courses, but let’s be honest – the default styles are outdated. In order to provide your students with an exceptional learning experience, you need a professional design.

Enter Design Upgrade for LearnDash

Design Upgrade for LearnDash completely redesigns every aspect of LearnDash so that it closely resembles your existing WordPress theme. No settings or custom code. Just activate & enjoy!


I literally went through every line of CSS that LearnDash uses and gave it all a fresh coat of paint. Here are the highlights:

  • Much improved course grid styles, equal height cards & no more weird spacing issues 👍
  • All fonts have been reset to use your theme’s default font family, size & color
  • All PNG icons have been replaced with comparable SVGs
  • All complete/incomplete icons for lesson/topic/quiz lists have been moved to the right for better consistency
  • Spacing around & between elements has been adjusted to provide greater consistency throughout
  • All LearnDash widgets now have more consistent spacing & sizing, including improvements to Course Info & Course Navigation
  • Styling for the [ld_profile] shortcode has been completely revamped
  • Completely revamped & restyled quiz elements 💯
  • Improved design of the statistics modal window (for quizzes), including row highlights on hover
  • Larger pager navigation buttons to improve usability
  • Full support for RTL languages

Tested with LearnDash 2.6.3

Who is this for?

Brand new LearnDash users: There is absolutely no reason not to try it out. At the very least, it will give your site a more consistent design. If you plan to customize LearnDash further, you can still do so using a child theme or Additional CSS in the Customizer.

Seasoned LearnDash veterans: If you have not made any customizations to your LearnDash design, but would like to improve it, give us a shot. You might want to try it out on a test site first, but you can deactivate it with one click and return to your previous design.

You might also want to give your students a heads up that you’re updating the design. But we feel confident that they’ll like it 🙂

LearnDash developers: If you’re a developer who builds LearnDash sites for your clients, this could save you hours (maybe even days) of development time. LearnDash’s markup & CSS is a beast to customize. This will give you a much easier baseline to work with.

We designed the plugin to be just specific enough to override LearnDash’s default styles, but not so specific that you’ll need to use a ton of selectors to override our specifity. All CSS in child themes and Additional CSS will take precedence over our styles.

Pro Version

Need custom styles? Our pro version uses the Customizer to bring you over 80 customizable design options. Completely customize your LearnDash site with just a few clicks.

Pro Features

  • Show/Hide various course & profile features
  • Disable expand/collapse links & show all by default
  • Course Content Lists: Update background & text colors, add zebra stripes, hover effects, customize line separators, remove the list count numbers
  • Progress Bar: Customize the color, border radius & height, add stripes, and animate the bar on page load
  • Buttons: Add your own background & text colors
  • [ld_profile]: Avatar shape, hide profile info, hide quiz information, and more
  • 15+ design options for the Course Navigation Widget (video below)
  • 20+ design options for the LearnDash Course Grid add-on

Upgrade to Pro Today »

Theme Compatibility

Design Upgrade for LearnDash should work on most themes, assuming they have not customized the LearnDash markup in any way. While I can’t guarantee full compatibility, I have tested with the following themes.

Tested With

I have tested with the following themes, and they all appear to be compatible:

  • NEW! Boss. by BuddyBoss (must deactivate Social Learner/”Boss for LearnDash” plugin)
  • Astra
  • Divi
  • GeneratePress
  • OceanWP
  • Storefront
  • Twenty Nineteen
  • Twenty Seventeen
  • Twenty Sixteen

Incompatible Themes

  • LearnMate by Wbcom Designs
  • eLumine by WisdmLabs

Incompatible Plugins

  • LearnDash Visual Customizer by SnapOrbital: The Visual Customizer takes a similar approach to designing LearnDash components, and thus the code conflicts with ours.
  • Boss for LearnDash: We are compatible with the Boss. theme, as well as “BuddyPress for LearnDash,” but in order to use this plugin, you need to deactivate the “Boss for LearnDash” plugin.

Uncanny Owl Toolkit Compatibility

We recognize the Uncanny LearnDash Toolkit by Uncanny Owl is a popular LearnDash plugin that adds some nice features. We’re in the process of making our plugin fully compatible with theirs. Here’s where we are so far:

  • [uo_dashboard]: Compatible; styles upgraded
  • [uo_breadcrumbs]: Compatible; no styles changed
  • [uo_courses]: The UO Course Grid comes with a lot of styling options already. We’re still evaluating whether or not we should make any design changes to it.
  • [uo_lessons_topics_grid]: Compatible; no styles changed
  • [uo_login_ui]: Compatible; no styles changed

Bottom Line: You are fine to use Design Upgrade for LearnDash with the Uncanny LearnDash Toolkit.


