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WordPress LMS Plugin Comparison

Thrive Architect vs LearnDash VS LifterLMS VS Tutor LMS

Compare 4 of the top WordPress LMS plugins in 2024 and discover which is the best solution to build, protect and sell access to your online courses.

Explore and compare each LMS plugin against course creation, visual design, drip features, quizzes, completion certificates, integrations, pricing, support and more.

If you’re looking to offer online courses using WordPress, you’ll need a professional LMS plugin to help build, organize and manage access to your lessons. But with so many options available in 2024, which plugin should you choose? Use this guide to compare WordPress LMS plugins so you can make an informed choice for your online school.

We’re a bit biased of course, since we offer our own fantastic LMS plugin, but we’ve been fair and objective in our research and analysis – we believe every tool that helps you achieve your business goals is a great addition to the WordPress scene.

Which LMS plugins are we comparing? Let's meet them...

Thrive Apprentice
LearnDash
LifterLMS
Tutor LMS

Thrive Apprentice

VS

Other LMS Plugins

Course Creation Tools

LMS plugins are defined by their course creation and access restriction features. Let’s explore how each of these popular WordPress LMS plugins give you the ability to build and protect online courses and lessons to offer your students a professional learner-focused experience

01. School and Course Setup

  • Thrive Apprentice

  • LearnDash

  • LifterLMS

  • Tutor LMS

Thrive Apprentice

Thrive Apprentice includes a powerful School Setup Wizard that helps you quickly get started building an online course. It offers an easy-to-use dashboard for choosing your logo, brand colors, header, footer, lessons templates, sidebar and more.

This allows you to skip all the lengthy configuration that usually comes with setting up a new LMS plugin, safe in the knowledge your school and courses will look amazing. Of course, you can fully customize any part of your school setup later.

Building your first course is also easy... create a new course, give it a name, and start adding your lessons. You can optionally organize them into chapters and modules if you want, but it’s not essential if you have a short or very linear course syllabus.

Creating lessons is also easy... add a lesson title, choose the type of lesson (e.g. text, video, audio), add a short summary and an optional cover image. If you’re creating a video or audio lesson, you can quickly add your video or audio URL, such as YouTube, Vimeo, or Soundcloud, and Thrive Apprentice will do the rest of the work for you. Finally, it’s time to add your lesson text content and any additional learning resources your students might need.

Watch this quick video to help understand the process:

02. Access Restrictions

  • Thrive Apprentice

  • LearnDash

  • LifterLMS

  • Tutor LMS

Thrive Apprentice

Thrive Apprentice lets you control who can access your online courses (as well as other protected content... more on this soon) with flexible access rules based on a student’s status.

This means you can offer:

  • Free courses to general visitors
  • Free courses to logged in users
  • Premium courses to paying customers

And yes, you can offer free lessons within paid courses as a great way to generate sales.

If someone tries to access a course without the correct access permission, you can also choose what they see! For visitors without the correct permissions, you can:

  1. Display custom content for them
  2. Redirect them to a login or registration page
  3. Redirect them to a custom page (such as a sales page)
Even better, these access restrictions can be set at the school-level, or overridden with custom rules for each course if you need. This gives you total control over who can access your courses AND allows you to craft a compelling upsell experience to encourage new visitors to become registered users or paying customers

03. Lesson Formats & Learning Resources

  • Thrive Apprentice

  • LearnDash

  • LifterLMS

  • Tutor LMS

Thrive Apprentice

Out of the box, Thrive Apprentice offers 3 ready-to-go lesson formats: text, video and audio.

However, this doesn’t mean you can’t add video to text lessons, or text to audio lessons! You can add anything to your lessons.

The pre-set text, video and audio formats simply allow you to easily use Thrive Apprentice’s professionally designed lesson templates that are specifically built to showcase their respective formats. Lessons can include text, embedded videos, audio players, quizzes, images, tables, toggles, and anything else you want.

Each lesson in Thrive Apprentice can also feature optional Lesson Resources to help support your students’ learning goals. These can be downloadable files like PDFs, links to internal content, or links to external websites for further reading. Lesson Resources are easy to modify later without directly editing the lesson content, making them quick to maintain when older resources need updating.

