Design Upgrade for LearnDash


LearnDash is a powerful learning management system (LMS) for managing your online courses, but there are some areas where the design falls short. 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!

๐ŸŽ‰ Fully Compatible with LD3! ๐ŸŽ‰

We’ll automatically detect whether you’re using the “LearnDash 3.0” or “Legacy” template, and assign styles appropriately. If you’re still running LearnDash 2.x, all of the same design upgrades that you’ve always enjoyed will still be there.

See below for a list of what’s new.


LearnDash 3.x Features

Tested with LearnDash 3.1.1

  • NEW: Improved styles for Focus Mode comments, which were added in LearnDash 3.1
  • Global: Larger clickable areas for all course content, navigation & Focus Mode areas
  • Buttons: All buttons have matching rounded corners & increased font size
  • Font Sizes: These will now be inherited from your theme, which should increase your font sizes across the board
  • Focus Mode: Improved sidebar tray design, Course Sections, shadow added to mobile menu, collapse arrow flips to show current menu state, and more.
  • Focus Mode: Top navigation bar received several small improvements
  • Animations: Subtle animations for LearnDash tooltips & the Focus Mode menu
  • Profile: Several styles were improved & standardized
  • Login/Registration: Unified styles for all form fields
  • Course Grid: Equal height columns & other small tweaks

Also: Small tweaks were made to assignments, pagination, the “User Status” widget and more.

LearnDash 2.x “Legacy” Features

  • Much improved course grid styles, equal height cards & no more weird spacing issues ๐Ÿ‘
  • 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 ๐Ÿ’ฏ
  • 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 2.6.6

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 90 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, hover effects, customize line separators, remove the list count numbers and more
  • 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, custom “edit profile” link, hide profile info, hide quiz information, and more
  • Login/Registration Popup: 10+ design options
  • Focus Mode: 20+ design options, including 7 for Focus Mode comments
  • Course Navigation Widget: 15+ design options
  • Course Grid Add-On: 20+ design options
  • Alerts: 9 custom colors, plus a few other options
  • Tooltips: customize the background & text color

Upgrade to Pro Today ยป

Theme Compatibility

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

Tested With

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

  • Astra
  • Divi
  • GeneratePress
  • OceanWP
  • LearnMate
  • Edufire
  • Storefront
  • Twenty Twenty
  • Twenty Nineteen
  • Twenty Seventeen
  • Twenty Sixteen

Incompatible Themes

  • BuddyBoss Platform (released June 2019)
  • Boss. / Social Learner (If you deactivate the “Boss for LearnDash” plugin, it will still work in “Legacy” mode)
  • 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.

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:

  • Reset Progress button: Button styles upgraded
  • Simple Course Timer modal: Button styles upgraded
  • [uo_dashboard]: Styles upgraded
  • [uo_courses]: Styles upgraded
  • [uo_breadcrumbs]: Compatible; Design upgrades in progress
  • [uo_lessons_topics_grid]: Compatible; Design upgrades in progress
  • [uo_login_ui]: Compatible; Design upgrades in progress

NOTE: Uncanny LearnDash Toolkit styles are only upgraded if you’re using the “LearnDash 3.0” active template. Styles do not apply to the “Legacy” template.


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

Features planned for future release:

  • Compatibility with more Uncanny LearnDash Toolkit modules
  • Exploring compatibility with a few WisdmLabs plugins

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, including equal-height columns
  • Updated quiz styling for every question type
  • More usable sidebar navigation with larger clickable areas
  • Consistent spacing & more subtle "Reply" buttons for Focus Mode comments
  • Simplified & cleaned up the [ld_profile] shortcode/block


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 90+ 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 CSS file to the header, but as long as you’re using a reliable WordPress host with decent performance, you shouldn’t notice a difference.

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.


July 10, 2019
I purchased the "Design Upgrade Pro" plugin for Learndash and am absolutely wowed by what it can do. I've taken my Learndash LMS and turned it into something that looks very very nice. This is an excellent plugin and Dave Warfel (the author the plugin) keeps upgrading it, offering an even wider range of design choices. Furthermore, if you need any assistance, Dave offers EXCELLENT customer service! He's extremely helpful and insightful. Rod Machado
July 8, 2019
... in how my site appears. I love the ability to tweak the design in all the ways the plugin allows, making my site far more attractive to potential students, and much easier implement my brand. ... not to mention the most excellent support offered by the developer, Dave, who even helped me out on the Saturday of a holiday weekend - impressive! I actually purchased the Pro Version - and it's worth every penny for the benefits - and the grief it saves ๐Ÿ™‚
July 6, 2019
The plugin itself is really great (many customization with LearnDash 3.0). And the support is awesome ! I had an CSS issue with the course grid, Dave answered quickly and solved it the same way.
June 25, 2019
This plugin is a great add-on to LearnDash, I upgraded to the pro version and it worths every cent. The support is also fantastic and replies always very fast.
Read all 29 reviews

