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 and LearnDesk. A perfect WordPress LMS plugin has everything you need to manage your online courses, run and grade quizzes, accept 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.
Starting a Learning Website (Training Site, Sell Courses, and More)
There are plenty of website builders and online course platforms that you can use to build an online training website or marketplace. However, we always recommend WordPress because it offers you maximum flexibility and freedom.
There are two types of WordPress, and it’s important not to confuse them.
First, there is WordPress.com, which is a hosting service, and then you have the original WordPress.org, also known as self-hosted WordPress.
To start a learning website, you’ll need WordPress.org because it has more features and flexibility. It also allows you to install any WordPress LMS plugin. For a detailed comparison, you can see our guide on the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
To start a WordPress.org website, you’ll need a domain name ($14.99 / year), and WordPress hosting ($7.99 / month). If you want to get paid for doing online courses, then you’ll also need an SSL certificate so you can accept online payment safely ($69.99 / year).
This is quite a lot of money if you’re just starting to create online courses.
If you’re working on a tight budget, then we recommend Bluehost. They’re one of the largest hosting companies in the world, and they’re offering our readers a free domain name, a free SSL certificate, and a 60% discount on web hosting.
Basically, you can start creating and selling online courses for $2.75 per month.
After purchasing hosting, you will need to install WordPress on your website.
All three hosting providers have a guided one-click install for WordPress, so you should be able to get your training website running within minutes. If you need help, then you can always see our guide on how to install WordPress.
Once you have installed WordPress, you’re ready to find the best LMS plugin for your WordPress website. These plugins allow you to create, manage, and make money by selling online classes from your website.
That being said, let’s compare the best WordPress LMS plugins so you can choose the one that’s perfect for your learning website.
MemberPress is the most powerful WordPress membership plugin. It also has built-in features that allow you to easily create and manage online courses. Along with courses, they have certification for students, quizzes, and so much more.
MemberPress comes with a special Classroom Mode, so you don’t have to spend ages designing a completely custom online classroom. Classroom Mode takes care of the design for you, so your courses always look great.
MemberPress automatically adds an easy-to-navigate style to your online training. In this way, your students will always know exactly what they need to do next and can finish their training without any confusion.
The MemberPress course builder is built on top of the WordPress block editor.
This means you can add lessons, topics, categories, embed videos, images, and more using the WordPress tools that you’re already familiar with.
For more advanced users, the course builder has full support for custom CSS, so you can give your online courses a completely unique design.
You can see each student’s progress and track how far they are from completing their training directly from the WordPress dashboard.
You can also use MemberPress to create free courses, or you can make money by selling membership subscriptions.
These subscriptions allow you to control exactly who has access to each course. For example, you might create a single membership level that gives subscribers access to all your courses. This is similar to a Skillshare, LinkedIn Learning, or Coursera membership.
Another option is to create individual membership levels for specific courses.
Some MemberPress users increase their sales by creating special bundles and packages.
For instance, you could create a membership package that gives users access to all your beginner-level courses. This can get you more members and may even encourage your existing members to upgrade to a more expensive membership package in order to unlock new perks.
No matter how you monetize your courses, MemberPress can collect payments using PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, and more.
MemberPress also comes with a powerful content dripping feature so you can show restricted content to members after a certain amount of time. For example, you might release one new lesson a week. This can keep members engaged with your content and encourage them to keep renewing their membership.
MemberPress works with many popular third-party tools that you may already be using to build an audience, capture leads, and get more sales. This includes top email marketing services such as Brevo (formerly Sendinblue), Constant Contact, Drip, and 1000+ others.
If you want to get more sales and signups, then you need a way to see what’s working and what’s not working on your training website. The good news is that MemberPress works perfectly with Google Analytics.
Price: MemberPress subscriptions start at $179 for a single site license with 1 year of support and automatic software updates. You’ll also get the MemberPress Courses addon included at no extra charge, so you create unlimited courses and have unlimited students.
Review: MemberPress is the best membership site plugin available. With their Courses addon you can create online training courses in just a few moments, and your courses will always look great with no coding required.