04. Protecting Non-Course Content (Membership Features)

  • Thrive Apprentice

  • LearnDash

  • LifterLMS

  • Tutor LMS

Thrive Apprentice

Unlike most LMS plugins, Thrive Apprentice allows you to protect and grant access to both online courses AND any other content on your website. This includes blog posts, pages, category pages, guides, premium resources, or exclusive videos.

Better yet, you can bundle and sell access to online courses and content together, allowing you to build membership sites or hybrid online course and membership site businesses. This opens up HUGE possibilities for your online business growth and revenue.

 As with courses, you can offer members-only content to registered users for free, or to paying customers. With Thrive Apprentice, you don’t have to choose between online courses or memberships... you can mix and match both to create the perfect product for your audience.

Thrive Apprentice

VS

Other LMS Plugins

Visual Design & Customization

The best LMS plugins in 2024 understand that students demand a professional and visually enjoyable learning experience. Remember, your students are not just buying an online course, they’re investing financially and emotionally into the promise of real results... and your course needs to communicate this value with a professional brand and design.

So how do the top WordPress LMS plugins stack up in terms of design templates, customization and advanced features? Let’s find out...

01. Ready-Made Design Templates

  • Thrive Apprentice

  • LearnDash

  • LifterLMS

  • Tutor LMS

Thrive Apprentice

Thrive Apprentice comes with professionally designed templates for all the important pages of your online course:

  • School homepage
  • Course overview
  • Module overview
  • Lessons (text, video and audio)
  • Sidebars
  • Login and registration pages
  • Course completion page

Each of these templates are ready to use from the start – you can simply add your course content and you’ll already have a professional and branded online school, but you’re also free to customize them in any way you want to match your audience, content and personality.

You can also add pre-designed elements to your templates, such as lesson resources, buttons, progress bar indicators and more.

Thrive Apprentice templates are independent from the rest of your WordPress website, meaning you can add a professional online school to your existing WordPress theme and customize it the way you want.

02. Full Visual Editing

  • Thrive Apprentice

  • LearnDash

  • LifterLMS

  • Tutor LMS

Thrive Apprentice

Thrive Apprentice includes the Thrive Visual Editor, a powerful what-you-see-is-what-you-publish tool that lets you build the exact layout and content designs your course needs.

Columns, interactive toggles and tabs, buttons, content boxes, icons... they’re all easy to add to your course templates or lesson content without any coding or design skills. This means you can quickly add rich media on specific lessons, or embed a video on your module pages.

The Thrive Visual Editor does a great job of letting you customize your live website, instead of hiding away the finished result under layers of abstraction. Everything you build looks and feels exactly like what your students will see as they navigate through your courses.

The Thrive Visual Editor also lets you toggle between desktop, tablet and mobile views so you can see exactly how your course looks across different devices. This is a great feature as modern students expect learning content to be easily consumable on their tablets and smartphones too.

03. Sidebar Customization

  • Thrive Apprentice

  • LearnDash

  • LifterLMS

  • Tutor LMS

Thrive Apprentice

Given the organized structure of online courses, it’s important that LMS plugins offer intuitive navigation tools to help students find their way around the syllabus. One mainstay of this is a course sidebar.

Thrive Apprentice lets you completely customize your sidebar to include teacher information, a progress indicator bar, your course title, interactive toggles for modules and chapters, and links to each lesson... including icons to show students which lessons have been completed!

All of these sidebar features are completely optional and come with great looking – and 100% customizable – templates, so your students experience a professional learning environment that keeps them moving forward.

04. Conditional & Dynamic Content

  • Thrive Apprentice

  • LearnDash

  • LifterLMS

  • Tutor LMS

Thrive Apprentice

This is a feature that really makes Thrive Apprentice stand apart from other LMS plugins...

Conditional Display lets you show entirely different content on the same page to different people, simply based on their status as a visitor, logged-in subscriber or paying customer.

This lets you show the right course or membership offer to the right person at the right time, helping to convert more of your visitors into subscribers, and more of your subscribers into paying customers.

Thrive Apprentice also allows you to show different labels on your courses depending on their status... so customers will see a ‘Not Started Yet’ or ‘In Progress’ button that takes them to the start or most recent uncompleted lesson in a course, while people without access with see a ‘Members Only’ or ‘Buy Now’ button that takes them to a sales page.

