The e-Learning industry continues to evolve at an impressive rate. And so do the top LMS platforms.
Especially in the WordPress e-Learning space where there are so many LMS platforms, to begin with. That’s why choosing the right Learning Management System (LMS) is pretty confusing.
But you don’t need to worry because we’ve done the research for you 🙂
And, in this detailed article, we’ve listed the 6 best LMS platforms that you can use to kickstart your online education venture in 2022.
But, before getting there, bear with us as we quickly touch upon some basic requirements of the major online education businesses that you can start using these LMS platforms.
3 Major Online Education Ventures
1. Basic requirements to start an Online School
Whether you’re shifting your physical school online or starting a new online school, here are some crucial functions/features to keep in mind before picking an LMS platform for your school.
Some of the essential features are:
- Having multiple user roles like teachers, students, etc.
- Creating lessons, topics, quizzes, and assignments,
- User-friendly interface
- Class attendance tracking
- Detailed student reporting
- Options to integrate Live classes
- Exam proctoring abilities
- Facilitating student-teacher communication networks and many more…
And, to build and run your online school smoothly, the top 3 popular and widely used platforms based on our findings are:
- LearnDash LMS
- Lifter LMS
These platforms have the capabilities to help you build a fully functional and successful online school.
Recommended: How to start an online school with LearnDash
2. Basic requirements to build your Course Marketplace like Udemy
With thriving business opportunities in eLearning, course marketplaces are one of the leading options for a lucrative business venture. ‘
And, if you’re looking to start one, here are some of the basic functions/features you’d need to take note of in order to kickstart your course marketplace.
Some essential features:
- Ability to offer and create multiple courses
- Enable multiple Instructors to create their courses and sell
- Facilitate smooth payment gateways for paid courses
- Have different user roles such as learners and Instructors
- Automatic calculations and payments of commissions to Instructors
- Manage students and courses hassle-free
- Provide an intuitive dashboard for learners and instructors to operate from
- Restrict Instructor capabilities and access to the backend and many more….
Having said that, the 3 most famous LMS platforms to base your online course marketplaces are:
- LearnDash LMS
- Talent LMS
- Tutor LMS
These LMS platforms will enable you to easily build a full-fledged online course marketplace of your own.
Recommended: How to build an education website like Udemy
Additionally, we have created a step-by-step guide to handhold you in setting up a course marketplace. You can download it here.
3. Basic requirements to run an online Corporate Training Business
Since the pandemic, lots of companies have begun using LMS platforms to train their employees. And, if you’re someone who’s looking to start an online corporate training business, here are some of the basic features/functions you’d need before going into it:
Some essential features:
- Ability to onboard multiple Trainers to provide training on different topics
- Allow trainers to create their modules or courses and manage them
- Enable the buyer or trainer to bulk enroll employees for training
- Smooth management of payments to trainers
- Facilitate trainer-employee communication mechanism
- Provide easy to use user interface and many more….
And, based on our research, the top 3 LMS platforms that’ll help you add all the basic and advanced functions to build and run your successful online corporate training business are:
- LearnDash LMS
Now that we’ve covered the basic requirements of major online education businesses, it’s time to look at the top LMS platforms.
6 Best LMS Platforms for Your Online eLearning Business
LearnDash is one of the most popular and favorite LMS plugins among WordPress users. Apart from small scale and medium businesses, it is also used by several fortune 500 companies and major Universities to create different courses, train, and educate learners.
Its ‘must-have’ strong features, splendid course designs, ultra-fast speed, and pocket-friendly pricing makes LearnDash a viable option for opening your online school, course marketplace, and even corporate training business.
Pros of LearnDash
- Offers power-packed functions – Lets you create professional courses with drag and drop course builder, provides a distraction-free environment for learners, enables you to schedule or drip-feed lessons or content based on prerequisites, offers monetization options, and plenty more.
- Advance quiz builder – It offers a comprehensive question bank to create insightful quizzes.
- Challenge exams – Lets you test the learner’s knowledge before enrolling in a course and jump to a much more relevant course.
- Easy to use – LearnDash is extremely user-friendly and comes with a modern interface. Plus, it’s super easy to set up and get started ASAP.
- Smooth third-party integrations – This extension is compatible with all the popular WordPress themes. Moreover, it also integrates easily with 3rd party plugins to enable discussion forums, reward points and badges, allow memberships, etc.
