Online education is an evergreen opportunity in the WordPress space — in the U.S., the eLearning market is expected to grow by 21% between 2020 and 2027. If you have extensive knowledge about a subject you love, you may consider creating an eLearning site.
eLearning WordPress themes enable online course owners, as well as universities and schools, to create custom course materials and administer them how they want, controlling things like price, content drip, assessments, student interaction/community, student progress, and, of course, the look of the website itself.
In this article, we'll share the best WordPress themes for eLearning sites, ranging from options for individual coaches and instructors to those for entire academic institutions. Let’s get learning.
Top eLearning WordPress Themes
- Language School
Eduma is the leading premium education theme for WordPress websites by downloads. Built to be compatible with the free and popular LearnPress learning management system (LMS) plugin, it features designs for a wide range of eLearning offerings, from online university courses to tutors, and grade school to one-off course websites. With this theme and the LearnPress plugin, you can create an educational hub for any learning institution.
Eduma features all the capabilities you’ll need to craft a website without writing code: drag-and-drop builders, bbPress and BuddyPress plugin integration, a WooCommerce integration, top-notch user interface elements, and a bundle of LearnPress premium add-ons worth $500.
Another top-selling WordPress theme, Masterstudy balances usability with flexibility and provides aspiring site owners with the features necessary for an outstanding online course. The theme is designed as an all-in-one LMS solution — no additional fees or plugins are needed to get it working.
Inside the theme, you can structure courses, make quizzes, drip content, and host live webinars. The theme also has membership capabilities, forums, trial courses, a certificate builder, and a front-end course builder to structure your content exactly how you want your students to learn it. For those who want everything in one place, it doesn’t get much better than Masterstudy.
The Language School theme perfectly suits those in need of a platform to sell their tutorials, courses, teachings, and lessons online. Built for compatibility with LearnPress, bbPress, Visual Composer, and Bootstrap CSS, this theme allows schools and institutions to distribute courses as a package or independently, and either free or at a price.
This theme is best suited for language learning programs, but can be adapted for other niches too. With Language School, you can create tutorials and add quizzes, lessons, and learning questions to track students’ progress. Plus, individual profiles for instructors and learners help create connections and foster a more personal learning environment.
Epsilon is another theme compatible with the LearnPress plugin, and lands on our list for its outstanding capabilities. From the same developers as Eduma, Epsilon aims to provide a flexible platform to deploy courses of any type. Add units, lessons, courses, quizzes, and a store component with its WooCommerce integration. This allows you to sell your courses if desired.
This mobile-friendly theme’s various features – namely the one-click installation, drag-and-drop page building functionality, co-instructors, and compatibility with bbPress and BuddyPress – make it a trusted theme for schools and institutions. Student and instructor profiles are also available.
While not specifically a learning WordPress theme, KLEO offers more than enough options to sustain an exceptional eLearning website. Since its launch in 2014, the multipurpose theme continues to be a top-selling WordPress theme in the education space and has won several awards for its quality.
With KLEO, you can build your community, make friends, create courses, write lessons, communicate with experts, write on your professional blogs, share ideas, and write a portfolio. Fully responsive and mobile-friendly, KLEO is compatible with the Sensei eLearning plugin (from the same developers as WooCommerce), the included Visual Composer plugin, WooCommerce, bbPress, and BuddyPress. Moreover, it has an intuitive admin interface, so customization of more sidebars, colors, fonts, and layouts is easy.
Are you a tutor, instructor, trainer, or educator in need of a personal site to share your knowledge? The Coaching theme can make it happen with its compatibility with LearnPress and range of templates for specific niches, especially those related to physical health (e.g., physical training and nutrition). Coaching works with WPBakery and SiteOrigin too, so building pages is quick and simple.
In addition, Coaching lets you manage events through the theme, integrate WooCommerce, and open your courses to ratings, reviews, and testimonials. Plus, design aspects from colors to fonts to icons to transitions and animations are all in your hands and configurable through your dashboard.
Skilled is another great theme option for coaches and teachers — it’s built to work with the Sensei LMS plugin, one of the easiest ways to manage an entire online course in one place. Skilled is also recommended for academic institutions, from grades schools up through graduate programs.
Upon purchase, you’ll have access to several importable theme demos to insert your free or paid courses, develop lesson plans, and create assessments. Track your students’ progress and show them how they're doing with visual progress indicators. This increases the “stickiness” of your online course and keeps users around for longer.
Like Masterstudy, the Academist theme was built as a WordPress theme and a learning management system in one. By combining these two key components, Academist saves WordPress users, especially beginners, time and effort getting everything set up — once you install the theme, you’ll already have the tools you need.
Academist offers fully responsive themes for mobile devices, WPBakery and Slider Revolution included, WooCommerce compatibility, and sliders, video modules, and course-relevant widgets that are straightforward to build and even easier to interact with.
With its impressive design and eye-catching animations, flawless integration with WooCommerce, great one-click importer, and simple, clean code, SmartOWL is another highly recommended theme for eLearning. Along with kudos to the developers, the reviews about features, ease of use, and customer support are very positive — it has one of the highest quality ratings on this list.
SmartOWL offers numerous predefined templates to switch the look of the theme, multi-page swapping, event management tools, and thorough documentation. For templates, you get options for course pages, calendar pages, profiles, cart and checkout, and more. The plugins Video and Background Parallax, Slider Revolution, and Visual Composer are also thrown in with purchase.
Invent was made for schools and universities, its design inspired by real educational websites. It integrates with the SiteOrigin page builder and the learning management system LearnDash to deliver an intuitive site creation experience with little friction, along with over 30 custom elements hand-picked for online course websites.
True to its name, the Invent theme helps both educators and students alike create work they’re proud of thanks to its wealth of design components and shortcodes, clean and lightweight code, icon selection, and admin panel with hundreds of customization options — it’s just up to you how it all comes together.
The Skillfully eLearning theme for WordPress is designed to serve as a professional online marketplace of e-courses to sell tutorials, lessons, units, and quizzes. For those who want a sparser look that isn’t packed with features, it’s worth a try. The theme is also compatible with the Sensei plugin from WooThemes, WooCommerce, Gravity Forms, and Events Calendar.
Users can take courses for free or pay for them on Skillfully, and you can even offer special previews of your gated courses. As another interesting element, Skillfully adheres to Google’s Material Design specification and uses cards to display events and courses in a modern design layout.
To round out our list, we have Educator. This theme makes for a great eLearning alternative to some of the more popular options on this list. It works with bbPress and WooCommerce and packs enough functionality to support online course offerings. However, from its demos, it's clear that this theme was made to work in conjunction with in-person course offerings as well.
Don’t let that stop you, though — Educator remains a powerful, easy-to-use option. In addition to eLearning functionality, there are extensive tools to inform visitors about your program, institution, or organization, including instructor listings and course listings. A healthy variety of page layouts and parallax helps tie everything together.
eLearning WordPress Themes for Any Course
The various WordPress themes for education serve different sets of people, all with a different purpose. Though they share similar technologies, they are still distinguishable through their respective unique features. And, while all premium offerings, you’ll make your investment back by charging for a quality course.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in January 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.