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According to Forbes, the E-learning industry is going to be a $325-billion industry by 2025.

To make hay while the sun shines and create your courses online, WordPress provides a long list of plugins that you can utilize to host your courses.

There are tons of options available and it is a herculean task to select the best plugin to create, manage, and sell your courses from your WordPress website – especially if you have no technical expertise!

An ideal LMS plugin will give you the power to manage your course content, create memberships, oversee subscriptions, conduct exams and quizzes, accept payment, and so on.

To help you, my team and I have created a list of the best free LMS plugins for WordPress after hours of testing and research.

It’s the ultimate free LMS plugin guide for WordPress you will ever need!

(1) LearnPress

LearnPress Logo

Description

  • LearnPress is a popular free plugin for WordPress with 2,656,262 downloads (and counting) and a customer rating of 4.3 stars (out of 5).
  • It is suitable for beginners and people with no technical knowledge.
  • You can create courses with quizzes and lessons and if you want to make an advanced online course website, you could install powerful add-ons like bbPress, BuddyPress, and so on.
  • Despite being a lightweight plugin, you could create a replica of popular platforms like Coursera and Udemy.

Features

  • Setup Wizard: You can configure settings such as currency (of your choice), creation of pages such as course listing, student profile, and course checkout.
  • Unlimited Courses: You can create as many courses as you wish!
  • Content Export: You can export your course content. That is, you can use your course content on another WordPress website that you own. Secondly, you can use course lessons and exams or quizzes of one course in another.
  • Payment Gateways: You can either sell your courses for free or charge a one-time amount or accept recurring payments from your customers through payment gateways like PayPal, 2Checkout, Authorize.net, and Stripe.
  • WooCommerce Integration: LearnPress integrates with WooCommerce and lets you use coupons to provide discounts and offers to your students.
  • Page Templates: LearnPress provides you with a landing page template to enable you to talk about your course(s) and provide information about your platform.
  • “Become A Teacher” Page: If you want to collaborate with other teachers, coaches, and trainers, LearnPress will provide you with a page where teachers can register and work with you.
  • Gamification: LearnPress offers a badge and point system, so you can gamify your courses and when students see a ‘points table’, they are inspired to work harder.
  • bbPress: If you want to interact with your students and host a Q&A session, you can install the bbPress add-on.
  • BuddyPress: Do you want to create your social network? With the LearnPress BuddyPress add-on, your students can create their profiles and connect with other students in your “online university!”
  • Support: While testing, we found that LearnPress provides limited support to the free users. However, if you are a paid subscriber, LearnPress will support you through forums.
  • Compatibility: You can install and activate LearnPress on any WordPress theme. Additionally, you can use the themes provided by LearnPress itself! This will avoid compatibility issues and provide a better experience for your students. 

Pricing

FREE: According to LearnPress, “LearnPress is free and always it will be.”

What do we think about LearnPress?

After spending hours testing and researching, we conclude:

  1. LearnPress provides most of the features found in paid LMS plugins.
  2. It is flexible and you can use it with any theme.
  3. It provides limited support to its free users.
  4. You can accept payments from several payment gateways.
  5. You can create your social media through BuddyPress.
  6. LearnPress integrates with WooCommerce which helps you offer discounts to your students.

(2) Sensei LMS

Sensei LMS Logo

Description

  • Sensei, despite being a premium LMS plugin for WordPress, offers a free plan and was developed by the team that created WooCommerce.
  • Sensei is an easy-to-use LMS. In the free plan of Sensei, you can create courses, course lessons, conduct quizzes, and so on.
  • Since Sensei LMS was created by the team that created WooCommerce, you can easily integrate it with WooCommerce to accept payments, and offer discounts. You can relish all the other features provided by WooCommerce.
  • While testing the Sensei LMS, we discovered that it is not as powerful as other Learning Management Systems on this list. Additionally, you must use the WooCommerce plugin for Sensei to work.

