Gone are the days when reading books was the only way to learn something new. With Learning Management Systems (LMS), you can learn or teach online with the help of media-rich content, quizzes, and more! In this article, I’ll provide an in-depth explanation of what an LMS is, and share with you the nine best WordPress LMS plugins!
What Is LMS?
LMS — Learning Management Systems — are platforms built to organize courses. With them, you can plan and run easy to follow lessons.
If we simplify the functions, first an LMS allows you to create lessons. They can be filled with various media, quizzes, and other useful additions. Second, the platform makes it easy to deliver the courses to participants.
Why is adding media to courses essential? If you add video and text-based materials to a lesson, learners can choose whichever option they prefer more. Alternatively, you can create text-based lessons and expand on them through video, charts, images, and more.
Additionally, an LMS provides ways to manage learner user profiles, progress reports, and can even add gamification features.
This type of system isn’t just great for traditional education either. An LMS can be an excellent tool for companies, helping provide onboarding training and knowledge assessments.
Do you want to make money by selling online courses? You definitely can. Take an example from Udemy – they do just that.
Keep in mind that LMS plugins are different from membership plugins. Membership focuses more on media learning and gated content, while an LMS offers more engaging courses that often include progress tracking, gamification, and evaluation.
What Should You Look For in a WordPress LMS Plugin?
A couple of key factors can judge the quality of an LMS plugin:
- Course creation and management. Creating a course should be simple. Not only should you be able to upload images and videos to enrich the lessons but easily incorporate other file types. Drag and drop builders make these tasks especially easy. The plugin should also give you the option to manage an individual course comprehensively – provide easy access to quiz results, structure, progression, etc.
- Progress reports. Easy tracking of student progress, and how well they did on any quiz is a must. This is great for integrating gamification too.
- Student management. It should let you check if learners are accessing the courses they purchased. You can also control their memberships, and make sure that their data is safely managed.
- Certification. This feature will allow you to recognize and reward students that complete your courses. Certification offers a great incentive to choose your service. Additionally, it’s great to look out for plugins that automate this feature and send the certificate straight to the learner’s email, after the course is completed.
- Payment. You should pick a plugin with an integrated payment gateway like PayPal or Stripe. It will make payments easier for students, and managing them will be a breeze.
Top 9 WordPress LMS Plugins for the Best Online Learning Experience
Now you know the basics of what a learning management system is. Let’s check out the nine best WordPress LMS plugins based on their ease of use, price, and feature set:
You can start creating courses ASAP by using their drag and drop builder. Additionally, the spin-up feature allows you to reuse the same materials and saved settings to build new courses quickly. The LearnDash course builder supports multilayer courses too.
One of the main selling points of LearnDash is its advanced quizzing. You can choose eight different question types and add media to both the questions and answers. Not only that, you can randomize quiz questions, give hints, or enable block progression.
To make your quizzes more engaging, you can set up to 15 unique messages at the end of the quiz. Additionally, you can send the results to the participants’ emails once they finish it.
LearnDash is excellent for ecommerce too. It has excellent monetization features that allow you to use subscription, one-time purchase, or membership payment models.
Let’s look at LearnDash’s pricing plans:
- Basic — $159 (discounted from $199), for a single site.
- Plus — $189 (discounted from $229), for up to ten sites.
- Pro — $329 (discounted from $369), for up to 25 sites.
- The plugin offers great monetization models like course bundles, memberships, and others.
- It has an easy-to-use course builder that won’t take long to master.
- LearnDash has plenty of quiz building options.
- Unless you go for the Plus and Pro Package, you’ll miss the ProPanel feature, which is essential for keeping track of analytics and student progress.
- As LearnDash is an extensive plugin with many features, it may cause conflict with additional plugin integrations.
If you are looking for a professional WordPress LMS plugin with many monetization tools and other features, this plugin is definitely worth trying.
This free WordPress LMS plugin is perfect for beginners who want to build a learning site. With more than 250,000 downloads, LearnPress’ quality speaks for itself.
Creating a course with LearnPress is a breeze, as their user-friendly interface has a drag-and-drop course builder so you can create a course and manage lessons without difficulty.
