Selling online courses is one of the sure ways to earn money with WordPress. All you need to do is to upload your course content on your online course website, distribute to your audience and get paid. Sounds easy? Hold your horses! There is a lot more going than you can notice at the surface. In this article, we will dig deep into selling online courses with the help of top WordPress LMS plugins.
LMS means Learning Management System just as a CMS means Content Management System. What’s the difference between the two? A Learning Management System does more than content management. Sure, there is the course content that has to be managed. But then, there is also content delivery, feedback, membership, payment, emails, marketing, and exams!
An LMS helps you manage your content delivery, upload content, set content drip, manages payment gateways and streamline the learning experience for your audience. Each LMS we are reviewing below does this differently. So watch out for what you are getting in return for your investment. Let’s dive in!
LearnDash helps you create and sell online courses. Universities use it for tracking and delivering online coursework. Training organizations and entrepreneurs use it to conduct online courses and sell them as needed. Interestingly, many WordPress developers and designers use LearnDash for their clients. The University of Florida, University of Michigan, University of Washington are among the Universities that use LearnDash for their online learning programs.
Intelligent Course Builder: You can add 8 types of quizzes, include lesson timers, set prerequisites for each lesson, and drip-feed course content as per scheduled time.
Course Feedback: LearnDash helps you give feedback in terms of a Gradebook that automatically tracks progress and lets you do the assessment manually. Enrolled users can use course-specific forums. You can also custom awards and Certificates for course completion.
Monetization: You can charge a one-time fee or ask for recurring payments in the form of a subscription or membership. LearnDash supports Shopping Cart for selling courses. You can also sell your courses one at a time or create a bundle.
Use engagement: With front-end user profiles, users can keep track of their course progress. Email notifications increase learner engagement. You can also create groups and allow certain users to manage them.
Progress Management: You can quickly run reports on user enrollment, quiz performance, etc. You can approve, comment and award points on submitted assignments. You can also add an expiry date to a course.
Any Media or theme compatible: You can insert audio, images, video, Articulate, and Adobe Captivate files in addition to Google Docs. LearnDash works well with any WordPress theme without any need of CSS code.
The Basic Plan of LearnDash, which allows for a single website, costs $159 per year. The Plus package is priced at $189 per year. The Pro package costs $329 per year. You can try the software for 30 days as they have a 30-day refund policy.
Teachable goes beyond traditional Learning Management Systems and offers some stunning features such as SSL powered hosting. You can easily get started by creating your courses without worrying much about payment management and marketing. More than 68k trainers use Teachable for their online courses. Teachable allows your students to easily sign up to your courses, view curriculums, preview courses and purchase your courses.
Multimedia Course: You can add video, audio, image, text and PDF files. You can also import content from Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive. You can make advanced customizations with the Power Editor
Engaging Learning Experience: You can create a rich learning experience for your students with the help of Quizzes, Discussion Forums, and Course Completion Certificates.
Student Management: You can collect student feedback through Google Forms, surveys, and other tools. Multiple integrations are supported through Zapier. You can segment the student email list so that you can send them targeted emails.
Advanced Pricing: Teachable allows you to charge a one-time fee, sell a subscription or set up a custom payment plan for your courses. You can also offer custom discount coupons.
Sales Management: Teachable supports affiliate programs. It has a built-in affiliate marketing feature that lets you keep track of your affiliate marketing efforts. You can build a custom sales page or use a conversion-optimized sales template offered by Teachable.
Payment Gateways: You can accept payments in more than 130 international currencies with Stripe Connect Credit Card Processing. PayPal is also available as a payment option. You can accept multiple currencies for a single course.
Integrations: Teachable offers integrations with MailChimp, Aweber, InfusionSoft, and lots of other marketing tools via Zapier.
Advanced Reports: Teachable features a powerful dashboard that displays analytics that includes student signups, revenue, average course completion rate, etc. You can share these with multiple instructors on your site.