As LearnDash adds new features, it is our goal to keep this plugin updated.

Features planned for future release:

  • Evaluating: Switch from SVG icons to font icons
  • Compatibility with LearnDash 3.0 when it is released

We’d love to hear from you!

Does something look weird with your theme? Is there something we missed? Wouldn’t it be cool if…

We tested it on a handful of popular themes, but we couldn’t possibly cover them all. If you have any feedback, please let us know in the support forum.


From within WordPress

  1. Visit “Plugins > Add New”
  2. Search for “Design Upgrade for LearnDash”
  3. Click the “Install” button
  4. Click the “Activate” button
  5. There are no settings to configure. An improved design will automatically be applied to all LearnDash elements on your site.


  • Much improved styles for the course grid add-on
  • Course content design with the TwentySixteen theme
  • Course content expanded with the GeneratePress theme
  • Improved Profile & My Courses page
  • Course information widget, before & after the upgrade
  • Enjoy a cleaner quiz interface
  • The quiz statistics modal has an improved look
  • Course navigation widget, with subtle design improvements
  • Uncanny Owl Toolkit's [uo_dashboard] shortcode output


Where are the settings?

The free version doesn’t have any. It simply applies a fresh coat of paint behind the scenes.

Check out our pro version that includes 80+ settings you can customize.

Will this affect the rest of my site?

No. We’ve carefully crafted it to only apply to LearnDash elements. The rest of your site (header, footer, pages, blog posts, etc.) will continue to use the styles determined by whichever WordPress theme you are using.

Can I use this plugin with the LearnDash Visual Customizer?

Technically, yes, but you will encounter some weird design issues. We recommend you check out our similar pro plugin to customize LearnDash styles.

Can I use this plugin with the Divi LearnDash Kit?

I have done some testing with the Divi LearnDash Kit, but I haven’t tested every element. It should work in most cases, but you’ll want to test all your pages. If you find something that isn’t compatible, please let us know in the support forum so we can fix it.

Can I make design changes in addition to what the plugin makes?

Absolutely. Feel free to add your own CSS if you want to further customize the look & feel of your LearnDash site. Just place your CSS in a child theme or the Additional CSS area of the WordPress Customizer. Or check out our pro plugin.

Will this slow down my site?

Nope. We do add one small CSS file to the header (63KB), but as long as you’re using a reliable WordPress host with decent performance, you shouldn’t notice a difference.

For reference, the LearnDash plugin loads 5 CSS files that total 45KB (7 files totaling 67KB if you count the Course Grid).

My course/lesson/topic/quiz still looks weird. Can you help?

Most likely, yes. We’ll certainly try.

We designed this plugin to be flexible so that it takes on many of the characteristics of your WordPress theme. But every theme is built differently, so styles will differ from site to site. Shoot us a message in the support forum with a link to your site and we’ll try to help out.


Pleased and impressed!

This is exactly the plugin I needed to make my LearnDash pages look as clean and smart as the rest of my site. No tricksy extra bits of styling I didn't need! I upgraded to the Pro version pretty quickly I was so impressed by the free one. Great support from Dave with some minor issues. Like a lot of people, I've worked through quite a lot of plugins in my time that don't really deliver, but this one has. Recommended.

Very impressed!

I'm not a technical person and I wanted to make a number of changes to the look of my LearnDash course site. So instead of hiring a developer to make changes to the style sheets, I purchased the Design Upgrade Pro Plugin for LearnDash. I chose it over the other leading customization plugin because of the large range of customization options and because it is a clean, lightweight plugin. I found it super easy to use and I could see my changes right away. I had a minor issue with the theme I was using, but Dave provided speedy support and went above and beyond what I could have expected to resolve the problem. If you want to improve the look of your LearnDash site with an easy to use plugin, I'd certainly recommend Design Upgrade Pro.

Totally worth it!

I purchased the pro version and it was totally worth it. The plugin allows you to customize a many Learn Dash design options that otherwise would be a pain to change, version 1.5 has amazing features, and the plugin support is one of the best I've ever experienced.

