It’s safe to say that the pace at which the eLearning Industry was growing, has suddenly been put on fact-track in 2020-21. And WordPress still remains the most popular platform and powers over 39% of all websites including e-learning sites.
Some of the primary reasons WordPress is popular are the ease-of-use, customizability, and flexibility of this platform. You can create, enhance, or scale up your eLearning initiative with the best WordPress LMS plugins in the market.
But what are your best options?
Here’s a comprehensive list of the Best WordPress LMS Plugins in 2021 to answer all your burning questions.
There are several reasons why LearnDash is the best and one of the most trusted LMS plugins amongst all the alternatives. It comes with a lot of perks. Such as:
- LearnDash has an easy to use interface.
- It comes with a lot of contemporary features.
- It allows you to create a complex in-depth course with drag-and-drop actions.
- You can easily implement different payment methods to monetize your courses.
- You can build a marketplace with features like memberships, packages, etc.
- It is compatible with the top online training themes in 2020.
LearnDash is available as a paid subscription. Even its most basic package allows you to support unlimited courses and users. All of this makes it an extremely versatile plugin that’s definitely worth considering. Especially if you expect a high volume of activity on your WordPress based LMS.
It supports an array of media types and also has an in-built certificate and badge feature. LearnDash also comes with an extensive reporting module called Pro-panel that allows you to track various important LMS metrics.
Additionally, LearnDash allows multi-site implementation based on your subscription plan. It also allows you to build a multi-instructor platform or a course marketplace using a few add-ons like Instructor Role for LearnDash.
If you’re new to WordPress, LearnDash may be a little tricky to use before you get enough hands-on experience. Another thing you should watch out for is the compatibility issues that may arise. There’s a chance of this happening if you pair your LMS with a lot of additional plugins. However, LearnDash does seamlessly integrate with most of the popular WordPress plugins and themes.
Pricing: LearnDash annual prices are $159 for Basic Package, $189 for Plus Package, and $329 for Pro Package.
Lifter LMS is looked at as a head-on competitor to LearnDash. But it’s pricing model is significantly different. The core plugin is free of cost. Yes, Free! But for developing a full-fledged LMS, with all the features you need, you may need to invest in additional paid add-ons for LifterLMS.
LifterLMS has a drag-and-drop course builder to allow easy course development. It is a step ahead as compared to most WordPress plugins as using it does not require any coding and technical know-how. You can immediately kickstart your LMS if you have your content ready. Its integration with popular WordPress tools and plugins allows you to create an extensive WordPress LMS.
An interesting LifterLMS functionality is its ability to allow multiple-instructor based programs. This allows you to teach in teams or collaborate. It also comes with a Graphics Pack that has a list of options that enable you to be a little more creative with various certificates, badges, etc.
Both the selling point and drawback of LifterLMS are its core package being free. For those who need only limited training resources, the free base plugin is ideal. But for creating a comprehensive learning environment you’ll require some paid add-ons. This may end up become a more expensive alternative over time.
Pricing: $99+/year for an add-on, $299/year for Universe bundle, and $999/year for Infinity bundle
LearnPress is another top WordPress LMS plugin that comes with a free core plugin. It is a lightweight but powerful drag and drop builder. Instructors, students, courses can be added manually or allowed by themselves. It also comes translation ready allowing you to expand your base without barriers.
With a backend rich in statistics and controls, it allows you to have additional control over your platform.
The ultimate end goal of an e-learning product is to monetize it. LearnPress has one of the most flexible payments and marketplace options amongst all the alternatives. Available options are PayPal, WooCommerce, Stripe, 2CheckOut, or even offline course payment.
Overall it’s a great product, that allows the creation of unlimited courses and powers thousands of schools. It loses out on some points in the support and maintenance area as it doesn’t match up to the competitors on that front. All in all, LearnPress has a great eLearning theme, but there are better alternatives if we’re talking about building a full-fledged LMS.
Pricing: $0 for the core bundle, starting at $49-$69 for LearnPress Theme Bundle and $249 for LearPress Pro Bundle.
Sensei is an LMS plugin developed by WooCommerce. Goes without saying, it is integrated to work seamlessly with this powerful eCommerce plugin.
The integration with WooCommerce is not the only convenient thing about working with Sensei. Overall, it is a very easy-to-use plugin that works well with all major add-ons. With some technical know-how of WordPress and a bit of coding, you can make a fully customized LMS in minutes.
Sensei has an advanced analytics system. This allows you to keep track of your users, courses, and also enhances the marketing standpoint of your products. Little features like having random quizzes via a question bank and other little details go a long way to give that extra edge to your courses.
The most attractive aspect of sensei is it’s community and dev team. This provides you with hundreds of trusted resources and related extensions. Support personnel are indigenous to this domain and are a great help.
The only downside is its pricing model. A top-notch Sensei based LMS requires a lot of extensions. Thus the actual cost of using Sensai becomes multiple times more than what you would pay for other products.