- Control and Flexibility – You have full control over your courses and learners at all times. And, you also have the flexibility to choose colors, logos, course displays, lesson options, etc.
- Great support and documentation – LearnDash is known for its super active and responsive support team when it comes to addressing and resolving queries in time. In addition, it also has detailed documentation available on its site which you can refer to anytime.
- Extensive business suitability – You can use this plugin to kickstart any small to large scale eLearning ventures such as Online school, Course marketplace, Corporate training platforms, healthcare training, etc.
- Easy course monetization: LearnDash now comes with Stripe Connect built into the core feature set.
Cons of LearnDash
- No Free Trials – LearnDash does not offer free trials to test out and experience the plugin. However, it does have a 30-day money-back guarantee policy.
- Misses out on a major in-built function – LearnDash, by default, does not offer a major functionality of adding multiple Instructors. But, it integrates smoothly with a plugin like WISDM Instructor Role that lets you add multiple Instructors to create and manage courses.
Moodle is the LMS of choice for many universities and schools, and that is because it has been around for more than 18 years. Over the course of its long lifecycle, it has gone through hundreds of updates based on user feedback, which has made it one of the best LMS platforms in the world. Here are its pros and cons.
Pros of Moodle
- Large collection of plugins and themes like WordPress, so you can develop and scale your e-Learning site easily.
- Reliability and scalability – Like WordPress, Moodle’s development team also keeps updating it at regular intervals to ensure that it works smoothly and without any glitches.
- Dedicated to eLearning – Unlike WordPress, which is a CMS-cum-LMS solution, Moodle is a full-fledged LMS platform, built for the purpose of online education sites only. This ensures that the development of the platform is only geared towards making it easier and better for people in the eLearning industry.
- Consumes less disk space than other platforms.
- Instructor friendly – you can add as many instructors as you wish, and they can easily manage student progress and course content created by them.
Cons of Moodle
- Moodle requires you to know how to code. It is not as easy to understand and use as LearnDash.
- The test analysis feature is missing which can make it difficult to export and analyze the results of tests conducted on your students.
- Video-conferencing and chatting functionality is missing.
- Full control over customization requires at least some knowledge of coding.
- Moodle’s front-end interface is quite poor, and a far cry from the sleek and intuitive themes of LearnDash.
In the WordPress e-learning space, LifterLMS is another powerful WordPress LMS platform that simplifies course creation and selling. It is known to empower online education business owners and also facilitate remote learning for traditional schools.
Lifter LMS is a complete WordPress LMS solution that is well packed with features and services for all types of e-learning ventures. It integrates well with all WordPress themes, page builders, and other 3rd party plugins.
With this plugin, you also get various bundles with items like sample courses, sample quizzes, certificates, and a demo website. This feature is perfect for beginners to launch their courses on the go.
The features and resources provided by LifterLMS are flexible enough to build any kind of e-learning website.
Pros of Lifter LMS
- Drag and Drop course builder– Just like in LearnDash, this built-in feature offers the best design experience to beginners.
- Features like drip content, course pre-requisites, dynamic quiz builder, etc., further allow you to create exceptional online courses.
- Membership features, e-commerce features, and gamification features are present in the core plugin.
- It allows you to set up various pricing models and integrates multiple payment gateways, coupons, etc.
- You can assign multiple instructors to a course to create a multi-instructor platform.
- This plugin also guides you on how to structure and design online courses.
- It also offers front-end student profiles for students to track their activity.
- The core plugin is free. So you can start with a course website without paying anything and install add-ons later.
- You also get strong support from the Lifter LMS team.
Cons of Lifter LMS
- You will need addons to integrate payment gateways
- For email marketing, you only get – MailChimp and Convertkit
- The extensions are a bit expensive
#4. Tutor LMS
Tutor LMS is another popular LMS platform that allows you to create, sell, and manage online courses on WordPress. With 50,000+ active installs, it comes packed with all the must-have e-learning features.
With this LMS plugin you can create interactive courses, quizzes, assignments as well as powerful reports. Using this plugin, multiple instructors can easily collaborate, create courses and run an educational website. It makes management simpler and is excellent to administer as well as monetize education online
Pros of Tutor LMS
- Drag and Drop Course Builder – This feature allows all WordPress users to build courses right from the front end.
