LMS Plugins for WordPress

13 Best WordPress LMS Plugins for Online Courses

There is an online course for just about everything today. Whether you are trying to learn mathematics or learn how to be better at tennis, courses exist on the Internet ready to assist. And to make those courses in WordPress, you need an LMS plugin.

The popularity of course websites has skyrocketed in recent years, especially during the pandemic. Online video courses in general have really risen in popularity, and sites built around them have become very profitable.

Of course, building these types of websites is not easy. Even if you buy the right kind of tools, the truth is you need experts to craft the content. As a result, there’s a tremendous amount of prep work that goes into every site.

Today, I am going to share the most popular LMS plugins you can use to build your own online courses.

What Is an LMS Plugin in WordPress and How to Identify A Good One

A Learning Management System, or LMS, is a tool designed to build courses for educational purposes. These can be anything from a traditional mathematics course to teaching how to get the best swing in golf.

These platforms also include everything else you would typically need to run an online course such as enrollment tools, communication tools, gamification, and much more.

While each LMS is different and has its own unique features and design, most of them share a variety of features in common. As such, let’s take a moment to go over what you should look for when choosing one.

Course Enrollment

The courses you build are meaningless if you do not have students attending them. Thus, every competent LMS comes with enrollment tools that allow you to grant students access to the courses, and most importantly, collect payments.

Most LMSs have a great selection of subscription plans you can create to fit the needs of your business.

Collecting payments is also a vital part of the enrollment process. You’ll need to be able to connect with popular payment gateways (PayPal, Stripe, etc.) to make sure your business is accessible to all clientele.

The worst thing that can happen is losing a customer because they don’t have a way to pay you.

Course Building

The bread and butter of every LMS is the actual course building. This includes things like the video player, the material you ask visitors to read, and much more.

Essentially, every aspect of the course itself is dependent on the options you have when building it from scratch. Many LMSs come with templates you can follow and customize to fit your needs.

Today, most of the popular LMSs have adopted a drag-and-drop course builder. This means you can choose the elements you want to include (image, video, etc.) and drag them to the desired location.

This makes it easy to build courses from scratch and you can see what they look like in real time.

Course Evaluations

Love them or hate them, quizzes and tests are an essential part of gauging how effective students are at absorbing the material you are trying to teach them.

Most LMS plugins offer a variety of options like multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, short answer, essay options, and much more. Some formats work better for certain subjects, so it is important to have those options available.

Of course, evaluating the student’s performance is really only half of the battle. You also need access to powerful analytics that can help you identify what courses are the most popular.

This can help you create more courses that students may be willing to take, or even develop more advanced lessons for those who completed the first course.

Course Progress

Students need to be able to see their progress within a course. This can be in the form of grades, certificates, progress bars, and more. Many LMS today use gamification to help make it seem like students are making lots of progress.

Basically, by completing coursework (tasks), students will earn badges (rewards). It helps motivate and keep the students engaged.

Some of the LMS plugins on this list really go the extra mile when it comes to adding incentives. This is known as gamification and comes in many forms.

The most popular are rewarding badges and creating a points system that encourages students to increase their scores. These types of systems help drive students through course material, so don’t hesitate to add them.

Content Dripping

The courses you build are the content you provide to your users. And due to the amount of time it takes to build courses, you probably want to make sure that a course lasts a certain amount of time. This ensures they are subscribed for longer.

For that reason, content dripping is an essential part of the equation.

Content dripping helps limit how much content a student can go through in a day, which can help increase the length of their subscription.

For example, the Reedsy masterclass for How to Write a Novel releases a week’s worth of writing classes at a time. That way, students will have to come back the next week for the next section.

Most competent LMS tools allow you to schedule when the coursework will be available. For instance, you would be able to release content every week so students have new course material weekly.

This helps keep the students enrolled for longer periods of time when compared to giving them access to the full course all at once.

Student Communication/Collaboration

Depending on the type of course, you may want students to interact with one another. For that to happen, you must have a communication system in place.

Although many students may just agree to use another platform to collaborate, like Discord or Google Docs, it’s important for an LMS to include communication or collaboration features.

Many LMS plugins have a ton of integration options when it comes to collaboration with the most popular option being Zoom. In fact, you can host entire classes on Zoom itself.

Alternatively, some of these include live stream options to allow you to deliver lectures on a more personal level instead of pre-recording them. It’s a great way for students to ask questions and boost engagement.