Pricing: The base plugin is free, but the additional costs of the other tools would depend on your requirements.
Teachable is not just a course builder plugin but can also be used on a sub-domain, or can be directly linked to your existing site. It comes with the ability to handle unlimited courses and users.
It has a great reputation for being beginner-friendly and you can also start free to get a hang of it. The paid plans will further allow you to have multisite options and better scalability. Teachable also allows you to have extreme control over your courses. This is done with additional user role management abilities that allow you to add and manage authors, instructors, students, etc.
Live discussion forums that the plugin supports help in keeping students more connected and engaged. Teachable has an exhaustive list of compatible plugins and extensions. This allows you to include third party feedback and survey systems that can help improve the courses. Various payment options like flexible payments, taxes, etc are handled by the plugin directly.
Teachable is a sought after solution for beginners and comes with good support. For integrating additional features you need to do so using Zapier. Also, as this plugin handles your payments it charges about 5% on every transaction.
Pricing: Basic $29/month, Pro $99/month, and Business $249/month.
WP Courseware is amongst the oldest and best LMS plugins for WordPress. It also has a visual drag-and-drop editor. The additional emphasis on course structure by this platform is instantly apparent. Modules, sections, and other parameters like prerequisites are available while building courses.
WP Courseware also has options like instructors’ profiles. It also has course protection features that allow you to safeguard from undue reproduction of your content.
Its multi-instructor system and members portal allow for better community engagement. Arguably the best support in the market has made this the choice of several top universities. It is compatible with almost all popular WordPress themes.
WP Courseware also enables you to offer a free part of the course to your users that may encourage them to buy the complete or get subscriptions.
The drawbacks of this one are few. Course protection and management are facilitated by external membership plugins and not inbuilt. Also, relying on WooCommerce and other extensions for selling and managing courses make it not the first choice for beginners.
Pricing: $99+/year for Teacher, $149/year for Professor, $199/year for Guru.
7. Namaste! LMS
Namaste LMS supports unlimited classes with more manual/automatic control on restricting them user wise. It allows you to cherry-pick applications that would be allowed to pursue the course. The courses are made more competitive by introducing various aspects such as leaderboards, badges, etc.
The plugin is simple to use for beginners but can still be customized for high-end applications. A majority of these abilities are implemented using extensions. So even if the core package is free you are going to need some additional packages like
- Watu for exams
- MoolaMojo for having a point-based system that unlocks progress or new courses
- Paid Membership Pro for memberships
A marketplace needs to be separately implemented. Tools for course protection are also available for use.
Namaste! LMS’s basic core plugin may seem attractive. The competitive approach with leaderboards and progress bars does get a few uses now and then. But, apart from these, the plugin is very limited (a majority of features come in the pro package). It does not have a lot of expected built-in features like reporting, analytics, etc.
Pricing: $67 for Namaste! PRO, $99+ for Namaste! Plugins Bundle, $137 for Namaste! Full Bundle.
A Quick Recap of the Best WordPress LMS Plugins in 2020
|LearnDash is the most popular WordPress LMS plugin that has an extensive range of in-built features. It provides multi-site support with the capacity for unlimited courses and users. It supports all popular themes and plugins that can be used as extensions.|
|LifterLMS is a flexible plugin that has a free to use base version. It comes with multiple extensions that help extend the functionality of the core plugin. However, the additional extensions are paid and may make using this LMS expensive over time.|
|LearnPress is lightweight but powerful to use. Its drag-and-drop functionality can be used to build unlimited courses. Monetizing and analyzing courses on this platform is very easy. With a heavy focus on aesthetics, the plugin comes with a premium theme as an add-on.|
|Sensei is a WooCommerce-based LMS. It comes with basic eLearning features like quizzes and question banks and advanced analytics abilities. While it does work well with WooCommerce-based products, integration with third-party tools may need some work.|
|Teachable can be used on a subdomain or can be directly linked to your existing site. It provides a lot of features, allows you to create and sell courses, and also takes care of payments on the LMS itself (by charging a 5% transaction fee). It’s a standalone platform and has excellent support.|
|WP Courseware has a visual drag-and-drop course builder. Multiple-instructor functionality, member portals, course trials, and course protection features make it an ideal choice for universities. It’s generally used along with external add-ons and may prove a little tedious to implement.|
|The free version of Namaste! LMS enables you to make a basic eLearning site. A high end customized site can be created by using a wide variety of compatible extensions. The plugin in itself has limited functionality and paid extensions are required to build a full-fledged LMS.|
There you have it. Our top picks for the best WordPress LMS plugins in 2020.
If you’ve decided to choose a WordPress-based LMS, then you won’t go wrong with any of the plugins mentioned above. We hope this post brought you one step closer to making a decision.
If you’re still struggling though, you can always get in touch with us. We’d love to help you choose and build an LMS that’s. ideal for your business.