Capterra Training Technology Blog

Learn what LMS, eLearning, and courseware systems can do for your organization

9 Cheap Alternatives to Moodle for Small Businesses

Share This Article

Update 1/25/2017: After nearly three years, we’ve amassed quite the collection of comments on this post, including a slew of suggestions for other cheap, small-biz friendly LMs options. We decided to give you a closer look at a few of them. We’ve also updated the already listed software, to reflect price and feature changes since our initial publication.

Whenever my uncle is offered something for free, he always asks, “Is it ‘free’ like a beer, or ‘free’ like a puppy?”

The implication, of course, is that not all things billed as ‘free’ really are. Some things, like puppies, require a lot of upkeep, food, vet shots, and newspaper-covered floors, and may end up costing you quite a lot of money, despite originally being ‘free.’

bigstock-Computer-Keyboard-With-Key-Fre-3232070

This is the dilemma you face as a small business owner looking for an LMS to train your employees or to sell courses with. ‘Free’ open source solutions like Moodle tend to have hidden costs you only realize after implementing them (or, ahem, paying someone to implement them for you). The cost in time and resources for upkeep and maintenance is outdone only by the cost of hiring or contracting IT specialists to customize, install, and fix a system which, quite frankly, is probably more complex than most small businesses need.

Unless you yourself are a programmer with a lot of time on your hands, you may be interested in this list of some low-cost alternatives for Moodle that, while not free, are not ‘free’ either.

Get a FREE Copy of the Top 20 LMS Software

CSB Learning

CSB is Cornerstone OnDemand’s small business suite of web-based products. CSB Learning is a SaaS LMS that compliments (and integrates with) CSB Performance (for talent management) and CSB Goals (for ad-hoc goal tracking). It focuses on social learning, and also comes pre-loaded with Skillsoft’s eLearning course catalog (so you may not even need to build courses from scratch).

CSB Learning

Cost

Pricing is $6 per employee per month, with an optional $1,000 implementation fee (which includes a dedicated implementation manager and training on the software). A minimum contract of one year is required, but you get a discount if you commit to three years or more.

DigitalChalk

A web-based LMS aimed at both trainers and those who sell their courses to external learners, DigitalChalk is optimized for smaller players. Highlight features include HD streaming video, a full course editing tool, and mobile learning on iPads and other tablets.

Digitalchalk Pic

Cost

DigitalChalk shines here with very flexible payment options. Customers can choose from either annual, per user fees (starting at $249 per month for 75 users, up to $699 a month for 500 users, with several tiers in between), or pay-as-you go pricing when users register for a course.

Docebo

Docebo has two LMS offerings, but the one most likely to appeal to small businesses is the Docebo SaaS product. A web-based solution for up to 2,000 users, Docebo SaaS comes replete with a library of free courses, white-labeling functionality, and mobile access through tablets. The software has also recently undergone a facelift and the UI has been modernized and streamlined.

Docebo pic

Cost

You pay only for active users, not total registered users, with Docebo SaaS, and pricing starts at $230 per month for up to 50 users, with tiers going up to $600 per month for 300 users. After that, you’ll need to get a custom quote from their enterprise pricing system.

Feathercap

Another web-based offering, Feathercap also has a free version for up to one user which can be used test out the system. Feathercap boasts a very modern, pretty UI, with mobile access with tablets and smartphones, as well as eCommerce and pre-built course templates for quick content creation.

Feathercap pic

Cost

Like Docebo, Feathercap only charges for active, not registered, users. Plans start at $19 per month for 2-5 users and go up to $899 per month for up to 1,000 users.

Inquisiq R3

ICS’s Inquisiq R3 is an LMS with a multitude of deployment options: from web-based SaaS, to hosted on an ICS server, to installed on premises. This makes it ideal for businesses who may need something installed locally or with an internet connection that rules out web-based options. Additionally, for corporate training it offers support for blended learning and certification, as well as access to partner libraries of pre-built course content.

inquisiq R3 pic

Cost

Inquisiq R3’s web-based solution begins at $199 per month for up to 50 users, and has tiers going up to $1,199 per month for up to 5,000 users.

The installed on premises version may be more suited for enterprise customers, at $14,950 for a single server, perpetual license with no user limit.

