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The 14 Best WordPress LMS Plugins for Online Courses

best wordpress lms plugins

Post updated by  Jessica Glendinning

So you’re planning to create an online course. That’s awesome!

Quick question: Are you going to use a WordPress LMS (Learning Management System) plugin for that? Which one?

You might want to try a WordPress LMS plugin if you want to keep your online course completely under your own control, by hosting it on your website and not on a big multi-course marketplace or a third party hosted LMS service.

Plugins are one of the simplest ways to manage a self-hosted online course. Like a separate layer over the top of your WordPress, a plugin adds the features you want to add without affecting the way the rest of your site works underneath. It’s kinda like installing a new app on your phone.

Plugins are one of the simplest ways to manage a self-hosted online course.Click To Tweet

The main thing a WordPress LMS plugin usually does is create custom post types in your WordPress back end, such as courses, lessons, and quizzes as well as your usual posts and pages. Some LMS plugins stick to the essential features; others offer more advanced features ranging from student forums and analytics to built-in sales and payment processing.

So if you want to host your course on your own site, but don’t want the extra work of switching to a new WordPress theme that’s specifically designed to be an LMS, you can get a lot of the same functionality by installing a WordPress LMS plugin to your site instead. 🙂

But which one to choose?

To save you some research time, I’ve prepared a handy list of the best options. Take a look, and then we’ll talk decision-making.

List updated on 9/23/19

14 of the Best WordPress Online Course Plugins on the Market

Here’s my list of the best WordPress LMS plugins worth considering. Some of them I’ve used myself; some have been used by the Mirasee team, and some come recommended by other users.

Go ahead. Take a deep breath and dive in. Your WordPress LMS plugin is in this list, waiting for you to discover it.

Accessally

AccessAlly WordPress LMS Plugin


Cost:
$99/month to $1296/year

Integrations: PayPal, Stripe, Infusionsoft, Ontraport, ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign, Drip, Keap, Kartra (coming soon)

Features: Memberships; Course creation workflow wizard; Content drip delivery; Offer launch windows; Sales & payment processing (in multiple currencies); Mobile-friendly order forms; Trial offers, subscriptions, and 1-click upsells; Affiliate marketing; Quizzes; Certificates; Member Directories; Gamification; Secure file hosting

Average rating: 5 out of 5

Download & install: https://accessally.com/pricing/

More info: https://accessally.com/why-accessally/

CoursePress

CoursePress WordPress LMS Plugin


Update: This plugin is no longer supported or offered as of our 2019 update.

Educator 2

Educator WordPress LMS Plugin


Update: WordPress has flagged this plugin because it hasn’t been tested with the latest 3 major releases of WordPress. And, their website indicates that the author will no longer continue to support it, and recommends alternatives like Sensei, LearnDash, or LearnPress.

Good LMS

Good LMS WordPress Plugin


Cost:
$32

Integrations: PayPal, Stripe, Authorized.net, Paymill

Features: Quizzes; Certificates and badges; Course sales pages; Certificates and badges

Average rating: 4.1 out of 5

Download & install: https://codecanyon.net/item/good-lms-learning-management-system-wp-plugin/9033850?s_rank=17

More info: http://support.goodlayers.com/

LearnDash

LearnDash WordPress LMS Plugin


Cost:
$199 to $329

Integrations: WooCommerce, Stripe, 2Checkout, Samcart, BuddyPress, bbPress, RestrictContentPro, PaidMembershipsPro, Memberpress, Zapier, Slack, EasyDigitalDownloads, Gravity Forms, BadgeOS, GamiPress, Event Espresso, and more (with their premium account)

Features: Certificates and badges; Prerequisites; Quizzes and assignments; Forums; Prerequisites; Content drip delivery; Memberships and Subscriptions; Certificates and badges; Assignment management; Sales and payment processing

Average rating: 4 out of 5

Download & install: https://www.learndash.com/pricing-and-purchase/

More info: http://www.learndash.com/

Read a detailed review of LearnDash here.