Security: A 2048-bit SSL certificate secures your student information during login and checkout. You own all your content and student data. Teachable hosts your content and student data and backs it up. Teachable only accepts Payment providers that are PCI level 1 compliant.
There is no per-user pricing. It supports as many courses and students as you want. The Basic plan costs $29/mo when billed annually. The Professional plan is priced at $79 per month. If you are running a huge online school, then the Business plan, which costs $399 per month, might suit you.
It lets you launch your online course and earn revenue from it. It claims to be an all-in-one tool for teaching and selling your online courses. It is optimized for creating, selling, and running your online course. Zippy Courses allows you to store your course content on its servers. It works with WordPress, Squarespace, Wix and other site builders. You can also use a custom subdomain at zippycourses.com. There is no limit on the number of courses you can create with Zippy Courses.
Course Builder: With the drag and drop course builder, you can easily create your online course. You don’t need coding skills to create a new lesson or to upload your content. You can rearrange, edit, and update your course at any time.
Access Tiers: You can allow different versions of your content to be delivered according to the membership level of the student. You can create multiple access tiers so that you can charge for each tier.
Launch Windows: Research shows that up to 75% of sales of online courses happen right before the enrollment closes. Zippy lets you create such launch windows for each course to increase your conversions.
Drip Content: You can always release your content at once but a better strategy would be to drip the content over a time schedule. Zippy easily allows you to drip your content through its course scheduling feature.
Automatic follow-up Emails: The student experience begins when he buys the course. Students need constant motivation to keep them on track, else they lag behind in the course. Zippy allows automatic follow-up emails to keep you in touch with your students at regular intervals.
Integrations: Zippy integrates seamlessly with the following email providers: ActiveCampaign, Aweber, Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact, ConvertKit, Drip, GetResponse, InfusionSoft, MailChimp and Ontraport.
The Standard Plan costs $99 per month. It includes 1 Admin user, 10,000 emails per month and 100 GB of storage. The Professional Plan includes 10 Admin users, 50,000 emails per month, and 2TB file storage. It costs $199 per month. There is also a $1 free trial for 7 days. You can cancel any time.
AccessAlly allows you to create a Course Membership site with its LMS solution. It serves as both a membership site and a course plugin. It boasts to be an all in one solution for recurring memberships, one-time payments, free classes, a built-in Learning Management System, member directories and much more.
Affiliate Plugin: AccessAlly has a built-in affiliate plugin that allows you to set up your own affiliate program with multiple affiliate tiers. You can create affiliate links, track affiliates right from the affiliate dashboard.
Payment Gateway: You can accept payment via Stripe or PayPal payment gateways. AccessAlly’s built-in order forms let you accept multiple currencies. You can also offer payment plans or subscriptions as per your choice.
Subscriptions and 1-Click upsells: You can offer a free or paid trial period. You can accept monthly or yearly subscriptions. The plugin allows you to increase revenue with 1-click upsells.
Cross-Selling Dashboard: You can show all your courses and programs in the member dashboard with instant upsells.
Unlimited Instant and Dripped Courses: You can create unlimited courses and membership levels through one login area.
Homework Submission with Private Feedback: You can ask and answer questions, upload files, submit homework for review. You can give private feedback to each of your students.
When charged annually, the AccessAlly Essentials Plan costs $65/mo, The Pro Plan costs $82/mo. Their “Done For You” Plan starts at $2500.
Thinkific lets you create and sell your online courses and membership websites under your own brand. It gives you the ability to create, market, and sell your online courses. The all-in-one platform helps you share your knowledge, grow your audience and scale your business. You can make every decision about publishing, pricing and promoting your education business. Thinkific lets you create amazing learning experiences for your students.
No Coding Required: You can easily customize your course to match your brand – no coding required. You can quickly upload with drag and drop.
Multimedia Support: Thinkific features rich multimedia support. It includes Videos, text, Downloads, Quizzes, Surveys, Discussions, Typeform, Google Docs, Captivate, Articulate, etc.