Thrive Apprentice includes many other conditional and dynamic design elements, such as buttons that only allow confirmed graduates to access their course completion page, or download their completion certificates.

05. School Branding

  • Thrive Apprentice

  • LearnDash

  • LifterLMS

  • Tutor LMS

Thrive Apprentice

Thrive Apprentice lets you customize your online school either in line with, or completely separate from, the rest of your WordPress theme design. This means you can choose a separate online school logo and color scheme if you so desire to let your students know they’re in the right place on your site to learn.

This approach has the added advantage of letting you build a professional online school that works in parallel to any WordPress theme your business needs... Thrive Apprentice doesn’t take over your current theme or force you to inherit styles from elsewhere on your website.

Thrive Apprentice also gives you the choice of adding a custom header, so your school area can feature an entirely different navigation menu that’s better suited to your students’ needs.

And any courses you build with Thrive Apprentice are shown entirely under your brand — there’s no sneaky Thrive Apprentice branding or links included. As far as your students or members are concerned, it’s your website that is providing the learning experience, not Thrive Apprentice.

Thrive Apprentice

VS

Other LMS Plugins

Course & Lesson DRIP Features

By unlocking modules and lessons at just the right time for your students, you can keep them motivated, reduce information overwhelm, and ultimately improve course completion rates. Drip is an essential feature for any serious WordPress LMS plugin in 2024.

But which of these LMS plugins offer the best drip features? And what tools are available to easily schedule lesson unlocking for BOTH individuals and entire cohort intakes?

01. Drip Unlock Options

  • Thrive Apprentice

  • LearnDash

  • LifterLMS

  • Tutor LMS

Thrive Apprentice

The key to great drip functionality is flexibility... the ability to unlock lessons based on criteria that make sense for your courses, students and business. This is where Thrive Apprentice really shines!

Thrive Apprentice’s Drip feature offers the following content unlock options:

  1. Evergreen Repeating - e.g. Unlock content at consistent intervals for each individual student.
  2. Schedule Repeating - e.g. Unlock content at consistent intervals after a scheduled start date.
  3. Day of the Week or Month - e.g. Unlock a new module every first Monday of the month.
  4. Specific Dates - e.g. Unlock a new lesson on the 10th, 17th and 24th of July then skip 1 week for implementation then continue on the 7th of August.
  5. Thrive Automator Triggers - e.g. When a tag gets added to a subscriber and a webhook is received from your email marketing service, unlock a new lesson.
  6. Thrive Quiz Builder Results - e.g. Only unlock the next course lesson or module if your students get an 80% or higher on a quiz.

These drip unlock conditions can be applied to any lesson in your course, and can be mixed and matched to create a powerful path for your students’ learning.

 From a business perspective, this allows you to gradually unlock your course content to ensure your customers are achieving real results before progressing (which is very important for positive testimonials and word of mouth advertising).

02. Cohort Based Courses & Group Learning

  • Thrive Apprentice

  • LearnDash

  • LifterLMS

  • Tutor LMS

Thrive Apprentice

Sometimes, course creators want a group of students to progress through modules and lessons at the same time based on when they started as a cohort. Traditionally, many LMS plugins have tried to achieve this by forcing you to duplicate entire courses to run in parallel.

Thrive Apprentice achieves cohort learning in a much simpler and flexible way, with Decoupled Drip. Decoupled Drip lets you create as many drip schedules as you like for the same course.

This is a game changing LMS feature for cohort based courses, as you can give different intakes of students access to lessons and modules without negatively affecting anyone else at a different stage in their drip schedule.

This transforms your WordPress website into a real online school that can handle thousands of students progressing through your courses in different, staggered groups.

03. Quiz Result Lesson Unlocking

  • Thrive Apprentice

  • LearnDash

  • LifterLMS

  • Tutor LMS

Thrive Apprentice

Thrive Apprentice works seamlessly with Thrive Quiz Builder, to securely lock course content until a student proves they understand the earlier material by achieving a specified quiz result.

This could be a score, percentage, or a category result based on their quiz answers. In practical terms, this feature lets you prevent students from accessing advanced content until prerequisite content understanding has been achieved.

