Getting Started with LifterLMS Private Areas

Video Tutorial

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Private Areas for students are perfect for professional coaches, academics, institutions and businesses looking to deliver personalized content and communicate directly with their learners.

With this advanced LifterLMS Add-on you can create private content for your students and members which are unique to their needs and goals. By creating private posts you can automatically display a private area for each student.

LifterLMS Private Areas includes two key features:

  1. The ability to create¬†private posts.¬†Each private post is associated with a single student and a single course or membership. Private posts are, essentially, private blog posts with an option (also private) discussion area for the teacher and student. Private¬†posts can be found in a student’s¬†private area.¬†You do not need to create an actual¬†private area.¬†The private area exists as soon as a private post is created.
  2. The ability to create automations. Each automation is a template of private post(s) which are automatically created when triggered by an associated engagement. Automations will allow you to, for example, automatically create a private post for each new student when they enroll into a specific course.


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LifterLMS Private Areas is a plugin add-on for LifterLMS. To install LifterLMS Private Areas download your copy from your account page and then follow our plugin installation guide.

After installation, you’ll want to ensure you¬†activate¬†your license. This will ensure will be able to receive automatic updates for the add-on.

Customizing Your Private Area

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LifterLMS Private Areas add-on settings can be located on the LifterLMS Settings -> Integrations screen.

Each of these settings allow you customize the language of various areas of Private Areas:

  • Area Name: Customize the name of the Private Area (Default: “My Private Area”)
  • Area URL Slug: Customize the URL “slug” of the Private Area (Default: “my-private-area”)
  • Post Name (Singular): Customize the generic singular name for a private post (Default: “Private Post”)
  • Post Name (Plural): Customize the generic plural name for a private post (Default: “Private Posts”)
  • Default Discussion Status: Allows you to choose the default discussion status for each new private post. You can override this on a post-by-post basis.

Note: these settings do not affect the display of content on the admin panel. Only on the front-end for the student!

Gotcha: Integration Settings Don't Exist

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If the LifterLMS Private Areas settings area doesn’t display on the LifterLMS Integrations settings screen this likely means that your current version of LifterLMS does not meet the minimum requirements of LifterLMS Private Areas.

To fix this, upgrade LifterLMS to the minimum required version and reload the integrations screen.

Check the sidebar on this screen for the minimum required LifterLMS version.

Displaying a Private Area to Students

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In order to make it easy for your students to access their private areas and private posts, LifterLMS Private Areas has two easy ways to display private content to students:

  1. Add the Private Area Information widget to a course or lesson sidebar
  2. Add the [llms_pa_info] to a course, lesson, or membership.

Both the widget and shortcode will output nearly identical content, each item customizable with settings from the widget or shortcode:

  • The area title
  • A direct link to the latest private post in the area
  • A running count of the number of unread posts in the private area
  • A running count of the number of unread comments in the private area
  • A button linking to the private area

Creating Private Posts

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In LifterLMS Private Areas there are two ways to create private posts for your students:

Manually creating private posts is useful for smaller courses and memberships when you want to create a very customized experience for each of your students.

Automations can be used for courses of all sizes, but are designed to allow you to automate the same human experience using merge codes and stock templates.

These methods can be used together! You do not have to choose one or the other.


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LifterLMS Private Areas adds new student and admin notifications to using the LifterLMS Notifications engine.

By default, students will receive email and basic notifications each time a new private post is available for them. These notifications are customizable on the LifterLMS Settings -> Notifications area like all core LifterLMS notifications.


Coming soon: Students and teachers will receive basic and email notifications each time a new comment is made on a private post.

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