7 Best WordPress LMS Plugins Compared (Pros and Cons)

By | November 13, 2020

Are you looking for the best LMS plugin for your WordPress site? Learning Management System (LMS) plugins allow you to create and run online courses like Udemy with WordPress.

A perfect WordPress LMS plugin includes features for managing your online course content, handling subscriptions, running and grading quizzes, accepting payments, and more.

In this article, we will compare the best WordPress LMS plugins to help you choose the perfect solution for your online learning website.

The best LMS plugins for your WordPress site

Starting a Learning Website (Training Site, Sell Courses, and More)

To build a learning or training website with WordPress, you first need to sign up for a WordPress hosting account. This will be your website’s home on the internet where all files are stored.

You will also need a domain name. This will be your website’s address on the internet, such as wpbeginner.com.

If you’re on a budget, then we recommend starting with Bluehost. They’re one of the largest hosting companies in the world, and they’re offering our readers a 60% off discount + free domain + free SSL for their websites.

If budget is not an issue, and you want to best performance, then we recommend using a premium / managed WordPress hosting provider like SiteGround or WP Engine.

We recommend using Bluehost or SiteGround for your web hosting. They are among the largest hosting companies in the world, and they are both officially recommended by WordPress.

Bonus Tip: Need a name for your new website? Try our free business name generator tool to generate clever company name ideas.

Next, you will need to install WordPress on your website. You can follow the instructions in our step by step guide on how to install WordPress. Your site will be up and running in minutes.

All three hosting providers have a guided one-click install flow for WordPress, so it should be fairly straight forward.

Once you have installed WordPress, you will be ready to choose a WordPress LMS plugin for your website. These plugins will allow you to create, manage, and sell online classes from your website.

That being said, let’s take a look at some of the best WordPress LMS plugins side-by-side, so you can choose the one that works best for your needs.

1. MemberPress Courses

The MemberPress website

MemberPress is the most powerful WordPress membership plugin that has built-in features to easily create, manage, and even sell courses.

It comes with a special Classroom Mode, so you don’t need to spend ages designing your online classroom. MemberPress takes care of the design for you, so that your course always looks great and have the highest completion rate.

The MemberPress course curriculum that users see, showing their progression through the course

You can use their easy drag and drop interface to build your course curriculum. It allows you to add lessons, topics, categories, embed videos, images, and more.

Their course builder is built on top of the WordPress block editor which makes it super easy to use for beginners.

Creating the sections and lessons for your course

As the site admin and instructor, you can quickly see the progress of each student to determine how far they are from completion.

You can use MemberPress to create free courses or accept payments for paid courses. You can also create multiple courses, with different subscription options, and manage them all from one central dashboard.

Viewing your course list in MemberPress

MemberPress has powerful access control rules that let you configure exactly who should have access to which content. You can create individual membership levels for specific courses, but you can also create more advanced rules to sell bundles / packages.

For instance, you could create a membership package that gives users access to all your beginner-level courses. You could even offer an all-access pass.

This can be a great way to boost your revenue.

Adding a new content protection rule in MemberPress

MemberPress also comes with a powerful content dripping feature that allows you to show restricted content to members after a certain time, so for example you can release one lesson a week.

MemberPress integrates seamlessly with many popular payment gateways, including PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, and more.

You can also connect MemberPress with all popular email marketing services such as Drip, ConvertKit, MailChimp, and 1000+ others.

Price: Starts from $149 for a single site license with 1 year of support and updates. The courses addon is included at no extra charge. You could upgrade to higher plans to unlock features like affiliate management, bulk corporate memberships, etc.

Grade: A+

Review: MemberPress is the best membership site plugin available. Their Courses addon makes it easy for creating an LMS in WordPress. You can set up courses in just a few moments, and your courses will always look great with no coding required.

MemberPress’s powerful membership rules give you lots of flexibility. The ability to see how far students have progressed means you can pinpoint areas where students are getting stuck and may need some extra help.

For help getting MemberPress set up, check out our ultimate guide on creating a membership site.