Course System: You can have a course system with Private and Hidden courses, Prerequisite lessons, Multiple instructors, Drip schedule content, evergreen and expiring content, etc.
Pre-designed themes: Thinkific features pre-designed themes that are good for professional education sites. They include a pre-built instructor, curriculum, key learnings, and course review sections.
Payment: You can charge in more than 100 countries and get paid immediately with 100% secure payment. With Thinkific, you can accept all credit cards.
Advanced Data Tracking: Thinkific provides comprehensive support for analytics and ad tracking including Google Adwords, Facebook, and retargeting campaigns.
There is a free plan. The Basic Plan costs $49/mo. The Pro Plan costs $99/mo. The Premium plan costs $499/mo. Enterprise Plan is available with Custom Pricing.
Edivently comes as a simple system that can turn your WordPress site into an online academy. It allows you to build and sell online courses. No coding knowledge is expected to create online courses. You can build courses just like you create WordPress posts. You can create multi-tier courses with lessons, topics, assignments, and quizzes. It allows you to have diverse and comprehensive online courses.
Drip Content: You can choose a schedule for your students to drip your content. It allows you the flexibility to distribute course content as per time intervals.
Quizzes and Assignments: Quizzes and assignments give you feedback on student’s progress. These are great assessment tools built-in with this plugin.
Certificates: You can offer custom certificates to your students to reward successful course completion.
User Profiles: Front-end user profiles allow users to track and monitor their progress through the course.
Flexible Categories: There is no restriction on categorizing levels, subject or language of your course.
Access Control: You can protect your course and content as you have complete access control.
Integrations: The plugin integrates with BadgeOS, WooCommerce, PayPal, Stripe, and WPML.
The Casual Plan costs $9/mo. The Flexi Plan costs $29/mo. The Unlimited Plan costs $49/mo.
LifterLMS is a simple and powerful online course software that can prove to be everything you need to create, sell and protect engaging online courses. It can even increase course engagement, sales, and learner’s progress. It allows you to make money by creating a teaching business or membership website. It is a platform-based solution that you can use with your WordPress to run an online school.
Multimedia Lessons: It supports Video, audio, Images, text, multimedia quizzes and other formats for an interactive learning experience.
Course Builder: It features an intuitive multi-tier drag and drop course builder that you can use to easily create your online courses.
Drip Content: You can schedule your content to be available at a particular time schedule so that course content is distributed properly.
Prerequisites: You can set prerequisites. You can make completion of certain lessons or courses mandatory for your students before they can move to the next lesson or course.
Student Dashboard: From the front end student dashboard, students can easily track their progress and monitor their learning.
LMS Roles: You can build a team on your website with LMS Managers, instructors, Instructors’ assistants, and students
The University bundle costs $299 per year. The Infinity bundle costs $999 per year.
CoursePress Pro is a learning management system offered by the popular WPMU DEV community. With it, you can design and deliver beautiful courses complete with bold media content, interactive questions, downloadable course work, forums and assessments all within the WordPress environment. You do not need any third-party service to manage your content. CoursePress Pro does all that.
Easy Online Learning: With CoursePress Pro, Online learning is simple and fun as you have course pages, paywalls, social sharing, and an interactive learning environment.
Flexible Style: CoursePress Pro comes with a pre-built theme. The included shortcodes and widgets make it easy to integrate CoursePress Pro with your theme.
Media and Interactive Learning: You can embed video, audio files, and images, share downloadable project files, create quizzes, allow students to submit coursework, and participate in group discussion.
Payment Gateways: Integration with MarketPress and WooCommerce lets you sell your courses from any of 100+ payment gateways.
Classroom Management: You can manage students, instructors, and courses with automatic grading and reporting, assessments, and discussions.
Drip Content: You can release units at a predefined time along with new content notifications. Notifications are automated and customizable.
WPMU DEV has recently removed support for this plugin. The plugin is now open source and available at GitHub. You can access on GitHub here.