The MemberPress plugin’s powerful membership rules let you control exactly who has access to your courses. This makes it easy to sell your online courses, reward your members with access to exclusive content, and create engaging drip campaigns.
You can also track your students as they complete the different lessons and classes. This allows you to see the areas where students are getting stuck and may need some extra help.
For a step-by-step guide on how to get started with MemberPress, check out our ultimate guide on creating a WordPress membership site.
Thrive Apprentice is another powerful WordPress online course builder plugin that offers membership functionalities.
It comes with 55+ pre-made course templates and a drag-and-drop course builder, making it easy to create organized modules, chapters, and lessons.
You can create text lessons, video lessons, audio lessons, or mix-and-match media formats to keep your students engaged.
There’s also a resource area where you can easily add additional learning materials like links, PDFs, and more.
Thrive Apprentice has a flexible content dripping feature that allows you to release lessons at consistent intervals for each student. For example, you can unlock a new lesson every week on Monday when someone purchases a new course.
You can even apply different drip schedules, with different drip triggers, to the same course. That way, you won’t have to duplicate your courses every time you get a new intake of students.
With Thrive Apprentice’s Conditional Display feature, you can also show personalized content to different users to boost conversions. For example, you can display a different course overview for visitors and students, or change what course content students can see based on what lessons they’ve already taken.
When your students complete a course, you can show a custom course completion page that includes a downloadable certificate with a QR code to verify authenticity.
Plus, you can discover valuable information about your students and your courses using Thrive Apprentice’s advanced reporting engine. In a couple of clicks, you can access detailed reports on course enrollment, course completion, lesson completion, top students, progress and dropoff, and engagement.
Thrive Apprentice will also help you manage a membership site with its full-featured member management dashboard. In this area, you can easily grant or revoke users’ access to courses or membership products based on their membership type.
Price: You can buy Thrive Apprentice as a standalone plugin for $147 per year. Or, you can buy the entire suite of Thrive Plugins, which includes Thrive Leads, Thrive Quiz Builder, and more, starting at $299 per year.
Review: Thrive Apprentice is a powerful and user-friendly LMS plugin with membership features. The 55+ course templates will help beginners get started quickly, and the drag and drop course builder makes it easy to customize every detail.
It comes with advanced features like Decoupled Drip, which allows you to create multiple drip schedules for the same course, and Conditional Display, which lets you show personalized course content for different users.
Thrive Apprentice also comes with course overview pages to increase sales, detailed course reporting and analytics, and a built-in member management dashboard.
With features like these, creating and managing a full-fledged online course business is easy.
MemberMouse is another powerful, flexible, and scalable membership plugin for WordPress. Aside from advanced membership features, it comes with a full-featured learning management system called Courses for MemberMouse.
With Courses for MemberMouse, you can easily create online courses, quizzes, and certificates that your members and students will love.
You can visually create and design your courses using the drag and drop builder. The visual builder works independently from your theme, so you won’t have to struggle with custom styling and code.
It will automatically add all the elements you need for an LMS, like course module templates and progress tracking. This makes it quick and easy to create a seamless learning experience for your students.
If you want a custom design instead, you can turn off the automatic styling, which gives you full control over the look, feel, and functionality of your course.
Because of the membership features, selling your courses is easy too. For example, you can offer online courses to your existing members using a 1-click upsell right from their member’s dashboard.
You can even use MemberMouse SmartTags to dynamically display this offer based on criteria like time as a member, products purchased, etc. You can also create free courses or bundle courses together into bigger subscription packages.
In addition, you can use the drip content features to create a schedule for the release of new course modules.
MemberMouse integrates with many online tools and platforms. This includes popular email marketing services like ConvertKit and Drip, payment gateways like Stripe, PayPal, and ClickBank, and much more.
Price: The MemberMouse Basic plan starts at $199.50 per year for a single site license, which includes Courses for MemberMouse. However, if you want to add quizzes and certificates to your courses, you’ll need to upgrade to the Plus plan.
Review: MemberMouse is a powerful LMS and membership plugin. With Courses for MemberMouse, it’s easier than ever to add online courses to your membership site.