Selling courses with LearnPress is simple too. This plugin supports offline payments and multiple payment gateways like Paypal, Stripe, or 2Checkout. However, if you want other payment gateways you need to get the LearnPress WooCommerce add-on for $39.99.
The core of LearnPress is free, but it requires you to pay for specific add-ons, like the one mentioned before. Alternatively, you can get their bundles. All of them come for a one-time purchase with six months of support:
- LearnPress Theme Bundle — comes with any of the premium LearnPress themes that start at $49. You’ll get features such as additional payment gateways, gamification, certificates, and grade books.
- LearnPress Pro Bundle — $249, you’ll get all available add-ons.
- You can build a great learning site with an unlimited number of courses for free.
- It has an in-built automatic email system that allows you to send quiz results to participants.
- LearnPress is frequently updated to address bugs and improve security.
- If you want to get all the features at once, the initial investment into the LearnPress Pro Bundle can be expensive.
- The best available plan only offers three site licenses.
This is a great option for beginners. All the must-have core features are completely free. Feel like you’re ready to grow and introduce new options to your students? Invest in the add-on bundles at your own pace.
3. Tutor LMS
Tutor LMS is a completely UI-based plugin that has been an absolute delight for its users as suggested by their excellent reviews. Tutor LMS not only has a drag & drop feature but an industry first frontend course builder.
One of the more unique Tutor LMS features is their quizzing system. It has 10 unique question patterns with loads of options, such as defining quiz duration, limiting attempts, reviewing questions, and much more.
Tutor LMS generates some powerful analytics in the Reports section that will help you improve conversion rates and has been fully integrated with WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads.
Communicate easily using mail, allow students to submit assignments and generate grades using the Gradebook. Offer certificates to your students using templates, while the content drip add-on lets you schedule lessons and assignments. Creating a multi-instructor platform, complete with course prerequisites and preview options, will let you build sites like Udemy, Hubspot, etc.
Let’s look at the Tutor LMS pricing plan:
- Single License — $149/year or $399 for a lifetime support
- Supersaver 5 License Pack — $199/year or $599 for a lifetime support
- Unlimited Licenses — $299/year or $999 for a lifetime support
All the premium versions come with priority support, plugin updates, and access to extensions within the validity of the license.
- The free version of Tutor LMS offers a generous list of features, including the course builder itself and video player support.
- Monetizing courses and sales analytics are made highly accessible with numerous in-depth functions.
- Tutor LMS focuses a lot on UI and UX elements making it a very pleasing plugin for both beginners and professionals.
- The plugin is still comparatively new, so some of its features are still in development.
If you want to generate revenue from courses on a professional learning platform, then Tutor LMS is definitely your go-to LMS.
Lifter LMS is an easy-to-use and powerful plugin that allows you to make an amazing WordPress learning site by giving you an intuitive drag-and-drop course builder. Using multimedia is especially easy – you can add extra content to both lessons and quizzes.
Also, if you plan to use the content drip strategy, LifterLMS is ready for that out of the box. Content dripping is great for encouraging your learners not only to focus on their lessons but to stay committed to your site too.
When it comes to monetization, LifterLMS tries to make management easy for both site owners and students. You get to create an unlimited amount of pricing plans, while users get to easily change their payment method and more.
Apart from features, LifterLMS is known for its complete documentation, user-friendly setup wizard, and a fully-configured demo site where you can experience how the plugin works firsthand.
While you can download this plugin for free and create a basic learning site, you have to buy individual add-ons to get more features. LifterLMS add-on pricing is:
- Individual add-on — $99/year, individual purchase of an add-on like one for advanced quizzes, or bulk enrollment.
- Universe Bundle — $299/year, additional ecommerce, marketing form add-ons, and site licensing.
- Infinity Bundle — $999/year, you will get all available add-ons including private coaching features and unlimited site licenses.
- The plugin has in-depth documentation that is a great help for troubleshooting and growing your learning site.
- You can get a 30-day trial by paying only $1.
- It has plenty of monetization features – from recurring payments to private content upsells.
- If you want to grow your site over time, by getting individual add-ons, the investment will be large in the long run.
- The advanced quizzing system, which is a must-have feature, requires you to pay $199/year or comes with the infinity bundle.