The number 1 plugin for LearnDash

I cannot articulate enough the benefits of installing this plugin on your LearnDash Site. This really gives the default setting in LearnDash a fresh coat of paint. In the past I made a lot customisation to Learndash, but it was a real nightmare to manage and keep track of changes. This is really child’s play. Support is super fast! And they take feedback seriously. I needed to make a few tweaks and they jumped straight into give me a helping hand. WATCH THIS SPACE: There are some extra tweaks and features coming soon. You seriously won’t be disappointed.
Read all 16 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“Design Upgrade for LearnDash” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.



1.4.3 – Dec 13, 2018

  • Compatibility: Boss. Theme: We are now compatible with the Boss. theme, but you need to deactivate the “Boss for LearnDash” plugin.

1.4.2 – Dec 10, 2018

  • Compatibility: Twenty Nineteen: Updated a few styles for compatibility with the Twenty Nineteen theme
  • Compatibility: Confirmed compatibility with WordPress 5.0, Gutenberg and the Classic Editor plugin

1.4.1 – Nov 2, 2018

  • Compatibility: Woffice: Tweaked a few styles for compatibility with the Woffice theme from Alkalab

1.4 – Oct 31, 2018

  • Compatibility: OceanWP: Ensured compatibility with OceanWP’s new LearnDash styles

1.3.6 – Oct 15, 2018

  • Fixed: Course Grid: Columns weren’t working properly with some page builders

1.3.5 – Oct 15, 2018

  • Fixed: Added space between Topic table & “Mark Complete” button
  • Changed: Course Grid column styles updated for compatibility with the new Course Grid version 1.5.1

1.3.4 – September 18, 2018

  • Compatibility: Course Grid: CSS was updated for better compatibility with the Divi plugin

1.3.3 – September 11, 2018

  • Compatibility: Added a small change to fix course grid columns on some themes that also use Bootstrap (ex: Uncode, X Theme and others).

1.3.2 – September 8, 2018

  • Fixed: RTL support for course grid

1.3.1 – September 6, 2018

  • Added: Better styles for the “not available” message when a lesson is scheduled for a later date
  • Added: RTL support for recent course grid features
  • Changed: Force “Mark Complete” buttons to have a hand pointer on hover
  • Changed: Updated topic dots to use CSS background colors instead of images

1.3 – September 4, 2018

  • Added: Completely revamped styles for the course grid add-on
  • Fixed: Astra compatibility: A small bug with the course content heading text color
  • Updated Screenshots, adding one for the Course Grid styles

1.2.1 – August 8, 2018

  • Changed: A few minor tweaks to quiz styling
  • Changed: One small change for better compatibility with the Divi LearnDash Kit

1.2 – August 6, 2018

  • Added: Completely revamped quiz styling to better match your theme. Red & green are used, where appropriate, to signify correct/incorrect answers. The quiz statistics popup styles now match the quiz result page.

1.1.3 – August 2, 2018

  • Compatibility: Now compatible with the Astra theme
  • Fixed: A handful of tweaks to button styles for better theme compatibility

1.1.2 – July 30, 2018

  • Added: Videos using Video Progression are now responsive
  • Fixed: Added back in button styles for the “mark complete” button. They were accidentally removed in the previous version.
  • Fixed: A few small CSS bugs with Uncanny Toolkit’s [uo_dashboard] shortcode

1.1.1 – July 26, 2018

  • Added: Compatibility with Uncanny Owl Toolkit’s [uo_dashboard] shortcode. Styles have been adjusted to look like your course content lists & [ld_profile] shortcode styles.
  • Changed: Course Navigation Widget: Added a little spacing between icon & right edge
  • Changed: A few minor CSS tweaks
  • Fixed: More specific next/previous & “back to lesson” button styles to better accommodate more themes

1.1 – June 1, 2018

  • Added: RTL languages now fully supported
  • Changed: Switched font size & padding units from rems to ems or pixels, for better compatibility with a variety of themes
  • Changed: Quiz Statistics Modal – Removed border radius
  • Changed: Quiz Statistics Modal – Switched some columns from left alignment back to center alignment to better support RTL languages. (There is currently no way to distinguish RTL in the modal)
  • Fixed: Quiz modal close button alignment on some themes

1.0 – May 13, 2018

  • Initial release