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7 Best WordPress LMS Plugins Compared (Pros and Cons)

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Are you looking for the best LMS plugin for your WordPress site? Learning Management System (LMS) plugins allow you to create and run online courses like Udemy with WordPress.
A perfect WordPress LMS plugin includes features for managing your online course content, handling subscriptions, running and grading quizzes, accepting payments, and more.
In this article, we will compare the best WordPress LMS plugins to help you choose the perfect solution for your online learning website.
The best LMS plugins for your WordPress site
To build a learning or training website with WordPress, you first need to sign up for a WordPress hosting account. This will be your website’s home on the internet where all files are stored.
You will also need a domain name. This will be your website’s address on the internet, such as wpbeginner.com.
If you’re on a budget, then we recommend starting with Bluehost. They’re one of the largest hosting companies in the world, and they’re offering our readers a 60% off discount + free domain + free SSL for their websites.
If budget is not an issue, and you want to best performance, then we recommend using a premium / managed WordPress hosting provider like SiteGround or WP Engine.
We recommend using Bluehost or SiteGround for your web hosting. They are among the largest hosting companies in the world, and they are both officially recommended by WordPress.
Bonus Tip: Need a name for your new website? Try our free business name generator tool to generate clever company name ideas.
Next, you will need to install WordPress on your website. You can follow the instructions in our step by step guide on how to install WordPress. Your site will be up and running in minutes.
All three hosting providers have a guided one-click install flow for WordPress, so it should be fairly straight forward.
Once you have installed WordPress, you will be ready to choose a WordPress LMS plugin for your website. These plugins will allow you to create, manage, and sell online classes from your website.
That being said, let’s take a look at some of the best WordPress LMS plugins side-by-side, so you can choose the one that works best for your needs.
The MemberPress website
MemberPress is the most powerful WordPress membership plugin that has built-in features to easily create, manage, and even sell courses.
It comes with a special Classroom Mode, so you don’t need to spend ages designing your online classroom. MemberPress takes care of the design for you, so that your course always looks great and have the highest completion rate.
The MemberPress course curriculum that users see, showing their progression through the course
You can use their easy drag and drop interface to build your course curriculum. It allows you to add lessons, topics, categories, embed videos, images, and more.
Their course builder is built on top of the WordPress block editor which makes it super easy to use for beginners.
Creating the sections and lessons for your course
As the site admin and instructor, you can quickly see the progress of each student to determine how far they are from completion.
You can use MemberPress to create free courses or accept payments for paid courses. You can also create multiple courses, with different subscription options, and manage them all from one central dashboard.
Viewing your course list in MemberPress
MemberPress has powerful access control rules that let you configure exactly who should have access to which content. You can create individual membership levels for specific courses, but you can also create more advanced rules to sell bundles / packages.
For instance, you could create a membership package that gives users access to all your beginner-level courses. You could even offer an all-access pass.
This can be a great way to boost your revenue.
Adding a new content protection rule in MemberPress
MemberPress also comes with a powerful content dripping feature that allows you to show restricted content to members after a certain time, so for example you can release one lesson a week.
MemberPress integrates seamlessly with many popular payment gateways, including PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, and more.
You can also connect MemberPress with all popular email marketing services such as Drip, ConvertKit, MailChimp, and 1000+ others.
Price: Starts from $149 for a single site license with 1 year of support and updates. The courses addon is included at no extra charge. You could upgrade to higher plans to unlock features like affiliate management, bulk corporate memberships, etc.
Grade: A+
Review: MemberPress is the best membership site plugin available. Their Courses addon makes it easy for creating an LMS in WordPress. You can set up courses in just a few moments, and your courses will always look great with no coding required.
MemberPress’s powerful membership rules give you lots of flexibility. The ability to see how far students have progressed means you can pinpoint areas where students are getting stuck and may need some extra help.
For help getting MemberPress set up, check out our ultimate guide on creating a membership site.
LearnDash - Best WordPress LMS Plugin
LearnDash is a popular and easy to use WordPress LMS plugin with many powerful features.