For instructors, it offers detailed data and insights on your courses, such as course completion percentages and quiz scores. This lets you easily track the progress of your students and improve your courses over time.
MemberMouse earns a few bonus points with its amazing drip content features, 1-click upsell functionality, and customizable, no-code course display options.
WishList Member is a flexible and user-friendly WordPress plugin for building membership subscription websites. It also comes with a powerful learning management system called CourseCure for creating online courses.
With the lightning-fast course builder, you can create your entire course in just a matter of minutes. Plus, it comes with professionally-designed page templates to ensure your course looks amazing right out of the box.
With the easy course preview feature, potential students can get a sneak peak of certain lessons with the flip of a switch, which can help boost enrollment.
It comes with built-in, automatic progress tracking that will be displayed to your students as they move through your lessons. You can also easily add quizzes to test your students’ knowledge, and quickly see who has passed or failed in the results log.
In addition, WishList Member comes with powerful features to make your students’ learning experience fun and engaging. Students can earn badges and points for tasks like completing a course, passing a quiz, leaving a comment, and more.
Using the membership functionalities, you can control exactly who has access to your online courses. For example, you can allow access to members that belong to certain membership levels or enable pay per course access.
WishList Member also seamlessly integrates with popular payment providers, email marketing services, and other important tools.
Price: WishList Member starts at $149.50 per year for use on 1 website. This includes unlimited courses with CourseCure, unlimited members, unlimited membership levels, and more.
Review: WishList Member is a solid LMS and membership plugin. It makes it easy to offer online courses in WordPress and control who has access to them.
The user-friendly builder allows you to create your courses with just a few clicks, there’s no complicated maze of options. Plus, your course will look great right out of the box and it’s fully customizable.
Additionally, it comes with powerful gamification addons for points and badges that will help you boost loyalty and engagement, which you won’t find in other plugins.
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 so you can create lessons, topics, quizzes, and categories. You can deliver all your lessons at once or schedule them using LearnDash’s drip feed feature.
Using LearnDash, you can give your students assignments and then approve or comment on them. It also comes with quiz and test management tools with multiple question types.
LearnDash lets you control exactly how students take your tests and quizzes. For example, you can set time limits, limit attempts, and randomize the questions. This will make it more difficult for students to cheat even when they’re unsupervised.
You can easily set rules for students, such as requiring them to complete a lesson before moving on to the next lesson.
Another great LearnDash feature is dynamic forums. This lets you create a forum for your individual courses so students can interact with each other.
This can build a sense of community around your online training website, which will encourage students to sign up for more courses.
If you want to make money from your online training, then LearnDash gives you lots of options. If you plan to sell memberships, then LearnDash works with MemberPress.
LearnDash also lets you sell your courses as a one-time purchase, subscriptions, or even via an online shopping cart powered by Easy Digital Downloads.
Simply create a new digital product using the free Easy Digital Downloads for LearnDash addon, link it to your LearnDash course, and you’re ready to start selling courses with Easy Digital Downloads.
When it’s time to collect your funds, LearnDash can accept payment using multiple popular payment gateways, including PayPal, Stripe, and 2Checkout.
If you do choose LearnDash, then you may also want to take a look at their starter WordPress LMS themes, which includes some free LMS themes.
Price: You can buy a LearnDash subscription for $119.40 for a single site license, which comes with 1 year of support and updates.
Review: LearnDash is a user-friendly and flexible LMS plugin for WordPress users. It comes with lots of different features that you can use to manage your online courses.
LearnDash works perfectly with many third-party plugins and tools, including popular eCommerce plugins such as Easy Digital Downloads. This makes it easy to sell your online training courses.
LearnDash is a perfect LMS tool for schools, training organizations, entrepreneurs, and anyone who wants to create and sell online courses with ease.
For a detailed LearnDash review and instructions on how to get started, 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. This popular addon for LearnDash has over 20 powerful modules, including automated branded transcripts, a course timer, and the ability to automatically mark lessons and topics as completed.
LifterLMS is another powerful all-in-one WordPress LMS plugin. It allows you to create engaging online training using a drag and drop course builder.
You can make your courses more appealing by creating multimedia lessons featuring video, audio, images, and more.
