Looking for the best WordPress LMS plugin to launch an online course? eCourses have exploded over the past few years, and you can find all kinds of success stories about everyone from solo bloggers to businesses running successful courses.
That popularity has led to the development of a number of quality WordPress LMS (learning management system) plugins to help you create and sell your own courses on WordPress, which I’ve collected for you right here in this post.
Because all of these are plugins, they should work with any theme (as opposed to an LMS theme like WPLMS). For each plugin, I’ll also share some real-life examples of sites running that plugin so that you can see how it works in the wild.
Let’s get going so that you can get teaching!
Used by major institutions like the University of Florida and the University of Michigan, as well as digital brands like DigitalMarketer.com and WP Elevation, LearnDash is probably the most well-known WordPress LMS plugin.
One of the benefits of LearnDash is its flexibility when it comes to aspects like how you:
- Display your courses
- Give access to learners
- Accept payments (or lack thereof)
LearnDash lets you either release all your course content at once or deliver it as drip-fed content on a pre-set schedule. You can also add lesson timers, prerequisites, and add gamification via points or badges/certificates.
To help you actually build your courses, LearnDash offers a course builder tool that helps you set up:
If your plan is to monetize your courses, LearnDash lets you sell your courses as either a one-time purchase or a recurring subscription. You can also sell membership access to all your courses via one purchase, as well as course bundles.
And to administer your courses, it lets you view detailed reports for both your learners and your revenue to know how each course is doing.
Examples Of Sites Using LearnDash
If you want to see LearnDash in action on some live websites, check out:
You can also check out the LearnDash demo.
LearnDash starts at $199 for a single site license.
After LearnDash, LifterLMS is probably the second most well-known LMS plugin. I’ve seen it show up a lot in Adam’s WPCrafter tutorials, and it’s also a pretty common showing in the Elementor/Beaver Builder Facebook groups.
LifterLMS makes it easy to create multimedia courses that include features like:
- Drip content
- Prerequisite lessons/courses
- Course tracks to offer a certification in a specific topic
- Quizzes, including an optional quiz timer
- Lesson downloads
- Discussion areas
You create your courses using a drag and drop course builder. And your customers will also be able to manage their own account and courses via a frontend student dashboard.
To accept payments, LifterLMS lets you accept either one-time or recurring payments. And you can also create “Access Plans” to sell a bundle or all-access membership.
One nice feature is an option to sell private coaching upsells, which is great for certain niches where people need more of a one-on-one mentor.
You can also check out our LifterLMS review for more information.
Examples Of Sites Using LifterLMS
If you want to see LifterLMS in action on some live websites, check out:
In general, LifterLMS seems to be pretty popular with sites selling WordPress courses, which is a good sign!
You can also play around with the LifterLMS demo.
The core LifterLMS plugin is available for free at WordPress.org.
But if you’re serious about your course, you’ll almost certainly want some of the premium add-ons. You can either purchase them individually for $99 or pick a bundle starting at $299.
3. WP Courseware
WP Courseware is another WordPress LMS plugin that sets you up with a drag and drop builder to help you create your courses.
Once you create a course, you can choose how to restrict access to it, as well as whether or not to drip your course content out on a specific schedule.
Your courses can include:
- Multiple instructors
To actually sell your courses, WP Courseware offers dedicated integration plugins for many popular eCommerce and membership plugins. So while you will need an external tool to manage the membership/payments, WP Courseware is specifically built to integrate with such tools.
Examples Of Sites Using WP Courseware
If you want to see WP Courseware in action on some live websites, check out:
You can also try the full WP Courseware demo.
WP Courseware Pricing
WP Courseware starts at $99 for a 2-site license.
By the numbers, LearnPress is the most popular LMS plugin at WordPress.org with 30,000 active installs (though not all of the plugins on this list are available at WordPress.org).
In the free version, LearnPress sets you up with a course builder, a course management interface, and the option to sell your courses.
You can integrate with BuddyPress to get more interaction with your students. And LearnPress also includes a number of free add-ons that add features like:
- Course reviews
- Prerequisite courses
- bbPress integration for course forums
Then, if you want more functionality, you can pick and choose between premium add-ons that tack on features like:
- Course assignments
- myCRED support
- Content dripping
- Randomized quiz questions
- Course certificates
- Course collections
- Various payment gateways
- Multiple instructors for a single course
ThimPress, the developer, also sells a number of premium LearnPress themes, though LearnPress will work with other themes as well.
Examples Of Sites Using LearnPress
If you want to see LearnPress in action on some live websites, check out:
You can also check out the live LearnPress demo.
The core LearnPress plugin is free. The premium add-ons cost ~$29.99 each. And you can also purchase a bundle with all add-ons and LearnPress themes for $249.99.
Sensei takes a bit of a different approach. Rather than acting as a standalone plugin like the previous four options, it’s a WooCommerce extension that turns WooCommerce itself into a platform to help you sell and deliver courses.
The core Sensei plugin sets you up with:
- A quiz builder
- Option to sell courses via WooCommerce
- Multiple types of quiz questions
- Automatic or manual quiz grading
- Course analytics to see how your courses are doing
Then, for more functionality, Sensei offers a set of free and premium extensions that can also get you access to:
- Content dripping
- Course progress
- Media attachments
- Social grade sharing
Like WP Courseware, you’ll likely want to combine Sensei with WooCommerce Memberships and/or WooCommerce Subscriptions if you want to get access to the more “membership” type functionality for your courses.
Examples Of Sites Using Sensei
If you want to see Sensei in action, check out Vitruvian Studio Art Courses.
You can also check out the Sensei demo.
The core Sensei plugin costs $129.
Which Is Your Favorite WordPress LMS Plugin?
That wraps up my own thoughts on the best WordPress LMS plugins based on the numbers and reviews. But now it would be great to hear from all of you…
Have you used any of these LMS plugins? I’d love if you left your thoughts and experiences in the comments below to inject some more real-world experience to this post.