Features

  • Seamless Integration: You can integrate the Sensei LMS effortlessly with your WordPress website and create courses, course lessons, and host quizzes.
  • Badges & Certificates: You can present course completion certificates and badges to your students and gamify the learning process.
  • Unlimited Courses: You can create as many courses as you wish!
  • Courses As Products: To create your courses and sell them, you must activate and use the WooCommerce plugin. To sell a course, you need to create a product and link it to the course.
  • WooCommerce Integration: Sensei LMS is created by the team that created WooCommerce, so you can offer discounts and offers to your students.
  • Compatibility: Sensei LMS integrates with every WordPress theme seamlessly. Therefore, you do not need to think twice before installing Sensei on your WordPress website.
  • Payment Gateways: Since Sensei LMS is an extension or add-on to WooCommerce, you can use all the payment options provided by WooCommerce, on a one-time or recurring payment basis.
  • Quizzes: If you want to conduct a quiz, Sensei LMS will let you publish a set of questions and display them randomly to test your students. You can grade your students either manually or automatically.

Pricing

  • FREE: Although the Sensei LMS provides a free plan, you will need premium plugins for grading, students’ course progress, etc.
  • Pro: The Pro plan will cost you $149 per year with one site license.

What do we think about Sensei LMS?

My team and I spent days testing Sensei LMS and we found that:

  1. Sensei LMS provides limited capabilities and add-ons and if you want advanced features, you would need premium plugins.
  2. If you are familiar with WooCommerce, you can effortlessly use Sensei to create and sell your courses.
  3. Sensei LMS does not provide a payment gateway of its own and you will need to use WooCommerce to accept payments.
  4. Sensei LMS is compatible with many WordPress themes, so you can use it on your website seamlessly.
  5. It provides basic features and you will need to install other plugins to make the most of Sensei LMS.
  6. It is suitable for basic course creation needs.

(3) MasterStudy LMS

MasterStudy LMS Logo

Description

  • MasterStudy LMS is a potent LMS that you can use to create an online course for free. MasterStudy LMS is a popular free plugin for WordPress with 384,330 downloads (and counting) and a customer rating of 3.7 stars (out of 5).
  • While testing, we found it to be hassle-free to use and it lets you create courses with graphs, slides, and anything you can think of – not only videos!
  • MasterStudy LMS was created with Vue.js, which means your course pages will load faster.
  • The plugin developers provide you with many resources, demonstrations, promotion tools, and a built-in theme for the LMS.
  • MasterStudy LMS offers quizzes and assessments, a community or social area for your students, quiz timers, course rating function, certificates (to be presented upon course completion), trial courses, live streaming of lectures, and so on.

Features

  • User-friendly Interface: MasterStudy LMS has an easy-to-use interface that lets you create courses with ease.
  • Payment Gateways: MasterStudy LMS enables you to accept payments for your courses through either PayPal or Stripe.
  • Social Network: You will get a message board (or chat-like) feature where your students can post their doubts and queries and get answers.
  • Quizzes: MasterStudy LMS lets you conduct a live Q&A session with your students, host quizzes, and have a countdown timer for the quizzes.
  • Certificates: You can present certificates upon course completion to your students. If you are a brand, your certificates could help your students in cracking job interviews – Oh, I love certificates!
  • Assignment Builder: If you love to give assignments – like my college professor – you can create assignments with the help of MasterStudy LMS’ easy-to-use interface.
  • Live Streaming: If you want to conduct a live coaching session, a live lecture, or a live Q&A session, you can utilize the power of MasterStudy’s live streaming feature. This will help you build rapport with your students and clear their doubts there and then.

Pricing

  • FREE: You can download, install, and activate the MasterStudy LMS on your WordPress website for free.
  • MasterStudy LMS also has a paid plan starting from $54.99 annually with a 1-site license. So if you want to save time and take your courses to the next level, you can purchase the paid plugin.

What do we think about MasterStudy LMS?

  1. We spent the least amount of time testing and exploring MasterStudy, due to its ease of use.
  2. It provides a lot of features for a free plugin.
  3. It stands out in the LMS market due to its live-streaming feature.
  4. While testing, we discovered that if you want to sell your courses, you will need the paid plugin.
  5. Through MasterStudy, you can create subscription plans for your courses, grade quizzes, accept payments, and so on.
  6. The MasterStudy LMS team provides a lot of demonstrations that will help you to set up your courses and save time.
  7. Since it is created in Vue.js, your course pages will load faster and give a seamless experience to your students.