LifterLMS supports multi-tier courses with training modules, lessons, categories, and more. Once a student completes a course, you can test their knowledge with multimedia quizzes.
LifterLMS gives you the flexibility to create smaller courses or complete degree programs. You can even create tracks where students must complete your courses in a particular order. In this way, you can encourage students to take multiple courses on your LMS website.
To keep students engaged and get recurring revenue, LifterLMS has content dripping which allows you to release lessons over time.
You can also set course prerequisites to guide the training experience. For example, students might have to complete a specific course or module in order to unlock more content on your WordPress website.
To keep learners engaged, LifterLMS comes with powerful features, including automated emails, gamification with badges, and even certificates that students will get when they complete a course.
If you need even more features, then LifterLMS has a useful collection of addons that you can use to manage affiliates, integrate with eCommerce plugins, sell group memberships in WordPress, and more.
If you want to make money from your online courses, then LifterLMS can accept one-time or recurring payments via credit card or popular payment gateways, including PayPal and Stripe.
Pricing: LifterLMS subscriptions start at $120 for a single site without any addons.
Review: LifterLMS is a powerful and flexible choice for a WordPress LMS plugin. It is easy to use, and the setup wizard creates all the pages you’ll need to run a successful online training website including a course catalog page.
It is useful for fitness experts, musicians and bands, leadership trainers, education entrepreneurs, and anyone who wants to earn money by selling online lessons.
However, it is a little more expensive than some other options, and the cost will increase if you need any of the LifterLMS addons.
WP Courseware is another great WordPress LMS plugin that comes with a drag and drop course builder. This powerful builder has tons of features that you can use to create big or small online courses.
Whenever you publish a course, WP Courseware will automatically create a listing to display that course on your website and encourage students to sign up.
Each course can have multiple modules, units, and quizzes. To support offline learning, WP Courseware lets students download courses in any format including PDF, media files, or text.
If you want to create a guided learning experience, then WP Courseware supports both course pre-requisites and course tracks.
It also has content drip features, so you can release lessons based on the date or the number of days that have passed since the student enrolled. In this way, you can keep students engaged and motivated. For more information, see our guide on how to add a LMS in WordPress with WP Courseware.
WP Courseware has instructor profiles, student grade books, and many other features that help to create an engaging experience for users. It also comes with a question bank so you can quickly create quizzes for different courses and modules.
If you want to sell your online training, then WP Courseware has powerful monetization features. This includes a shopping cart that you can connect directly to PayPal or Stripe and start selling your courses as either a one-time purchase or a recurring subscription.
You can create an unlimited number of courses, and WP Courseware can support an unlimited number of students. This means that WP Courseware can support your online learning business as it continues to grow.
Pricing: WP Courseware licenses start at $129 for 2 sites with 1 year of support and updates.
Review: WP Courseware is a good choice to build your online courses.
It is easy to use and flexible enough to create an engaging learning environment. Best of all, it works with any WordPress theme without any compatibility issues.
Teachable is a powerful drag and drop course builder. Unlike the other LMS on this list, Teachable is not a WordPress plugin. Instead, you can use Teachable on a sub-domain, a custom domain name, or you can simply add 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 and a powerful sales page builder that you can use to promote your new training business.
To help fine-tune your training, Teachable comes with built-in analytics and advanced data reporting. This helps you monitor student engagement and adjust your courses to get more sales, signups, and course completions.
To help grow your training business, Teachable has a student referral feature and advanced affiliate marketing tools.
Payment periods may vary depending on your pricing plan.
Pricing: Starting from $29 per month
Review: Teachable has everything you need to create and sell online courses. You can create as many different courses as you want and enroll an unlimited number of students.
Since Teachable is a standalone platform, you aren’t responsible for updates and backups. This means you can run a successful training business without lots of extra admin work.
The downside is that Teachable is more expensive compared to your typical WordPress LMS plugin. There may also be some additional fees. For example, if you buy a Basic plan, then you will be charged a 5% fee on each transaction.
LearnPress is a free WordPress LMS plugin. This plugin aims to provide a similar experience to using a Moodle LMS, and even promotes itself as ‘Moodle for WordPress.’
