Now that it’s easier than ever to build a website, online courses are becoming more and more popular and for good reason. Taking an online course lets students learn from the comfort of their homes which means they can enroll in multiple courses simultaneously and go through lessons at their own pace.

In other words, taking an online course means students don’t have to worry about trying to fit classes into their already packed schedule. Anyone can create an online course if they’re experienced in a specific topic, and some web developers create online courses and sell them as an additional income stream.Grow Your Business With HubSpot's Tools for WordPress Websites

You have several platforms to choose from when it comes to building an online course. But many come with a cost. Not to mention, they limit you from customizing your course.

In most cases, a WordPress LMS, or learning management system, plugin is the best choice for a WordPress website.

In this guide, we’ll review eight WordPress LMS plugins, discuss their features, functionality, and pricing, and share tips on what to look for in a learning management system for WordPress.

Features of WordPress LMS Plugins

Before we jump into the top WordPress LMS plugins, let’s talk about the features you should look for in a LMS plugin.

A good LMS plugin includes:

  • Ability to Upload Course Material: Your LMS plugin should let you upload course material. This includes text, PDFs for course workbooks or worksheets, and video/audio material for course lessons.
  • Student Profile Management: You should be able to track how many students are enrolled in your course.
  • Course Progress Tracker: This enables students to track their progress and pick up lessons where they’ve left off.
  • Content Dripping: You can release lessons on a timed schedule instead of releasing all the material at once. The main benefit of content dripping is that it makes the content digestible and helps users handle extensive courses.
  • Quiz and Test Support: Students should be able to evaluate how much they’ve learned.
  • Gamification Features: This includes engagement points, certificates, and more. Have these pop up whenever a student completes an action in your course, such as logging in for the first time or completing a module. It can be a great motivator to ensure students complete the course.
  • Various Payment Gateways: Make it easy for students to pay with their preferred method.
  • Integration With a Membership Plugin: This will let students interact and develop into a community.
  • Homework Options: You can give your students extra assignments to make it easier to grade them.

Beyond that, your WordPress LMS plugin should also come with built-in email notifications to keep students looped in about their purchase, progress, and more.

Similarly, marketing tools are a nice plus. You can benefit from a built-in affiliate program to promote your course or coupons to encourage more people to sign up for the course.

Now, let’s review the best LMS plugins for WordPress.

Best LMS Plugins for WordPress

1. LearnDash

Price: $159/year for a one-site licenseWordPress LMS Plugin — The LearnDash website

The first plugin on our list, LearnDash, was built by experts in the e-learning industry. It’s a top choice for many universities that need an LMS plugin to deliver their courses and curriculum. LearnDash is used by the University of Florida, the University of Michigan, and famous companies such as Keap, Social Media Examiner, Tony Robbins, and others.

LearnDash features an easy-to-use drag-and-drop course builder and the ability to create multi-tier courses. It integrates with popular plugins such as WooCommerce and BuddyPress.

Also, you don’t need a separate membership plugin to protect your course content, as this feature is built into the LearnDash plugin itself.

Key Features:

  • Multiple pricing models for your courses, such as one-time payments, recurring subscriptions, bundles, memberships, and more
  • Automatic renewal notifications
  • Certificates, quizzes, homework assignments, and engagement triggers
  • Refund protection
  • The ability to drip feed content
  • Robust user management

Best For: Educational institutions, entrepreneurs, and anyone who wants to create and sell robust online courses with ease

2. LifterLMS

Price: Free with paid plans available

WordPress LMS Plugin — The LifterLMS website

LifterLMS is another popular LMS plugin for WordPress that is an excellent alternative to LearnDash. The core plugin is free, and it offers a lot of the same features for creating an online course. This includes membership features, gamification, and course building.

LifterLMS integrates with every well-coded WordPress theme, major WordPress page builder plugin, and other popular plugins such as WooCommerce, AffiliateWP, and more.

Besides that, LifterLMS has a drag-and-drop interface and a built-in integration with Zapier so you can connect it with hundreds of other apps and tools.

Key Features:

  • Support for rich multimedia lessons
  • Dynamic quizzes with the ability to create timed quizzes
  • Drip course content, course tracks, and certifications
  • Front end student profiles for students to track their progress
  • Downloadable worksheets, ebooks, PDFs, audios, and other files for offline learning
  • Built-in discussion areas in the form of lesson comments, forums, private coaching areas, and timelines
  • Built-in course reviews and testimonials to increase course signups
  • Support for multiple payment options including one-time, subscribers, and payment plans

Best For: Those looking for a free plugin that offers robust features and integrates with popular plugins

3. Tutor LMS

Price: Free with paid plans available

WordPress LMS Plugin — The Tutor LMS website

Tutor LMS stands out from the competition with a drag-and-drop, front-end editor to build your course. Like LifterLMS, the core plugin is free with all the necessary features to create an entire course. Paid plans add extra features such as email notifications, certifications, and more.

Besides that, Tutor LMS integrates perfectly with WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads. Each student gets their front-end dashboard to track their course progress, achievements, important announcements, and more.

Key Features:

  • Unlimited courses and lessons
  • Support for multiple video sources including YouTube, Vimeo, and embedded videos
  • Quizzes for your courses with timer support
  • Marketing tools — affiliate links so your students can help spread the word
  • Built-in support for course review and testimonials
  • Integration with Gutenberg and other popular page builder plugins
  • Teacher profiles — they can manage their information and upload courses
  • Support for multiple payment gateways

Best For: Solopreneurs, small business owners, and anyone that wants an easy to use, free course builder plugin and doesn’t need advanced features

4. WP Courseware

Price: $129/year for a two-site license

WordPress LMS Plugin — The WP Courseware website

WP Courseware is a proven and robust plugin that makes course creation simple and easy. It is used by Verizon, the University of Kentucky, Chris Lema, and SmartPassiveIncome, which shows how powerful and feature-rich the plugin is.