It comes with a simple drag and drop course builder, which allows you to easily create multi-layer courses with lessons, topics, quizzes, and categories. You can deliver all your lessons at once or schedule them for the entire course duration with its Drip-Feed content feature.
Using LearnDash, you can give your users 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 the next lesson.
It offers plenty of monetization options including subscriptions, one-time purchase, memberships, and a shopping cart for your online training course. You can accept payments using multiple payment gateways including PayPal, Stripe, and 2Checkout.
LearnDash also integrates beautifully with bbPress, WordPress eCommerce plugins, and WordPress membership plugins like MemberPress.
A great LearnDash feature is dynamic forums. This lets you create course-specific forums where your students can interact with and help each other.
Price: Starting from $159 for a single site license with 1 year of support and updates.
Grade: A+
Review: LearnDash is a user-friendly and flexible LMS plugin for WordPress users. It comes with a comprehensive set of features to manage your online courses.
LearnDash has integration with many third-party plugins and tools, which means you have even more options for how you run your courses. It is a perfect LMS tool suitable for schools, training organizations, entrepreneurs, and anyone who wants to create and sell online courses with ease.
For a detailed LearnDash review and set up instructions, see our tutorial on how to easily create an online course with WordPress using LearnDash.
Bonus Tip: To unlock even more powerful features in LearnDash, try the Uncanny Toolkit Pro for LearnDash.
LifterLMS - Top LMS Plugin for WordPress
LifterLMS is another powerful WordPress LMS plugin with a lot of neat features. It allows you to create engaging online courses and offer wonderful learning experiences to your students. It is easy to set up, even on existing WordPress sites.
LifterLMS supports multi-tier courses with training modules, lessons, categories, and more. It gives you the flexibility to create smaller courses or full-fledged degree programs. You can add multimedia lessons including video, audio, text, images, and more to make your courses more appealing.
It has content dripping, course pre-requisites, and group memberships to offer even greater control over how your courses work.
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 has a useful collection of addons, which you can use to manage affiliates, integrate with eCommerce plugins, connect to your email marketing service, etc.
There are multiple options to accept credit card payments, one-time or recurring payments, sell course bundles, offer coupons, etc. Among payment options, you can integrate it with PayPal, Stripe, or recieve payments manually via check.
Pricing: Individual addons for $99 each (single site), or Universal Plan for $299 for a 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 useful for fitness experts, musicians, leadership trainers, education entrepreneurs, and anyone who wants to earn money by selling online lessons.
It is a little more expensive than some other options, and the pricing will add up if you choose to buy individual add-ons.
Teachable
Teachable is a powerful online course builder. It is not a WordPress plugin, but you can use it on a sub-domain, a custom domain name, or by simply adding a link to your school’s page.
Teachable hosts your course and provides you with all the tools you need to build highly interactive online courses. It also comes with built-in email marketing integration, analytics, and other marketing tools.
For payments, Teachable will handle your course fees and you will be paid out using PayPal or Stripe. Payment periods may vary depending on your pricing plan.
Pricing Starting from $29 per month
Grade: B+
Review: Teachable offers a complete set of tools needed to create, manage, and sell online courses. It can handle any number of students and courses. Since it is a standalone platform, you wouldn’t be responsible for updates and backups.
The downside is that it is expensive than other WordPress LMS plugins. If you are on their Basic plan, then you will be charged a 5% fee on each transaction.
LearnPress Free WordPress Learning Management System Plugin
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 on your own.
Course creation is easy with the help of lessons, quizzes, and questions. You can use lessons and quizzes from one course within another course. LearnPress also lets you export content, so that you can use it on other WordPress sites using LearnPress.
It has both free and paid add-ons 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.
LearnPress works with any WordPress theme, but you can also choose from one of their own LMS WordPress themes. This helps you avoid any compatibility issue and offer a better experience for users.
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 add-ons.
Support is available from official forums for paid subscribers, and limited support is offered to free users. The free version is limited and you will have to buy add-ons to make the most out of it.
