Are you trying to find the best LMS plugin for your WordPress website?

If you're a WordPress user and you want to start offering online courses on your website, you'll need an Learning Management System (LMS) WordPress plugin. These plugins can completely transform your regular old WordPress site into a supercharged online learning platform, letting you create and sell revenue-generating online courses.

But, with countless LMS plugin options out there, trying to find the best one for your needs can be overwhelming. Not to worry, we’ve done the hard work of researching everything for you. Here are our picks for the 7 best LMS plugins for WordPress, plus 4 amazing plugins to give your online course business a well-deserved boost.

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What to Look for in an LMS Plugin

The right LMS plugin for your WordPress site should be chosen based on the specific requirements of your online course. In general, a great LMS plugin should offer a variety of features such as: 

  • Ease of Use: Your chosen LMS plugin should be user-friendly for both you (as the course creator) and your students. This includes intuitive interfaces and easy navigation.
  • Course Creation Features: Look for a plugin that allows you to create and manage courses, with options for multimedia content, quizzes, and certificates.
  • Design Customization: A fantastic LMS plugin should allow you to tailor the visual design of your online school to match your brand, and even let you choose from a variety of layouts.
  • Monetization Options: Make sure your LMS plugin supports various monetization methods like one-time payments, subscriptions, memberships, or course bundles.
  • Reporting and Analytics: A full-featured LMS plugin should allow you to view data about your courses and students, so you can make informed decisions about your online course business.

With these requirements in mind, let’s dive in to the best WordPress LMS plugins available.

1. Thrive Apprentice

thrive apprentice

Thrive Apprentice is an incredibly powerful LMS plugin by Thrive Themes. This WordPress plugin was specifically designed for entrepreneurs and business owners who want to grow their online course business as quickly as possible

Known for its ease of use and great design features, Thrive Apprentice allows you to create not just online courses, but also membership programs and course bundles to boot. If you're looking for a way diversify your info product revenue stream, Thrive Apprentice is a fantastic solution.

Key Features of Thrive Apprentice

  • Intuitive Drag-and-Drop Course Builder: Thrive Apprentice features a user-friendly course creation interface, enabling you to design and build compelling online courses with ease.
  • Beautiful Design: This plugin offers several beautifully designed, mobile-responsive templates that keep your learners engaged.
  • Complete Design Control: Tailor the look of your online school to match your brand with drag-and-drop front end design.
  • Lesson Types: Create various types of lessons, including text, video, and audio, providing ultimate flexibility for course content delivery.
  • Course Progress Tracking: Thrive Apprentice offers course progression tracking so students can see their learning progress.
  • Power Assessment Feature: Keep track of student progress by adding assessments throughout your course. Choose from multiple question types, grading schemes, advanced quizzes, and more to make sure students are maximizing their learning experience. 
  • Reports and Analytics: Take a deep dive into data to learn more about where your students are getting stuck, who your star students are, and more. 
  • Drip Content: Use Thrive Apprentice's exclusive Decoupled Drip feature to create multiple drip schedules for your courses, ensuring you can sell any course with any drip schedule, any time.
  • Certificates and Quizzes: Add even more value to your course by providing course completion certificates and quizzes to encourage learning. 
  • Easy Integration with Stripe: Apprentice makes it incredible easy to take payments for your courses thanks to a quick and easy integration with Stripe's payment gateway. 

Thrive Apprentice Pros

  • Ease of Use: Thrive Apprentice stands out with its intuitive, user-friendly interface, making course creation a breeze – even for beginners.
  • Integration: It integrates smoothly with various tools like ThriveCart, SendOwl, and Digistore24, providing an easy way to manage payment your online courses and memberships.
  • Built for Conversions: Thrive Apprentice integrates with other Thrive tools to provide you advanced marketing and conversion strategies. For instance, you can use a tool like Thrive Automator to trigger a limited time offer and a countdown timer when someone completes a particular lesson. 