LearnPress WordPress LMS Plugin

LearnPress WordPress LMS Plugin


Cost:
From free, $49-69 (LearnPress Theme Bundle), $249 (LearnPress Pro Bundle)

Integrations: PayPal and offline payments; BuddyPress, bbPress for forums; plus others with paid bundles

Features: Prerequisites; Quizzes; Course categories and tags, plus others with paid bundles

Average rating: 4.3 out of 5

Download & install: https://wordpress.org/plugins/learnpress/

More info: http://learnpress.io/wordpress-lms-plugin-for-your-courses/

LifterLMS

LifterLMS LMS WordPress Plugin


Cost:
$99/year to $999/year

Integrations: You can buy add-on integrations with PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, WooCommerce, Infusionsoft, Ontraport, Mailchimp, ConvertKit, iDevAffiliate and AffiliateWP

Features: Built-in payment processing; Drip and scheduled content; Prerequisites; Certificates and badges; Membership; Quizzes; Gamification; Coupons; plus others with higher level plans

Average rating: 4.3 out of 5

Download & install: https://wordpress.org/plugins/lifterlms/  

More info: https://lifterlms.com/

Read a detailed review of LifterLMS here.

LucidLMS

LucidLMS LMS WordPress Plugin


Update: This plugin hasn’t been tested with the latest 3 major releases of WordPress. It may no longer be maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress.

Cost: Free

Integrations: WooCommerce, BuddyPress, PayPal

Features: Course outlining; Quizzes; Certificates; Time-limited course access

Average rating: 5 out of 5

Download & install: https://wordpress.org/plugins/lucidlms/

Namaste! LMS

Namaste! LMS WordPress Plugin


Cost:
From free, $67 (Namaste! PRO), $97 (Namaste! Plugins Bundle), $137 (Namaste! Full Bundle)

Integrations: Watu for creating tests; PayPal and Stripe for payment processing

Features: Certificates; Gradebooks, assignments, and grading points system; Badges; Leaderboards; plus additional features if you upgrade to Namaste! Pro

Average rating: 4.5 out of 5

Download & install: https://wordpress.org/plugins/namaste-lms/

More info: https://namaste-lms.org/

Sensei

Sesei LMS WordPress Plugin


Cost:
free

Integrations: Sensei is made by WooCommerce so it integrates with WooCommerce plugins for membership, sales and payment processing; you can also get Sensei’s own add-ons for features such as certificates and course progress indicators

Features: Prerequisites; Quizzes; Lesson tags; Course analytics; Manual or automatic quiz grading; Language translation and localization

Average rating: 5 out of 5

Download & install: https://senseilms.com/

teachPress

teachPress LMS WordPress Plugin


Cost:
Free

Features: Assessments; Enrollments; Features aimed at academics, such as BibTeX compatibility

Average rating: 4.2 out of 5

Download & install: https://wordpress.org/plugins/teachpress/

More info: https://mtrv.wordpress.com/teachpress/

Worldclass

Worldclass LMS WordPress Plugin


Cost:
From $10/month (Pro),  $30/month (Team), $200/month (Plus)

Integrations: Stripe, PayPal, Instamojo, MailChimp, Salesforce, Zapier, Google Drive, and many others

Features: Quizzes and tests; Course sales pages and payment processing; Analytics; Gamification; Memberships; Social logins and single sign-on; Your own mobile app

Average rating: 5 out of 5

Download & install: https://studio.worldclass.io/

More info: https://www.worldclass.io/

WP Courseware

WP Courseware WordPress LMS Plugin


Cost:
From $149 (2-site license), $169 (10-site license), $249 (25-site license)

Integrations: WooCommerce, Ontraport, Digital Access Pass, WishList Member, MemberPress, OptimizePress, BuddyPress,  

Features: Course prerequisites; Content “drip” delivery; Quizzes and surveys; Certificates; Email notifications; Built-in shopping cart, Recurring subscriptions; GDPR compliant

Average rating: not rated

Download & install: https://flyplugins.com/wp-courseware/pricing/

More info: https://flyplugins.com/wp-courseware/

WPLMS

WPLMS WordPress LMS Plugin

Cost: $69

Integrations: PayPal; BuddyPress; bbPress; WooCommerce; PaidMembershipsPro; NinjaForms; RestrictContentPro, EasyDigitalDownloads; BigBlueButton

Features: Quizzes, assignments and exams; Certificates; Course sales pages; Messaging system

Average rating: 4.5 out of 5

Download & install: https://themeforest.net/item/wplms-learning-management-system/6780226

Zippy Courses Plugin

ZippyCourses LMS WordPress Plugin


Cost:
$199 to $299

Integrations: PayPal, Stripe, Ontraport, Infusionsoft, AWeber, MailChimp, Constant Contact, GetResponse

Features: Content drip delivery; Universal login for multiple courses; Offer launch windows

Average rating: not rated

Download & install: https://zippycoursesplugin.com

More info: https://zippycoursesplugin.com/docs/


Did you see a plugin you like the look of in the list above?