Latitude Learning

Latitude Learning’s LMS, similar to Feathercap, offers a free version, this one for up to 100 learners. It’s a web-based software, and includes certification, integration with Webex and GoToMeeting, as well as collaborative whiteboards.

latitude learning pic

Cost

The standard LMS is free up to 100 users, and then starts at $1,000 per year (about $84 a month) for up to 250 users, $9,000 for up to 3,000 users ($750 per month) and goes all the way up to $175,000 per year for up to 100,000 users.

Litmos

A web-based LMS from CallidusCloud used by organizations like Zumba Fitness, Litmos boasts integration with Salesforce. The software has a big focus on mobile learning, with mobile optimized video functionality within courses, and also allows for course creation, eCommerce, and custom branding.

Litmos pic

Cost

Litmos starts at $3 per user per month for up to 500 users, after which the price drops a dollar. Alternatively, you can get the Salesforce tie-in version of Litmos, which starts at $5 per user per month, and drops a dollar at the same point.

Totara

This open source LMS is actually based on a distribution of Moodle. However, a subscription to the web-based product brings with it support, automatic upgrades and security patches that a DIY open source implementation would not provide. Totara supports social learning, white-labeling, and management of face-to-face training.

totara pic

Cost

Totara starts at $2,950 per year ($246 per month) for up to 500 users, and goes all the way up to $29,950 per year for up to 250,000 users.

Aktiv Mind

Quite popular with reviewers, Aktiv Mind prides itself on a simple, straightforward user interface that doesn’t demand a heavy technical background to figure out. It’s a fairly straightforward LMS with basic reporting, all the features one would expect (quiz creation, course hosting, video hosting…) and is low on the bells and whistles that can make other learning management software feel too complicated. It also made Capterra’s Top 20 Most User Friendly LMS list.

Cost

Aktiv Mind starts at $69 per month for up to 25 users and scales up to $499 per month for 2,000 active users. Features across pricing tiers are nearly identical, though at the top two levels Aktiv will create your content for you.

LearnUpon

If you want a very popular but less “default” feeling LMS, LearnUpon is a great option. LearnUpon is integrated with several Webinar tools as well as Salesforce and xAPI. It’s also gamified, using leaderboards and award badges.

Cost

LearnUpon starts at $299 per month for 100 users. After that it has two tiers, each with progressively more features, ending at $899 per month for 1,000 users. After that, you’ll be looking at enterprise custom quotes.

ProProfs

We had several comments letting us know about ProProfs and encouraging us to include it in an update, so here we are! ProProfs is an affordable LMS with multi-device functionality (including mobile), a wide range of design options (even white labelling), and a variety of integrations. It’s robust and no-frills in a good way.

Cost

If you want to give it a test run, ProProfs comes with a free version. It lacks reporting and is public online, but if you’re not worried about security lockdown or training data, it’s not a bad choice. If free and public isn’t for you, the paid plan begins at $149 per month, with increased price plans for increased features.

Any other Moodle alternatives

What other good options are there in the LMS space for small businesses? Of those, which are the best Moodle alternatives? Add them below!

Looking for Learning Management System software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Learning Management System software solutions.

Share This Article

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.

Comments

Add to this list 2 additional SAAS solutions that are very good fits for growing organizations:
talentlms.com
mindflash.com

John,

Also some great fits for smaller organizations. Thanks for the additions!

-J.P.

Schoology.com is very good too.

I would like to add to the list JoomlaLMS:
the price per learner in a Standard license for 100 users is 3$, while the license for 10 000 users – 0 ,2$ per learner and this amount can be even lower if you have unlimited number of learners

This is a useful list, but I wanted to mention that our Tracker.Net LMS software is cheaper than most of these listed as we have a one-time charge rather than per user per month. Up to 500 users in the database: $6,995. 2000 users: $8,995. Unlimited users: $10,995. Customers can pay the difference to move between levels. Our customers include YMCA of the USA, Long Island Rail Road, British Airways, and many more. http://trackernet.net. Thanks.

A lot of good additions here in the comments. Looks like a follow up piece may be in order!

-J.P.

JP,

There are plenty of commercial support and hosting options for Moodle. The 60 Moodle Partners in the partners network (listed at moodle.com) all offer hosting, support, training and a variety of other services for Moodle. Prices for many offerings are comparable to the offerings you list here.