At the end of the day, regardless of your intentions, your website is a business. You need to make sure that the cost of your LMS falls within an acceptable range.

The good news is that you can find an excellent WordPress LMS plugin for free. That said, these typically lack other features we have mentioned, thus, the premium version is usually the better option to get more bang for your buck.

With all of that said, let’s take a look at the best LMS plugins available in WordPress.

The Best WordPress LMS Plugins to Use

1. MemberPress

MemberPress is one of the best LMS plugins for WordPress

MemberPress is the premier membership plugin in WordPress. If you want your site to have a membership, this plugin can do it. Naturally, it includes tools that are suitable for creating online courses.

This is known as Courses mode and gives you a head start for building online classes in WordPress.

One of the biggest obstacles beginners face is trying to get their courses to actually look good in an online environment. The Visual Curriculum Builder helps you build out your course in an easy-to-view mode to ensure it looks good.

You’ll have plenty of control over how the content is viewed by users. For instance, you can force students to complete one lesson before the next becomes available. All of this is built directly into the Gutenberg editor, so it’s quite easy to use.

When it comes to subscription models, you can have anything you want. It has your standard weekly, monthly, annual, and so on to choose from, but you can also create custom subscriptions for any length of time.

Benefits of Using MemberPress

  • Has a plethora of features for other membership site models that you may find useful
  • Content dripping allows you to reveal new coursework at designated times (once a day, week, month, etc.)
  • Has a variety of useful integrations like Zoom to help with communication
  • Fully compatible with Google Analytics
  • Analytics help you identify areas where your students may be getting stuck

2. Tutor LMS

tutor LMS is one of the most comprehensive LMS plugins for WordPress

Tutor LMS is another excellent choice when trying to choose an LMS plugin for WordPress. It delivers a comprehensive course-building experience from start to finish with a great selection of customization options.

But don’t just take my word for it; you can actually try the plugin yourself with the free version.

With it, you can check out the drag-and-drop course builder. This makes creating coursework a breeze while also providing a ton of options for instructors to build courses. No matter your skill level, you can make excellent lesson plans.

This plugin also has the ability to host live classes online. You’ll have multiple chat options to use including Zoom, YouTube, or Google Classroom. It’s also extremely useful if you need to provide extra support to a student one-on-one.

Sometimes the most annoying aspect of an LMS is not being able to quickly access what you want from the dashboard. That’s not an issue here because you can customize what is in your dashboard as both a teacher and a student.

Benefits of Using Tutor LMS

  • Students can access all of their courses on a mobile device
  • Powerful analytics allow you to track student performance and earnings in one place
  • Includes a variety of email templates with excellent design
  • Supports over 27 different languages which makes it great for foreign language classes
  • Easily include a file submission option on all assignments

3. LearnDash


LearnDash is not just a popular LMS plugin for WordPress, but the eLearning community as a whole. Even universities use it to build their online courses. So, by using it, you’ll have the same capabilities as a university.

While there is no free trial, you can try without consequence, as you can get a refund if you cancel within the first thirty days.

In terms of course creation, you’ll be able to build courses using a drag-and-drop course builder. With it, you can build anything from the lesson to the final exam within the same editor. It’s comprehensive and easy to use.

One of the biggest hurdles when installing LMS plugins in WordPress is how difficult they can be to set up. LearnDash fixes this with the best setup wizard on this list. You’ll be able to set up the essentials in minutes and then focus on expanding each one.

Communication between students is incredibly important. One way that LearnDash stands out is to have dynamic forums built into the software. This creates a great environment for students to discuss topics with one another.

Benefits of Using LearnDash

  • Create multi-tiered courses aimed at beginner, intermediate, or advanced learners
  • Drip content at regular intervals to make sure students have new lessons to go through without feeling overwhelmed
  • Send out automatic emails when an assignment is ready to be graded or when an assignment has been graded
  • Award students certificates and badges as they progress through the course (gamification)
  • Works well in a multi-site environment, but requires a different plan

4. LifterLMS


LifterLMS is another powerful LMS plugin for WordPress that delivers an excellent user experience for both students and teachers. It includes all of the essential features an LMS needs to function in WordPress alongside its own unique functions.

Luckily, the core plugin is completely free to use, so there’s not much to lose in giving it a try.

As is the standard, LifterLMS sports a drag-and-drop builder that allows you to build courses easily and add lots of elements. One of the biggest focuses with this one is how easy it is to place multimedia (images, videos, audio, etc.) into the lessons.