WP Courseware offers an on-site demo to give you a taste of what it would look like from the user’s perspective. Like other plugins on this list, it provides a drag-and-drop course builder and integrates with most WordPress themes and page builder plugins.

Key Features:

  • Complete control over the way you sell courses with the built-in shopping cart and payment gateway support
  • Support for one-time payments, installment payments, and subscriptions
  • Multiple types of content in your lessons: text, video, audio, PDFs, and more
  • Native integrations with dozens of email marketing services and other popular WordPress plugins
  • Support for custom course prerequisites
  • Quizzes, gamification features, certifications, and more
  • Custom messages and notifications
  • Robust teacher profiles
  • Students can self-enroll into any course

Best For: Educational institutions and corporations looking for robust course management and simple pricing terms

5. LearnPress

Price: Free with paid plans available

WordPress LMS Plugin — The LearnPass website

LearnPress is a comprehensive, free LMS plugin for WordPress sites. It includes a drag-and-drop course builder that lets you create unlimited courses.

LearnPress makes it easy to create a website similar to Udemy. In other words, you can set up an online learning platform and let others upload their courses and sell them from your course marketplace.

This plugin also supports WordPress multisite installations. And, you can have multiple instructors managing one course.

Key Features:

  • Multiple courses and lesson settings to let you set up courses with one-time fees or subscriptions
  • Features a preview module for courses so users can have an idea of the course before purchase
  • Integration with multiple payment gateways
  • Student forums, thanks to the integration with BuddyPress
  • Free add-ons — course wishlist, course reviews, course import and export, and offline payment support
  • Integration with Paid Memberships Pro plugin to create membership sites
  • Content dripping, random quizzes, and a badge and point system for gamification

Best For: Business owners and entrepreneurs just getting started selling online courses or those looking to build a Udemy clone

6. Sensei LMS

Price: Free with paid plans available

WordPress LMS Plugin — The Sensei LMS website

Sensei LMS is a free LMS plugin by Automattic — the company behind WordPress. Sensei LMS integrates perfectly with WooCommerce and most WordPress themes.

While the Sensei LMS plugin is not as feature-rich as the other plugins on this list, you can create courses with video lessons and design quizzes with different question types to evaluate student progress.

The free version of Sensei LMS enables you to create and offer free online courses. If you want to sell them, you’ll need to upgrade to the paid version.

Sensei LMS also has various add-ons that add extra features to the plugin, such as certificates, content dripping, and more.

Key Features:

  • Drag-and-drop blocks for the course and student information to add to other pages
  • Course creation through WordPress editor so you can start creating courses without any training
  • Course analytics with information on grading, course completion, and the number of students registered
  • Ability to transform existing posts into course lessons with a separate add-on

Best For: Website owners looking for a simple LMS plugin

7. MasterStudy LMS

Price: Free with paid plans available

WordPress LMS Plugin — The MasterStudy LMS website

The MasterStudy LMS plugin is one of the newest plugins on the list. But it’s packed with features that make it on par with the other plugins we’ve mentioned thus far.

MasterStudy LMS markets itself as the most innovative and intuitive LMS plugin to help you attract students worldwide. Besides that, all key plugin elements are built with Vue.js to ensure the best possible loading performance.

This plugin also has a WYSIWYG interface that makes it easy to build and set up your course. You can even create courses with co-instructors as well.

With this plugin, you can turn any WordPress website into a full-featured course website. Download the core version of the plugin for free, and it will work with any LMS WordPress theme.

Key Features:

  • Built-in grade book to analyze students statistics
  • Support for trial courses
  • Content dripping, quizzes, and assignments
  • Point and badge system
  • Support for multiple payment gateways
  • Ability to sell courses in packages
  • Lessons in real-time via live streaming options
  • Intuitive back-end dashboard to manage earnings and commissions

Best For: Anyone looking to build an online education website

8. Good LMS

Price: One-time payment of $32

WordPress LMS Plugin — The GoodLMS website

Good LMS is another LMS plugin that offers an easy course-building experience and support for multiple payment gateways.

Good LMS makes it easy for instructors and students to manage their profiles. The plugin also supports certificates and badges to reward learners on course completion.

You can check out the student and course instructor backend demo before purchasing the plugin to get a sense of the user learning experience.

Key Features:

  • Support for unlimited courses
  • Timed quizzes so students can evaluate their knowledge
  • Repeat quizzes for students looking to retake quizzes
  • Set commission rates for instructors
  • Built-in support for reviews and testimonials
  • Affiliate coupons to encourage more signups
  • Progress tracking from the sidebar

Best For: Anyone looking for an affordable and straightforward LMS plugin

Choosing a WordPress LMS Plugin

If you’re looking to add a learning management system to your website, you have several options to choose from when considering a WordPress LMS plugin.

If you’re just getting started and are looking for a free plugin, Sensei LMS or LearnPress are both solid choices. If you want a more robust solution with built-in gamification, email notifications, and integration with other plugins, WP Courseware, LearnDash, or LifterLMS will be right up your alley.

In the end, the ultimate decision is up to you and depends on your personal preferences and desire features.

Use HubSpot tools on your WordPress website and connect the two platforms  without dealing with code. Click here to learn more.

 Use HubSpot tools on your WordPress website and connect the two platforms  without dealing with code. Click here to learn more.

Originally published Jan 28, 2022 7:00:00 AM, updated January 28 2022

Topics:

WordPress Plugins