8 Best WordPress LMS Plugins to Build a First-Class Online Course

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Best WordPress LMS Plugins: Create & Sell First Class Online Courses

Do you need an easy and powerful WordPress LMS plugin for your eLearning website?

A Learning Management System (LMS) lets you easily create and run an online course right from your WordPress site.

Here at OptinMonster, we understand how important it is to find the right WordPress course plugin to organize your classes. All of our customers get full access to OptinMonster University, our database of courses and tutorials on digital marketing. A great LMS lets you share your expertise without spending hours on coding and course maintenance.

In this article, we’ll share the best WordPress LMS plugins that are feature-rich and can handle subscriptions, tests, and student reports.

Benefits of Offering Online Courses With a WordPress LMS

Before we jump into the list, let’s look at the benefits of offering an online course:

  • Recurring income: Creating an online course lets you create recurring income without recurring work. After the upfront work of creating your course content, your LMS will run itself. You can continue selling it without the need to put time aside to run it.
  • Scalability: Online courses are easily scalable to reach many people without repeating the effort.
  • Greater reach: You’ll be able to share your knowledge with more people than with in-person or one-on-0ne training.
  • Cost-Efficient: With a WordPress LMS plugin, you can say goodbye to costs like printed materials, travel, training venue, and more. That means less cost for you and for your students.
  • Easily personalized: When your course materials are created with a WordPress LMS plugin, you have an easy way to offer users courses customized to their interests and needs.
  • Better communication: Online courses create an open channel of communication between WordPress users and your company. All feedback and questions will be easy to access right in your WordPress dashboard.

If you want to check out examples of well-designed eLearning, Coursera, edX, and Udemy are some of the leading online course sites in the world.

However, online courses aren’t just for education sites. In fact, they’re an excellent addition to practically any website. Here are a few examples:

  • Create online tutorials about your products
  • Offer onboarding classes for your service or software
  • Improve the authority of your blog by having courses related to your niche

That’s where your WordPress LMS plugin will come in handy. These tools allow you to quickly and easily create online courses for YOUR target audience.

Now, let’s check out the best WordPress LMS plugins on the market today.

8 Best WordPress LMS Plugins

Now that you know how you can benefit from creating online courses, let’s get into the best WordPress LMS plugins we’ve found to make your online course dreams a reality.

1. MemberPress

Home page for MemberPress. "The 'All-In-One' Membership Plugin for WordPress. Join thousands of creators who have together earned over $1,000,000,000 in revenue"

MemberPress is the best membership software available for WordPress. Membership plugins let you easily manage subscriptions and restrict certain website content to be available only to users who are signed in.

With MemberPress’s Courses feature, you can easily create and manage your online learning courses, even if you’re a beginner. You can use MemberPress to protect course materials as well as give users a place to interact with each other, download information, and receive updates.

With MemberPress, you get a WordPress LMS plugin that’s super easy to set up and works with any WordPress theme. But that’s not all.

Key Features

  • Unlimited members, memberships, and restricted content
  • Unlimited courses with every plan
  • Code-free course creation, with quizzes and built-in progress tracking
  • Comprehensive integration options, including Elementor, Divi, MonsterInsights, Stripe, WooCommerce, and Constant Contact
  • Automatic upgrade/downgrade prorations
  • Full subscription and transaction management (including recurring subscriptions)
  • Unlimited access rules
  • Easy locking of specific pages, posts, hierarchal post types, standalone files, and more
  • Content access drip and access expiration
  • Multiple membership options like one-time payments, subscriptions, and tier levels

MemberPress also includes comprehensive reporting, custom registration and account fields, and built-in integrations. And even that’s not all!

MemberPress is an all-in-one membership plugin that also lets you create any other kind of membership site. So if you ever want to expand your offerings to products and services, MemberPress makes it easy. For instance, if you hope to eventually transition from online classes to personal coaching, you’ll be able to do that with their CoachKit™ addon that’s part of the Elite plan.

