10 Best WordPress LMS Options: What to Look For

Two members of the RedTree team looking at a notebook.

The online learning industry has never been bigger. In fact, researchers estimate it’ll grow to $848 billion by 2030. 

That’s from the pros at Facts & Factors, and it means one thing: If you run a coaching or consulting business or simply offer courses as a revenue stream, you stand to make a lot of money—provided you find the best platform to run your company from. 

In our experience, you’ll find the most success by finding the best WordPress LMS (Learning Management System)—a tool that allows you to display, organize, and sell online courses. 

While you could always build your business on a platform like Skool or Thinkify, you simply won’t unlock the same features and functionality you’ll get out of WordPress and a high-value LMS. 

So, which WordPress LMS is right for you? Keep reading to find out!

Table of Contents

3 Advantages of Using A Great WordPress LMS

When Not to Use A WordPress LMS

The Top 10 WordPress LMS Options

Get Help With A WordPress LMS

3 Advantages of Using A Great WordPress LMS

It’s no secret we love building in WordPress; we even have an entire page dedicated to our WordPress Development services!

But we especially love WordPress for its Learning Management Systems. Here’s why:

1. It’s Platform Agnostic

Working inside WordPress and owning your own website and domain means you never have to worry about your platform going out of business amid stiff competition. 

Yes, there’s always the small chance of your LMS plugin disappearing, but that’s less likely than a tool like Thinkific going out of business.

2. You Can Have Better UX

Most learning platforms limit your on-page functionality, which also limits the user experience you provide.

But inside WordPress, you can customize the UI and UX however you want—which is especially important if you’d like to customize the learning experience for your subscribers.

Learn more by reading about our UX web design services. 

3. You Can Grow Your Business Even Bigger

When you’re not limited by the constraints of a third-party platform, you can grow your business even bigger through outstanding UX, aggressive SEO (check out our professional SEO services), and data-backed ad campaigns. 

When Not to Use A WordPress LMS

Some people start building their coaching and teaching businesses through platforms like Kajabi, Thinkific, or Skool—and that’s not always a bad idea. 

These platforms are perfect if:

    • You’re still in the MVP stage. If you’re building a minimum viable product (basically, a quick and simple proof of concept that you iterate on over time with user feedback), these platforms are ideal because of the increased speed to market and lower overall costs. 

    • You need to get off the ground quickly. The great thing about these platforms: They’re already built. Since the infrastructure is there, you can quickly plug in your content and start marketing your offering. 

    • You have a limited budget. Building inside WordPress and maintaining your site is admittedly more costly than buying a subscription to a tool like Thinkific. If you’re working with limited funds, a pre-built platform could be a perfect route to consider. 

To put it simply: The barrier to entry is much smaller on these platforms. But if you don’t meet these criteria, it may be best to consider WordPress and an LMS! 

The Top 10 WordPress LMS Options

Here’s how we break down the very best WordPress LMS options on the market:

1. LearnDash LMS

At Redtree Web Design, we love using LearnDash LMS for our coaching, consulting, and education clients. Here’s why it’s our go-to LMS plugin:

1. It’s Easy to Use. LearnDash LMS is simple to pick up, and that makes it easy for most of our clients to pop in and make quick edits when they’re necessary. 

2. It’s Incredibly Customizable. Like so many tools in WordPress, LearnDash LMS allows for a sophisticated level of customization. Match your branding and deliver exactly what your target audience needs in a single package! 

3. It Offers Flexible Payment Options. Like most platforms, LearnDash LMS offers flexible payment options, but they’ve also vowed to never take a percentage of your subscription earnings—and we have a lot of respect for that!

4. It Offers Advanced Analytics. LearnDash LMS empowers you to dig deep into your user analytics to understand exactly how they’re using your user platform (which then empowers you to make informed, strategic decisions).

5. It Has Plenty Of Additional Add-Ons. LearnDash LMS users have access to additional add-ons and plug-ins that can make your Learning Management System even more robust, including:

    • Automated email notifications and campaigns

    • Multi-media support

    • Multi-tiered course options

    • Drip campaigns

    • Gradebooks and point systems to encourage students

    • And more!

Example of LearnDash LMS In Action: Classroom Jamboree (By Kids’ MusicRound)

One of our favorite LearnDash LMS projects is Kids’ MusicRound’s Classroom Jamboree

Classroom Jamboree is an online platform for teachers to find early childhood music lessons. With a full suite of lesson plans and helpful step-by-step videos, teachers can pop in and find exactly what they need for a rich, fulfilling music class.

Plus, Classroom Jamboree’s user-focused UX and UI allow teachers in the same school to leave notes on lesson plans for each other.

2. Tutor LMS

With a name like “Tutor,” you know this LMS offers a great classroom experience! To that end, Tutor LMS integrates with tools like Google Classroom and Zoom for immersive learning experiences, and it ties seamlessly into Elementor for customizable layout options.

3. Masteriyo

Masteriyo brands itself as an all-in-one LMS, and it’s definitely not wrong! You can build and sell courses, run drip campaigns for subscribers, offer custom coupons, integrate with Stripe, chat with a live support rep—and more. 

4. MasterStudy LMS

MasterStudy is affordable and powerful! You can use the MasterStudy premium WordPress theme to establish your website or plug the MasterStudy LMS into any WordPress theme you’re already using. Plus, MasterStudy LMS’s comprehensive free version is robust enough to get started with a sizeable library of content. 

5. Lifter LMS

Lifter LMS is one of the more expensive options on the list, but you get what you pay for. In addition to offering valuable integrations with popular tools like MailChimp, WooCommerce, and AffiliateWP, Lifter LMS also offers a fully configured website with sample courses and quizzes—a great option for creators who aren’t tech-savvy but already have their content ready. 

6. Courses for MemberMouse

As part of the MemberMouse plugin, Courses for MemberMouse offers the ability to create eLearning courses, quizzes, and certificates inside of an easy-to-use drag-and-drop builder. This is a robust option with integrations to ConvertKit, PayPal, and others, so it’s also incredibly user-friendly for you and your customers. 

7. MemberPress

Sometimes called “the most powerful” WordPress membership plugin, MemberPress offers an entire suite of pre-built LMS options that make it incredibly easy for you to launch your courses without coding or exhausting layout decisions. And with their member management tool, you can reward certain members with exclusive content, add them to drip campaigns, and simplify upselling. 

8. Good LMS

The name might be a little underwhelming, but Good LMS is an inexpensive plugin with enough power under the hood to make it a great option for new course creators who simply want to get started. 

9. Sensei

If you’re already in eCommerce, take a close look at Sensei! Sensei is an extension for WooCommerce, so it’s a smart way to increase your service and product offerings without reinventing the wheel (or, in this case, your website). 

10. WP Courseware

WP Courseware is all about making things as simple as possible for businesses. With relatively inexpensive start pricing, a bonus license, and a demo option, it allows you to ease into the technology without spending a fortune. Plus, it’s used by institutions like the University of Illinois, so you know even serious higher education professionals take WP Courseware’s capabilities seriously.

Get Help With the Best WordPress LMS for You

If you’re ready to build your own online learning business, contact us! We’ll help you navigate your LMS options and build a foundation that meets your goals and prepares you for long-term growth.

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