You can easily set up multi-tiered courses where users have to complete course A before they can take course B. This ensures the student has the knowledge they need to properly understand the material while also increasing the number of courses they take.

One of the more unique features is after a student completes a course, they are asked to leave a review/testimonial. You can use these to help promote your courses to other students. Never underestimate the power of user reviews.

Benefits of Using Lifter LMS

  • Includes a great selection of add-ons like an affiliate manager to help improve affiliate interactions
  • Add gamification to all assignments to help push students through coursework
  • Analytics help track down where students struggle the most
  • Drip content on a regular schedule to ensure students always have new assignments on a weekly basis
  • Integrates with eCommerce platforms to help you accept payments from a variety of sources

5. LearnPress


Are you looking for a free plugin to build a course in WordPress? If so, look no further than the wildly popular LearnPress plugin. This plugin is completely free and includes a variety of features that you can use to make excellent online courses.

Of course, as a free option, it will ultimately have fewer features than a premium plugin. However, it may just be what you are looking for.

One area that this plugin matches its premium counterparts is the course builder. It includes an easy-to-use drag-and-drop course builder that gives you complete freedom when it comes to course creation.

This plugin comes with a full gamification tool set. It allows you to assign points and badges to every activity. This allows students to increase their scores and collect rewards as they go through the course material.

Now, while the plugin is free, it’s worth mentioning that if you want to accept payments, you are going to need to pay for payment gateway integration. The good news is that this is just a one-time fee instead of a subscription model. But it is something you should be aware of.

Benefits of Using LearnPress

  • Includes the ability to place images, videos, audio, PowerPoint presentations, and much more into any lesson
  • Drip content to your students to ensure they stay engaged with the course material
  • Integrates with WooCommerce to help make it easier to accept payments
  • Purchase the Prerequisite add-on to make it so students need to take one course before taking another
  • There is no limit on the number of courses or lesson materials you can build

6. WP Courseware

WP Courseware

One of the best LMS plugins you can find on WordPress is WP Courseware. It comes with everything you will need to build your online courses and ensure they are a huge hit with the students who take them.

You can try it for free by using WP Courseware’s demo site. It’s a great way to see if it’s right for you before buying it.

As you might expect by this point, WP Coursework comes with a drag-and-drop course builder. It is perfect for building courses of any size and as soon as you finish, it will automatically list them on your site.

One of the more unique features that many online course developers may think is useless is the offline options. That’s right, if students can’t always be online, they can actually print out the lessons using the PDF version of them.

Obviously, they will still need to be online to submit coursework, but it can be great for students with bad internet connections. Regardless of whether you are a student or teacher, you’ll have a great experience with WP Courseware.

Benefits of Using WP Courseware

  • Utilizes a content drip feature that allows you to release coursework on specific dates
  • Choose between PayPal and Stripe to accept one-time payments or even recurring payments
  • Create course prerequisites to ensure students are ready for what they sign up for
  • Instructors do not need backend access to create or edit their courses
  • Place courses anywhere on your website using shortcodes

7. Sensei


Do you know what WordPress, WooCommerce, Jetpack, and Sensei all have in common? They were all made by Automattic. As you might expect, Sensei is another terrific plugin that allows you to easily build courses in WordPress.

You’ll be able to try the full plugin by using the free Sensei version.

Unlike many on this list, Sensei does not have a drag-and-drop editor. Instead, it uses the WordPress editor to put courses together. The good news is that Gutenberg is pretty intuitive, so, if you can build your website in WordPress, you can build courses with this plugin.

As such, you won’t have any limitations when it comes to the content you can add to courses. Videos, images, audio files, PDFs, and just about anything else you can place in Gutenberg is free game.

As you might expect, you are going to need WooCommerce to sell your courses in WordPress. As these plugins come from the same developers, they work seamlessly together. Overall, the plugin is comprehensive and easy to use.

Benefits of Using Sensei

  • Quizzes can be graded automatically so students can receive feedback immediately
  • Encourage students to continue courses with gamification (badges)
  • Includes an instant messenger for communication between students and instructors
  • Accept recurring payments for subscriptions or one-time payments
  • Create random quizzes from a bank of questions you have already made

8. MasterStudy LMS

MasterStudy LMS

If you are trying to build courses on a budget, the MasterStudy LMS is the perfect plugin for the job. It is completely free to use and has everything you’ll need to create high-quality courses your students will love.

