Online learning is spreading like wildfire. If you want the flames of your eLearning WordPress website to burn brighter, you’d need to employ a powerful LMS plugin.
There are plenty of choices when it comes to the availability of WordPress LMS plugins. However, picking the right one to create, manage and sell courses is crucial to stand out.
In this article, we’re going to compare the best WordPress LMS plugins out there to help you make an informed decision.
For comparison purpose, we’d be using the below elements as parameters:
- Monetization options
- Integration options
- Pricing options
Note: For features, we have not included all of them but just the important ones.
Without further ado, let’s begin!
LearnDash is considered to be the most trusted WordPress LMS plugins out there. It makes it really simple to use, create and sell courses. Since everybody wants quick access to information, LearnDash is completely compatible with mobiles allowing you to learn on the go as well.
A. Features/Benefits (Rating: 5/5)
- You can use the Drag & Drop course builder to create multi-layer courses and break them into sections, lessons, quizzes and create a smooth learning experience.
- You can either deliver all your lessons at once or choose to drip-feed them at a scheduled time giving learners enough time for every topic/lesson.
- Options like creating a course-specific forum encourages learners to indulge in conversations and interactions.
- Easily set up and manage user profiles to allow your learners to view their progress, performance and print certificates.
- You can use various media formats like audio, video, images, etc. and create an engaging learning environment.
- Automated email notifications are sent to learners regarding different aspects of the courses.
- It is built to work with any modern WordPress themes and many popular page builder plugins.
B. Gamification in LearnDash (Rating: 5/5)
Now, It’s important that you keep your learners motivated. With LearnDash, you can create quizzes or challenges and reward points or badges to learners once they finish a quiz or a challenge.
To award badges, you can use the BadgeOS plugin which integrates perfectly with LearnDash.
What stands out is, you can also design branching scenarios in your course that’ll help learners make a decision in certain situations. To incorporate these scenarios, you can use LearnDash add-on such as Articulate Storyline or Adobe Captivate.
For e.g: For a scuba diving certification course, you could design a branching scenario that’ll help learners form an appropriate response for an underwater crisis.
C. Monetizing options in LearnDash (Rating: 5/5)
There are several tools like Memberships, Subscription model, Bundles, Shopping carts and license method you can use to sell or market your courses.
You can accept payments for the courses via multiple gateways like PayPal (built-in), Stripe, and 2Checkout.
D. Integration options in LearnDash (Rating: 4/5)
LearnDash integrates easily with BuddyPress, WooCommerce and many other plugins that you can use to create an ultimate user experience.
Who is using LearnDash?
LearnDash is being used by major Universities like the University of Florida and Washington, Fortune 500 companies, Training organizations and Entrepreneurs around the globe.
E. Pricing options for LearnDash (Rating: 4/5)
LearnDash is a premium plugin that comes in three packages:
- Basic pack – $159/year for a single site.
- Plus pack – $189/year for 10 sites.
- Pro pack – $329/year for 25 sit.
Recommended for you: 10 Best LearnDash Themes
This is one of the most well known LMS plugins. Like LearnDash, LifterLMS provides a similar depth in terms of creating courses. If you’re just starting out, then LifterLMS is a great plugin for you as it offers all the core functionalities for free. Its beauty lies in the fact that it is super easy to set up even on an existing WordPress site.
A. Features/Benefits (Rating: 5/5)
The features are almost similar to LearnDash. However, there are some notable benefits that make LifterLMS unique.
- You can utilize the easy Drag and Drop course builder tool to create lessons and quizzes, especially, if you’re a beginner or want a simple design.
- The most unique feature – it allows you to try the plugin for just $1 a month and purchase it if it suits your requirement.
- Add multimedia lessons by using – audio, video, images, texts to make the lessons engaging and appealing.
- It comes with a graphics pack that contains images that can be used to design certificates or badges to provide a feel-good experience to your learners.
- You can collect honest course reviews and testimonials to boost your sales.
- Provides the flexibility to easily create small courses or a full-blown degree program.
- You can make lessons available at a scheduled time to enable learners to focus well on each lesson.
- It has a dedicated support team you can reach out to through their site or social media in case of any issues regarding the plugin.
B. Gamification in LifterLMS (Rating: 4/5)
For gamification, you can purchase a special graphics pack to add images and honors in badges and use 16 different colors in certificate backgrounds to improve engagement and learner experience.
There are 18 notification icons available that can gamify your platform as per your style. Apart from this, you can also send personalized emails to learners at their every achievement.