WP Courseware Plugin for Creating Online Courses
WP Courseware is another great WordPress LMS plugin that comes with a drag and drop course builder.
Course creation in WP Courseware is powerful and includes tons of features to create large or small online courses. 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.
WP Courseware offers instructor profiles, student grade books, custom emails, and many other features that help create an engaging experience for users. It also comes with a question bank so that you can quickly create quizzes for different courses and modules.
The plugin also includes powerful monetization features to sell online classes on your website. It has a built-in shopping cart option where you can directly connect PayPal or Stripe and start selling your courses.
You can also create free courses and provide users a way to try out your classes. This could encourage them to buy a full course. You can sell paid courses as a one-time purchase or recurring subscriptions.
Pricing: Starting from $129 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 the freedom to create an engaging learning environment. Best of all, it works with any WordPress theme without any compatibility issues.
Sensei LMS Plugin
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 Sensei is easy, but not as powerful as with other solutions on this list. 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: Sensei 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.
We believe that MemberPress is the best WordPress LMS plugin. It’s very beginner-friendly and lets you create online courses with beautiful designs (no code needed).
Their powerful membership rules make it easy to configure access control, sell course subscription packages, and more. You also get other useful features like content dripping, group memberships, protected file management, reminder emails, and more.
It integrates seamlessly with all major payment providers, and over a thousand different email marketing automation services.
If you’re looking for a MemberPress alternative, then you can look at LearnDash. It also comes with great features and lots of useful integrations.
We hope this article helped you compare the best WordPress LMS plugins with their pros and cons. You may also want to see our guide on the must have WordPress plugins to grow your business, and our comparison of the best chatbot software to improve site engagement.
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Hi,
Great article and much appreciated!
I’m aiming to offer my courses to organisations so that they can buy access for a group of staff. Do you know which plugins (if any) would support a client to buy a number of training places which they could then manage for their staff team?
Thanks
Dave
You may want to take a look at our guide below for what you’re wanting:
https://www.wpbeginner.com/plugins/how-to-sell-group-memberships-in-wordpress-for-corporate-teams/
LifterLMS Groups offers the ability to offer courses to organizations.
Hi,
Is there any plugin or LMS which I can use for all visitor to see and learn courses without enrolling to my website. They just come to choose what they want to learn and do the course without any login. And one more thing this is all free like a tutorial site like w3school.
It would depend on which plugin you are using for where to find the setting but all of these should have that option.
Thanks for the great LMS information. Does LearnDash have the capability to provide free online course views?
You would want to reach out to the plugin’s support for the current capabilities and they would be able to let you know what is available.
This is all nice, but I can only upload files max 2MB. How do you upload the videos? Thx :)
For videos on your site, we would recommend taking a look at our opinion article here: https://www.wpbeginner.com/beginners-guide/why-you-should-never-upload-a-video-to-wordpress/
Not sure how your website is configured or whether there is a specific reason to limit uploads to 2MB but thought it worth letting you know a 2MB limit is usually the default PHP limit. It can be changed through cPanel (if you use cPanel). There are online guides that will help you change the limit if you need to do so.
I also second the use of 3rd party video services. Device compatibility is best left managed by YT or Vimeo. Vimeo provides content locking features, which might be better for a membership type of site.
Thanks for the great info! I’d like to create a course(s) on my existing blog. Is that possible? Do plugins like LearnDash and WP Courseware take up a lot of bandwidth? I’m wondering if I should check with my host before adding a course plugin?
Yes, you can use these on an already set up site. The plugins shouldn’t be a large jump in resources but if you are concerned you can feel free to check with your hosting provider.
After watching several videos on LearnDash, I was excited to give it a go on my WP website, but then I saw on the LearnDash website FAQ that “LearnDash cannot be installed on a site hosted at WordPress.com.” This doesn’t made sense to me. Do you know of alternatives? Any advice you can provide would be much appreciated. BTW, thanks so much for the excellent article.