When placed at the very end of your course, Thrive Apprentice quizzes also prevent students from marking a course as complete or accessing their completion certificate, until they have passed a final quiz.

Both Thrive Apprentice and Thrive Quiz Builder are included inside Thrive Suite, along with many other conversion-focused WordPress tools.

04. Advanced Drip Features

  • Thrive Apprentice

  • LearnDash

  • LifterLMS

  • Tutor LMS

Thrive Apprentice

Do you want to unlock intro lessons to a course when someone subscribes to your email list?

Or when they click a link inside an email? Or download a lead magnet? Or share a testimonial?

These are the kind of advanced drip unlock conditions that Thrive Apprentice offers when combined with our FREE Thrive Automator plugin.

In fact, any plugin, application or service that can send webhooks can also be used to unlock modules and lessons inside Thrive Apprentice, making it the most powerful, flexible drip solution available for any WordPress LMS. Period.

Thrive Apprentice

VS

Other LMS Plugins

Reporting & Student Data

Helpful and actionable reporting is an essential part of running an online school or course-based business. Course reports help you make informed decisions to improve enrollments, sales and completion rates. Student reports show you how individuals are progressing through your lessons so you can spot ways to improve your course content.

Next, let’s compare the reporting tools and features offered – or not! – by these WordPress LMS plugins, so you can build a successful online course-based business with real customer insights.

01. Course Performance Reports

  • Thrive Apprentice

  • LearnDash

  • LifterLMS

  • Tutor LMS

Thrive Apprentice

Thrive Apprentice offers a range of actionable course analytic reports to help you make strategic decisions regarding your course based business.

The Student Progress and Drop Off report shows you exactly which lessons are being skipped, so you can make changes to your syllabus and lessons in order to improve completion rates.

The Popular Courses report shows which of your courses are selling best, so you can understand the real needs of your customers... and build products they actually want!

The Course Engagement report lets you crunch your course enrollment, course completion, lesson completion and lesson comment data.

These types of reports give you a top-level view of how your courses are performing, so you can focus on strategically building a successful course-based online business.

02. Student Progress Reports

  • Thrive Apprentice

  • LearnDash

  • LifterLMS

  • Tutor LMS

Thrive Apprentice

Drilling down from the course-level reports, you’ll also need insights into how individual students, members and customers are progressing through your syllabus. Thrive Apprentice includes helpful student-level reports to give you a ground-level view of your courses:

The Top Members and Students report highlights your most engaged customers, allowing you to target them later with valuable upsell offers, or ask them to leave a glowing testimonial.

The New Members and Active Members reports let you see who is coming onboard and how engaged they are with your lessons.

The Latest Activity report shows a detailed recent activity feed of who enrolled, started lessons, completed your courses and more.

Most reports are filterable by course and timeframe, letting you zero in on the data you need to make meaningful decisions.

03. Data Access, Exportability & Privacy

  • Thrive Apprentice

  • LearnDash

  • LifterLMS

  • Tutor LMS

Thrive Apprentice

Access to your student, member and customer data is a critically important part of choosing an LMS plugin... user data, email addresses, course progress, membership status just to name a few. You should be able to view and export data without having to jump through hoops or mess around in your WordPress database tables.

It’s also important to have the tools you need to comply with data and privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA.

Thrive Apprentice lets you download your course data whenever you want, so you’re building your own business, not someone else’s!

For those regulations where physical location of customer data is relevant, Thrive Apprentice always stores your customer data on your website. The only exception to this is when a student generates a course completion certificate – in this case, the data (usually just the student name) is sent to the Thrive Themes servers and immediately deleted once the certificate has been generated.

Thrive Apprentice

VS

Other LMS Plugins

Certificates

Does your WordPress LMS plugin let you offer visually stunning certificates when students complete your courses? Well it should! Completion certificates are a great way to instantly boost your course’s perceived value AND associate your brand with your graduates’ hard-earned results.

In this section, you’ll explore which LMS plugins offer professional certificate templates, how you can customize them, and whether they include advanced features like personalization and verification.

