Last updated - May 8, 2019
When you want to share knowledge with those who are seeking it, what will you do? You start a course and let interested people join it. In the traditional scenario, this process requires a lot of time and effort. However, in the current eCommerce landscape, it is not such a difficult thing. Once you have in-depth knowledge on what you are going to teach, creating an online course is a straightforward process. In the WordPress ecosystem, you will find a lot of good plugins that you can use to set up an online course. We will discuss some of the top WordPress learning management system (LMS) plugins which you can use.
How WordPress learning management systems can help?
Before getting started with the list of WordPress plugins, let’s explore the advantages of using such a tool.
Ease of setting up
When you are setting up an online course, you would be more focused on the intricacies of the course material itself. On top of that, if you have to put in a lot of effort to learn how to use the tool, it can get really taxing. Also, the most important advantage of using a WordPress solution is its ease of use. Those without any coding knowledge too can set up their own course pretty quickly. Even if you are a beginner to WordPress, you can learn the concepts with minimal efforts. If you are a WordPress developer, here are some resources that you might find useful.
Ease of use for students
A good LMS should be easy to use for those who take the course as well. Most WordPress plugins manage this aspect quite well. With a large variety of themes available, you can easily customize the user interface of your courses on WordPress. An intuitive user interface and simple navigation will help make your courses really smooth. If you are looking for tips to make your WordPress navigation better, you can find that here.
In the WordPress ecosystem, you will find numerous plugins to add extra functionalities to your site. You can easily incorporate eCommerce functionality to your site, and collect payments too. As it is an open source system, you will find a lot of solutions from experts on a global scale. And, the system is quite flexible for customization, if you have the support of an expert WordPress developer. You can customize everything, including themes and plugins, to make it more in alignment to your tastes.
Optimized to search engines
One of the major concerns of any website owner is to make the site accessible to search engines. A set of search engine optimization efforts are required to ensure this. WordPress, by default, is extremely user friendly. You can easily manage optimization strategies like meta descriptions and titles pretty easily on WordPress. In addition, you will find several plugins that will assist you in your search engine optimization efforts. You can find more details of an interesting WordPress SEO plugin here.
Best WordPress Learning Management System Plugins
Now let’s take a look at some of the interesting WordPress LMS plugins popular in the market.
LearnDash is a really popular WordPress LMS, and is preferred by several enterprises including big corporations and universities globally. It is a tool that offers the latest solutions according to the higher standards of learning industry. You can easily create courses using LearnDash, and monetize it too. You can also create interesting quizzes and offer certificates to your course participants. There are great options to manage user accounts, along with insightful reporting options. Overall, it will make your job quite easy while creating an eLearning course.
Apart from the general ones, you will see some features that will help you improve customer engagement and interactions. It helps you drip content according to a predefined schedule that you think is appropriate for the progress of the course. Similarly, you can make use of triggers to respond to specific user behavior on your site, and thereby make it more interactive. Apart from simply offering completion certificates, you can present participants with reward points, badges, etc., as well.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the extra features of LearnDash.
Option to set prerequisites
You can define the necessary prerequisites for an applicant to be eligible to attend a course.
Timers for each lesson
You can specify a time period that the applicant should spend on a course to be able to complete it.
Create public or private community forums, where your course participants can interact and share knowledge.
You can ensure recurring revenue by setting up course subscriptions on your site. This will be a better strategy if you have several courses on diverse topics.
Option to sell courses in bundles
You can choose how to sell, standalone or a course bundle.
Monitor progress of users
LearnDash allows to create user profiles on the front end. You can simply monitor these profiles to understand the progress of each participant.
It also offers automatic email notifications, which can help in improving user engagement with your course.
Compatibility with themes
It works seamlessly with most of the good WordPress themes. You can easily set up your course and its contents without any additional coding efforts.
The basic pricing plan that gives you a single site license is priced at $159. There is also a Plus package for 10 site licenses at $189, and a Pro package for 25 sites at $329.
Sensei is a great learning management system created by the developers of WooCommerce, WordPress’ own eCommerce platform. It helps you create online courses structured into modules and lessons, and can be easily monetized. As it comes from the WordPress family, you can be assured of a seamless integration with your WordPress site. More importantly, if you are familiar to the WordPress interface, creating courses will be a breeze for you. Charging for your courses too will be really easy, as you can create a WooCommerce product and link it to the course. Here is an article that will help you create a product in WooCommerce.
Here is a quick look at the features of Sensei.
WordPress user registration
Participants can use the WordPress user registration system to start with the course. Once they are registered, they can access their accounts from your site’s frontend.
Works with most themes
Sensei will work seamlessly with most WordPress themes, as the plugin comes equipped with its own default styling.
Monitor users easily
It comes with good reporting features that will provide you with details about ongoing courses, participants, grades and more.
Assess progress of students
Sensei comes with great features to help you assess the progress of your course participants. It helps you manage an exhaustive question bank, which you can use selectively for different quizzes.
Add-ons for extra functionalities
You will be able to find a variety of add-ons that you can use with Sensei. These include Content drip, Course Progress, Media Attachments, Certificates and more.
You can combine Sensei with a membership plugin, and create a strategy to provide selective access to members. Find a few of the popular WooCommerce membership plugins in this article. Also, find an article that will help you get started with Sensei here.
A single site subscription of Sense would cost your $129. 5-site license is available for $179, and 25-site license is $279.