If you do a follow-up piece on alternatives, perhaps it would be useful to clarify between doing Moodle on your own, or a SaaS offering from a partner?

Thanks

Jason Cole
CEO
Remote-Learner.net

Hi Jason,

I actually do mention Totara, which is built on top of a Moodle distribution and offers similar services to what you mention here.

However, a more in-depth exploration of Moodle partners also sounds like an excellent idea for a piece.

Cheers,
J.P.

If you are looking for a cost-effective platform to sell your elearning online then you should consider our Firmwater LMS platform. We have integration with Shopify to provide an engaging shopping experience for your customers and automatic fulfillment of orders. Plans start at $295 per month.

http://www.firmwater.com/lms/features/sell-courses-online.php

This area is our specialty.

Thanks,
Rich Williams
President
Firmwater.com

Great article, J.P. and lots of good comments from your readers.

I’d like to submit SmarterU.com for consideration for your followup article. Our pricing starts at $100/month for 50 users, and scales up to meet the needs of small – medium – corporate level or enterprise level business. Plans and features can be found at http://smarteru.com/plans – but visit the whole site for the complete picture.

Happy to answer any questions.

Superb article.

I’d like to introduce you to a new organisation in the LMS market – Prodeceo! Uk company. Many features include customisation, mobile learning, online editing tool, Certification, Assignments and Exams, Keeps all records in one place! Or prices start at £100 a month (approximately $150) for up to 75 users or pay annual fee of £1000 ($1500) and scales up to meet the demands of medium to larger companies. We’re also adding additional features that everyone will benefit from, like online Health and Safety courses that your staff can use as part of signing up to our LMS. Check us out to truly see a magnificent and user friendly LMS at http://www.prodeceo.com

Happy to receive any feedback

Cheer, Matt

I’d like to submit Forma Lms, a free open source fork of Docebo. It comes with some business critical features (custom report system, multi-client or brand architecture, open API, native skill management features, and more), but it is used also in some universities. The software is free and mantained by a network of companies that can sell consulting and development services if needed.

Just forgot the link: http://www.formalms.org
And this is the active support community: http://www.elearningcommunity.net

Nice list. I would like to recommend BrainCert which combines an E-learning platform, Enterprise LMS, and Virtual Classroom under one unique platform. Check it out – https://www.braincert.com/

A hearty thank you to JP Medved for this article and to all of you above who contributed to it. This discussion is a tremendous resource serving as a substantial point of departure for any organization with this need.

Please check out Skilljar (www.skilljar.com). We are cloud-based and focused on customer & partner training. Pricing starts at $49/month (based on features and video usage).

MATRIX LMS is also a nice alternative, i think it’s perfect for small businesses, it not that expensive and the value that you get is amazing, you get great features and a good looking interface

Maybe you guys would also want to try YOLO “You Obviously Learn Online” Education Platform. It will only cost an individual account user US$ 22 a month. If an institutional account has 100 users or above, the rates can go for as low as US$ 2.49 per user per month all-in with NO HIDDEN CHARGES. Plus the beauty of not needing to download or install additional plug-ins from other vendors or third party providers. Designed and developed in consideration of teachers, students, researchers, and other academic stakeholders.

SkyPrep is a great alternative as well.

Be sure to check out http://www.scormlms.com if you get a chance as well. We might still be new but we’ve all been in e-Learning for a long time!

Has anyone used ProProfs? I’d like to hear opinions.

If you are doing a follow-up article JP I’d like to throw LearnUpon into the mix. LearnUpon is a SaaS LMS platform which starts at $99 a month for 100 active users. Full pricing available on our website here: http://www.learnupon.com/pricing/

LearnUpon was recently named the #1 LMS for SMBs by Craig Weiss.

Brendan Noud,
CEO,
LearnUpon

Great article! I’d like to add SmarterU.com for consideration as a SMB LMS solution – our entry level plan starts at $100/month, with a start up fee of $299 – very affordable for the robust functionality we offer! More info on our plans can be found at http://smarteru.com/plans – and we offer a free 14 day trial account so you can kick the tires and look under the hood – sign up at http://smarteru.com/lms. Thanks!

WizIQ certainly deserves mention, with its ability to deliver a real-time classroom rather than just asynchronous.