Thrive Apprentice Cons

  • Slight Learning Curve: Due to the huge amount of customization features, editing the design templates in Thrive Apprentice may be a bit challenging for beginners. However, the Thrive team has provided several step-by-step tutorials to help new users navigate the plugin.

Thrive Apprentice Pricing

  • Single License: Pricing starts at $299 per year for the first year. 
  • Upgrade Options: For more great WordPress tools, consider upgrading to Thrive Suite, a comprehensive collection of conversion-boosting tools. 

Thrive Apprentice Final Thoughts

Thrive Apprentice has an intuitive interface and a diverse range of features that make course creation and management easy for all types of course creators. Its strong marketing capabilities, such as the ability to automate marketing workflows, make it a powerful tool for any business looking to generate revenue from courses and memberships. If you are after a complete, all-in-one solution for your online course needs, Thrive Apprentice is a highly recommended choice.

Check out pricing for Thrive Apprentice

2. MemberPress

https://memberpress.com/

MemberPress is a popular all-in-one membership plugin for WordPress, used by thousands of instructors and businesses around the world. It's an excellent choice for those who want to build traditional membership sites, online courses, or a mix of both.

Key Features of MemberPress

  • Create & Manage Memberships: MemberPress allows you to create, manage, and track membership subscriptions effortlessly.
  • Content Access Control: You can restrict access to pages, child pages, posts, custom post types, categories, tags, and almost any other files in your WordPress installation.
  • Payment Gateways: MemberPress supports multiple payment gateways like PayPal, Stripe, and Authorize.net.

MemberPress Pros

  • Ease of Setup: With its user-friendly interface, setting up and managing your membership site is simple with MemberPress.
  • Course Creation: It allows you to create standalone courses or course material that can only be accessed with a membership.
  • Integration: MemberPress integrates with a range of third-party services and software, enhancing your site’s functionality.

MemberPress Cons

  • No Assignments: As memberships are the primary function of MemberPress, it lacks some LMS features like assignments.
  • No Gamification: The plugin does not have in-built gamification features like badges or points, but does integrate with gamification add-ons such as MyCred.
  • No Free Version: MemberPress does not offer a free version like some other LMS Plugins.

MemberPress Pricing

  • Basic Plan: The Basic Plan for MemberPress starts $179 per year.
  • Upgrade Options: MemberPress offers more advanced, higher-priced plans that include add-ons for email marketing, podcast memberships, and forums.

MemberPress Final Thoughts

MemberPress is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to create and manage membership subscriptions along with creating courses. While it might not have all the bells and whistles of a full-featured LMS plugin, it’s easy to use and provides a good range of features. If you want a reliable, simple solution for your membership site and online course needs, MemberPress is worth considering.

3. WishList Member and CourseCure

wishlist member

WishList Member is a membership plugin for WordPress, and CourseCure is their LMS plugin. CourseCure is a great option for anyone who already uses WishList Member for their membership site and would like to add courses to their product offerings. 

Key Features of WishList Member

  • Course Builder: WishList Members intuitive course builder lets you create your course in minutes.
  • Membership Integration: With built-in integration with WishList Member, you can easily protect your online course content. 
  • Gamification: The plugin comes with a number of gamification features such as points and badges.

WishList Member Pros

  • Ease of Use: Users often praise the simplicity of setting up and managing a membership site with WishList Member.
  • Flexible Content Control: You have complete control over who can access each piece of content on your site.

WishList Member Cons

  • Limited LMS Features: WishList Member doesn't have typical LMS features like in-depth reporting or assignments.
  • No Free Version: Unlike some plugins, WishList Member does not have a free version.
  • No Advanced Marketing Features: Unlike Thrive Apprentice, WishList Member does not offer advanced conversion-boosting features.