It also supports GamiPress integration that can be used to give other digital rewards to your learners.
C. Monetizing options in LifterLMS (Rating: 3/5)
Compared to LearnDash, LifterLMS offers powerful monetization options like Free courses, sell courses for a one-time payment, subscription model, sell in bundles, in bulk, offer private lessons and several other options.
Even though the plugin is free, the only drawback is – you have to pay for every additional functionality such as Payment Gateways (Stripe, PayPal).
D. Integration options in LiferLMS (Rating: 3/5)
You can increase its core functionalities by integrating it with robust extensions like MailChimp, WooCommerce, Affiliate WP and more to improve user engagement and experience.
Who is using LifterLMS?
LifterLMs are being used by Fitness experts, Musicians, Budding Entrepreneurs and more for their business.
E. Pricing options for LifterLMS (Rating: 3/5)
The core version is available for free, however, you can add individual add-ons as per your requirements for $99 each.
Apart from that, there are two bundle options available:
- Universal Bundle – $299/year which includes everything except the advanced add-ons.
- Infinity Bundle – $999/year
Epitrove Tip: If you are going to need more than one add-on, purchasing a Universal Bundle is way economical than purchasing individual add-ons or an Infinity bundle.
LearnPress is a free WordPress LMS plugin with 70,000+ installations. It offers many important functions for free and is easily one of the best LMS plugins to create courses with barely any coding requirements and sell it online. The drawback here – the support team isn’t always available, unlike other LMS plugins.
A. Features/Benefits (Rating: 4/5)
- It comes with an excellent user interface to create courses and a curriculum layout that can be easily edited and maintained.
- You can have multiple instructors, i.e. appoint two or more teachers to manage a course, especially if the course is too big or complex.
- Its biggest benefit is its beautiful templates which can be used easily by non-developers as well to create attractive pages that can entice people to become instructors.
- It makes it easy to design courses with the help of lessons and quizzes. You can also use these quizzes and lessons for multiple courses.
- You can schedule content, quizzes, assignments as per the progress of the learner allowing them to focus on a particular topic.
- LearnPress creates its own theme which you can use or you can purchase premium WordPress LMS themes that support LearnPress.
B. Gamification in LearnPress (Rating: 3/5)
The gamification offered by LearnPress is pretty generic – badges and points. However, you can use GamiPress integration and award your users with digital rewards.
The free version of LearnPress does not come with certificates. You can avail this functionality by purchasing add-ons.
C. Monetizing options in LearnPress (Rating: 3/5)
The basic monetization options come for free with the core plugin and you can also use a one-time payment method for each course.
By default, LearnPress uses PayPal as a payment processor but, you can use different payment gateways as per your requirements by purchasing the add-ons.
D. Integration options in LearnPress (Rating: 3/5)
You can seamlessly integrate with WooCommerce, bbPress, BuddyPress and many more add-ons to expand your store functionalities. For all other advanced functionalities you require, you can always purchase add-ons.
There are some free add-ons you can use with LearnPress:
- Wishlist: Allows students to add courses to their wishlist.
- Course review: Publish user reviews on your site to boost sales
- Prerequisite courses: Users will be able to attempt other courses after completing the previous one.
Who is using LearnPress?
Lots of Education facilities are using LearnPress to create and sell courses.
E. Pricing options for LearnPress (Rating: 4/5)
The core plugin is for free but you can purchase the add-ons as and when the need arises. Even the paid add-ons for that matter, are relatively cheaper compared to LifterLMS.
For e.g: Individual payment gateways with LearnPress will cost ~$30 compared to a whopping $99 with LifterLMS.
If you are willing to use a LearnPress theme, you can purchase the bundle at $49 or spend $299 to use LearnPress with any theme.
Epitrove Tip: You can try this plugin if you’re willing to use the LearnPress theme and are on a tight budget.
Sensei is a WooCommerce extension developed by the creators of WooCommerce (Automattic). Just like WooCommerce, the Sensei extension is also easy to use but it’s not as powerful as the previous plugins we talked about earlier.
A. Features/Benefits (Rating: 3/5)
Sensei is not too feature-rich compared to other LMS plugins. However, there are a few features that are worth noting.
- Sensei works well with most of the WordPress themes which means you can make your courses look great without having coding knowledge.
- Creating courses and lessons is as easy as creating a post or a page on WordPress.
- It comes with a simple course analytics that provides information on grades, course completion, learners registered, etc. to give you an overview of your e-learning store.