It’s perfect for just about any kind of course including one-on-one classes (coaching), or traditional university-styled classes.

The MasterStudy course builder is comprehensive, but a bit more complicated than the standard drag-and-drop options. That said, it’s still pretty easy to use. You simply select what you want to build and fill out the necessary information.

You’ll also be able to post video lessons and even live stream the course material directly for students. With that said, there are fewer design options available, but that is to be expected of any free option.

Of course, there is a Pro version that includes a lot of the bells and whistles you’ll find in the other LMS tools on this list. One of the more unique features is the ability to design your own course certificates to award students who pass.

Benefits of Using MasterStudy

  • The Pro version includes Zoom integration so you can create an online classroom
  • Give students the ability to retake quizzes to get the results they want
  • Display how long a lesson will take to complete to help students set aside enough time
  • Import options for courses made on Udemy
  • Create a free trial course to show potential students what your courses are like

9. Good LMS

Good LMS

While it’s not free, Good LMS is the cheapest premium LMS plugin on this list for WordPress. And you’ll be pleased to know that it includes everything you’ll need to launch successful courses in WordPress.

What’s even more important is that it’s easy to use. They even have a great tutorial video to show you how everything works.

You’ll be able to put a course together by making a choice of what elements to include and filling out the appropriate information. And building assignments, quizzes, and tests is an identical process.

Courses look professional from the student’s side of things. There’s a really nice progress bar when going through courses so you can see what you’ve covered and what’s to come. This also helps make navigating through the lesson much easier.

One of the more unique features is being able to set a commission rate. That way, instructors looking to create courses for you know what they are going to make. It’s a great way to get instructors flocking to your website.

Benefits of Using Good LMS

  • Includes a coupon creator to create coupons for your courses and get new students to sign up
  • The Interface of the plugin is based on WordPress, so you’ll know how to use it if you know WordPress
  • Gamification is front and center with both a badge and point system to help push students along
  • Create custom certificates for your students who pass the courses you build
  • Allows students to retake quizzes as many times as they want

10. Paid Memberships Pro

Paid Membership Pro WordPress LMS plugin

Paid Memberships Pro is another excellent LMS plugin for WordPress. Don’t let its placement fool you, though. It is incredibly popular with over 90,000 active installs and has everything you need to build courses in WordPress.

That said, you will need to install the free add-on that adds course creation functionality.

One of the best aspects of this plugin is the integration options for other LMS plugins like LearnDash, Lifter, Sensei, and Tutor LMS. All of these are featured on the list and you can choose to use those course builders if you want by purchasing the integration option.

That said, You will be able to create courses without using another LMS. In this case, you can use the WordPress editor to do it, which means you can add just about anything to the courses you make with Gutenberg.

The specialty of this plugin is managing enrolled students. You can track each member and ensure they have the access they need to take the course they sign up for. In most cases, this will all be automated.

Benefits of Using Paid Memberships Pro

  • There are no limits on the number or types of memberships you can create for your courses
  • You can create a membership that grants access to all courses at once
  • Many features in the plugin are controlled with shortcodes to make it easy to use
  • Integrates with most plugins like WooCommerce, Elementor, MailChimp, and more
  • Includes a variety of filter and action hooks you can utilize


CLUEVO WordPress LMS plugin

CLUEVO LMS is another excellent choice that is a bit different than the other entries on this list. This LMS plugin for WordPress focuses on allowing users to build modules for their courses.

It is perfect for building online courses, but also works really well for delivering training materials to new employees.

The plugin starts free with enough functionality for you to get the hang of things and make simple modules. However, you will quickly realize if you want the standard LMS features, you are going to need to purchase the premium add-ons for it.

These include things like a Quiz Maker, Certification Builder, the ability for users to see their course progress, WooCommerce integration to accept payments, and more. Each add-on is sold separately.

It’s important to point out that this does not have a drag-and-drop editor. Instead, you use a module builder that you can create an outline for the content, and then fill in the respective information. It is simple and works well for just about any lesson plan.

Benefits of Using CLUEVO LMS

  • Supports most file types like mp3, mp4, webm, and so on
  • Allows you to add videos from YouTube, Twitch, and other streaming platforms
  • Use shortcodes to place your modules in the correct location
  • Use Google documents as modules with a free extension
  • Easily control which user groups have access to each module

12. Academy LMS

Academy LMS WordPress plugin

Academy LMS might just be the best LMS plugin for WordPress. It delivers an expertly crafted experience that makes creating online courses easy at any skill level, while also having tools that experts look for.