(4) Tutor LMS

Tutor LMS Logo

Description

  • Tutor LMS is a robust LMS plugin for WordPress that contains all the features of a full-fledged online course platform.
  • It is one of the most popular free LMS plugins for WordPress with 896,003 downloads (and counting) and a customer rating of 4.6 stars (out of 5).
  • Tutor LMS will let you create courses, challenging quizzes, interactive lessons and sessions, potent reports, and stats making it the best free LMS plugin for WordPress.
  • Thanks to Tutor LMS, you can create your online university quickly, without having to write a single line of code. It is so easy to use that anyone can set up their courses easily.
  • Tutor LMS offers a front-end drag-and-drop course builder, certificate builder, and support from Themeum, Tutor LMS’ parent company.

Features

  • Front-end Course Builder: Tutor LMS’ pro version provides access to the front-end course builder that enables even a beginner, without any technical experience whatsoever, to create courses from the front-end drag-and-drop builder.
  • Certificates: Tutor LMS comes with a certificate builder that gives you the power to create and present certificates to students upon course completion.
  • Multimedia Content Support: You can create courses not only by including videos, but also text, audio, and live classes.
  • Quiz Builder: You can host quizzes to test your students’ progress and knowledge through the Quiz Builder.
  • E-mail Editor: Tutor LMS provides you with the power to send e-mails to your students, trainers, teachers, and coaches informing them about the upcoming events or classes in your E-university.
  • Interactivity: You can conduct Q&A sessions to help your students and clear their doubts.
  • Notifications: Through Tutor LMS, you can send notifications to your students regarding the events and live sessions.
  • Migration: Tutor LMS provides 1-click migration tools if you ever want to change the LMS platform. It provides integration with LearnDash and LearnPress – at the time of this writing – but it promises to expand the list.
  • Multilingual: You can create courses in more than 27 languages, so not knowing English is not a drawback anymore for creating courses!
  • Robust Security: In addition to providing all the top-notch features, Tutor LMS focuses heavily on the security and protection of users’ data. This one feature is usually the reason why many organizations buy or use Tutor LMS.
  • Integrations: Tutor LMS integrates with E-commerce plugins, page builders like Elementor, membership/social media plugins like BuddyPress, and so on.
  • Compatibility: Tutor LMS supports many built-in WordPress themes, so you can use Tutor LMS on your website seamlessly. It also provides its own LMS theme to make your E-university look more professional!

Pricing

  • FREE: The core Tutor LMS plugin is free of cost.
  • Paid Plans: From $119.20 per year with a 1-site license.

What do we think about Tutor LMS?

Of all the LMSs that we researched and tested, my team enjoyed using the Tutor LMS for the following reasons:

  1. It is extremely easy to use. You can create courses even if you have no technical knowledge.
  2. It focuses on security and user data protection making this its selling point.
  3. You can create not only video courses, but also text-only courses, audio-only courses, and live classes.
  4. The best feature, in my opinion, is the 1-click migration. With a single click, you can migrate your courses to LearnDash or LearnPress (the list will grow).
  5. However, we discovered that you can create certificates and assignments only if you purchase the premium version of the LMS.

(5) Lifter LMS

LifterLMS Logo

Description

  • LifterLMS is a popular and powerful LMS plugin for WordPress that lets you create and sell your courses, provide security to your course content, and create a membership site.
  • It is one of the most popular free LMS plugins with over 963,620 downloads and a customer rating of 4.8 stars (out of 5).
  • LifterLMS offers a drag-and-drop builder like LearnDash and you can create course lessons with video, audio, images, and text.
  • LifterLMS works with any page builder – Elementor, BeaverBuilder, Divi, Themify, etc.
  • LifterLMS integrates with plugins like AffiliateWP, Monster Insights, WPFusion, and many more.  LifterLMS is so powerful that Zapier has listed it as one of the eleven WordPress plugins.
  • Below are a few numbers to indicate the power of LifterLMS:
    • 4,348,041 course enrollments
    • 6,570,731 course and lesson completions
    • 86,807 achievement badges awarded
    • 120,728 certificates awarded
  • LifterLMS is recommended by review pages like winningwp, wpbeginner, and smallenvelop, and it aims to help you manage your E-university in the easiest way possible.

