Custom LearnDash Development: LearnDash Migration from Existing Site to Cloud


Executive Summary

With the convenience offered by custom LearnDash development and specially LearnDash cloud, many users are contemplating the switch to a hosted LearnDash Cloud website. This gives you far more time to focus on creating and enhancing your eLearning courses rather than spending time on the technicalities of your LMS website.

With the main focus on user convenience, LearnDash has made it easier for its customers and users by introducing LearnDash Cloud. If you came here to learn about LearnDash migration and how to go about it, then like many others, you may also be contemplating whether or not to switch to LearnDash Cloud.

Previously, you required a third-party plugin to help migrate your data from one website to another. With the new Import/Export tool built-in into LearnDash Cloud, it is much easier and quicker to seamlessly migrate your course data to your brand-new, managed, and hosted LearnDash Cloud website. Let us give you a walk-through of how you can easily migrate your existing LearnDash website to LearnDash Cloud. 

But before we get into that, are you confused between using the plugin or the LearnDash Cloud website? Let’s clear that confusion first.

LearnDash plugin VS LearnDash Cloud for Custom LearnDash Development

So you are new to custom LearnDash development and are trying to decide what would be the best choice for your company. We get it. It’s an important decision and one that affects you in the long term. Honestly, the truth is that both versions offer you complete access to all the LearnDash LMS features that you need in order to create engaging content and courses and manage them. There is no difference in the tools and features being offered. 

The only difference lies in the fact that you don’t have to manage your domain, hosting, and website updates when you choose LearnDash Cloud over the plugin. So basically, if you have an in-house team of developers who can manage your website hosting and updates, you’d probably be better off using the plugin. 

However, if you have little to no experience with custom LearnDash development, and you choose to start your website with LearnDash Cloud, then you can just concentrate on the course content and let the hosting, domain, and website updates be managed with a nominal annual fee that’s easy on your pocket. It all really depends on your technical experience and comfort level as well as your goals.

How to Migrate an Existing LearnDash Site Easily to a Hosted and Managed LearnDash Cloud Site

With the new update, LearnDash migration is easier than ever and we will tell you exactly how to do it. But before we dive right into how you can go about the migration, you will need to update your plugin to LearnDash 4.3 or a more recent update on your website to be able to migrate to LearnDash Cloud.

After the update, on the wp-admin dashboard, you have to go on to the LearnDash LMS plugin and click on Settings. From there, you have to go on to Advanced and then click on Import/Export.

You are given a choice to export what you need, whether it is only a certain post type or all the content in your course. For instance, you can choose to export only some lessons and courses over to your new LearnDash cloud website and not want to export the entire course. 

Once you have clicked or tapped on the Import/Export button and managed to start the export, you can wait for a few moments before you refresh the page. This will show you an alert bar that tells you that your export has been successful after which you can then click on Download File.

After the download, you have to then log in to your new Cloud website by going on to This is where you have to go to the left sidebar and click on Cloud Sites to be able to click on your website’s URL. Now once your admin dashboard has loaded, you can navigate to the LearnDash LMS and click on Settings. Here you have to click on Advanced once again and then click on Import/Export to import the data this time. 

Once you have chosen the file you downloaded earlier, you can click on Import to start the final step in the LearnDash migration process. After you have done so, you have to once again refresh the page to be able to see the alert bar that tells you that the import has been successfully completed. All the data and content you wished to migrate will now be visible on your new LearnDash Cloud website. 

Do you also want to include WordPress content in your LearnDash migration?

So the Import/Export tool we discussed can only help migrate your course content. Therefore, if you’d like to migrate additional WordPress customizations and content, you will have to use the WordPress tool. 

You can leverage the WordPress tool for Imports to help you import any additional content and customizations such as pages, categories, posts, tags, and custom fields. 

To be able to do this you have to go to Tools on the wp-admin dashboard of your existing website and click on Download Export File after choosing Export.

After that, in order to access your export file, you will have to go to your admin dashboard in your LearnDash Cloud website and search for the WordPress Import tool to install it. After clicking on Install Now and installing the tool, you will see a prompt for Run Importer. Click on it and choose your exported file. You can then click on Upload file and finally import your remaining content. This is the end of your LearnDash migration.

You will also have the option to be able to import authors and existing users from your previous website and you will also be able to add new users to your imported content. 

Thinking of making that switch to LearnDash Cloud. Our e-learning experts have years of experience in custom LearnDash development, and they can help you make the right decision for your company.


What is LearnDash Cloud?

LearnDash Cloud has been launched recently by LearnDash after the success of the plugin version which has been around for years. It is simply the hosted version of the same platform and it is advantageous for those who are not comfortable with purchasing a domain for their website and managing its hosting by themselves. This becomes challenging for businesses that want to start their own LMS platform but have little to no technical knowledge. LearnDash Cloud has simplified the process for these users so that they no longer have to worry about hosting and maintaining their websites. They can simply focus on creating and managing their e-learning courses and content. 

Does LearnDash have a free version?

LearnDash does not have a free version but it does have a demo version that you can choose to try before you opt for it.