While you can try the plugin with the free version, the majority of the features will be in the Pro version.

When it comes to course creation, this LMS plugin for WordPress can make just about anything. It supports all types of media, offers several question types, and even supports creating trailers/previews of future content.

The plugin also supports revenue sharing. For example, say an instructor built a course for your site. That instructor would be able to receive a portion of the income that the course generates, which can help attract more course makers to your site.

Academy LMS also comes with a variety of features that would typically require their own plugins. For example, it has a dull form builder to help create easy sign-up forms or a booking system for students to book tutors.

Benefits of Using Academy LMS

  • Import and Export CSV files
  • Includes WooCommerce integration to help sell courses
  • Utilize Zoom calls to create online classes, or communicate one-on-one with students
  • The quiz builder includes 6 question types
  • Set how long course material is available

13. Namaste! LMS

Namaste! LMS WordPress plugin

Closing out this list is the Namaste! LMS plugin for WordPress. It is a free plugin that provides the basic building blocks you’ll need to build online courses within WordPress and is pretty easy to use.

Like other free options on this list, there is a Pro version that includes additional functions.

Building courses is easy because it utilizes the Gutenberg editor in WordPress. While it may not be as easy as a drag-and-drop builder, if you can make post or page content in WordPress, you’ll have no issue building courses.

It offers a variety of awards for students. You can design custom certificates to award upon completion and even create badges that the students can collect, or use to identify that a course has been completed.

When it comes to releasing courses to the public, you have a lot of options. You can release courses as free, paid, or even bundle classes together. Overall, it is a great tool that is worth giving a try.

Benefits of Using Namaste! LMS

  • Easily manage your student’s grades using the Gradebook
  • Allow users to add courses to their shopping carts
  • Delay access to course material to help stretch out course time
  • Easily assign teachers to different classes
  • Includes a variety of hooks you can use for custom features

WordPress LMS FAQ

Picking an LMS plugin for WordPress is really only the first step to building a course-based website. For that reason, you probably have a lot of questions concerning LMS. Here are some of the most common questions you may have.

Are Premium LMS Plugins Worth the Cost?

Absolutely! While there are some excellent free options available, the truth is they often lack features you are going to need, especially when your website becomes more popular.

Is WordPress a Good Platform For LMS?

WordPress is an amazing platform for any type of website. The platform offers developers a robust experience when it comes to designing websites. As this list demonstrates, WordPress has plenty of LMS tools to choose from.

Will An LMS Plugin Be Enough on Its Own?

Probably not. You might have noticed that I mentioned a lot of the above plugins offer users several plugin integration options. That’s because you may use a more specialized plugin to fit the needs of your website, like MailChimp for email.

Is Gamification a Good Addition to eLearning Websites?

One of the biggest problems students face when taking any kind of course is motivation. Gamification can help improve student motivation by getting them to continue their lesson as they chase higher scores or rewards.

How Qualified Should Instructors Be?

It ultimately depends on the type of classes you are teaching, but to be clear, you don’t actually need any credentials. It really depends on what the course is about. That said, the more credentials you do have, the better it looks from a value perspective.

How Do I Attract Students to My Courses?

Marketing, marketing, and a lot more marketing. How you go about that marketing depends entirely on what you are teaching. You need to be able to reach your target audience. For example, if the class is about tennis, having flyers at tennis courts would be smart.

Should I Include Free Content?

Giving potential customers a sample of what you provide is a good strategy. While online learning is popular, many still don’t know what it is like and want to make sure the course is for them. A simple free lesson could do wonders, but make sure it is good.

Start Building Online Courses Today

As you can see, it is easy to find an excellent LMS plugin for WordPress. Each one has its own unique spin on the course creation process and users will certainly have their own preferences on what’s best.

Once you have an LMS in place, you need to get qualified instructors who can teach courses online and know how to actually use the LMS to build those courses. And of course, once that’s done, you need to convince users your courses are worth paying for.

As you probably already know, building a website for online courses is very time-intensive, so make sure to have the proper resources in place. This doesn’t just mean course material, but the money to keep your website online.

Otherwise, you might not last very long.

In any case, I hope you found this list to be helpful, and if we missed your favorite LMS plugins in WordPress, let us know in the comments section.

What’s your favorite LMS plugin for WordPress? What type of courses are you hoping to build and sell online?