2. LearnDash

LearnDash - Best WordPress LMS Plugin

LearnDash is a popular and easy to use WordPress LMS plugin with many powerful features.

It comes with a simple drag and drop course builder, which allows you to easily create multi-layer courses with lessons, topics, quizzes, and categories. You can deliver all your lessons at once or schedule them for the entire course duration with its Drip-Feed content feature.

Using LearnDash, you can give your users assignments and then approve or comment on them. It also comes with quiz and test management tools with multiple question types. You can easily set prerequisites for students, such as finishing a lesson first before going to the next lesson.

It offers plenty of monetization options including subscriptions, one-time purchase, memberships, and a shopping cart for your online training course. You can accept payments using multiple payment gateways including PayPal, Stripe, and 2Checkout.

LearnDash also integrates beautifully with bbPress, WordPress eCommerce plugins, and WordPress membership plugins like MemberPress.

A great LearnDash feature is dynamic forums. This lets you create course-specific forums where your students can interact with and help each other.

Price: Starting from $159 for a single site license with 1 year of support and updates.

Grade: A+

Review: LearnDash is a user-friendly and flexible LMS plugin for WordPress users. It comes with a comprehensive set of features to manage your online courses.

LearnDash has integration with many third-party plugins and tools, which means you have even more options for how you run your courses. It is a perfect LMS tool suitable for schools, training organizations, entrepreneurs, and anyone who wants to create and sell online courses with ease.

For a detailed LearnDash review and set up instructions, see our tutorial on how to easily create an online course with WordPress using LearnDash.

Bonus Tip: To unlock even more powerful features in LearnDash, try the Uncanny Toolkit Pro for LearnDash.

3. LifterLMS

LifterLMS - Top LMS Plugin for WordPress

LifterLMS is another powerful WordPress LMS plugin with a lot of neat features. It allows you to create engaging online courses and offer wonderful learning experiences to your students. It is easy to set up, even on existing WordPress sites.

LifterLMS supports multi-tier courses with training modules, lessons, categories, and more. It gives you the flexibility to create smaller courses or full-fledged degree programs. You can add multimedia lessons including video, audio, text, images, and more to make your courses more appealing.

It has content dripping, course pre-requisites, and group memberships to offer even greater control over how your courses work.

To boost user engagement, it comes with powerful features like automated emails, gamification with badges, and even certificates upon completion of a course. It has built-in content restriction allowing you to restrict any WordPress page on your site to members only.

LifterLMS has a useful collection of addons, which you can use to manage affiliates, integrate with eCommerce plugins, connect to your email marketing service, etc.

There are multiple options to accept credit card payments, one-time or recurring payments, sell course bundles, offer coupons, etc. Among payment options, you can integrate it with PayPal, Stripe, or recieve payments manually via check.

Pricing: Individual addons for $99 each (single site), or Universal Plan for $299 for a single site.

Grade: A

Review: LifterLMS is a powerful and flexible choice for a WordPress LMS plugin. It is easy to use, and the setup wizard even installs a demo course for you. It is useful for fitness experts, musicians, leadership trainers, education entrepreneurs, and anyone who wants to earn money by selling online lessons.

It is a little more expensive than some other options, and the pricing will add up if you choose to buy individual add-ons.

4. Teachable


Teachable is a powerful online course builder. It is not a WordPress plugin, but you can use it on a sub-domain, a custom domain name, or by simply adding a link to your school’s page.

Teachable hosts your course and provides you with all the tools you need to build highly interactive online courses. It also comes with built-in email marketing integration, analytics, and other marketing tools.

For payments, Teachable will handle your course fees and you will be paid out using PayPal or Stripe. Payment periods may vary depending on your pricing plan.

Pricing Starting from $29 per month

Grade: B+

Review: Teachable offers a complete set of tools needed to create, manage, and sell online courses. It can handle any number of students and courses. Since it is a standalone platform, you wouldn’t be responsible for updates and backups.

The downside is that it is expensive than other WordPress LMS plugins. If you are on their Basic plan, then you will be charged a 5% fee on each transaction.