- Built-in designs – You can choose from striking layouts to create detailed course pages.
- It comes with personalized dashboards for admins, students, and instructors. So that they can manage everything from one spot.
- The core plugin is free.
- It had tons of powerful add-ons in the premium version like Certificates, Previews, and Multi Instructor, etc.
- Analytics and Reporting – The plugin lets you keep a track of how your courses and learners are performing.
- Options to expand e-Learning business – It also lets you set course pre-requisites, set class size, and define the duration of enrolments.
- Email templates to send out customized emails for each event.
Cons of Tutor LMS
- Email support is not provided in the free version.
- The quiz options in the Pro version are limited.
- The free version does not include the front-end course builder.
- Customer support can be improved.
The TalentLMS platform was launched around the same time as WordPress was launched – in 2012. Since then it has come a long way. Not only has it served 8,000+ customers but also it has facilitated the creation of more than 3 million courses. It also sells customized versions of its LMS for various industries. The key pros and cons of this LMS platform are as follows.
Pros of TalentLMS
- Ease of use – TalentLMS is super easy to use. The team has worked extremely well on that part, and the result is that anyone can learn to use TalentLMS within a week.
- Focused on businesses – it’s designed while keeping the requirements of business users in mind. ANd that appears clearly in the way its features are organized and the industry-focused variants.
- Integrates with all popular 3rd party services (i.e. Salesforce, Zoom, Zapier, BambooHR, GoToMeeting, GSuite, etc.) for creating a professional learning experience.
- Keeps detailed records of all courses completed by someone for future review by the instructor/supervisor.
- Highly professional support team that responds quickly with the right solutions.
Cons of TalentLMS
- It’s more expensive than any of the other platforms mentioned on this page – its starter plan allows up to 40 users only and still costs $708 per year (or $79 per month). The Premium plan that allows up to 1,000 users costs a whopping $5,148 per year. This is further worsened by the fact that the price is charged per user – not per active user.
- You can’t export the details of which training/courses have been completed by a user.
- Creating customized report types is difficult because some cross-object reporting functionality is limited.
Launched in 2013, Teachable was originally known as Fedora.
In 2015 it was renamed Teachable, and since then it has grown into a community of more than 100,000 instructors and a team of more than 150 employees.
It is a completely cloud-based LMS platform with no room for customization at the backend. Here’s what it offers that made it so successful in the game of online learning.
Pros of Teachable
- Highly polished UI and UX – this is arguably the most professional-looking LMS platform available in the market.
- Quick and easy setup. Teachable is very easy to use. You can literally have your online course website up and running in a matter of days.
- Teachable also has a very vibrant community of learners and teachers. Every year it hosts summits that allow you to learn from the influencers of the game and even earn a few customers from the summits themselves.
- Teachable even allows you to sell out your conference tickets – something that can help you in building a vibrant community of learners, but not offered by many of the other platforms on our list.
- Reasonable pricing – Teachable plans start from $348 per year or $39 per month
Cons of Teachable:
- Teachable has a vast array of themes you can use to customize the way your website looks, but that is pretty much it. Advanced customization is not possible due to its cloud-based nature.
- You do not own your content, as your site is essentially hosted on Teachable. Hence, you are dependent on the platform.
- No Android app – only iOS app is available for this platform.
- Lack of absolute website control. Your role as a website owner is largely limited to setting up courses, managing student enrollments, accepting payments, etc. You do not have a say in updating the platform or adding additional features. You have to make do with the ones offered by Teachable.
- Every few months it goes down for maintenance for a few hours. So if your course content is hosted on it, you can’t be up 24×7, 365 days like WordPress and Moodle. You need to make peace with this fact, largely because there’s nothing you can do about it.
So this was our list of the 6 best LMS platforms that are worth considering in 2022.
To summarize, LearnDash is the perfect choice if you care about tons of features, functionality but also affordability. It can help you set up online school, course marketplace, corporate training, health care training, and academy instantly.
If you want core features for free and code flexibility – Moodle or Lifter LMS are great options.
Well, choosing your LMS platform is a highly individual decision. But you cannot run a business alone, so it is a good idea to consult your team before you make a choice.
To help you with it, we’ve tried to compare the best LMS platforms for your eLearning website.
However, if you still have any queries, feel free to drop a comment and let us know!
Any other LMS you would like to recommend to the list? Tell us below!