If you’re planning to create, host & sell online courses or related education material on your WordPress website, this article has got you covered.
To enable this, there are a bunch of LMS plugins available for WordPress, some are paid & some are free – depending on the features & requirements.
All the plugins mentioned in this article do have a free version as well as paid. A free plugin can suffice your needs if you’re a small business or an individual creator.
This article is based on Public reviews of the product as well as my personal experience as I’ve installed each plugin & tested it out. Rest assured & keep reading, the content is not biased & note that the plugin listing order is not based on rankings/score.
1. LMS by LifterLMS (Freemium)
It’s an online Course, membership & learning management system plugin for WordPress built by LifterLMS.
This is a fantastic plugin with awesome features & is user-friendly for beginners. The plugin is incorporated with many options that you would need to create & sell online courses in few simple steps.
LifterLMS is super-friendly for course creation! Most of your plans & thoughts can be achieved with this solid tool by merely customizing to your own taste.
Customer Support: Customer support is great & they take your issues very seriously. The team knows that feedback is the backbone of any business & that’s what they are focusing & leveraging on. They are knowledgable, active & very helpful. Their community (Facebook group, forum) & responsive customer service is all that you need for any advice and help.
LifterLMS has no additional requirements other than those required to run WordPress. WordPress system requirements can be found at https://wordpress.org/about/requirements/
Recommended Minimum Requirements
- WordPress version 5.6
- PHP 7.4
- MySQL 5.6 or greater or MariaDB 10.1 or greater
- Nginx or Apache with mod_rewrite module
LifterLMS Freemium Features:
- Separate courses for users using course difficulty tags/filter (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
- Content restriction & prerequisite options available for users who attempt to access course content directly without enrolling & to set a prerequisite course or course track before enrolling
- Set Enrollment Period: set registration start and end dates for your courses
- Course Time Period: Set start and end dates for this course. Content can only be viewed and completed within the selected range.
- Course Capacity: Limit the number of users that can enroll in this course.
- Student management options also available
- Engagement options to trigger events based on students’ behavior. For example, trigger an engagement count when a student completes the quizzes
- You can also sell memberships
LifterLMS Plans & Pricing
The core plugin with minimal features is available for free, and to extend functionalities, below are the plans & pricing of LifterLMS
- Freemium for Non-Profits: It’s free if you are not accepting any payments for the courses.
- Resources for starters: The team keeps on publishing valuable resources & detailed (video) instructions to help you through the entire journey – from website layout, setup of your first online course & even helping with custom websites if requested,
- Super Customizable LMS: The customizable features offered by Lifter LMS are commendable & you can make it suit your requirements.
- It seems like the ThimPress team has made this product a killer piece. Why I am saying this? Have a look at their reviews & date patterns in different reviews. The five-star reviews are recent & they haven’t got any bad reviews from the past few years. That’s a good sign. What do you think?
- Plenty of features (listed above already)
- The courses are easy to navigate and use by students.
- LifterLMS comes with some already built pages (or say templates) that you’d need & if you are a bit familiar with CSS, you can apply your own styles.
- Helpful documentation for developers
- Even though the plugin is compatible with most of the themes, you still need to check if it is working for you or not. The good thing is that you don’t need to start from scratch & spend time checking this – there is already some demos import course content available that you can use.
- You need to upgrade to a premium plan if you want to sell your courses & accept payments. This is a good thing for small businesses as setting up everything takes time & you don’t want to pay 60 bucks or more during this phase when your website is not even online yet. When everything is done, you can easily switch to the paid add-ons or bundles.
Conclusion: The plugin is awesome and backed with small but important features – some of them as we discussed above. The customization is also user-friendly & beginners can also use this tool. Head over to the plugins section, install it, import some content & check if the plugin works well with your theme or not.
It is a highly recommended tool by many, and many can’t be wrong 🙂
2. LearnPress – WordPress LMS Plugin (Free)
LearnPress is a free LMS plugin that comes with power-packed premium LMS-like features. Backed with a good technical team & community support, LearnPress has seen signifant growth in the past few years & is competing with many old players in the market.
Customer Support: LearnPress is built by ThimPress & they offer pretty good support to their users. If you might experience any bugs or errors, you can simply report them to the team. The team answers your queries very comprehensively & they will soon start working on the fix. In many cases, the team respond to your & even fix your issues within 48 hours – which is pretty commendable when you are using the tool for free
System Requirements: Compatible with basic WordPress installation
LearnPress Freemium Features & Addons:
- Supports multi-site
- Create, manage & sell courses: User-friendly interface with users statistics dashboard & payment integration
- Course content export/import feature available
- Communicate with students
- Student List Add-on
- Coming soon addon page
- LearnPress – Course Review
LearnPress Plans & Pricing
- Since the customer support is great, the team keeps on updating the plugin – which ensures safety, performance, bug fixes & more.
