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10 eLearning WordPress Plugins You Absolutely Need

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I was pretty resistant to WordPress when I first encountered it. I had to use it for a college assignment, and my professor unfortunately gave the class murky due dates and poor posting guidelines. My frustration with the class must have transferred over to WordPress. As a result, I spent years deeply disliking it.

add-ons_to_optimize_wordpress

Oh what a fool I was!

Since graduating and making my own site (you know, not for a grade), I’ve learned how customizable and versatile WordPress can be, particularly because I discovered all the add-ons and plugins you can use to trick out your site.

Had my class made use of eLearning WordPress plugins, would I have liked it better? Possibly. The due date would still be a factor, but at least it would have been a good user experience while I was at it. Save your learners the trouble by beating them to these excellent features. They’ll thank you for it.

1. Broken Link Checker

Broken_Link_Checked

Broken links are an issue for any course that has been recently moved or are more than a year or two old. This plugin will crawl your links to make sure that you catch them and fix them before your students ever notice an issue.

2. CM Video Lesson Manager

CM_Video_Lesson_Manager

If your courses use video (or you want them to use video), it’s helpful to have your WordPress optimized for it. CM does just that, not only allowing you to upload a better variety and complexity of videos, but also help you track progress and user engagement. Your users can also comment on and save their favorite videos.

3. Duplicator

Duplicator

Are you here because you’re planning on moving to WordPress but haven’t yet? Maybe you want to just try it as an experiment for a few courses, or maybe you’re not convinced you’ll stay and want to cut your losses easily? Duplicator is a great choice for you. It helps you clone and migrate courses between sites, including WordPress. Nice and easy, less mess.

4. iThemes Security

iThemes_Security

If you’re looking for a hosting system for a corporate learning management system (LMS), security is on your mind. How safe your information will be matters to you. iThemes is a way you can hyper-secure your data. It helps you avoid brute-force password hacks, improves user authentication, and bans bots, just for starters.

5. LearnPress

Learnpress

I’d be remiss not to mention LearnPress at some point on this eLearning WordPress plugins list. It’s a popular (over 10,000 installs) plugin that turns your WordPress into an LMS. It comes in eight languages and is free to use. The plugin even lets you use it as a course authoring program for courses you later sell. Pretty nifty.

6. NextGEN Gallery

NextGEN_Gallery

WordPress has a bunch of different themes, but it tends to be more words-focused than image-focused. If your courses rely on a lot of images (be it because you use a lot of infographics or you’re teaching a photography course), having a gallery plugin is helpful. NextGEN is an extremely popular one, with more than one million downloads, image optimization, and a variety of display options.

7. Studypress

Studypress_screenshot

Studypress is a course-authoring tool first and an LMS second, though it does a solid job of both. The biggest up of Studypress definitely how pretty it is, and how easy it makes it (drag and drop functionality is my fave) to make your courses just as pretty. You can also design quizzes, and Studypress lets you assign multiple teachers to single WordPress courses.

8. Theme Check

Theme_Check

WordPress has a ton of themes, but if you’ve ever tried to install one manually, you know what a pain they can be to get right. (If you haven’t tried, just take my word for it, seriously.) Theme Check takes some of the guesswork out of it by testing your code and making sure it’s all up to spec.

9. User Role Editor

User_Role_Editor

On a traditional LMS, there’s no question that there will be different user roles with different permissions and abilities. Using something like wordpress, however, make that more complicated. This plugin allows you to alter user capabilities just as you would on any other dedicated LMS. The options you can apply to the roles are pretty dang comprehensive, too, making this a wildly useful plugin.

10. WP Maintenance

WP_Maintenance_Mode

Remember what I was just saying about what a pain it is to install new themes? Most WordPress maintenance is an equal pain in the rear. This plugin can be activated to show that your blog is undergoing maintenance. You can even set the clock to indicate how long it will be until you go live again. Never get an IT call insisting that your site is broken again.

More eLearning WordPress plugins?

See any glaring oversights? A plugin you love that didn’t make the list? Let me know in the comments below, and maybe they’ll make it in next update!

Looking for Training software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Training software solutions.

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About the Author

Halden Ingwersen

Halden Ingwersen writes about HR and eLearning at Capterra. She’s a graduate of Agnes Scott College and a TEDx presenter. You can follow her on Twitter @CapterraHalden, just don’t get her started about her zombie survival plan.

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