- There are different templates that offer great designs and can be used for tests like true/false, single-line and multi-line tests.
- You can set the quiz grading to automatic or manual.
- There is no drag and drop course builder option available but you can use drop-down facilities to create courses.
B. Gamification in Sensei (Rating: 3/5)
The level of gamification is almost the same as other LMS plugins – badges, certificates, and points.
Since Sensei is created by the people behind WooCommerce, you can use the points and rewards extension by WooCommerce to factor the fun element in learning.
C. Monetizing options in Sensei (Rating: 4/5)
Being an extension for WooCommerce, Sensei gives you a decent level of freedom in terms of Monetization options.
With this LMS plugin, you can use any of the WooCommerce payment gateways to sell courses for free or for a one-time payment.
For more flexibility, you can also use the WooCommerce Subscriptions and Membership plugin to sell your courses.
D. Integration options in Sensei (Rating: 3/5)
Sensei integrates seamlessly with your WordPress site and WooCommerce but apart from that, there are very limited options available.
Who is using Sensei?
If you’re already having a WooCommerce powered store and as long as your LMS needs are basic and minimum, you can try the Senseiextension.
E. Pricing options for Sensei (Rating: 2/5)
Sensei offers the core plugin that allows you to create and sell courses for free. However, if you want to monetize your courses, then you will need to purchase the WooCommerce paid course extension which is quite expensive for the value it offers.
The pricing starts at $129 for a single site and you may need to buy additional extensions depending on the features you require.
For e.g: To use Content Dripping, you’d have to buy the extension for $29 for a single site.
5. WP Courseware
This is one of the oldest and a promising WordPress LMS plugins out there. It is pretty simple to use and is far less complicated than some of its competitors. With its amazing set of features, it makes it easy to create and sell courses and modules.
A. Features/Benefits (Rating: 5/5)
- It comes with a drag and drop editor that allows you to build unlimited courses and lets you create multiple modules, quizzes, and units for each course.
- Its member portal platform allows you to speak with the active course creators and understand their views and challenges.
- You can use its powerful quiz features to set quiz timers, advanced quiz types and set retake limits.
- It lets you set up custom feedback messages that can be sent to learners based on their scores to improve your learners’ capabilities.
- There’s a grade book you can manage and export based on your learners’ progress.
- It comes with a question banks that you can use to quickly create quizzes for different courses.
- You can also run a multi instructor system and assign roles to teachers for creating and managing courses.
- You can take advantage of the video content to make it more appealing and engaging to the learners.
B. Gamification in WP Courseware (Rating: 3/5)
C. Monetizing options in WP Courseware (Rating: 4/5)
This plugin gives you a good level of control for the monetization options. You can sell the course for free, offer one-time payment or charge a recurring subscription for the course.
For more flexibility, you can also integrate with WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, and Membership plugins.
D. Integration options in WP Courseware (Ratings: 4/5)
The biggest advantage of WP Courseware lies in the fact that it has a large collection of integrations to choose from.
You have several options like WooCommerce, OptimizePress, BuddyPress, Visual Composers and many more to create an engaging user experience for your learners.
Who is using WP Courseware?
This plugin is being used by some of the well-known universities like the University of Illinois and University of Wisconsin Madison. You can also find this plugin being used on enterprise training sites like CNN or Sheraton.
E. Pricing options for WP Courseware (Rating: 4/5)
To access this plugin, you’d have to purchase one of their premium packages.
This plugin is quite affordable compared to its competitors, especially when you want to use it on multiple sites.
However, the WP Courseware integration for WooCommerce is available for free.
Different plans you can explore are:
- Teacher Pack: $129 for 2 WordPress sites
- Professor Pack: $149 for 10 WordPress sites
- Guru Pack: $199 for 25 WordPress sites
6. Namaste! LMS
Namaste! LMS is an easy-to-use Learning Management System that helps you effortlessly create and manage engaging learning websites.
A. Features/Benefits (Rating: 4/5)
- Namaste! LMS allows you to devise lessons that support rich text, media and plugin content, like any other WordPress pages or posts which is quite simple, especially if you’re a beginner.
- You can track students’ progress by accessing their daily to-do-list and figure a plan of action to analyze room for improvement.
- It lets you connect with students in an effective manner by approving/rejecting assignments and adding notes to students’ solutions to help them solve problems with personal guidance.
- There are different tools that can be used to protect your files and backend access.
- It simplifies management for you by allowing different user roles to operate and use the learning material.