Price: Pricing starts at $179.50 per year for the Basic plan, and goes up to $499.50 per year for the Elite plan.

BONUS: Get 3 FREE months of OptinMonster & OptinMonster University when you sign up for the MemberPress Pro plan ($399.50 per year) Click here to get started

Ideal for: Businesses that want the absolute best way to require users to sign in to access their learning materials and courses. With MemberPress’s robust features and options, it’s also the best option if you want scalability for future growth.

Resource: MemberPress Review (2023): Details, Pricing, Features, Pros and Cons

Get started with MemberPress today!

2. Thrive Apprentice

Thrive Apprentice is a LMS plugin for WordPress that helps you create and manage online courses, training programs, and membership sites.

Some of the key features of Thrive Apprentice include:

  • Intuitive drag-and-drop editor for creating professional-looking content
  • Detailed student management and progress tracking
  • Interactive quizzes to test student knowledge
  • Customizable certificates for rewarding students upon completion of their course
  • Highly customizable content dripping
  • Course and digital content bundle options
  • Accept course fees directly on your site

Price: Thrive Apprentice is available for $149/year or as part of the Thrive Suite of 9 plugins for $299/year for use on up to 5 sites.

Ideal for: Business owners who want precise control over their course content access

3. LearnPress

Homepage for LearnPress WordPress LMS

Want the best free LMS WordPress plugin? LearnPress is the perfect platform for you.

LearnPress puts you in the driver’s seat, enabling you to build and manage coursework any way you see fit. It comes with a wide range of free tools and add-ons to help you get your courses off the ground. And if you outgrow the free features? LearnPress’s PRO Bundle makes it easy to expand your services so you can meet the needs of new and existing subscribers.

Free features and add-ons include:

  • Course creation and management
  • Student communication through BuddyPress and bbPress
  • Course prerequisites
  • Billing through PayPal, WooComerce, and Stripe

Premium add-ons include:

  • Course certificates
  • Content dripping
  • Paid memberships
  • Frontend editing
  • Full WooCommerce integration
  • Management tools for tracking students, grades, and course content

LearnPress also has an extensive library of free and premium add-ons that you can integrate into your eCommerce site, so you can make individual adjustments to your platform while paying for only the add-ons you need.

Price: Free plan available. The Pro bundle is $249.99 (one-time), or you can purchase add-ons individually.

Ideal for: People looking to minimize start-up fees associated with their online courses.

Drawback: Even with the premium add-ons, LearnPress is less robust than many other options. If you already have a well-established website, another LMS is probably a better choice.

4. LifterLMS

Homepage for LifterLMS WordPress plugin

Whether you’re offering a couple of individual programs or a collection of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), LifterLMS has everything you need, from content management tools to add-ons that target specific segments of your market. Plus, it even has a free version of its LMS plugin, so you can give it a try before committing to a premium plan.

Perfect for building comprehensive courses or training programs, LifterLMS makes it easy to expand on your content by adding course prerequisites, training modules, group memberships, and other tools you can use to customize coursework for specific individuals or entire classes.

But that’s not all. LifterLMS comes with a number of other awesome features that maximize engagement and customer satisfaction.

Free features include:

  • Visual course builder
  • Unlimited courses and memberships
  • Quizzes
  • Robust reporting
  • Customizable notifications for learners
  • Engagement tools such as achievement badges and certificates
  • Integrations through REST API, WPFusion, Zapier, and AutomatorWP.

Premium features include:

  • Payments through Stripe, PayPal, WooCommerce, and Authorize.net
  • Automated emailing and email notifications
  • Integrations with marketing tools such as MailChimp and WPForms
  • Advanced add-ons including course cohorts, assignments, advanced videos, and more

Price: The core LifterLMS plugin is free. Paid plans range from $199 per year to $1200 per year

Ideal for: People who want to build scalable LMS courses that cater to the unique needs of individuals and small groups.

Drawback: If you need more than the basic features, LifterLMS can get quite expensive.

