Do you want to teach a skill online? Are you looking for a learning management system (LMS) for your website? LMS plugins aid in the creation and management of online course content. They also allow you to sell your courses online and offer an array of different perks per plugin.
In this post, we’ve brought together a list of the best performing LMS plugins in the market. We are covering many different WordPress LMS plugins ranging in features and prices, two of which are free solutions.
The only thing you need before we get started is a WordPress site! If you don’t have a site yet consider this article about how to create a WordPress website.
Let’s take a look at each of them.
- What is LMS
- Why Use LMS
- 1. WP Courseware
- 2. Sensei
- 3. Namaste! LMS
- 4. LearnDash
- 5. LearnPress
- Which Is Best?
What Is LMS?
An LMS (learning management system) is a form of software that helps you in the creation, management, distribution, and selling of online courses.
WordPress LMS plugins handle things like administration, tracking, analytics, and delivery of online courses. They perform these tasks from within the WordPress dashboard which usually gives them an innate feel to the user. WordPress LMS plugins do their best to make everything convenient for the teacher and their students.
An LMS system gives you a central location to perform specific tasks for your business. It lets you update courses, take payments, and manage any aspect of your online courses.
Why Use LMS?
Despite there being other ways to create and sell online courses, using an LMS is usually smoother and more intuitive.
That said, the main reason to use a LMS is to build a more robust system that allows both student and teacher to benefit. The teacher can implement more features, collect feedback, and even interact with students through messaging. The student, on the other hand, can get updates on the fly, message instructors, give feedback, and much more.
1. WP Courseware
This is an excellent solution for newer WordPress users. The WP Courseware LMS plugin allows you to create a learning system from the ground up. It does this by giving you a drag and drop system that is simple to use and very beginner-friendly.
WP Courseware even lets you set up quizzes for your students. It has an array of features for its quizzes, including timers and setting retake limitations.
As with most LMS systems, WP Courseware has a content drip system in place that lets you schedule content. It even comes with multiple tools to improve student productivity within your courses!
This is a popular choice amongst newer WP users, but it’s still an excellent choice for seasoned veterans as well.
- Great for beginners
- Drag and drop system
- The member portal allows you to talk to other WP Courseware users.
- Pairable with other eCommerce plugins
- Has a WooCommerce plugin available
- Multi-instructor options available
- No single license option
- No free trial
- Not a ton of customization but a healthy amount
Price: $129 for a two-site license (other premium options are available)
Sensei is a WordPress LMS plugin that’s made by the same people who make and manage WooCommerce. WooCommerce, if you’ve not heard of it, is the most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress. Sensei also happens to be one of the most well known WordPress LMS plugins out there thanks to the popularity of WooCommerce.
This plugin is great because it allows you to create and publish online courses for students to view and interact with. You can do this the same way you’d create an item in WooCommerce for a store.
That said, Sensei doesn’t allow you to sell your courses or accept payment. In fact, Sensei is not a full membership solution. You’ll have to use another plugin to fulfill those features. But you can do this with an eCommerce plugin like WooCommerce.
While Sensei doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that other LMS plugins have, it is excellent at what it does.
- Made to work with WooCommerce (most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress)
- Works with most themes
- Can auto-grade quizzes
- Can instantly charge for courses (thanks to WooCommerce)
- If you know how to use WordPress you should have no problem setting up Sensei
- Smooth experience making courses
- It’s not a full membership solution
- Requires WooCommerce to accept payments (or another eCommerce solution)
- Not as customizable as you might want
- Has the bells and whistles you’d expect an LMS plugin to have but not much more
- May require coding depending on what you want to do with it
Price: $129 with more premium options available
3. Namaste! LMS
Everyone loves free, right?
Well, look no further than Namaste! LMS!
This free learning management system plugin allows you, the teacher, to put different limitations on your courses. This could be how students see the courses or prerequisites.
As you can imagine, a free LMS plugin is more limited than other premium options. Namaste! LMS is no different. It lacks in other utility plugins to make it better. It doesn’t have a ton of features like other options, either. But it’s free!
Because it’s free, I’d suggest getting started with Namaste! LMS at least to mess around with and see how you like it. There’s no downside to trying it, and who knows, you may love it!
- It’s FREE!!
- Certificates for course completion
- Progress bar to show how close they are to completing a course
- Grades to show student performance per lesson
- Badges to display on a profile
- Limited features
- Limited customization
- Not super user-friendly (but you can find tutorials)
- Requires some coding for some features to function
Price: FREE (premium options available also)
The LearnDash WordPress LMS plugin is by far the most feature-packed plugin on this list. It’s not too tricky to use and everything it does, it does beautifully!
It’s also arguably the most popular LMS plugin for WordPress, used by many Fortune 500 companies. This is a robust system that works like a charm.
If Namaste! LMS was the most basic then LearnDash is the most robust. It’s packed with all the “must-have” features in every situation, and it works well with a lot of other plugins.
LearnDash supports course monetization, content drip, activating triggers, and even letting others create courses on your website!
- Fast loading
- Built-in forums
- Lesson and quiz timers
- User profiles
- Automated emails
- Use one license on multiple sites
- Users can create their courses on your site if you allow it
- Integrates with other plugins well
- Overwhelming when first starting out
- Not too hard to use but not the best starter LMS Plugin
- A bit pricey
- No free trial
Price: $159 annually (it comes with great support and other premium options are available)
If you’re looking for free and straightforward, then you’ve found it with LearnPress!
It’s a great LMS plugin that offers a lot of great features despite being free. The challenge of using LearnPress is that is doesn’t have dedicated support, so you’ll be waiting longer for responses.
Finding LearnPress compatible themes isn’t too difficult; however, you will more than likely have to pay for these themes. While the LMS plugin itself is entirely free, the theme is typically going to cost you a bit.
It also supports several other premium plugins that add features to LearnPress. These features include things like certifications and forums. Some are premium, and you’ll have to pay for them, but others may not, so keep an eye out!
- Simple & clean
- Most plugins free
- Works with most premium plugins too
- Content dripping
- Multiple instructors feature
- Not compatible with many themes (usually have to pay for a theme that works with it)
- Not a ton of selection for styles
- Intermediate skill level
- Long wait times for support
Which WordPress LMS Plugin Is Best For You?
And there you have it! The top WordPress LMS plugins in the market for creating and selling online course.
Each plugin brings something unique to the table, and it’s up to you to decide which is the best choice for yourself. If you’re looking for a free solution through and through then, Namaste! LMS might be the best choice for you.
If you like free but don’t mind investing a bit of money into the theme, then the LearnDash LMS plugin could be a great choice!
Sensei works perfectly with WooCommerce making it an excellent choice for simplicity and versatility’s sake.
Then again, LearnPress has a fantastic amount of utility built into the plugin and is an amazing choice in itself!
I’d suggest checking each of the possible LMS plugins you’re considering and trying them out. And don’t forget to read some docs on them to find out which one resonates the best with you.
Another interesting thing to try with your chosen WordPress LMS plugin would be implementing Infinite Scroll on your website. This could be beneficial if you plan to show different categories of classes or just create a large number of courses overtime! If this sounds like something you’d like to do, then check out how to add infinite scroll to your WordPress site next.
Do you create and sell online courses? Do you use a dedicated WordPress LMS plugin to manage your courses? If so, we’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!
This article is missing Tutor LMS.
Free version is quite powerful. https://wordpress.org/plugins/tutor/