You may know that a WordPress LMS plugin is what you need.
But the overwhelming range of options available creates a lot of confusion. Different plugins come with different perks and drawbacks. So, choosing the right one can be an extensive task. Therefore, to simplify this task, we bring you a detailed comparison between some of the best WordPress LMS plugins.
Now, choosing the right plugin amongst these involves evaluating various factors. The aim of this comparison is to help you analyze the plugin’s qualities based on your needs and make an informed decision. Here are the parameters we will look at:
- Course creation and management
- Quizzes and assignments
- Student features
- Monetizing options
- Pricing, support & extensions
- Pros & Cons
LearnDash vs LearnPress vs Sensei vs WP Courseware – Comparison
Course Creation and Management
LearnDash, LearnPress, and WPCourseware – all three have a convenient drag & drop course builder. Although Sensei does not have such an inbuilt feature, all 4 options are very easy to use! LearnDash is a step ahead as it allows the re-use of content. Additionally, it allows multi-layered course building.
LearnDash and WP Courseware both support scheduling and drip-feeding content. This allows you to release content based upon your preferences of time/completion. For Sensei, its content drip extension can be used to add a scheduling feature.
WP Courseware, along with this, also allows previewing lessons before people buy them. While LearnDash does not provide previews, it allows you to set prerequisites for courses. It also comes with add-ons to enable smart notifications for courses.
LearnPress offers utilities like making registration filters to restrict courses and exporting courses to other websites.
|Ease of Use||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Drag and Drop builder||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Drip Feed||Yes||Yes||Sensei extension available||Yes|
|Scheduling||Yes||Yes||Sensei extension available||Yes|
|Interactive notifications and forums||Yes|
Quizzes & Assignments
Quiz features in all the alternatives are similar. All of them provide you with many question types and grading methods. LearnDash and Sensei also allow you to make a question bank and present questions randomly. WP Courseware even without the question bank feature is a very powerful quiz builder as it supports a plethora of quizzes and survey options. LearnPress is a bit limited in this category.
LearnDash and Sensei also allow manual grading of quizzes. Apart from Sensei, all others have a grade book feature that allows mapping of student performances. LearnDash allows leaderboards to boost the competitive spirit. Customized certificates are available in LearnDash and WP Courseware. LearnDash also provides customizable badges for rewarding more achievements. It also introduces course points for rewarding achievements. These can be set up to unlock new content or courses too.
|Different quiz options||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Certificates and badges||Yes||Limited||Only Certificates|
User enrollment in all plugins is automatic or even manual if required. LearnPress provides the best enrollment control features. WPCourseware allows you to make any user into an instructor. This will allow them to create and monetize courses.
LearnDash enables most in-depth user profiles with progress and other information. Another addition is an interactive forum for all the courses/modules that allow discussions about the same. It also has the best group and assignment management features amongst the four alternatives. Sensei does provide a limited student profile but they are only admin accessible in the backend.
|Customizable user enrollment||Yes||Yes||Yes|
LearnDash and Sensei are the leaders in this category by a large margin. LearnDash has the best-detailed course reporting feature available. The dashboard gives out all course-specific analytics, even details about pending actions. Its level of detail is like no other. It gives out specific information like time spent by a user on a particular course. Dynamic monitoring is possible for all products, users, and the system. Sensei’s integration with WooCommerce allows detailed reporting but majorly from a marketing perspective.
LearnPress tends to be a middle option between these two. It has a good level of reporting on both the usage and marketing perspectives. But it lacks the sharpness and depth in both. WP Courseware has a minor course reporting feature in the grade book, but that’s it.
Sensei is built on top of WooCommerce. This makes it the best, from a monetization perspective. LearnDash and LearnPress need integration with third-party applications for selling courses and implementing a marketplace. WP Courseware has its inbuilt features to create a marketplace and make money. All the plugins support payment methods like PayPal, Stripe, etc.
LearnDash and WP Courseware have inbuilt facilities to bundle courses and create memberships. The other two rely on third-party extensions. LearnDash has an inbuilt course license feature. This allows an organization to license selected courses for multifold use. It will be useful for the entire organization for training purposes, instead of procuring individually user wise.
|Can be monetized||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Bundles and Memberships||Yes||Third-Party||Third-Party||Yes|
Pricing, Support & Extensions
Sensei and LearnPress come free as core plugins. However, they always need third-party extensions and the costs add up. While the LearnDash plugin is paid, it has almost everything that you may need. Also, it has a sizeable library of add-ons, for any features you might be missing. LearnDash is also compatible with almost all WordPress themes. WP Courseware happens to be a promising choice here – it has an upfront fee that has everything included in it.
LearnDash and Sensei do have the best support in the domain. The team developing WordPress and WooCommerce developed Sensei. So, there’s an active developer community and support is plenty.
Since Sensei is very dedicated, Sensei compatible plugins are very few. LearnDash, on the other hand, even after being pretty all-encompassing has a lot of extensions to endlessly customize your LMS. Now, WP Courseware’s price is attractive but it is not so beginner-friendly. Thus, it is not the definite choice for this parameter. LearnPress looks very good but lacks fundamental support and maintenance making it least preferable with this aspect.
|Pricing||$159 for Basic Package, $189 for Plus Package, and $329 for Pro Package||$0 for the core bundle, starting at $49-$69 for LearnPress Theme Bundle and $249 for LearPress Pro Bundle||Starting plugin is free, but extensions and WooCommerce are extra and depend on your requirements||$99+ for Teacher, $149 for Professor, $199 for Guru|
|Extensions Required||No||Yes||Yes||Based on preference|
LearnDash vs LearnPress vs Sensei vs WP Courseware – Pros & Cons
- Feature-rich and has everything you need
- Allows creation of complex courses with ease
- Creating a marketplace and monetizing is easy
- Great compatibility with all WordPress themes
- Extensive and allows your LMS to be scalable
- Uses third-party marketplace and payment pathways which are difficult to integrate
- Fully customizing may require in-depth technical know-how.
- Lightweight but powerful
- Comes translation ready and allows multilingual support
- Better control over registrations and users alike
- Most flexible payments and marketplace options
- Support and maintenance is below par
- Has been known to break down websites sometimes
- A large number of third-party extensions are needed and cause a lot of complexity
- Integrated to work along with WooCommerce
- Closely works with the marketing aspects of content
- Very basic and seamless to use
- Pricing model
- Compatibility issues while using third party plugins
- Oldest and one of the best LMS plugins for WordPress
- Compatible with almost all standard WordPress themes
- Has course protection features
- Additional emphasis on course structure is visible
- Relies on external membership plugins for management
- Not approachable to beginners
This was our comprehensive comparison for LearnDash, LearnPress, Sensei, and WP Courseware. Realistically a good choice of the plugin may reduce your development pressure to nil. But choosing the right plugin is never an easy task! We hope this article helped you narrow down your final choice. You can leave any questions you have down in the comments. If you are still undecided and seek expert opinion do reach out to us!