5. LearnDash

Homepage for LearnDash LMS plugin for WordPress

When it comes to accessibility,  LearnDash is arguably one of the easiest and most convenient LMS WordPress plugins on the market. Its intuitive drag-and-drop course builder makes it simple for anyone to create quizzes, training programs, and exams with just a few clicks.

LearnDash lets you create customized courses that meet the needs of your subscribers.

You can set prerequisites for students, or you can schedule content using its built-in drip feed feature. LearnDash makes it easier to add functionality and optimize engagement every step of the way.

Key features include:

  • The ability to choose between membership, subscription, and one-time pricing options.
  • Test and course management tools, like grade books, student metrics, question bank, and profiles.
  • Dynamic forums for student discussion
  • Compatibility with most popular payment gateways.
  • Content dripping and student progress tracking
  • Integration with MemberPress, our #1 LMS plugin pick. Get the best of both tools!

Another awesome LearnDash feature is the optional Course Points setting. Here, students can earn points from completing tasks and lessons, and they can then spend those points unlocking new courses. Not only is it great for increasing engagement, but it’s also a great motivational tool that keeps students wanting more.

Price: Pricing starts at $199 per year for a single site. A variety of add-ons are available, each costing an additional $49 per year. They include features like advanced analytics, a special gradebook tool, note-taking functionality, and group management.

Ideal for: Anyone looking for a powerful WordPress education plugin that’s easy to set up and offers an ever-growing range of add-ons and third-party integrations.

Drawback: It has to be integrated with a third-party plugin like WooCommerce in order to implement comprehensive payment options.

6. Sensei

Homepage for Sensei LMS for WordPress

Sensei is an LMS for WordPress that was created by Automattic, the same company behind WooCommerce and WordPress. As such, Sensei interacts smoothly with both platforms, making it easier for users to implement the plugin into their WordPress sites.

One of the biggest advantages you get with Sensei LMS is its simplicity. It’s arguably one of the easiest WordPress course plugins to navigate, making it an excellent choice for entrepreneurs searching for an online coaching plugin for their WordPress website.

However, Sensei doesn’t offer much beyond your basic WordPress LMS tools.

Free features include:

  • Unlimited courses and students
  • Certificate Creator
  • Distraction-free “Learning Mode”
  • Basic Quizzes
  • Reports and analytics

Premium features include:

  • Seamless integration WooCommerce
  • Video Course Templates
  • Drip Lessons
  • Auto-graded advanced quizzes

You have to integrate it into WooCommerce in order to sell courses, and you’ll need to purchase additional add-ons if you want advanced features like certificates, content drip, and student management tools; all of which are features that come standard with many other WordPress Learning Management System plugins.

Price: Sensei offers a free WordPress LMS plugin. However, you’ll need the Sensei Pro, which costs $179 per year, for monetization with WooCommerce.

Ideal for: Merchants already running a WooCommerce store who want to add simple courses and short training programs.

Drawback: It lacks the level of features and add-ons of many other LMS plugins on this list, so it’s not a great choice for long-term expansion.

7. WP Courseware

Homepage for WP Courseware LMS

Powerful and easy to use, WP Courseware lets users create online courses with its intuitive drag-and-drop platform. Designed to be hassle-free and easy to learn, WP Courseware makes it possible to create custom-tailored courses in a matter of minutes.

Once you have the structure of your course in place, you can use WP Courseware’s advanced tools to further customize your services.

Key features include:

  • Personalized emails sent automatically to students based on their activity.
  • Advanced testing tools like timers and retake limits.
  • Video Courses
  • Integrations with WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, MemberPress, and more.
  • Instructor and student grade books.
  • Payments through PayPal or Stripe

Price: Pricing starts at $129 a year for up to 2 sites.

Ideal for: Anyone looking for a flexible WordPress LMS plugin that’s convenient and quick to learn.

Drawback: You have to integrate with a membership plugin in order to restrict courses to paying members.