01. Professionally Designed Completion Certificate Templates

  • Thrive Apprentice

  • LearnDash

  • LifterLMS

  • Tutor LMS

Thrive Apprentice

Thrive Apprentice lets you award your students with beautiful, branded completion certificates immediately after completing your course or achieving a certain quiz score using Thrive Quiz Builder. It also comes loaded with professionally designed certificate templates that you can customize in seconds for your course graduates to download.

The certificate templates offer a wide range of styles: fun, vibrant, corporate, exclusive, modern, classic etc. You’re sure to find one that fits your online course and brand.

Of course, you’re welcome to create your own certificate from scratch if you like, but Thrive Apprentice’s ready-to-use templates immediately upgrade your online course value with just a few clicks of template customization.

02. Certificate Design & Customization Options

  • Thrive Apprentice

  • LearnDash

  • LifterLMS

  • Tutor LMS

Thrive Apprentice

Thrive Apprentice’s completion certificates are built using the same Visual Editor that powers so many other tools inside Thrive Suiteincluding Thrive Apprentice. With it, you can quickly add text, images, content boxes, decorations, icons and more. It really is as simple as drag-and-drop.

You’re free to customize your course completion certificates to match your business, students, course and personality, whether you need an elegant portrait, a landscape diploma, or a printable wallet-sized card to quickly prove accreditation.

03. Certificate Personalization

  • Thrive Apprentice

  • LearnDash

  • LifterLMS

  • Tutor LMS

Thrive Apprentice

Traditional printed certificates and diplomas usually feature personalized content, such as a student’s name, the completion date and course title. Why should online course completion certificates be any different?

Thrive Apprentice lets you dynamically display your students’ name, course name, completion date, and instructor’s name into your certificate template with zero coding necessary.

This makes certificates more personally relevant to each student, increasing the perceived value of their achievement and your course experience.

04. Certificate Authenticity Verification

  • Thrive Apprentice

  • LearnDash

  • LifterLMS

  • Tutor LMS

Thrive Apprentice

This is another feature where Thrive Apprentice really shines... each completion certificate can be instantly checked to confirm that the student completed your course and earned their final certificate.

Every certificate generates a unique serial number and scannable QR code that opens a certificate validation page on your website. This lets anyone – customers, employers, clients – verify the authenticity of the certificate in seconds.

If your business offers accredited courses, training or assessments, you’ll find Thrive Apprentice certificate verification offers a guaranteed, unhackable solution that typically costs BIG bucks requiring custom coding or enterprise LMS software to attain.

Thrive Apprentice

VS

Other LMS Plugins

Quizzes, Exams & Assessments

Testing your students’ knowledge is a vital part of any professional teaching business, and online courses are no exception. Quizzes and exams offer an interactive, engaging and even fun tool to boost the value of your course and ensure your students are really learning.

So which LMS plugin lets you add interactive quizzes to your courses? And what types of quiz questions do they support? Let’s find out...

01. Course Quiz Features

  • Thrive Apprentice

  • LearnDash

  • LifterLMS

  • Tutor LMS

Thrive Apprentice

Thrive Apprentice doesn’t natively include a quiz or exam module. Instead, it integrates seamlessly with Thrive Quiz Builder, another conversion-focused plugin included inside Thrive Suite.

With both Thrive Apprentice and Thrive Quiz Builder installed on your WordPress website, you’re able to add quizzes to any stage of your online courses: individual lessons, modules, or even a final course exam.

Thrive Quiz Builder lets you build several different types of quizzes for your students:

  • Number Score - Display the quiz results as a number, based on the weighting you give each answer.
  • Percentage Score - Display the quiz result as a percentage.
  • Total of Right/Wrong Answers - Display the quiz result as the total of correct answers.
  • Category Result - Display the quiz result as a category (like a personality quiz).
  • Survey - A special type of quiz that simply collects information for later review.

Quizzes and exams can feature text and images, and even branching quiz logic, so you can omit entire quiz sections until a certain answer is chosen.

There are some advanced question types that are not yet available, like answer matching, fill-in-the-blanks, re-ordering etc. We are assessing these quiz question types along with community feedback to prioritize them in future feature releases.

02. Quiz Result Score Unlocking

  • Thrive Apprentice

  • LearnDash

  • LifterLMS

  • Tutor LMS

Thrive Apprentice

Quizzes are a great way to add interactivity and fun to an online course, but they also offer a way to assess your students’ progress through the course.