WishList Member Pricing

  • Starter Plan: WishList Member only offers two pricing plans, with the most inexpensive starting at $149.50 per year.
  • Upgrade Option: The plugin offers an Advanced plan that starts at $249.50 per year, for use on up to 10 sites and includes priority email support.

WishList Member Final Thoughts

While WishList Member isn’t a traditional LMS, it’s a great option for creators who currently offer memberships and want to add online courses to their online business. 

Check out pricing for WishList Member

4. MemberMouse

membermouse

MemberMouse is a powerful course plugin for WordPress, with a heavy focus on selling products and memberships, while also providing some LMS features. It's perfect for businesses that are looking to combine an online course with a membership platform.

Key Features of MemberMouse

  • Product and Membership Sales: MemberMouse lets you sell products, memberships, and subscriptions all from your WordPress site.
  • Drip Content: The plugin allows you to release content over time to keep your members engaged and coming back for more.
  • Split Testing: MemberMouse allows for split testing price points, headlines, and sales pages to optimize conversions.
  • Integrations with a Variety of Payment Gateways and Email Service Providers: Connect your course website to PayPal, Stripe, Mailchimp, Active Campaign, and more.

MemberMouse Pros

  • Flexible Product Sales: MemberMouse let you sell products, memberships, and subscriptions right from your WordPress website.
  • Mainstream Integrations: MemberMouse integrates with popular payment gateways and email marketing services.
  • Customer Management: MemberMouse has a well-thought-out customer management system which includes customer profiles, transaction histories, and membership statuses.

MemberMouse Cons

  • Limited Course Creation: As it's more of a membership plugin, MemberMouse doesn't offer certain course creation features like assignments.
  • Pricing: MemberMouse is a bit expensive for those who are just starting out.
  • No Free Version: Unlike some other plugins, MemberMouse doesn't offer a free or trial version.

MemberMouse Pricing

  • Starting Price: MemberMouse pricing starts at $199.50 per year for the Basic Plan.
  • Upgrade Option: MemberMouse offers more advanced plans, which offer priority support and advanced features like full analytics and additional payment options.

MemberMouse Final Thoughts

MemberMouse is a powerful membership platform with some LMS features. While it may not be ideal for users looking for a plugin primarily focused on course creation, it is a fantastic choice for businesses that want a comprehensive membership and want to add online courses to it.

Check out pricing for MemberMouse

5. LearnDash

learndash

LearnDash is a feature-rich and popular LMS plugin for WordPress. It's an excellent choice for educational institutions, entrepreneurs, and companies offering online courses, thanks to its comprehensive set of features.

Key Features of LearnDash

  • Course Builder: LearnDash comes with a easy-to-use course builder, supporting multi-tier courses which can include sections, lessons, topics, assignments, and quizzes.
  • Drip Content: The plugin supports drip-feeding of lessons to deliver content over time.
  • Course Forums: LearnDash integrates with bbPress, allowing you to create course-specific forums to facilitate community and discussion among students.
  • Monetization: LearnDash supports one-time purchases, subscriptions, memberships, and course bundles.

LearnDash Pros

  • Education-based Functionality: LearnDash offers fantastic LMS functionality for educators including grading and and reports.
  • Integrations: The plugin integrates with numerous third-party applications, including WooCommerce, bbPress, Slack, and many others.
  • Scalable: LearnDash can support small to very large user-bases making it an excellent choice for both small businesses and large institutions.

LearnDash Cons

  • Learning Curve: The functionality of LearnDash can be overwhelming to new users and may require some time to fully understand.
  • Pricing: While not the most expensive, it is also not the cheapest option available.
  • Add-on Costs: Some additional functionality requires premium add-ons, which can increase the cost.

LearnDash Pricing

  • Starting Price: Pricing for the WordPress LearnDash plugin starts at $199 per year.
  • Upgrade Option: The Ultimate Course Creator bundle, at $229 per year, includes premium add-ons.

