UPDATE 4/13/2016: This post has been updated with new options and additional information based on comments and feedback from readers since the original version went live. There are now eight WordPress LMSs represented as opposed to the original seven, and several existing tools have had their descriptions changed to better reflect their current functionality.
What receives 14.7 billion pageviews every month, is responsible for 24.1% of all websites on the entire internet, and publishes 17 blog posts every second?
The answer, of course, is in the title of this post.
WordPress is far and away the most popular content management system on the planet.
Websites built on this versatile open source system range from blogs, to eCommerce storefronts, to corporate homepages. Notable sites powered by WordPress include Time Magazine’s website, as well as TechCrunch’s.
This is all to say, WordPress is more than up to the task of hosting your future learning management system.
And there are quite a few solutions, themes, and plugins dedicated to turning WordPress into a smooth, effective LMS.
Below I’ve put together a WordPress LMS comparison so you can choose between these various options.
This WordPress-based learning management platform is marketed at people looking to sell their courses and content. To that end it includes built-in eCommerce functionality, marketing and research tools, email marketing, and even the ability to create an affiliate program to help spread the word about your classes.
Academy Of Mine is more than a WordPress plugin, and includes hosting, custom domains, and built-in marketing tools. That said, pricing starts at $199 per month for this tool.
Used by the University of Florida, Drexel, and others, this full-featured LMS is built as a premium WordPress plugin. Functionality includes the ability to sell courses, mobile access, and the option to utilize the Tin Can (experience) API. Integrations with add-ons like WooCommerce and BadgeOS are a plus.
LearnDash costs a one-time fee of $129-$299 for one to unlimited site licenses.
LearnPress is a newer WordPress LMS by the folks over at Thimpress. It’s offered as a free plugin and includes both free and premium add-ons and themes. With this plugin you can create, manage, and sell courses, as well as build course-specific forums for student-teacher communication, create quizzes, and track student numbers. LearnPress really seems targeted at people who want to sell courses, and has payment support for PayPal, Stripe, and WooCommerce.
The basic LearnPress plugin is free, but premium add-ons, like the ability to offer certificates, cost anywhere from $20-$30 each.
Another LMS designed as a premium plugin, LifterLMS seems to be aimed at people looking to develop and sell courses online. Features include built-in eCommerce, gamification tools like badges, and the ability to easily manage different member levels. Integration with PayPal, WooCommerce, and Stripe makes monetizing courses easy.
LifterLMS is now completely free and open source. The company makes money by charging for upgraded support, and offering premium add-ons.
This WordPress LMS plugin distinguishes itself by offering a free version, as well as the ability to upgrade to a paid, “pro” version. Developed by Kiboko Labs, Namaste! LMS offers unlimited courses and students, and integrates with other free plugins from Kiboko including the membership plugin Konnichiwa.
The pro version includes a year of premium support and upgrades, and starts at $47 one-time.
This LMS plugin lets you create courses, write quizzes, manage student registration, and charge for content. Optional extensions, some paid, some free, allow for certificates, media attachments, and course progress tracking. Built by the same people behind WooCommerce, it seamlessly integrates with that plugin to allow for easy eCommerce functionality. LMS WordPress themes like Guru also make use of Sensei and add even more eLearning tools.
Pricing starts at $129 for a single site license.
This LMS plugin powers over 7,000 eLearning websites. Offering unlimited courses, quizzes, and students, this is another tool aimed squarely at people wanting to sell courses through their website. Boasting a streamlined course creation process, certifications, and custom email notifications, WP Courseware also integrates with eCommerce tools like WooCommerce and the Easy Digital Downloads plugin.
Pricing starts at $99 for a two site license.
Somewhat bucking the trend, WPLMS is a full WordPress theme, rather than a single plugin. It includes not just styling and cosmetic options, but an amalgamation of different plugins, including eight built specifically for WPLMS, to turn your WordPress installation into an LMS. Standout features include eCommerce through WooCommerce, compatibility with the Tin Can API, and custom badges and certificates.
Cost is $63 for a single site license.
Though not a full LMS built on WordPress, the Edwiser Bridge plugin allows you to integrate the popular (and free/open source) LMS Moodle with your WordPress instance. It lets you import and sync courses, users, and categories, and also control student enrollment in a Moodle course from within WordPress.
I’m sure I missed some great WordPress LMSs. What else is out there? Have you used any of the tools mentioned above? Add your thoughts in the comments!
Header by Abby Kahler
Looking for Learning Management System software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Learning Management System software solutions.