The combination of Thrive Apprentice’s Drip feature and Thrive Quiz Builder lets you lock lessons and modules until your students can show they meet the required quiz scores to continue. This offers heaps of benefits to your business and your learners, including:

  1. Many of your lessons build on earlier concepts, and locking progress behind a quiz score means students can’t race ahead without absorbing fundamental knowledge.
  2. There may be important milestones that you need your students to reach, especially with cohort based learning.
  3. Unlocking future lessons by passing an exam can give students a feeling of tangible understanding and motivation to continue.
  4. You can use quizzes to collect information about your students, such as ways to improve your course and learning materials.
  5. Online courses with quizzes, exams and assessments simply feel more ‘high quality’ and premium in value.

Thrive Apprentice

VS

Other LMS Plugins

Integrations With Tools & Services

If you want to build an online course-based business, chances are you’ll use many tools, apps and services to manage your website, customers, payments and email subscribers... and these need a way to communicate with your WordPress LMS plugin. You need integrations.

Let’s compare which integrations are available for each LMS plugin, and which ones come with an additional hefty price tag.

01. Payment Tool Integrations

  • Thrive Apprentice

  • LearnDash

  • LifterLMS

  • Tutor LMS

Thrive Apprentice

With Thrive Apprentice, you can sell access to your online courses and membership content using the most popular online payment and checkout tools, to provide a seamless experience for visitors to become customers, and customers to become students.

Thrive Apprentice integrates directly with the following payment and eCommerce solutions:

WooCommerce - The most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress, allowing you to set up an online shop and sell access to your Thrive Apprentice online courses.

Thrivecart - A premium hosted checkout service that has a number of features designed to help you build optimized checkout pages. It has multiple payment options including one time purchases, subscriptions, and free trials. It also handles digital sales tax on your behalf. (Note: ThriveCart is not built by Thrive Themes.)

SendOwl - An e-commerce platform that you can use to sell digital products directly from your website. The platform uses payment gateways (e.g. PayPal, Stripe), and delivers your digital products to the buyers, once the purchase has been completed.

You can also accept payment for your Thrive Apprentice courses using our FREE Thrive Automator integrations, expanding your choice of payment tool to anything that supports webhooks (like Digistore24) or has directly integrated with Thrive Automator (like Studiocart and Surecart).

02. Email Marketing Tool Integrations

  • Thrive Apprentice

  • LearnDash

  • LifterLMS

  • Tutor LMS

Thrive Apprentice

Thrive Apprentice integrates with most email marketing services as it

  • Mailchimp
  • ActiveCampaign
  • Drip
  • ConvertKit
  • GetResponse
  • Zoho Campaigns
  • MailerLite
  • ... and many, MANY more.

It does this in conjunction with the FREE plugin Thrive Automator, which powers the APIs and webhooks that all these services use to communicate.

This makes it easy to set up integrations that actually make sense for your business and students... things like ‘add an email tag when a student finishes a module’ or ‘start an email sequence when someone enrolls in a course’.

Be sure to explore all the supported email marketing services for Thrive Automator.

Thrive Apprentice

VS

Other LMS Plugins

Pricing, Licenses, Support & Training

The details are important when you invest into a WordPress LMS plugin and its ecosystem. Beyond the software itself, what exactly do you get for your money?

Let’s compare the pricing models, licensing, support options, and learning resources for each LMS plugin below...

01. Pricing

  • Thrive Apprentice

  • LearnDash

  • LifterLMS

  • Tutor LMS

Thrive Apprentice

Thrive Apprentice is available in 2 ways:

Thrive Suite

Get full access to our entire suite of integrated plugins (including Thrive Apprentice) at one great price. Build and grow your dream online business with a complete set of conversion optimized tools.

599/yr

$

299/yr

Save $300!*

*All pricing is in USD. All renewals are at full price. You can change plans or cancel your account at any time.

Thrive Sell

Thrive Product Bundle, including Thrive Apprentice to  help you Sell Engaging Online Courses and Memberships Right From Your Website.