Our tutorials are for WordPress.org sites, for understanding the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org you would want to take a look at our article here: https://www.wpbeginner.com/beginners-guide/self-hosted-wordpress-org-vs-free-wordpress-com-infograph/
Thanks so much!
Does all or some of the above plugins allow adsense ads to be displayed within course content/pages ?
Some of them do, you would want to reach out to the plugin’s support for the specifics of what is available.
Thank you for including LifterLMS in your WordPress LMS plugin evaluation web beginner! These are exciting times for education entrepreneurs looking to generate income by turning their expertise and life experience into impactful online courses.
You’re welcome, glad you like the plugin :)
Hi,
I just want to create a LMS website like fiver or upwork. I want to provide opportunities to Teacher’s to sell their courses and student’s purchase these courses as per their need. Which plugin is best for creating these type of LMS.
Each plugin has a method for setting up something like this, depending on the specific customizations you want, you would want to reach out to the plugins’ support for if they would be a good fit for how you want to structure it.
I am looking for groups/teams functionality
This is mostly for Businesses:
A group Leader/Manager from a business should be able to manage his/her team accounts.
-Add, Remove members
-Assign courses, Pay for member
-Track members process (eg..completer courses, exams and results)
You may want to reach out to LearnDash with your specific needs and they should have what you’re wanting.
For all readers, I have incorporated LearnDash into the University theme and it works real well, We spent some time figuring out how and where to incorporate it. We finally concluded that the Course Description pages were the best places to incorporate LearnDash.
I also have been using/developing courses in the MasterStudy theme. I was disappointed to learn that you couldn’t create Plans without a lot of custom development. As soon as I got all of the custom work done, StyleMix finally comes out with an upgrade that incorporates Plans and turned the theme into an LMS. In my opinion, after two years of developing and research, these are probably the best combinations (the latest MasterStudy theme or University/LearnDash together).
Does any one of the mentioned LMS support live interactions via webcams and whiteboards???
Hi,
I am going to ask about a plugin that assist me in payment and content restrict. I need to restrict an online exam to the none payment users. AS soon as they pay this appear on their screens. As you surely figure out, the content is not a purchasable content like cloths or downloadable such as a pdf file as a virtual content, therefore, I’m not sure whether WooCommerce can help me or not. I would like to choose a free plugin if it is possible. Please guide me!
You can use paid membership pro. If your country does not support the payment methods offered through paid membership pro then you can use with woocommerce.
I’d like to create a small self-directed course that people would pay a one-time fee for and have lifetime access to. I’d like to incorporate some instructional videos, pdf downloads, and maybe some quizzes. The customer would learn by reading written content and thru the video tutorials. Would the free plugin work for this? I’ve never offered a course before and want to start off small and then build from there.
Hi Diana,
Yes, however it may require you to buy paid addons later for additional functionality if needed.
Hi,
I am looking to join an LMS but want to make sure that the one I select can cater to what I am looking for.
I am creating a membership site with 3 options for membership.
Membership 1 – £50 joining fee and NO recurring payments.
Membership 2 – £50 joining fee and £5 monthly recurring payments.
Membership 3 – £50 joining fee and £10 monthly recurring payments.
I am struggling to find confirmation that providers will allow me to have a one off joining charge PLUS a recurring monthly fee together. Most other LMS providers will only allow 1 or the other and not both.
Any information on an LMS that can offer both of these options at the same time would be great! Thanks!
Hi Aaron,
You can try using MemberPress a WordPress membership plugin which works well with LearnDash. This way you can have your subscription plans just the way you want them.
I wonder whether some or all of the LMS plugins have interactive capabilities for students hangouts/breakout groups, live question/answer sessions, webinars, etc.?
Can other people upload courses to your LMS, in other words not just products I want to sell but other educators, how do they login and create a course on the site?
Hi Shirley,
Yes, you can allow other people to create courses in LearnDash.
Yes you can allow other people to create courses in LifterLMS. You can even have multiple instructors on a course if you like. There is also an instructor’s assistant roll too.