5. LearnPress

LearnPress Free WordPress Learning Management System Plugin

LearnPress is a free WordPress LMS plugin with powerful features. Unlike other LMS plugins in this list, which come with a setup wizard, LearnPress lets you do the setup on your own.

Course creation is easy with the help of lessons, quizzes, and questions. You can use lessons and quizzes from one course within another course. LearnPress also lets you export content, so that you can use it on other WordPress sites using LearnPress.

It has both free and paid add-ons available, which allow you to extend the features. It supports scheduled content (content drip), quizzes, assignments, grading, etc. It also supports integration with bbPress, WooCommerce, and WordPress membership plugins.

LearnPress works with any WordPress theme, but you can also choose from one of their own LMS WordPress themes. This helps you avoid any compatibility issue and offer a better experience for users.

Pricing: Free + Paid Addons and support

Grade: B+

Review: We found LearnPress to be feature-rich and flexible. The initial setup may be a bit difficult for beginners. It supports PayPal by default, and other payment gateways are available as paid add-ons.

Support is available from official forums for paid subscribers, and limited support is offered to free users. The free version is limited and you will have to buy add-ons to make the most out of it.

6. WP Courseware

WP Courseware Plugin for Creating Online Courses

WP Courseware is another great WordPress LMS plugin that comes with a drag and drop course builder.

Course creation in WP Courseware is powerful and includes tons of features to create large or small online courses. Each course can have multiple modules, units, and quizzes. It supports course pre-requisites and content drip features. See our guide on how to add a LMS in WordPress with WP Courseware.

WP Courseware offers instructor profiles, student grade books, custom emails, and many other features that help create an engaging experience for users. It also comes with a question bank so that you can quickly create quizzes for different courses and modules.

The plugin also includes powerful monetization features to sell online classes on your website. It has a built-in shopping cart option where you can directly connect PayPal or Stripe and start selling your courses.

You can also create free courses and provide users a way to try out your classes. This could encourage them to buy a full course. You can sell paid courses as a one-time purchase or recurring subscriptions.

Pricing: Starting from $129 for 2 sites with 1 year of support and updates.

Grade: B

Review: WP Courseware is a good choice to build your online courses. It is easy to use and comes with flexible options which give you the freedom to create an engaging learning environment. Best of all, it works with any WordPress theme without any compatibility issues.

7. Sensei

Sensei LMS Plugin

Sensei is a powerful WordPress LMS Plugin created by the folks behind WooCommerce. It is flexible and easy to use and follows the same best practices as WordPress and WooCommerce.

Course creation with Sensei is easy, but not as powerful as with other solutions on this list. You can run quizzes, assignments, grade them automatically or manually, and even offer badges and certificates to students.

To sell your courses and accept payments you will need to use WooCommerce. For each course you want to sell, you will have to create a product and then link it to your course.

There are not many third-party integrations available. You can integrate Sensei with a membership plugin, but there is no addon for that.

Pricing: Starting from $129 for a single site license with 1 year of support and updates.

Grade: B

Review: Sensei is a good solution to offer online courses. If you already run an online store using WooCommerce, then this will perfectly integrate with your store. However, we feel that WooCommerce integration is hard for beginner users. There are also fewer features and addons for Sensei than other LMS plugins in this list.

Which is the Best WordPress LMS Plugin? (Expert Pick)

We believe that MemberPress is the best WordPress LMS plugin. It’s very beginner-friendly and lets you create online courses with beautiful designs (no code needed).

Their powerful membership rules make it easy to configure access control, sell course subscription packages, and more. You also get other useful features like content dripping, group memberships, protected file management, reminder emails, and more.

It integrates seamlessly with all major payment providers, and over a thousand different email marketing automation services.

If you’re looking for a MemberPress alternative, then you can look at LearnDash. It also comes with great features and lots of useful integrations.

We hope this article helped you compare the best WordPress LMS plugins with their pros and cons. You may also want to see our guide on the must have WordPress plugins to grow your business, and our comparison of the best chatbot software to improve site engagement.

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