A well-rounded WordPress LMS plugin that gives site owners plenty of room to grow, but comes at a steep price tag.
WP Courseware is best known for giving site owners the ability to create courses in minutes while offering other content centered features.
The plugin makes great use of WordPress’ role system, letting only users with the subscriber status, who are enrolled in a course to view it. This helps protect your intellectual property.
Additionally, WP Courseware has an instructor role that allows users to host courses on your site without modifying your WordPress site’s core settings. This enables secure cooperation between teachers without putting security at risk.
This plugin also comes packed with monetization features – content dripping, a robust shopping cart connected with Paypal and Stripe, one-time purchases, and subscriptions. Earn the way you think works best for your site.
WP Courseware doesn’t have any additional add-ons and offers all of the available features upfront, but it doesn’t come free. The three plans only differ in the number of websites you can install the plugin on:
- Teacher — $129/year (discounted from $149), for two sites.
- Professor — $149/year (discounted from $169), for ten sites.
- Guru — $199/year (discounted from $249), for 25 sites.
- This plugin is compatible with most WordPress themes giving you extra visual variety when building a learning site.
- You get the massive amount of available features for a single annual subscription.
- With WP Courseware you can easily expand your monetization options with the additional membership plugin support.
- The plugin lacks advanced quizzing features and settings.
- WP Courseware’s documentation is fairly limited. Troubleshooting and advanced modifications may be difficult because of this.
WP Courseware is great for building a reliable if simple learning site. Additionally, you can get excellent content protection features with a very attractive price tag.
6. Sensei LMS
Sensei LMS is best known for its reliability. The plugin is created by Automattic – the company behind WordPress.com, Jetpack, and WooCommerce.
The installation and setup process is incredibly easy and will let you start creating courses in minutes. Just add a Sensei LMS page, and you’re ready. This plugin has a great quizzing system too, from multiple-choices, filling the gap, to multimedia-based questions.
Everything for a sophisticated learning site comes free, but if you want to monetize and earn – you’ll have to invest and purchase the WooCommerce Paid Courses extension ($129 for a single site), the Content Drip extension ($29 for a single site) or one of the other available options.
- You can start out completely free.
- The in-depth documentation and backing by Automattic make this plugin easy to troubleshoot and use.
- Integrating WooCommerce and Jetpack is easy and issue-free.
- A key feature – monetization requires purchasing payment extensions.
- There are no bundles you can purchase, that offer all the features required for a learning site in one place. Additionally, the price of individual extensions adds up quickly.
While the reliability and ease of use of Sensei LMS are great, there are plenty of must-have additional LMS features. However, the extension prices will add up quickly to your budget.
7. Namaste! LMS
Namaste! LMS is another plugin that you can download and start using for free. Whatever you need to build a learning site is covered, from unlimited courses, lessons, to easy enrollment. Assignments, grade books, and certification features are included too.
This plugin takes after many others on this list by offering modules and extensions that you can add to your platform as it grows. Choose from a wide selection of free plugins, individual premium modules, and bundle plans.
Here are some of the free additional plugins that you can use to improve your site:
- MoolaMojo — a virtual currency to sell courses online.
- Konnichiwa! — to create a membership site.
- Kotae — to create a knowledge base.
- Bridges — to open up additional integrations with plugins and services.
You can get their individual bundles:
- Namaste! Reports — $99, for advanced reporting and analytics.
- Namaste! Connect — $299, for premium notification and communication features.
- Namaste! LMS Theme — $999, for a carefully developed and consistent theme for your whole site.
They also offer plans that give you a year of premium support and updates. They include a 60-day money-back guarantee and a lifetime license.
- Namaste! Pro — $47, additional WooCommerce and Simple Shopping Cart integration.
- Namaste! Plugin Bundle — $87, All the Pro benefits, along with Namaste! Reports and Namaste! Connect.
- Namaste! Full Bundle — $127, All previous benefits and the Namaste! LMS Theme.
- The free version offers a very strong selection of features and additional feature bundles for user convenience.
- A 60-day money-back guarantee for all bundles.
- Unlimited site licensing.
- While for the free version you do get plenty of features, compared to other paid options, Namaste! LMS is a bit limited.