Hi, i am looking for an wordpress LMS plug-in.
Which one currently is the most advisable?
Thank you in advance.
We recommend using LearnDash.
It depends. What are your business goals and which features are essential for your online learning platform?
Would the Astra theme work with LearnDash?
Hi Diane,
All standard compliant WordPress themes would work with LearnDash.
Many thanks for the info. Is it possible to also get courses to buy (to resell on installed lms) from any of the lms provider. Do they offer a one- off payment option (if they sell?)
Hi Will,
LifterLMS has a course import and export functionality so that courses can be transferred easily between LifterLMS sites. Also there is an add-on called LifterLMS xAPI for loading external (xAPI type) courses which might even be hosted elsewhere.
I currently sell tangible DVD products through WooCommerce. Would like to offer these tangible DVD videos in an online viewing format, perhaps through a service like Vimeo Pro. Would Lifter LMS be a good way to have online versions of my DVDs?
Yes! You could make a “1 video lesson” course. Or better yet break it up into more might sized chunks spread out across multiple lessons in a course.
I need a security check point that will sporadically issue questions regarding your security during the lesson.
I am using LifterLMS now and can verify it’s a great and easy to use tool. But my only complaint is that you can’t export your orders for accounting, nor can you export your student lists. There’s no real way to email them all unless you use one of the integrations. I use Mailerlite and cannot get my students into my email list. I’d like to be able to send them emails or exclude them if I do special offers when they are enrolled the course I am offering.
Can you integrate LifterLMS into an existing website or does it need to be a stand alone website?
thanks
Hi Caryl,
Yes! You can integrate LifterLMS into an existing WordPress based website. LifterLMS is a free WordPress plugin that you can install like any plugin. LifterLMS also has other premium add-on plugins that you can add if you would like any of the additional benefits they offer.
Hi there! I’ve been looking everywhere for a plugin that lets you sell courses but “in person” courses, they purchase and the info contains place and details about it. Having this in mind, the teacher needs to have, let’s say at least 10 students, but only 6 bought it in time… Is there some add-on somewhere to cancel the course and send back the money to the ones who bought it? Thnaks in advance.
Regards.
There is a plugin that is doing this: Classes. It is an iThemes exchange addon and exchange is transitioning to a new owner. I have spoken with the new owner and he is currently seeing if there could be an integration of Classes with learndash. But “classes” seems to be what you are looking for to me. Refunds are usually done either via the shopping cart dashboard or via the payment processor of your choice (paypal, stripe, etc.). It is pretty straight forward.
Also, if Classes doesn’t integrate eventually with learndash, you could still give access manually.
Hi Andre,
COuld you give us the link to your wp plugin classes, I can t find it.
david
Thank you for including LifterLMS in your WordPress LMS plugin evaluation wpbeginner! These are exciting times for education entrepreneurs looking to generate income by turning their expertise and life experience into impactful online courses.
At LifterLMS we are grateful for the growing WordPress LMS community and the education entrepreneurs we serve. Let’s build great learning experiences together!
Hey Chris,
Thanks for stopping by. These are exciting times indeed.
Thanks for this informative post, what about the best themes to use for a training website? What would be the best theme to use with LearnDash for example?
I just wanted to write really quick and thank WP Beginner for included LearnDash on their list.
Good information but whoever wrote this needs to take a writing course.
I just wanted to write really quick and and thank WPBeginner for included LearnDash on their list. It has been an absolute pleasure helping people and organizations get their online courses up-and-running. We are excited to continue serving our industry in exciting and innovative ways for years to come.
If you’re an individual or organization looking to get the most out of online courses, then I invite you to check out LearnDash. We’d be happy to discuss your project!
Kindly,
Justin
what theme would you recommend to go along with LearnDash?
LearnDash will work with most any modern WP theme. If you write-us from our contact page then we can get you a list of the more popular options.
Try some of the themes from web savvy, they’re built on genesis framework and look great. I think “Fernando” and “Derrick” (and another one) are all set up to integrate with LD.
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