- You can choose what is required for completing a lesson successfully by setting specific criteria for each course.
B. Gamification in Namaste! LMS (Rating: 3/5)
The gamification options are pretty much similar to its competitors and enable you to create a gamified atmosphere by awarding badges, certificates and generating a leaderboard that will keep the learners motivated and push them to strive for more.
You can also integrate with BadgeOS to enhance the gamification experience.
C. Monetizing options in Namaste! LMS (Rating: 4/5)
A good benefit of this plugin is that it offers a good amount of monetization options like selling courses in packs, create discount coupons, enable shopping carts and more.
You can use payment gateways like PayPal and Stripe for financial transactions.
D. Integration options in Namaste! LMS (Rating: 4/5)
There are several integration options available for you to improve the user experience and engagement.
Who is using Namaste! LMS?
This plugin is used by the International Academy of Photographic Arts, Education institutions, Private tutors and more.
E. Pricing options for Namaste! LMS (Rating: 4/5)
You can download the core plugin for free. However, to access advanced functionality and enhance your eLearning site you will have to purchase the premium version that starts at $67 which is a one-time payment option.
You can also check out other packages which are relatively cheaper compared to its competitors:
- Namaste! Plugins bundle – $97 which grants access to Namaste! Connect and Namaste! Reports.
- Namaste! Full Bundle – $137 which grants access to Namaste! LMS Themes, Namaste! Pro, Namaste! Connect and Namaste! Reports
7. Tutor LMS
Tutor LMS from Themeum is a new plugin on the block launched in 2019 and already has over 3000+ installations. The plugin comes with an amazing modern interface to generate great user experience and is Gutenberg compatible as well.
A. Features/Benefits (Rating: 4/5)
- Tutor LMS offers the first-ever WordPress front end course builder with drag and drop features that makes it convenient to create and customize courses, lessons, assignments, and quizzes.
- It comes with a unique feature that helps you to create your own marketplace – like Udemy to sell courses.
- You can create different types of quizzes to keep the learners engaged and to avoid monotony among the learners.
- It allows your learners to use the modern and well designed front end course interfaces to navigate easily through lessons and assignments.
- Your instructors can easily withdraw their earnings through Bank transfer making it efficient and simple for your instructors.
- You can analyze your course performance with its filterable stats like student enrollment graph, number of courses and many more to get an idea of the overall performance.
B. Gamification in Tutor LMS (Rating: 3/5)
This plugin integrates automatically with GamiPress to add gamification functionality and reward points, badges and certificates to learners.
C. Monetizing options in Tutor LMS (Rating: 4/5)
Tutor LMS comes with good monetization options like offering free courses, providing a one-time purchase option or lifetime access.
You can use the most popular payment gateways powered by WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads to facilitate transactions.
D. Integration options in Tutor LMS (Rating: 3/5)
To enhance your user experience and engagement, you can integrate with several plugins like WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, GamiPress and more depending upon the features you require.
Who is using Tutor LMS?
Since this is a relatively new plugin, lots of individual instructors have been using this plugin. You can consider this plugin if you’re an education institution or an eLearning platform.
E. Pricing options for Tutor LMS (Rating: 4/5)
Tutor LMS offers a free version that has all the basic features but you’d need to purchase the PRO version for added functionalities.
You can choose the annual or lifetime options before purchasing the plugin:
- 1 site – $149 for one year and $399 for lifetime
- 5 sites – $199 for one year and $599 for lifetime
- Unlimited sites – $299 for one year and $999 for lifetime
WordPress LMS Plugins – Quick comparison
All of the WordPress LMS plugins serve the basic purpose but we recommend using LearnDash as it provides tons of amazing features and unique gamification techniques that can help in improving the learner experience.
If you’re looking to create an eLearning site using the LMS plugin with good features and at an affordable price, we recommend using WP Courseware or LearnPress.
For beginners, we recommend going with LifterLMS or Namaste! LMS and if you have plans of creating your own marketplace like Udemy, you can try the new plugin, Tutor LMS.
A Learning Management System (LMS) Plugin is a plugin that allows you to create, manage and run online e-learning courses with WordPress.
An LMS is important as it allows you to manage registration, learners, courses, online content, tutors, groups, access, notifications, communication/messages, certificates, and reports.
LMS is used by anyone who is doing eLearning. This can include:
Businesses, Education Institutes, Government, Organizations, etc.
LearnDash is the best plugin out there as it provides tons of amazing features and unique gamification techniques help in improving the learner experience.
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