A great solution that is not on this list is Talentlms http://goo.gl/bf3bm1

We have been using Aktiv Mind LMS (www.aktivmind.com). They offer very good deals and also a free 1 month subscription. Prices start at around 49 bucks a month

[…] your budget isn’t enormous, these 9 alternatives to Moodle for small and medium businesses may meet your needs and fit your […]

In case you are looking for other alternatives, I would like to add UpsideLMS, a multi award-winning, responsive Learning Management System to the list. With its recently released pricing it now offers a truly unmatched deal especially for small and medium businesses. The pricing starts at $7500/a for up to 1000 users and $14500/a for up to 5000 users.

Full pricing details are available on our website:
http://www.upsidelearning.com/best-value-lms-learning-management-system.asp

UpsideLMS is a winner of 17 awards including 9 from Brandon Hall.

Nuvola Academy (nuvolaacademy.com) offers an free tier that includes of all their features until 15 users. It’s a good way to try out the platform which I found to be quite easy and quick to use.

I also want to join into the list of SAAS-platform for elearning our system – LMS “Collaborator”. It focuses on web-based tools for elearning and staff development for companies. “Collaborator” have different tools for create courses, tests, voting and polls by the procedure 360. It automatically forms Knowledge Base of company.
The pricing starts at $250/month for up to 100 users and $700/month for unlimited users. More details are available on our website: http://collaborator.com.ua

Miroslav Botsula,
CEO,
Collaborator

Hi Ann Decsy,

I have been using ProProfs for more than a year now and i am delighted! The tools are very simple and easy to use. From numerous Personalizing options to important integration with Zendesk, Google Analytics and more, it meets all the required to be called “simple” and “efficient” at the same time. It supports files of every format and the unique feature is that you don’t require any software to access the files. For example: If i upload a Powerpoint Presentation then it can be accessed without MS Powerpoint’s application installed on my computer, which makes it accessible from anywhere, all you need is a computing device such as a Desktop, Laptop, Phone or Tablet with an internet connection. For my doubts and queries, i can directly post to the help community and my questions are answered instantly. So, in my opinion it is effective, simple and Straight forward.

Hope that helps!
Cheers!

Go1 is a great learning platform as well! It very user friendly and it is easy to create courses as well as buying courses.

Hi J.P.

It’s a great line up – thanks for sharing! There are certainly plenty of good products listed here.

For those who are looking for a comprehensive business solution without the steep learning curve and high set-up costs which some of these products involve (especially the cheaper ones), I’d recommend a product such as Simplify LMS, which is more than just an LMS – it’s a turnkey solution which includes setup, custom branding, training and support, and can include as many additional extras as you like (i.e. eLearning content creation).

Thank you

Lynton Howes – Founder and Managing Director
Simplify LMS
http://www.simplifylms.com.au/

Lots of great products here – it’s an excellent list.

For those who also run face-to-face courses, I’d also suggest taking a look at Prezentt ( http://www.prezentt.com ).

It’s a training delivery platform that makes face-to-face courses cheaper and easier to run by taking out the need to print paper notes.

Learners access a copy of the training materials during the course using a laptop or tablet so they can make private notes, ask questions, connect with the trainer, or participate in online discussions.

Training companies love it as it not only removes a ton of cost & admin time, it also helps them sell more courses by prompting learners to share their rave reviews at the end of each course. Nothing more powerful than word-of-mouth advertising!

Cheers
Jeff

[…] user over a six month period, so overall it’s pretty inexpensive. However, there can be “hidden” costs, if you want or need to hire someone to help you customize your […]

Kindred Learning provides an adaptable, social learning management system. SaaS model costing 30p per user per month and you only pay for what you use! The bespoke learning management system is a great choice for small businesses. The system is also SCORM 1.2 and 2004 compliant! For more information, please contact me at Zac.newnham@kindredlearnig.co.uk

There are some great choices on this list! I would round it out to an even 10 by adding iSpring Learn, the LMS that made the 2016 Top 3 LMSs for SMBs on E-Learning 24/7.
http://www.ispringsolutions.com/ispring-learn

It seems that Cornerstone OnDemand has rebranded CSB as Growth Edition.

Comment on this article:


Your privacy is important to us. Check out our Privacy Policy.