With LearnPress, it’s easy to re-use your content. You can use lessons and quizzes from one course within another course. Even better, you can export your content to any other WordPress site that uses LearnPress.
If you have multiple WordPress sites where you want to sell online learning, then LearnPress’ export feature plus built-in WordPress multisite support can save you a lot of time and effort.
After creating a course, you can release it for free or charge a fee, which can either be a one-time or recurring payment. LearnPress also gives you the option to publish some lessons as a free preview, which can encourage people to buy the full course.
The LearnPress plugin is free, but there are paid addons if you want more advanced features.
Pricing: You can download LearnPress for free. You can buy the premium addons separately or purchase the LearnPress Pro addons bundle for $249.99.
Review: We found LearnPress to be feature-rich and flexible. The initial setup may be a bit difficult for beginners compared to some of the other WordPress LMS plugins on the list.
LearnPress supports PayPal by default, which is perfect if you already use PayPal as your preferred payment gateway. Other payment gateways are available as paid addons including WooCommerce payment gateway and Authorize.net.
As a free plugin, support is limited compared to some of the premium LMS plugins. However, you can get some support via the official LearnPress forums.
LearnPress is a free LMS plugin for WordPress that has everything you need to start selling online training courses. However, you may need to buy some of the premium addons to get the most out of this free LMS plugin.
Sensei lets you create courses directly inside the WordPress editor so you can continue to use the tools you’re familiar with.
You can add lots of different content to your courses, including images, slideshows, image galleries, and videos. This can help reinforce learning and make the experience more fun for your students.
You can run quizzes and assignments, grade them automatically or manually, and even offer badges and certificates to students using Sensei. There is also an instant messenger, so you can communicate with students directly and offer them help in real-time.
To sell your courses and accept payments, you will need to use WooCommerce. You can then simply create a WooCommerce product and connect it to your Sensei course.
Pricing: A single license of Sensei LMS starts at $149 for 1 year of support and updates.
Review: Sensei is a good solution for anyone who is looking to create and sell online courses using the familiar WordPress tools.
In particular, the Sensei LMS plugin is perfect for anyone who already runs an online store using WooCommerce. Since it was created by the same team, WooCommerce and Sensei work perfectly together.
However, we feel that the WooCommerce integration could be difficult for anyone who isn’t already familiar with the WooCommerce plugin. There are also fewer features and addons for Sensei than other LMS plugins on 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, and without having to write a single line of code.
Their powerful membership rules make it easy to control who has access to each course. You can also sell subscription plans, course bundles, and more.
By choosing MemberPress as your WordPress LMS, you’ll get access to other advanced features, including content dripping, group memberships, protected file management, reminder emails, and more.
MemberPress integrates seamlessly with over a thousand different email marketing automation services to help grow your new online training business.
If you’re looking for a MemberPress alternative, then we recommend Thrive Apprentice. It also comes with great features and lots of useful integrations.
WordPress LMS Plugin FAQs
At WPBeginner, we get a lot of questions about LMS plugins from our readers. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions.
Which LMS plugin is best for WordPress?
MemberPress is the best LMS plugin for WordPress. It comes with all of the features you need to create and sell online courses in WordPress easily. Plus, it has powerful membership features that allow you to sell course subscriptions, course bundles, and more.
What is the easiest LMS to use?
MemberPress is an easy LMS plugin to use. The MemberPress course builder is built on top of the WordPress block editor, meaning you can create courses using the WordPress tools you already know.
Thrive Apprentice is also an easy-to-use LMS plugin. It has a School Setup Wizard that will guide you through building your first online course.
How do I install LMS plugins?
If you need help installing an LMS plugin on your WordPress site, you can follow this step by step tutorial on how to install a WordPress plugin.
Is WordPress LMS free?
While there are free LMS WordPress plugins on the market, they typically offer limited features.
If you’re serious about starting an online course business, we recommend choosing a premium LMS plugin like MemberPress or Thrive Apprentice. Premium LMS plugins like these come with all of the advanced features you need to create, sell, and manage your online courses.
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.