- There is no demo site that would let you try what kind of user experience the plugin offers. To try the plugin, you will have to purchase it or take a visual tour.
If you’re looking for a simpler platform, without advanced quizzing, or deep-learning features, Namaste! LMS is a great choice. However, if you want room for experimentation, and more than just traditional quizzing methods, you’re better off looking elsewhere.
This plugin is part of the Education Press Theme, meaning that when you buy the theme for $59, you can get the CoursePress Pro plugin for free.
CoursePress Pro boasts its ease-to-use and setup. Once a course is created, adding it to your WordPress site is a breeze.
CoursePress Pro has a unique group discussion feature that will help students engage more with the lessons while building a community around your site. Other features that make this plugin worth mentioning are quiz uploading and downloading that lets you manage assignments easily.
Do you want to monetize your courses? This plugin has more than 13 in-built payment gateways. Not only that, being compatible with WooCommerce and more than 100 payment options, you can sell your course whichever way you want.
- They have a great live demo site that will help you decide if this is the option for you and your students.
- You can get it for free by purchasing the EducationPress theme.
- The number of payment gateways is massive compared to other options on this list. Best of all, using them requires no extension purchases.
- According to users, it has compatibility issues with certain WooCommerce addons.
If you need a robust WordPress LMS plugin and a bundle of great-looking themes, CoursePress Pro is definitely worth considering.
With more than 2,000 active installations, the ability to import courses from Udemy, and regular updates that introduce new features, MasterStudy LMS is definitely worth checking out.
Once activated, creating content-rich courses is easy. MasterStudy LMS has a handy course settings menu, that lets you manage the skill level and retake number and other aspects from a single screen.
MasterStudy LMS categorizes lessons into three types – text, video, or slideshow. Build the course, set the duration, and enable the optional preview to entice users by showing them a small snippet of what you’re offering them. This plugin supports monetization through Paypal and Stripe too, so earning won’t be a problem.
The Pro version has three pricing plans depending on how many sites you want to run: $39 (single site), $69 (five sites), and $129 (25 sites).
Additionally, these Pro versions allow you to act as a Udemy affiliate and earn commissions from course sales. You can also copy and paste quizzes by using shortcodes and get advanced prerequisite course features.
- Great messaging and announcement features to keep your learners up to date.
- You can earn commissions by acting as a Udemy affiliate and reselling their courses on your site.
- It offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- The plugin is known for having occasional compatibility issues with other plugins and certain core features. Setting up the site just the way you want it might require trial and error.
- Unless you go with the Pro version, you can’t enable the WooCommerce Checkout function. Meaning you can’t monetize your courses out-of-the-box.
For those who just started or want to test their ability in running a learning site, this LMS plugin for WordPress is worth considering. You can also import lessons from Udemy and earn through being an affiliate, all while having your very own beautiful learning site.
Which One Will You Choose?
Learning new skills should be enjoyable. It has to be easily accessible and easy to track while offering a rewarding experience.
With Learning Management Systems, it’s easy to create and profit from online courses. They allow you to manage lessons and track the learning progress of students in a comprehensive way.
If you have a WordPress site, turning it into an online course platform is a breeze. Just pick the WordPress LMS plugin that’s right for you.
Let’s recap the list of the nine best WordPress LMS plugins based on price, features, and how easily they turn your site into an online learning platform:
- LearnDash — A versatile and reliable LMS plugin with great monetization features.
- LearnPress — A free LMS plugin with an easy to use interface and export-import features.
- Tutor LMS — An excellent and user-friendly plugin with plenty of features and great customer support.
- LifterLMS — One of the most powerful LMS plugins available that comes for a fairly large price tag.
- WP Courseware — Easy to use, and offers unlimited site licensing.
- Sensei — Reliable, has plenty of in-depth features, well documented, and created by Automattic.
- Namaste! LMS — A great choice for building a simple learning site on a budget.
- CoursePress Pro — A great theme/plugin bundle, that will let you create a learning site quickly and easily.
- MasterStudy LMS — Simple to use – great for beginners, and carries an in-built Udemy affiliate feature for course resale.
It doesn’t matter if you want a learning site for educating the masses, testing the knowledge of your employees, or earning money by sharing knowledge – now you’re ready to turn your WordPress site into a learning platform.