From:

299/yr

$

149/yr

Save $150!*

*All pricing is in USD. All renewals are at full price. You can change plans or cancel your account at any time.

The standalone Thrive Apprentice WordPress plugin is $147 for the first year for a single site license, which includes free access to our Thrive Automator plugin to expand the number of integrations and drip unlock options.

However, if you’re selling even just a few courses or membership subscriptions, it makes far more business sense to invest in the full collection of conversion-focused tools inside Thrive Suite. This way, you also get Thrive Quiz Builder (for adding quizzes and exams), and many other powerful plugins to build a real course-based online business.

There are no hidden premium add-ons or modules for Thrive Apprentice. A single Thrive Apprentice license includes ALL available features, updates and support – whether you buy it individually or as part of Thrive Suite.

02. License Terms

  • Thrive Apprentice

  • LearnDash

  • LifterLMS

  • Tutor LMS

Thrive Apprentice

The licensing terms for Thrive Apprentice are very simple.

If you buy Thrive Apprentice as a standalone WordPress plugin, you can install it on 1 website.

If you buy Thrive Apprentice as part of Thrive Suite, you can install it on 5 websites.

With both options, you can create as many courses (and Products) as you like... 1, 100, even 1,000+.

03. Support

  • Thrive Apprentice

  • LearnDash

  • LifterLMS

  • Tutor LMS

Thrive Apprentice

Regardless of how you purchase Thrive Apprentice, you’ll have access to unlimited 24/7 premium support as long as you remain an active customer. Our dedicated support team will help you with any technical or use case questions, even going so far as to access your site (with your permission of course) to really understand what you’re trying to achieve.

You can also get help from our community of users in the Facebook Community & Support group. You’ll often find other users can advise on ways to achieve similar results and get you back on track ASAP.

You’ll also get access to unlimited product updates, including new features, improvements and additional design templates. We’re constantly releasing new updates to Thrive Apprentice, so it continues to grow in value and functionality through time.

The Thrive Apprentice Knowledge Base is another great source of support. It contains lots of step-by-step guides to achieve specific results using the tools and options inside Thrive Apprentice.

04. Training & Learning

  • Thrive Apprentice

  • LearnDash

  • LifterLMS

  • Tutor LMS

Thrive Apprentice

Thrive Apprentice comes with many ways to learn how to use the software, build your skills, and achieve more results for your business, including:

Thrive Apprentice

VS

Other LMS Plugins

Quick Comparison

Thrive Apprentice

LearnDash

LifterLMS

Tutor LMS

School Setup

School setup wizard

No overall school

No overall school

No overall school

Course Setup

Course setup wizard

Course setup wizard

Manual setup

Course setup wizard

Drag-and-Drop Course Builder

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Text, Video & Audio Templates

Text, Video & Audio

No

Text & Video

Text & Video

Dedicated Lesson Resources

Yes

Yes

No

Requires add-on

Protecting Non-Course Content (Membership Features)

Yes

Only inidividual posts / pages

Yes

No

Ready-Made Design Templates

Yes

Yes, but 3rd party partners

No

No

Full Visual Editing

Yes - FULL control

No

No

No

Course Sidebar Customization

Yes - FULL control

WordPress widgets only

WordPress widgets only

Toggles only

Conditional & Dynamic Content

Yes - Show or hide different content to different people

No

No

No

Independent School Branding

Yes, if you choose

No, inherits your theme

No, inherits your theme

No, inherits your theme

Lesson Drip Unlock Options

6

2

3

3

Independent, Parallel Cohort Drip Schedules

Yes

Yes

No

No

Pass a Quiz to Unlock Lessons

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Advanced Drip Features

Yes - Unlock lessons with ANY incoming webhook

No

No

No

Course Performance Reports

Yes

No - Requires additional payment

Yes

Yes

Student Progress Reports

Yes

No - Requires additional payment

Yes

Yes

Data Access & Exportability

Yes - FULL data export control

Export all or nothing

Yes

No

Professionally Designed Completion Certificate Templates

Yes

No

No

Yes

Certificate Customization

Yes - FULL control

Yes, but very limited

Only at higher purchase tiers

Yes

Certificate Student Personalization

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Certificate Authenticity Verification

Yes, including QR codes

No

No

Yes, including QR codes

Quiz Features

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Payment Tool Integrations

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Email Marketing Tool Integrations

Yes

No

Just 2 integrations at higher purchase tiers

No

Thrive Apprentice

VS

Other LMS Plugins

Which WordPress LMS Plugin Is Right For You and Your Online Business?