LearnDash Final Thoughts

While it comes with a learning curve, LearnDash’s powerful functionality, scalability, and wide-ranging integrations make it an excellent choice for serious educators and businesses looking to create engaging online courses.

Check out pricing for LearnDash

6. LifterLMS

lifterlms

LifterLMS is a comprehensive WordPress LMS plugin that's great for entrepreneurs, educators, and small businesses aiming to create engaging online courses. With this plugin, not only can you create individual courses, you can even create an entire online school.

Key Features of LifterLMS

  • Course Builder: LifterLMS comes with an intuitive course builder, allowing you to create multimedia lessons, quizzes, and assignments easily.
  • Email Notifications and Certificates: It offers personalized email notifications and certificates to keep your learners engaged and motivated.
  • Drip Content and Prerequisites: LifterLMS supports drip content and prerequisites, helping you design and structure your courses effectively.
  • Private Coaching Areas: The plugin allows you to create private coaching areas and communities, encouraging interaction and engagement among learners.

Lifter LMS Pros

  • User-friendly Interface: Lifter LMS boasts a user-friendly interface that simplifies the course-building process, making it accessible even for beginners.
  • Free Core Plugin: It offers a free core plugin with premium add-ons available for further customization and functionality.
  • Advanced Engagement Features: The plugin provides advanced engagement features like personalized emails and certificates to improve learner engagement and motivation.

Lifter LMS Cons

  • Limited Free Version: The free version of Lifter LMS is limited and might not satisfy all your e-learning needs.
  • Potential Additional Costs: The costs can add up if you purchase multiple premium add-ons, which might not suit those with a tight budget.
  • Expensive Comprehensive Plan: The comprehensive Infinity plan comes at a hefty price tag of $1200 per year.

Lifter LMS Pricing

  • Free Version: LifterLMS offers a free version with basic features, ideal for setting up your course at a leisurely pace.
  • Paid Plans: When you're ready to charge fees for your course, you'll need to upgrade to a paid plan. LifterLMS paid plans start at $199 for one site; for advanced features like forms integration and email marketing, you'll need to upgrade to a higher tier.

Lifter LMS Final Thoughts

Lifter LMS is an excellent choice for those seeking to build an online school or course community. Despite its limitation in the free version, its user-friendly interface, advanced engagement features, and comprehensive offerings make it a worthy contender in the world of LMS plugins. It’s an ideal platform for those prepared to invest in their e-learning platform for a richer, more engaging learner experience.

Check out pricing for LifterLMS

7. Sensei

Sensei

Sensei is an LMS plugin developed by the makers of WooCommerce, a popular e-commerce tool for WordPress. Designed with entrepreneurs, coaches, and marketers in mind, Sensei is a simple and easy-to-use solution for creating and selling online courses.

Key Features of Sensei

  • User-friendly Interface: Sensei provides a clean and simple interface for creating courses, lessons, and quizzes, making the course creation process a breeze.
  • Drip Content: The plugin supports drip content, allowing you to structure your courses as per your requirements.
  • Prerequisites: Sensei allows you to set prerequisites for individual lessons, ensuring your students consume the course content in the intended order.
  • WooCommerce Integration: Sensei integrates with WooCommerce and its payment add-ons, which makes offering payment plans and recurring payments as simple as adding a new WooCommerce extension.
  • Achievement Badges and Certificates: The plugin offers badges and certificates to acknowledge learner achievements, enhancing student engagement through gamification.

Sensei Pros

  • WooCommerce Compatibility: Sensei's compatibility with WooCommerce makes selling courses simple, it makes Sensei a solid choice for those already using WooCommerce.
  • User-friendly Interface: Sensei's user-friendly interface makes creating courses, lessons, and quizzes easy, even for beginners.
  • Extension Availability: It offers a variety of extensions for added functionality, letting you customize the plugin to suit your specific needs.

