Tuesday, 7 March 2017

5 Best WordPress LMS Plugins Compared (Pros and Cons)

Are you looking for an LMS plugin for your WordPress site? LMS (Learning Management System) plugins allow you to offer online courses by handling subscriptions, managing course content, running quizzes, accepting payments, etc. In this article, we will compare the best WordPress LMS plugins with pros and cons to help you choose the perfect solution for your online learning website.

Best WordPress LMS Plugins

Getting Started with Learning Websites

To start your own training and learning website with WordPress, first you will need to sign up for a WordPress hosting account. It will be your website’s home on the internet.

You will also need a domain name. This will be your website’s address on the internet (e.g. wpbeginner.com)

We recommend using Bluehost or SiteGround. They are one of the largest hosting companies in the world and official WordPress hosting partner.

Next, you will need to install WordPress on your website. Follow the instructions in our step by step guide on how to start a WordPress blog and you will be up and running in minutes.

Once you have installed WordPress, you will be ready to choose an LMS plugin for your website.

Let’s take a look at some of the best WordPress LMS plugins and which one you should use on your site.

1. LearnDash


LearnDash is a premium WordPress LMS plugin. It is also the most easy to use LMS plugin with tons of features.

LearnDash comes with multi-tier courses which allow you to easily create courses with lessons, topics, quizzes, and categories. It has drip feed content feature, so you can schedule course content for entire course duration.

You can give user assignments and then approve or comment on them. It also comes with quiz and test management tools with multiple question types. You can easily set prerequisites for students such as finishing a lesson first before going to next lesson.

There are multiple payment gateways available to accept payments like PayPal, Stripe, 2Checkout, etc. It also integrates beautifully with bbPress, WordPress eCommerce plugins, and WordPress membership plugins.

Price: Starting from $159 for a single site license with 1 year of support and updates.

Grade: A+

Review: LearnDash is the most easy to use and most flexible LMS plugin for WordPress users. It comes with comprehensive set of features to manage many different kind of online courses. It also offers more integrations with third party plugins and tools which makes it even more powerful.

2. LifterLMS


LifterLMS is another powerful WordPress LMS plugin with tons of awesome features. It is easy to setup, even on existing WordPress sites.

LifterLMS is packed with all the popular features that you would need in a LMS solution. It can accept payments with PayPal, Stripe, or manually via check.

It supports multi-tier courses with training modules, lessons, categories, etc. This gives you the flexibility to create smaller courses or full-fledged degree programs. It has content dripping, course pre-requisites, and group memberships to offer even greater control over the entire course duration.

To boost user engagement it comes with powerful features like automated emails, gamification with badges, and even certificates upon completion of a course. It has built in content restriction allowing you to restrict any WordPress page on your site to members only.

LifterLMS comes with a great selection of addons allowing you to manage affiliates, integrate with eCommerce plugins, connect to your email marketing service, etc.

Pricing: Individual addons for $99 each (single site), or Universal Plan for $299 for single site.

Grade: A

Review: LifterLMS is a powerful and flexible choice for a WordPress LMS plugin. It is easy to use and the setup wizard even installs a demo course for you. It is a little more expensive and the pricing will add up if you choose to buy individual addons.

3. LearnPress


LearnPress is a free WordPress LMS plugin with powerful features. Unlike other LMS plugins in this list, which come with a setup wizard, LearnPress lets you do the setup which is not that difficult.

Course creation is easy with the help of lessons, quizzes, and questions. You can use lessons and quizzes from one course into another course. It also lets you export content, so that you can use it on other WordPress sites using LearnPress.

LearnPress has many free and paid addons available which allow you to extend the features. It supports scheduled content (content drip), quizzes, assignments, grading, etc. It also supports integration with bbPress, WooCommerce, and WordPress membership plugins.

Pricing: Free + Paid Addons and support

Grade: B+

Review: We found LearnPress to be feature-rich and flexible. The initial setup may be a bit difficult for beginners. It supports PayPal by default and other payment gateways are available as paid addons. Support is available from official forums for paid subscribers and limited support is offered to free users.

4. WP Courseware

WP Courseware

WP Courseware is a popular WordPress LMS plugin. It is easy to use, and comes with tons of features to create large or small online courses.

Course creation in WP Courseware is powerful and comes with very flexible options. Each course can have multiple modules, units, and quizzes. It supports course pre-requisites and content drip features. See our guide on how to add a LMS in WordPress with WP Courseware

It comes with question bank so that you can quickly create quizzes for different courses and modules.

It also supports instructor profiles, instructor gradebook, student gradebooks, custom emails, and many other features that help create an engaging experience for users.

WP Courseware does not accept payments to sell courses on your website. You will need to integrate it with a WordPress membership or eCommerce plugin to sell your courses. It supports all popular eCommerce and membership plugins.

Pricing: Starting from $99 for 2 sites with 1 year of support and updates.

Grade: B

Review: WP Courseware is a good choice to build your online courses. It is easy to use and comes with flexible options which give you freedom to create engaging learning environment. Lack of built-in support to accept payments is a downside of using WP Courseware. Adding an eCommerce or Membership plugin can make things complicated for beginners.

5. Sensei


Sensei is a powerful WordPress LMS Plugin created by the folks behind WooCommerce. It is flexible and easy to use and follows the same best practices as WordPress and WooCommerce.

Course creation with Sensie is easy but it is not as powerful as with other solutions. You can run quizzes, assignments, grade them automatically or manually, and even offer badges and certificates to students.

To sell your courses and accept payments you will need to use WooCommerce. For each course you want to sell, you will have to create a product and then link it to your course.

There are not many third party integrations available. You can integrate Sensei with a membership plugin, but there is no addon for that.

Pricing: Starting from $129 for a single site license with 1 year of support and updates.

Grade: B

Review: Sensie is a good solution to offer online courses. If you already run an online store using WooCommerce, then this will perfectly integrate with your store. However, we feel that WooCommerce integration is hard for beginner users. There are also fewer features and addons for Sensei than other LMS plugins in this list.


As we compared different WordPress LMS plugins, one thing became obvious that LearnDash is clearly the best option for most users. It is extremely easy to use with tons of features and lots of cool integrations for users who need them.

LifterLMS is a close second with an intuitive user interface and great set of features.

If you would prefer a free option, then LearnPress can be a good choice. However, keep in mind that free version of the plugin has limited support.

We hope this article helped you compare the best WordPress LMS plugins with their pros and cons. You may also want to see our list of 24 must have WordPress plugins for business websites

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