Honorable WordPress LMS Mentions

8. Namaste! LMS

Homepage for Namaste! LMS WordPress plugin

Namaste! is a free WordPress LMS plugin that also offers a paid membership Pro plan.

Free features include:

  • Unlimited free and paid courses
  • Course completion certificate
  • Gradebook management
  • Ability to set mandatory and optional lessons within each course
  • Viewable student to-do lists for every lesson

Pro features include:

  • Create groups and classes, and limited course access based on this
  • Assign teachers and team members to manage content
  • Course bundles
  • Shopping cart for premium course/class signups
  • Award badges for completing specific tasks.

In addition to these features, Namaste! also offers an LMS-specific premium theme to make it easy to design an attractive eLearning site.

Price: Namaste! PRO pricing starts at a $67 one-time fee. Additional modules are available for extra cost.  The full bundle, which includes the Namaste! LMS Theme, is $137.

Ideal for: Course creators on a budget who want a free plugin or a one-time fee.

Drawback: Like most free tools, support can be limited unless you upgrade to paid plans or add-ons.

If you’re looking for more options, you may also want to check out Teachable, Tutor LMS, Courses for MemberMouse, MasterStudy LMS, and Wishlist as alternative WordPress course plugins.


Promote Your Online Courses on Your Website

Once your courses are set up, you want to start getting new students right away. For that, there’s no better tool than OptinMonster:

OptinMonster homepage

OptinMonster is best the tool for promoting and selling your courses from your website. It allows you to build eye-catching lead capture forms to market your course to your website visitors.

You can use any of OptinMonster’s pre-made templates to create stunning optin campaigns like popups, floating bars, and more:

optinmonster templates

From there, you can easily modify your campaigns to create the perfect offer to boost registrations. To change the text, for example, you’d simply use OptinMonster’s inline editor:

inline editor with shopping template

And to add new features, everything can be done on the front-end with the drag and drop builder:

add elements to the liked template

This allows anyone to create professional-looking and high-converting campaigns in minutes with zero coding skills or design experience required.

Then you can use OptinMonster’s targeting rules to show these campaigns to the right people, in the right places, and at just the right time in their customer journey.

This level of personalization will help you increase signups for your online course. A few examples of targeting rules offered by OptinMonster include:

  • Exit-Intent® Technology: Display campaigns as potential students are actively leaving your website.
  • Geo-Location: Target your audience based on where they’re physically located.
  • OnSite Retargeting®: Show fresh campaigns to returning users to prevent “popup fatigue.”
  • MonsterLinks™: Turn any campaign into a clickable link or button to increase conversions.

These are just a few examples, though there are many others. And the best part is that these targeting rules are highly effective.

Just check out how ChinaImportal increased webinar signups by 18% with a few Yes/No optin campaigns.

You can use the same strategy to increase enrollments for your online course.

Sign Up For OptinMonster Today!

BONUS: Done-For-You Campaign Setup ($297 value)Our conversion experts will design 1 free campaign for you to get maximum results – absolutely FREE! Click here to get started →

Which Is the BEST WordPress LMS Plugin on the Market?

For the best possible online course system, we highly recommend MemberPress and LearnDash. We believe these are the very best LMS plugins for WordPress.

These tools make it easy to start your online course without needing professional experience or the budget to hire a developer. With built-in customization options and user-friendly page builders, you can easily improve the learning experience you offer.

With either of those options, you can have a full course or learning platform up and running in no time!

Combine that with the engagement and the lead-generating power of OptinMonster and you’ve got yourself a recipe for long-term success:

Sign Up For OptinMonster Today!

BONUS: Done-For-You Campaign Setup ($297 value)Our conversion experts will design 1 free campaign for you to get maximum results – absolutely FREE! Click here to get started →

We hope this article has helped you find the right WordPress online course plugin for your business. If you want even more tips on eLearning, check out these resources:

With a great LMS plugin and all this information at your fingertips, you’ll be ready to share your expertise with successful online courses.


Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. We only recommend products that we believe will add value to our readers.

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