Sensei Cons

  • Focus on Courses: Sensei focuses solely on courses and does not offer a built-in membership option, potentially limiting its appeal to those interested in creating membership-based learning communities.
  • Limited Features: It may not offer as many features as other LMS plugins, potentially requiring you to seek additional tools or plugins for a full-fledged e-learning solution.
  • WooCommerce Dependence: It must be used with WooCommerce, which may not suit those preferring another e-commerce platform or those desiring an independent LMS plugin.

Sensei Pricing

  • Free Plan: Sensei offers a free plan that grants you access to basic course-building features.
  • Sensei Pro: To sell your course and take payments, you'll need to upgrade to Sensei Pro, which costs $179 per year. (Some extensions included in Sensei Pro are also available on an individual basis).

Sensei Final Thoughts

Although Sensei might not offer as many addons and extensions as other LMS plugins, it is a great choice for those already using or planning to use WooCommerce. Its seamless integration with WooCommerce makes selling courses online a walk in the park, and its user-friendly interface makes it an excellent choice for those seeking a simple, straightforward LMS solution.

Essential Plugins to Grow Your Online Course Business

In addition to an LMS plugin, we recommend the following additional tools to optimize and grow your online course business. These tools will help automate tasks, enhance marketing efforts, and increase conversions:

8. Thrive Automator

automator

Thrive Automator is a powerful automation plugin that lets you connect your favorite WordPress tools and plugins. This plugin lets you create automated workflows to streamline your online course business and save you time and frustration.

Key Features of Thrive Automator

  • Plugin Connectivity: Thrive Automator allows you to connect your favorite WordPress plugins and tools for seamless integration.
  • Conditional Logic: The plugin offers conditional logic capabilities to craft complex automation workflows.
  • Triggers and Actions: Choose specific triggers and actions to gain complete control over your automation tasks.
  • Advanced Marketing Automations: Implement advanced marketing automations, such as triggering a marketing campaign upon a student's course completion.

Thrive Automator Pricing

Thrive Automator is entirely free and available on the WordPress Plugin Directory. You can also access it as part of Thrive Suite, a comprehensive toolkit of conversion-boosting tools for your WordPress website.

Check out Thrive Automator

9. Thrive Ultimatum

thrive ultimatum

Thrive Ultimatum is the ultimate scarcity marketing tool for WordPress, enabling you to create time-limited offers, countdown timers, and evergreen campaigns to increase conversions.

Key Features of Thrive Ultimatum

  • Campaign Types: Supports fixed date, recurring, and evergreen campaigns.
  • Ready-Made Templates: Offers beautiful, pre-designed templates for countdown timers and campaigns.
  • Multiple Triggers: Choose from multiple trigger types to initiate campaigns.

Thrive Ultimatum Pricing

Thrive Ultimatum pricing starts at $99 for the first year. It's also available as part of Thrive Suite for $299 for the first year, offering excellent value with ten WordPress tools and plugins included in the collection.

Check out Thrive Ultimatum

10. Affiliate WP

affiliate wp

Affiliate WP is a powerful affiliate marketing plugin for WordPress, enabling the creation of your own affiliate program. It fits seamlessly with your WordPress theme, allowing you to run an affiliate program directly from your WordPress dashboard.

This is an amazing way to sell online courses as it can turn your biggest fans into a motivated arm of sales people. Affiliates can effortlessly promote your courses, earning a commission on each course sale or user enrollment.

Key Features of Affiliate WP

  • Real-Time Reporting: Offers real-time reporting for effectively tracking affiliate performance.
  • Unlimited Affiliates: Supports unlimited affiliates and provides customizable affiliate rates.
  • Plugin Integrations: Provides integrations with popular e-commerce and membership plugins for seamless functionality.

Affiliate WP Pricing

Affiliate WP pricing starts at $149.50 per year for a single site license.

Check out Affiliate WP

11. TrustPulse

trustpulse

TrustPulse is a social proof notification plugin for WordPress that can significantly enhance your conversions. It builds trust and credibility with your visitors by showcasing real-time activity on your website.