If you didn’t, I’m sorry to tell you those are the top WordPress LMS plugins available, so if none of them meets your needs, a plugin might not be the right solution for you. No problem! You can still explore other tools for online course creation until you find the right fit.

If you do think one of the above plugins might be right for you, let’s take a moment to run through a couple of quick checklists that will help you avoid disappointment.

What to Look For in Any WordPress Plugin

No matter what you want a plugin to do, a few things are always worth checking before you install it. Use this short checklist to guide you:

  • Has the plugin been updated recently? Say, in the past 6 months? In the past year? If not, the developers might have stopped working on the software, which means a greater chance of compatibility issues (as WordPress itself is continually updated) and less support for the user.
  • Do the developers resolve support tickets? If you don’t see a lot of support tickets on the plugin page in the WordPress Plugin Directory, that may mean the developers have their own support system elsewhere. But if you see a lot of support requests and they’re going unanswered, you can’t rely on the developer to help you out with any technical questions or problems.
  • Have they provided screenshots? And if so, does it look like a tool you could use or does it look like a scary mess? (View screenshots at maximum size, otherwise you can’t judge this fairly.)
  • Is it compatible with the latest version of WordPress? If the plugin doesn’t work with the version of WordPress you’re using, all sorts of things can go wrong. I’ve tried out plugins that broke my sales pages, made my student forum disappear, and even once crashed my entire website because of compatibility issues! (Don’t worry, none of those plugins is on this blog post.)
  • Do its users like it? WordPress Plugin Directory user ratings are pretty reliable indicators of how well a plugin works for its users. 4 stars or higher is ideal. Be aware that when a new update to the plugin rolls out, you might see 1-star ratings and reviews that say “It’s broken! This sucks!” If the developers are on the ball with support, that’ll be temporary and you’ll see good reviews again after a few days.
  • Where can you learn more about it? Most good developers will provide plenty of information about how to install, configure, and use your new WordPress LMS plugin, so check the plugin’s listing in the WordPress Plugin Directory for a link to the developers’ own site or forum. If you don’t see a link there, try typing the plugin’s name along with the words “WordPress LMS plugin” into Google or whatever search engine you prefer.

You should be able to answer all the questions in that list about any plugin you’re considering installing. The WordPress Plugin Directory includes all these details in the plugin listings, and if you’re browsing other directories (like CodeCanyon or GitHub), you’ll usually see similar info. If you can’t answer all the questions, you don’t have enough information to make the best decision.

OK, now that you know what to look for in any plugin, let’s move on to the type of plugin we’re really here for.

What to Look for in WordPress LMS Plugins

WordPress LMS plugins range from basic course creation helpers (a couple of custom post types and an index page that shows every piece of the course in the right order) through to full-surround, course-building business systems with analytics, marketing, sales, and payment processing tools as well as student engagement features.

Ask yourself these questions when you look at plugins for online course creation:Click To Tweet

To help you narrow down your options and find a WordPress LMS plugin that suits you, ask yourself these questions when you look at plugins for online course creation:

  • Does it have the feature set you’ll need to deliver your course in a way that works for your students, for example, if you specifically want to use video, live online classrooms, or instant feedback on quizzes?
  • What custom post types does it give you?
  • Does it integrate with other tools and plugins you’re already using or plan to use?
  • How much, if anything, does it cost?
  • Is it easy to customize?
  • Does it help with tasks beyond learning management, such as marketing and selling your course? Or will you need to set up and integrate other tools for those tasks?
  • Does it let you export and download your data? This could become important if you decide to switch to a different learning management solution, or you want to analyze data in a way the plugin doesn’t support.
  • What do the plugin’s users say about it? Can you find reviews from students as well as teachers?

When you’re hunting for the right WordPress online course plugin for you and your course, there is no single right or wrong answer to look for. What matters is that you’re happy with your choice and your students are happy with your course.

If you’ve spotted a plugin on my list that looks like it could be “the one” for your course-building adventures, and it holds up to scrutiny when you go through both those checklists…

…then my work here is done! 🙂

Do your due diligence before you install a new plugin, then when you’re ready to go ahead, try setting up a short course and logging into it as a student so that you can experience your LMS plugin’s features from both sides.

I’m excited to hear what you’ll create. 🙂

Your turn: What’s your course about and what features are you looking for in a WordPress LMS plugin?

And if you know what plugin you want to use, but you’re still struggling with what exactly you want to teach, check out our free Course Builder’s Bootcamp.

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