- Good customization features available for techies – the plugin is developer-focused & if you have coding skills or you are a small team with a tech guy – you can customize it than other LMS plugins!
- There are cases when this plugin broke the website theme & layout (especially when used with the WooCommerce plugin), so it’s important that you take a backup of your website to restore if something goes wrong.
- While LearnPress offers comprehensive features, but you might still need some additional plugins for few more features. To ensure safety & speed, the LearnPress team should work on extending the features.
- Some fatal errors have been reported by users, but there are many who love this tool too.
- Academy LMS
- Education Pack
Conclusion: The plugin might be free with comprehensive features, but it is still half-backed with important features. If you’re a beginner with no or very few technical skills, this tool might be not the best for you. However, nothing is super perfect & you can give it a try to test it out yourself. Maybe the support offered by the team will soon make this plugin the best.
3. Tutor LMS – eLearning and online course solution
TutorLMS is one of latest LMS plugins with rich features to cater modern course building requirements. Like LearnPress, TutorLMS is also new in the market & has retained many consumers worldwide
Customer Support: Customer support is okay – not too good not too bad. Despite being the setup is beginner-friendly, the support team can help you get everything up in case you get stuck.
- PHP – 7.0 (or later)
- Database – MariaDB – 10.1 or later / MySQL – 5.7 or later
- WordPress 5.5 or higher
- Browser – Chrome, Firefox, Safari
- Internet Explorer is not supported
- Server Modules – mod_rewrite, cURL, fsockopen
TutorLMS Features (free version):
- Create & Manage course
- Limit the number of maximum students
- Set course duration & additional details
- Set difficulty level
- Students management
- Set course announcements (if any)
TutorLMS Paid Add-Ons & Features (not limited to):
- BuddyPress integration: so that students & instructors can discuss the course and exchange knowledge within a community
- Gradebook: to display student progress from assignment and quiz
- Content Drip: You can set some conditions so that students can unlock lessons by schedule or when progress meets some specific conditions.
- Paid Membership Pro: It allows you to sell memberships for students to access all of your courses.
- Restrict Content Pro: To set restrictions on content, or say, prerequisites
- Tutor Assignments: It helps you assign tasks to students seamlessly.
- Tutor Certificate: It allows you to assign downloadable certificates after course completion.
- Tutor Course Attachment: To add unlimited files to any tutor course
- Tutor Course Preview: It gives access to some of the content before enrollment so that students can see what course they are going to buy
- Tutor Email: for Email automation & management
- Tutor Multiinstructors: Set & assign multiple instructors for a course
- Tutor Prerequisites: To set a specific course as mandatory before you can enroll in a new one
- Tutor Report: To allow students & instructors to check course progress & display course performance
- Tutor Zoom Integration
- Google Classroom Integration
TutorLMS Plans & Pricing:
- Beginner-friendly with the intuitive user interface.
- A dedicated & detailed dashboard for both students & instructor
- Tutor LMS is Multi-instructor based: An individual instructor can run a solo course selling website or an educational institute can use to collaborate, multiple instructors, & run an institutional type LMS.
- Frontend Course Builder: This is an awesome feature that allows registered instructors to create their course from the frontend itself, they don’t need to get into the backend of a website. (this is a premium feature though)
- Quiz Builder: You can create interactive quizzes of more than 10 types
- Documentation & resources: Excellent documentation & tutorials (how-to guides) that a beginner can easily grasp
- Captcha integration to avoid spam
- Tutor LMS can be integrated with a mobile app using RestAPI
- Yes, we offer a flat 30% discount for non-profit organizations
- The free version lack some of the important features
- No priority support for free plan users
- Free templates are available but not highly customizable
- No free trial: they should provide a 15 or 30-day free trial so that users can make an informed decision
Recommended themes to use with Tutor LMS plugin:
- Docent Pro
- Language School
Compatible Plugins (each plugin is tested with Tutor LMS plugin):
- Cart2WP / ThriveCart
- WP Fusion
- WooCommerce PDF Invoices & Packing Slips
- Yoast SEO
- Funnel Builder by CartFlows
- GamiPress – Tutor LMS integration
- Change Author
- Oxygen Tutor LMS
- Member Wishlist
- Loco Translate
- Elementor Website Builder
Conclusion: If you are a beginner & looking for a free LMS to use – go ahead, but if you’re a business – you need to make sure that the product would suffice your needs before purchasing the plan. Their refund policy also seems good & that’s a good sign.
Conclusion: Which LMS is best for me?
The plugins mentioned above are currently the most popular ones to enable a seamless learning management system on your WordPress website.
However, each plugin is built by a different organization & may not cater to the needs of everyone – there’s no one-size-fits-all.
Also, some of the LMS plugin working well for others might not work well with your theme & hence compatibility can be an issue.
And so to choose the best one for yourself, it’s important to download, install & check with your theme before purchasing. Don’t forget to add demo content & do rigid testing if you are a small business because any unnoticable issue might disrupt your sales as well as brand trust.