The Sensei plugin is a WooCommerce product. With it, you can teach your coursework all within WordPress. It helps you to create courses, write lessons, and add quizzes. You can set prerequisites for lessons and courses separately. Not only it allows user registration but it also lets you change the course content whenever you want. Sensei claims to be the ultimate WordPress learning management system.
Seamless WordPress Integration: You can create lessons just like you create WordPress posts. It has its own custom Lessons post type.
Easy Content Creation: You can create courses, add lessons. You can also test your learners with quizzes. Prerequisites can be set for both courses and lessons.
Quick User Registration: Sensei uses WordPress user registration. Once registered, users have access to dashboard from where they can monitor their progress in the course.
Charge for Courses: As Sensei is integrated with WooCommerce, it allows you to charge for courses just like you do for WooCommerce Products. You can set up a product and link it to a course.
Compatibility with Themes: Sensei works well with any well-coded WordPress theme. The plugin provides default styling as well.
Course Analytics: Sensei provides reports that give you an overview of your content, grades, and students registered with the site.
Sensei comes with subscription options. For a single site, it costs $129/year. Up to 5 sites, it costs $179/year. Up to 25 sites, it costs $279/year.
WP Courseware is another popular learning management system plugin for WordPress. It features drag and drop course creation. Like most other plugins, it allows you to create and sell your online course. It is a feature-rich yet simple plugin.
Drag and Drop: It features an intuitive drag-and-drop course builder.
Drip Content: You can schedule your content to be released by date or at specific intervals from the enrollment time.
Grade Books: You can view and export detailed quiz results and progress reports for each student.
Course Certificates: You can reward students with downloadable and customizable PDF completion certificates.
Membership Integration: WP Courseware allows one-click integration with your favorite e-commerce or membership plugin.
Payment Gateway: You can connect your PayPal or Stripe account to sell your courses instantly.
The Teacher Plan costs $129/year. The Professor Plan costs $149/year. The Guru Plan costs $199/year.
LearnPress is a WordPress LMS plugin that is available in the WordPress Plugin repository. There are more than 60,000 active installations for this plugin. It allows you to create course curriculum complete with lessons and quizzes. You can manage all these with its easy-to-use user interface.
Theme Compatibility: LearnPress is compatible with any WordPress theme.
Course Creation: You can create a full curriculum layout, edit it and maintain it. You can export and import courses from other websites which also use LearnPress.
Course Management: You can manage, share, edit, and review your course with detailed statistics for number of students enrolled, trends, etc
Billing Methods: LearnPress supports multiple billing methods such as PayPal, WooCommerce, Stripe, Authorize.Net, 2Checkout.
Add-ons: There are many free as well as premium add-ons that add to the functionality of this plugin.
The Plugin is free to download in the WordPress plugin repository. There are premium add-ons available starting from $29.99.
Good LMS is a popular Learning Management System plugin that is available at CodeCanyon. More than 1020 sales and 4-star reviews do speak of the quality of this plugin. It comes with standard six months of support with its regular license. You can use it to create online courses, Onsite courses, Online Quiz, sell courses, build instructor profiles, issue course completion certificates, etc.
Payment Options: Users can use PayPal, Stripe, Paymill or Authorized.Net directly. Admin can provide other payment methods such as bank transfer.
Subsections: Subsections can be added to Quizzes
Course Curriculum: The Plugin gives you the ability to create section wise course curriculum
Coupon Codes: You can create coupon codes to give discounts to your students. Coupon code management is included in the plugin
Course Progress: The easy to monitor progress tracker keeps track of course progress.
Timed Quiz: Online Quizzes can be integrated with a timer.
The Regular license costs $32 at CodeCanyon.
So these were our top 12 picks for best learning management system or LMS plugins for WordPress. There are hundreds out there. We have just tried to save you some time by narrowing down it to a few good ones. Did we miss on a great plugin? Do let us know in the comments.