Features

  • Offline Learning: You can set assignments, course prerequisites, and offer material that can be downloaded so your students can learn offline, as well.
  • Interactivity: Your students can interact with you and other instructors through forums, lesson comments, and live interaction/coaching sessions.
  • Enhanced Experience: You can enhance the learning experience by using add-ons like WPForms to create custom registration forms, and collect student testimonials, and surveys.
  • Payment Gateways: You can accept payments – one-time and recurring – from your students through PayPal, Authorize.net, or Stripe. You could also offer discount coupons to your students.
  • E-mail Autoresponder: LifterLMS integrates with MailChimp, so you can collect e-mails, build your e-mail list, and send e-mail campaigns.
  • Support: LifterLMS provides technical support, tons of free training videos, and so on.
  • Migration: LifterLMS provides migration tools if you ever want to change the LMS platform. So if you want to move to another LMS, it’s going to be a ‘breeze’.
  • Social Network: You can create your social network through LifterLMS. With LifterLMS, your students can create their profiles and connect with other students in your E-university!
  • Badges & Certificates: You can present course completion certificates and badges to your students and gamify the learning process.
  • WooCommerce Integration: With WooCommerce, you could create a product and link it to a course. WooCommerce provides multiple payment options, so you can accept payments from several payment gateways.
  • Page Builders: Make your courses more attractive aesthetically by using Divi, BeaverBuilder, and Elementor.
  • Graduation Programs: LifterLMS give you the flexibility to create from smaller mini-courses to full-fledged degree programs.
  • Affiliate Integration: LifterLMS lets you create an Affiliate Network of your own, so the Affiliate Marketers will do the marketing and sales for you!

Pricing

  • FREE: LifterLMS is a free LMS plugin, but you need to pay for advanced features.
  • Trial: LifterLMS provides a $1, 30-day trial, so you can explore, play around, and test the LMS before paying the full price.
  • Pricing Plans:
    1. Individual Add-ons: From $120 each per year
    2. Universal Bundle: $360 per year
    3. Infinity Bundle: $1,200 per year

What do we think about Lifter LMS?

After testing the LifterLMS with my team, I conclude:

  1. LifterLMS is easy to use and provides demo courses so you set up everything without hassle.
  2. LifterLMS can be used by anyone who wants to sell online courses.
  3. The core plugin is free, but if you want advanced features, you will need to pay at least $120 (for individual add-ons).
  4. If you choose to buy the individual add-ons, you will have to pay a hefty price.

What Should You Look For In The LMS Plugins?

We talked a bit about what a Learning Management System is and how it helps you create courses. We also covered the top 5 FREE LMS plugins for WordPress.

But one question still remains unanswered: “What should you look for before using any LMS plugin?”

With the help of my team, I came up with a few points to help you select the best LMS based on your needs.

  1. Course builder with the capability to add learning resources like videos, PDFs, links, graphs, stats, and other elements.
  2. Page builder integration to make your courses attractive aesthetically.
  3. Course progress bar to help you and your students identify their progress.
  4. Student profile section to let students create their profiles, determine their progress, and courses they enrolled into.
  5. Quizzes and exams to test your students’ knowledge and how much they have understood your content.
  6. BuddyPress integration to create your social network and let students interact with other students and teachers through chats and forums/discussions.
  7. Payment Gateways, to receive payments from more than one mode.
  8. Gamification by awarding badges and certificates for completing a certain activity.
  9. E-mail editor/autoresponder to inform students about their progress and upcoming events, such as a live class or a Q&A session.
  10. Assignment submission capability to let students submit assignments effortlessly.
  11. Ease of use: It is crucial to use a Learning Management System that makes the course creation process seamless for anyone and everyone, even if you do not have technical knowledge.
  12. Migration to move from one LMS to another with ease.

If this post helped you make a decision, please share it with friends and family to help them!

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