Contributors & Developers

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



2.4.1 – November 25, 2019

  • Added: Class name (.ldx-grid-course-complete) is applied to completed courses in the course grid
  • Tweak: Quiz Results: Added spacing between paragraphs & lists in the quiz response message displayed on the results page
  • Compatibility: Hello Elementor: Improved styles for better compatibility with the Hello Elementor theme
  • Fixed: Single & Multiple Choice Questions: When an answer is answered incorrectly, the correct answer is highlighted in green (bug introduced in LD 3.1 with a class name change)
  • Fixed: Tooltip alignment

2.4 – November 20, 2019

  • Added: Improved styles for Focus Mode comments
  • Fixed: Quizzes: Matrix sorting questions spacing issues
  • Tweak: Quizzes: Matrix sorting questions use a slightly different style when viewing correct/incorrect answers after a quiz

2.3 – September 23, 2019

  • Added: Uncanny LearnDash Toolkit Pro: The Simple Course Timer idle timeout modal now uses consistent button styles
  • Added: Uncanny LearnDash Toolkit Pro: The “Reset Progress” button now uses consistent button styles
  • Added: Uncanny LearnDash Toolkit Pro: Many [uo_dashboard] elements now inherit LearnDash default styles, buttons & colors
  • Added: Uncanny LearnDash Toolkit Pro: The [uo_courses] enhanced course grid now matches the style of the LearnDash Course Grid add-on.
  • Updated: A handful of small improvements for quizzes

2.2.1 – August 25, 2019

  • Added: Improved styles for the Course Status area at the top of course pages (for non-enrolled users)
  • Added: Focus Mode: Brand logo no longer gets squished on medium-sized devices

2.2 – August 23, 2019

  • Added: Button styles for Login/Logout button when using the [learndash_login] shortcode
  • Added: Login/Registration Modal: Close Icon: Increased size & added hover effect
  • Added: Login/Registration Modal: More consistent <input> styles
  • Added: Login/Registration Modal: Improved button styles
  • Added: Framework for adding custom login/registration styles into Pro
  • Fixed: Icon spacing for “Download Certificate” button

2.1.3 – July 5, 2019

  • Added: Compatibility for RTL languages
  • Added: Framework for adding custom alert styles into Pro
  • Fixed: Alert icon position on smaller screens

2.1.2 – Jun 26, 2019

  • Added: Framework for adding custom ribbon colors back into Pro

2.1.1 – Jun 24, 2019

  • Added: Alerts: Vertically center all icons
  • Added: Focus Mode: Small improvements to spacing of username in header
  • Added: Improved styles when “Mark Complete” button is disabled
  • Fix: Add space for “Download Certificate” button icon, and other small tweaks to buttons within alerts
  • Tweak: More specific button style to avoid some theme conflicts with link colors

2.1 – Jun 22, 2019

  • Added: Many more CSS custom properties, preparing for Pro version release
  • Added: Course Grid styles are back: equal height columns & other small improvements
  • Added: Stop images from overflowing outside the answer label area when used in single & multiple choice quiz questions (props Anthony)

2.0.1 – Jun 10, 2019

  • Added: Styles for Uncanny LearnDash Toolkit Resume button
  • Fixed: Updated all font sizes for broader theme compatibility (specifically with OceanWP)
  • Tweak: Removed more empty <p> tags that are output with some LearnDash widgets
  • Tweak: A few other minor adjustments for broader theme compatibility

2.0 – Jun 7, 2019

  • NEW: Now compatible with the “LearnDash 3.0” Active Template
  • Changelog & New Features โ†’
  • NOTE: We’re still compatible with LearnDash 2.x, as well as the “Legacy” template, but there are no changes for those versions. All future development will be focused around the new design.

1.4.8 – Mar 23, 2019

  • Changed: Course Grid: Buttons are now displayed at the very bottom of each grid item.

1.4.7 – Mar 11, 2019

  • Fixed: Added a min-width of 45px to the number column in the course content table. This accounts for up to 999 items on most devices & themes, without forcing the number to a new line.

1.4.6 – Mar 8, 2019

  • Fixed: Column alignment issues with LearnDash Course Grid version 1.5.2

1.4.5 – Jan 23, 2019

  • Changed: Adjusted alignment for quiz headings inside the [ld_profile] shortcode

1.4.4 – Jan 23, 2019

  • Changed: Tweaked the spacing on list count numbers in the course content table so there’s more spacing between the number and the period

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