Thrive Apprentice

Thrive Apprentice is a WordPress LMS plugin designed to do more than just build courses. It helps you build a course-based online business.

If you’re looking for a purely academic LMS solution, then perhaps Thrive Apprentice isn’t for you (although it’s perfectly capable of doing so). But if you want to build and sell professional courses with a focus on student learning AND business conversions, you won’t find a better tool than Thrive Apprentice.

What sets Thrive Apprentice apart from other LMS plugins?

Firstly, it gives you complete control over the visual appearance of your school, courses and lessons, using Thrive’s powerful drag-and-drop editor. You can customize the look and feel of your courses independently from the rest of your WordPress theme. No code needed.

Second, it includes the most powerful drip and cohort-learning features available in any plugin.

Third, you get access to ALL features without the constant upsell of premium add-ons being thrown at you: a powerful certificate builder, best-in-class reporting, a HUGE range of integrations, the ability to protect non-course content etc. One affordable price for everything.

We are biased of course, so to provide some balance, here’s where we feel Thrive Apprentice has room to improve... Currently, quizzes are limited to Thrive Quiz Builder multiple choice answers. We’d love to add matching, reordering, and gap fill questions in the near future.

Learndash

LearnDash once dominated the premium WordPress LMS scene, but has since rested on its laurels for too long, allowing competitors to offer better, more modern features. This is made more apparent by their business decision to focus on a fully hosted (a.k.a. “locked-in”) LearnDash Cloud service, behind which they have access restricted their premium templates and visual editor.

It’s hard to evaluate the standalone LearnDash LMS plugin without considering the long-term business effects of this shift to a hosted solution. In the worst case, it could signal a gradual phasing out of the plugin development in favor of recurring revenue.

However... the LearnDash LMS plugin does offer some good features for course creators: protecting non-course content (on a page-by-page basis), some support for cohort learning, and a robust quiz engine. Unfortunately, these are now standard expectations for any professional LMS solution.

Where it falls behind is the lack of visual editing, limited drip unlock conditions, complete absence of reporting capabilities unless you purchase their ProPanel add-on, lack of designed certificate templates, and the fact they promote Starter Templates without properly disclaiming they are from 3rd party partners.

LifterLMS

LifterLMS has made great progress since its start as a bare bones, free LMS plugin. It now offers all the standard features you would expect from professional LMS software: excellent reporting, data exports, quizzes, certificates, and even the ability to protect non-course WordPress content.

However, the biggest drawback of LifterLMS is the lack of focus on designing a visually impressive experience for students – there are no professionally designed school, course or lesson templates, and lessons simply inherit the same template as standard WordPress pages. This will make it hard for customers to build professional courses that sell.

Finally, the pricing of LifterLMS is confusing and locks away features unnecessarily behind the higher tiers. Saving certificates as PDFs should not cost $240 per year!

Tutor LMS

If we had to choose one WordPress plugin to watch over the next few years, it would be Tutor LMS. It’s full of features without being overwhelming, and there’s a clear pattern of user-focused UI design choices. Their reporting, quizzes, and certificate features are leagues better than LearnDash or LifterLMS.

Tutor LMS loses a few marks for lack of email marketing integrations, and a complete lack of student data exporting, but these are easily added in future updates.

Where they lose the most marks is the inability to customize the lesson templates without investing in custom development or changing WordPress themes.

However, it’s clear that Tutor LMS has a talented team of designers and developers with a good understanding of modern LMS trends. Definitely one to watch!

Join 26,002 Online Entrepreneurs Who're Building Their Online Courses & Membership Sites With Thrive Apprentice

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Get Thrive Apprentice today as part of the Thrive Sell bundle of WordPress plugins.

Our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee

If, for any reason, you don't like Thrive Apprentice, you can get a full refund anytime within 30 days after your first purchase. If you have any issues, just get in touch with our friendly support team and they'll either help you out until you get the results you need or give you a swift refund.

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