Tutor LMS is one of the most recent additions to the great lineup of WordPress LMS plugins. Even being new, it has already started gaining a lot of hype from LMS users and it’s increasing in installations. Tutor LMS fulfills all the necessary requirements of creating courses and monetizing them while giving users a completely new experience. It enables you to create courses in a more organized and structured way. Another great thing is it’s a completely UI-based plugin that engages more users.
There are some great features that help monetize courses and gives you complete control to administer your educational platform as well. Moreover, you’ll be able to create courses as easy as ever with seamless integration on your WordPress site.
Tutor LMS comes with a wide range of advanced features that help you create, sell, manage and monitor courses by making these complex processes super easy.
Intuitive Course Builder
Creating courses is made extremely easy with the drag & drop course builder in Tutor LMS. You can include your course description, duration, prerequisites, and instructors right from this course builder. The course design is structured as such to provoke interest in prospective students to engage them effectively.
Advanced Quiz Creator to create interactive quizzes
The quiz creator in Tutor LMS comes with 10 unique question types that help you create fun yet challenging quizzes. You can set quiz timers, randomize quiz patterns and so much more when publishing quizzes.
WooCommerce & Easy Digital Downloads Integration
Enable multiple payment gateways for users with WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads (EDD) support. You can easily monetize courses while managing refunds, earning and withdrawal.
Powerful Analytics for course progress
Monitor course progress easily with the powerful reports generated by Tutor LMS. You get advanced filters that help you determine how your courses are performing, what reviews they get and more to determine how to improve your course further.
Useful Addons to boost functionality
There are many useful addons that let you offer beautiful certificates, include multimedia
attachments, course preview, email notifications, reports, multiple instructors, prerequisites and more!
Any theme works with Tutor LMS without causing any site breakage or having to write any codes. You’ll get a responsive, multisite compatible site simply by using Tutor LMS with a responsive theme.
Tutor LMS essentially comes with a free WordPress LMS plugin version that has a lot of options to create a complete eLearning site. The paid version comes with three pricing plans – $149 for a single license, $199 for 5 domain licenses, and $299 for unlimited licenses.
LifterLMS is another popular eLearning solution for WordPress sites. Fundamentally, it helps you create and sell interesting online courses. It comes with a bundle of features that helps you make your courses more structured and useful. There are several features like ‘Achievement Badges’ that will help your students engage more, and actually complete the course. Also, it helps you earn money from your course in a systematic manner. You get total control to manage the course and its content from your WordPress admin section. Moreover, it can be used as a complete solution to create memberships on your site, which is an important aspect of eLearning.
LifterLMS too, comes with a range of advanced features that will help you manage your eLearning business.
Easy to create courses
You can easily create courses using the intuitive drag and drop interface of its course builder. It helps you set up prerequisites, and quizzes for participants to make sure they approach the courses with adequate interest. It will also give you design inputs to help you organize and structure the courses.
Import and Export
You can easily import and export courses to and from your site. This will be really helpful when you want to backup the courses or migrate from one site to another.
Variety of payment options
LifterLMS offers a lot of options too help you set up the payment options for your courses. You can choose a one-time credit card payment option, or a recurring payment plan through subscriptions. It even allows your customers to switch between credit card or PayPal according to their convenience.
Engage students effectively
The success of an online course depends a lot on how engaging it becomes. LifterLMS provides several options to make sure your courses are engaging. Apart from completion certificates, achievement badges and personalized emails, it offers several other features. These include social learning, private one on one coaching options, and text messaging features.
You can create membership plans too with LifterLMS. It will enable you to easily create members only forums, private group discussions, special pricing deals, course bundles, etc.
Compatibility with other tools
You can easily integrate other tools for payment gateway integration, email marketing, authoring tools and CRM tools.
Protect your courses
It offers great features to protect your courses to make them available only to the right participants. it helps you offer good account management options to all users, including setting up their own passwords.
LifterLMS is effectively a free plugin which you can download from the WordPress site. For advanced features, you need to opt for an add-on plan according to your requirements. Each add-on will cost you around $99 per year. Visit LifterLMS website for more details.
If you are looking for a free WordPress LMS solution, definitely LearnPress is the best. With over 40,000 active installs, it is clearly one of the best options you will find. You can manage all the fundamental requirements of an LMS with the help of this function. For added functionalities, you will find quite a few free and premium add-ons as well. The plugin helps you create interesting online courses and structure them well on your site. The user interface is particularly simple, and won’t really bother you in the setting up process. Moreover, you can easily integrate it with WooCommerce and payment solutions like PayPal and Stripe to make money out of your courses.
This is another premium WordPress learning management system plugin that is quite easy to use. The intuitive drag and drop course builder will make your job particularly easy when it comes to course creation. It helps you restrict the courses to be accessible only to registered participants. You can create interesting quizzes to check the involvement of your students, and award them a certificate at the end of the course. It works seamlessly with most WordPress themes and integrates with popular membership solutions. The built-in shopping cart allows you to accept payment through PayPal or Stripe.
Moreover, it allows for recurring payments by choosing subscription terms that you prefer. The demo site and detailed documentation will help you get started with WP-Courseware without hassles.
Starting an eLearning site has become quite easy with the help of some of the awesome WordPress LMS plugins. In this article, we have compiled some of the best WordPress learning management system plugins that are approved by experts. All of these aspects make your course creation process quite organized and hassle free. Share with us your experience with any of these solutions.