It plays well with all the top WordPress page builders like Thrive Architect, SeedProd, Elementor, and Divi, giving your website visitors an extra incentive to add a course to their shopping cart. 

Key Features of TrustPulse

  • Real-Time User Activity: Showcases real-time user activity such as purchases, registrations, and signups.
  • Customizable Notifications: Allows you to personalize the design and content of your notifications.
  • Advanced Targeting and Timing: Provides advanced targeting and timing rules for effective customer engagement.

TrustPulse Pricing

TrustPulse pricing begins at only $5 per month. Higher-priced plans with additional features are also available.

Check out TrustPulse!

Note: Looking for even more great paid and free LMS plugins? Here are some other options to check out for your LMS website: Easy Digital Downloads, LearnPress, Sensei LMS, Tutor LMS, WP Courseware, MasterStudy LMS, Paid Memberships Pro, and BuddyPress.

Which is the Best LMS Plugin?

Finally, let’s get down to brass tacks. Which plugin takes the trophy for the Best LMS Plugin for WordPress?

While all 7 of the LMS plugins we’ve reviewed today are great choices, one plugin stands out among the rest: Thrive Apprentice

With Thrive Apprentice, you can create beautiful, professional-looking courses right on your WordPress site. It offers a flexible yet user-friendly course builder that even beginners can comfortably use. Elements like chapters, modules, and lessons help you organize your content for an easy learning experience.

In addition to its powerful course creation features, Thrive Apprentice offers advanced student engagement tools such as quizzes, resources, and certificates. Plus, its integration with other Thrive Suite tools, such as Thrive Automator and Thrive Ultimatum, enables you to automate and optimize your marketing efforts.

While its pricing is on par with other top LMS plugins, the value you get from the full Thrive Suite, including Thrive Apprentice, is simply unmatched. Thrive Suite gives you access to a whole toolkit of plugins designed to grow your online business, making it a highly cost-effective solution.

Check out pricing for Thrive Suite

FAQ about LMS Plugins for WordPress

What’s the cheapest WordPress LMS Plugin?

While there are several free WordPress LMS plugins available, including LifterLMS and Sensei, their features can be quite basic. To start accepting payments for your online course, you'll often need to purchase their premium versions or add-ons.

If you're serious about creating an effective online course business, a plugin like Thrive Apprentice offers great value for money. For $299 for the first year (billed annually), you get access to Thrive Suite, which includes Thrive Apprentice and several other tools designed to grow your online business.

Which LMS Plugin provides drip content?

Content dripping is a feature that allows you to schedule the release of course content over time. This can be useful for pacing a course, keeping students engaged, and preventing information overload. Thrive Apprentice provides an easy-to-use drip scheduling feature, allowing you to customize when students can access each part of your course. Thrive Apprentice even offers decoupled drip, a feature that allows you to create multiple drip schedules for one course.

Does WordPress have an LMS Plugin?

Yes, WordPress has numerous LMS plugins that you can install to turn your website into a fully-fledged learning management system. These plugins include Thrive Apprentice, LearnDash, Lifter LMS, and many more.

What is the simplest LMS for WordPress?

Thrive Apprentice is renowned for its simplicity and ease of use. While it's packed with features to help you create and sell professional online courses, its intuitive interface for setting up courses makes it simple even for beginners. Whether you're creating simple text lessons, complex multimedia courses, or anything in between, Thrive Apprentice makes the process straightforward and enjoyable.

Next, Start Building Your Online Course

Now that you're equipped with the knowledge to choose the best LMS plugin for your needs, it's time to start building your online course. For more guidance on using Thrive Apprentice, check out these helpful resources:

With all of this handy info at the ready, there's just one thing left to do: Get Thrive Apprentice today!


About the Author Christine


Christine is a marketer with a background in print graphics, motion graphics, and teaching. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, dancing, and building things.

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