6 Best WordPress LMS Plugins to Build a Killer Online Course

Want an easy way to turn your own knowledge and experience into revenue? If you have a WordPress site, all you need is a good WordPress LMS (learning management system) plugin. Fortunately, we have details on 5 of the best LMS plugins right here.

Creating an online course is an excellent way to create a recurring income no matter your industry. In this article, we’re covering our picks for the best WordPress LMS plugins that make it ridiculously easy to monetize the knowledge and experience you already have.

Ready to get started? Let’s start with a quick overview of the benefits of offering an online course.

Benefits of Creating an Online Course

There are several ways your business will benefit from offering online courses:

Recurring Income

Creating an online course, particularly when you use a WordPress LMS plugin, lets you create recurring income without recurring work. You can create your online course and sell it without the need to put time aside to run it.

Scalability

Online courses are easily scalable to reach many people without repeating effort.

Greater Reach

You’ll be able to share your knowledge with more people—at less cost to you AND them—than individual contact allows. In other words, you can reach more people because you’re not tied just to your available hours.

Cost-Efficient

With a WordPress LMS plugin, you can say goodbye to costs like:

  • Printed materials
  • Recurring instructor pay
  • Travel
  • Training venue

Easily Personalized

When your course materials are creating with a WordPress LMS plugin, you have an easy way to offer users only what they’re interested in. In addition, you have more control over branding and complete control over what you offer and when.

Better Communication

Online courses create an open channel of communication between users and your company.

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

use memberpress to create an online course

MemberPress is a wonderful online membership software that you can use to create an online course. 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 theme. But that’s not all. Here are some more awesome features:

  • Unlimited members, memberships, and restricted content
  • Automatic upgrade/downgrade prorations
  • Full subscription and transaction management
  • Unlimited access rules
  • Easy locking of specific pages, posts, hierarchal post types, standalone files, and more
  • Content access drip and access expiration

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

With the LearnDash addon for MemberPress, you’ll have a comprehensive membership and online learning solution. MemberPress restricts and manages access to your content, while LearnDash handles learning content delivery and course progression.

Price: Pricing starts at $149/year.

Ideal for: People that want the absolute best way to restrict access to learning materials and courses.

Drawback: MemberPress works best for online courses when combined with a WordPress LMS plugin like LearnDash.

Get started with MemberPress today!

1. LearnPress

learnpress lms plugin

Want a powerful WordPress LMS plugin, free of charge? If so, 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 to help you get your courses off the ground. Best of all, LearnPress’s professional bundle makes it easy to expand your services as your content grows, so that you can meet the needs of new and existing subscribers. These premium features include:

  • Course certificates
  • A content drip addon
  • Management tools for tracking students, grades, and course content

LearnPress also has an extensive library of free and premium add-ons which 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.

Keep in mind that LearnPress doesn’t come with a setup wizard like most other WordPress LMS plugins. While you’re able to exercise more control over your content, creating lessons takes a little more time and work.

Price: Free plan available. Pro bundle is $249.99 (one-time).

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

Drawback: Lack of setup wizard can create a learning curve for beginners.

2. LifterLMS

lifterlms wordpress lms 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.

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, including:

  • End-of-course certificates and achievement badges.
  • Automated emailing.
  • Support for Stripe, PayPal, and Authorize.net.

You can even integrate LifterLMS with other marketing tools, like MailChimp, WooCommerce, and WPForms to boost conversion rates even more.

Price: Pricing starts at $99/year.

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

Drawback: Can quickly become expensive if you need to purchase a lot of add-ons.

3. LearnDash

learndash wordpress lms plugin

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

LearnDash lets you create customized courses that meet the needs of your subscribers. Whether you’re setting prerequisites for students or you want to schedule content using its built-in drip feed feature, LearnDash makes it easier to optimize engagement every step of the way. Also, it’s one of the few WordPress LMS plugins to support SCORM.

Popular LearnDash features include:

  • The ability to choose between membership, subscription, and one-time pricing options.
  • Test and course management tools, like grade books, student metrics, and profiles.
  • Compatibility with most popular payment gateways.

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 $159. If you want a free alternative that offers many of the same features as LearnDash, take a look at MasterStudy LMS.

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 or Easy Digital Downloads in order to implement comprehensive payment options.

4. Sensei

sensei lms plugin for wordpress from woocommerce

Sensei is an LMS and WordPress course listing plugin 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 is its simplicity. It’s arguably one of the easiest plugins to navigate, making it an excellent choice for entrepreneurs searching for an online coaching plugin for their WordPress site.

However, Sensei doesn’t offer much beyond your basic LMS tools. You have to integrate it into WooCommerce in order to monetize your 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: Free plan available, but to monetize your courses, you’ll need the WooCommerce Paid Courses addon ($129).

Ideal for: Merchants already running a WooCommerce store and interested in basic LMS services.

Drawback: Not a lot of additional features or add-on support. Best suited for people running simple courses and short training programs.

5. WP Courseware

wp courseware wordpress lms plugin

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’ve got the structure of your course in place, you can use WP Courseware’s advanced tools to further customize your services. These features include:

  • Personalized emails sent automatically to students based on their activity.
  • Advanced testing tools like timers and retake limits.
  • Instructor and student grade books.

One thing to keep in mind if you go with WP Courseware is that the platform doesn’t come with its own payment processing gateway. If you want to monetize your content, you’ll need to integrate it with an eCommerce plugin that accepts payments.

Price: Pricing starts at $129 a year for two sites.

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

Drawback: No built-in payment support. If you’re looking for a plugin that’s just as user-friendly and has extensive payment support, try Good LMS.

Honorable Mentions

6. Namaste! LMS

namaste! lms plugin for wordpress

A free LMS plugin that offers premium options starting at $47. Basic features include:

  • Course completion certificates.
  • Grading metrics and student progress bar (premium).
  • Award badges for completing specific tasks.

That’s it! Looking to take your site to the next level? Check out our list of the best WordPress plugins and tools to grow your business.

Start Sharing Your Knowledge Today

For the best possible online course system, we highly recommend MemberPress and LearnDash. But armed with any one of these LMS plugins, you’ll have all the tools you need to integrate profitable online educational courses into your WordPress site. Combine that with the engagement and the lead-generating power of OptinMonster and you’ve got yourself a recipe for long-term success.

Jacinda Santora
Jacinda Santora is a writer specializing in ecommerce and growth marketing. She prides herself on her ability to make complicated things easier. When she isn't writing you can find her daydreaming about campervans, drinking coffee, and listening to podcasts.

Comments

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  2. Thanks for this clear and detailed review of LMS options for WordPress. I was just starting my search, so it is very timely. 🙂

    1. Jacinda Santora
      Jacinda Santora March 1, 2019 at 5:53 am

      Awesome, Kate! I’m so glad that this post came out before you made your decision. 🙂

      Let us know what you go with and how it works out for you.

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