Do you want to develop a learning website on WordPress? You need to use learning management system plugins compatible with WordPress plugins. You may rely on WordPress as the LMS platform. However, its core software has no LMS capabilities. That is why you should use LMS plugins for your course development purposes.
The choice of the right plugin lets you manage your virtual course content, run quizzes, accept payments, and do several other things. Although there are several free LMS plugins, Lifter LMS and LearnDash have gained popularity. But, how do these plugins differ from each other? Let us briefly discuss- LearnDash vs LifterLMS.
Plugins are software components, which equip your learning management system with extra capabilities like-
- Conversion of text to speech
- Incorporating transcripts and captions
- Activation of keyboard navigation
- Giving feedback
Plugins are tools that let you comply with WCAG guidelines and standards. You will save effort and time if you use plugins for creating online courses.
WordPress LMS plugins provide you with several design options. No matter what templates and plugins you have chosen for your WordPress website, these plugins will be compatible.
Introduced in 2014, LifterLMS is a free, plugin WordPress LMS plugin. The highly flexible plugin is designed to help you develop a digital training program. Its drag-and-drop interface helps you build the course and integrate different elements. Several coaches, experts, and entrepreneurs have chosen this plugin.
Chris Badgett (an entrepreneur) and Thomas Levy (a poet) collaborated to create the LifterLMS plugin. More than 6,570,000 courses have been designed with this plugin. The mission of Badgett is to empower teachers and entrepreneurs to provide the best learning experience and enable learners to get the desired results.
LifterLMS has both free and premium versions. If you prefer the plugin, it can be upgraded to the paid version. The plugin helps you sell training packages, membership, and online courses. To keep your subscribers or learners engaged, you can consider tools for gamification and online community.
Related: LifterLMS Coupon Code 2023
LearnDash is another WordPress LMS plugin used by training agencies, universities, entrepreneurs, and several organizations. Justin Ferriman (an e-learning consultant) and Kloé Ferriman (a design specialist and customer service expert) developed LearnDash.
Like LifterLMS, LearnDash is a course-building solution. You will be able to add quizzes, create drip-feed content, and make downloads for sale. The effective use of these features will enable you to increase audience engagement. If you need more for your website, you can choose third-party plugins compatible with LearnDash.
User-friendliness of LifterLMS and LearnDash
LifterLMS is an intuitive plugin that you can install easily. After accessing your WordPress dashboard, you need to click on the Add New option from the Plugins menu. After installing and activating the plugin, you can start using it for course development.
The activated plugin will show different options like
You will also be able to check your weekly activity status from the Settings menu. For instance, you can monitor activities, such as registrations, enrollments, lessons delivered, and the total number of sales.
Similarly, the Reporting tab on the left menu helps you check the reports of learners who have recently enrolled. Their grades, achievements, and certificates can also be tracked easily.
So, LifterLMS is a versatile plugin with an uncluttered interface. The course builder is easily customizable without the need for coding.
LearnDash has no free version. So, you have to buy the plugin before installing it from the WordPress dashboard. Click on the Upload Plugin button and get it installed. After successful installation, you can activate the plugin.
You are now ready to use LearnDash. Create user profile pages, insert content, make your course listing, and sell courses. LearnDash also presents you with documentation and videos to help you understand how to use the plugin.
Comparing documentation- LearnDash vs LifterLMS
LearnDash is advantageous for novices because it provides solid documentation. From explanatory videos to tutorials, everything is there to let you have a clear concept. As LearnDash is highly popular, you can find different blogs and forums about the plugin.
On the other hand, Lifter LMS has good documentation available as a Knowledge Base. However, it mainly covers textual content. Besides, you will be able to join blogs relevant to it.
As you have activated LifterLMS, you can create a membership website and courses from the WP dashboard.
The page for course development uses the default WP editor. It lets you incorporate course details and descriptions for students. The settings bar enables you to manage course visibility.
If you want to develop the course content using LifterLMS, you have to access the course admin and have your course builder.
You can organize your course in lessons or modules.
The course builder lets you add new sections or keep your lessons organized. You can choose different content formats (such as audio files, videos, assignments, and quizzes) for your lesson.
The content of every lesson is configurable from individual settings. You will also be able to embed audio/video files, configure assignments, create quizzes, and manage other settings.
Building a course with LearnDash involves a few simple steps. The sidebar of the dashboard of the plugin has the Courses option. The Add New button lets you insert the course details and title. However, if you have thought of adding more structures or sections to the online course, hit the Builder option. You may add new section titles, lessons, and quizzes.
Both course builders are suitable for online course development professionals. Still, LifterLMS provides more options when compared to LearnDash.
Themes and extensions- LearnDash and LifterLMS
LearnDash is one of the best LMS plugins with a lot of themes and extension options. Several themes and extensions are compatible with LearnDash. Using these extensions, you will be able to do different things related to your digital learning website.
On the other hand, LifterLMS has a comparatively smaller library of compatible themes and extensions. So, make sure that you have chosen well-coded themes for your LMS website.
Add-ons available for LifterLMS and LearnDash
LifterLMS offers some add-ons to improve the functionality of the main plugin
Advanced Quizzes: The add-on can transform the student’s learning experience. It can enrich the in-house functionality of the plugin and enable you to develop complex quizzes. You can incorporate different types of questions, such as essay questions or true/false.
WooCommerce integration: You can choose the add-on for WooCommerce and LifterLMS integration. Your students will get the best buying experience while you can sell your online programs.
Assignments: Create and organize assignments for digital courses. Your assignments can be created with particular due dates, instructions, and other details.
Private Areas: If you want every student to have a private space in the LMS platform, you can consider this add-on. It will allow learners to have one-on-one interactions with instructors and get personalized feedback.
Groups: Use the add-on to create groups. You may offer discounts or assign leaders to particular groups. Several training centers and businesses that need to deal with multiple trainees can use this add-on.
Social learning: Develop a sense of community among learners by creating a media-style interface.
LearnDash provides different add-ons for course developers
Notes: Let your trainees take notes related to the course.
Gradebook: It helps you track scores and generate custom reports.
Group Plus: The LearnDash add-on lets you assign different instructors, track course duration, and sell seats.
Certificate builder- Create certificates with a Gutenberg editor.
ProPanel: Use the add-on to track assignments and enrollments.
Course Grid: Insert a course library into any page.
Most LearnDash add-ons are available at only $49 per year. However, if you have multiple websites and purchase these add-ons in bundles, you will save money.
Comparing features of LifterLMS and LearnDash
LifterLMS comes with different features
Course development and proper management- With the LifterLMS plugin, you will be able to create lessons and integrate multimedia. Add audio, video, images, and text to your lessons.
Course developers can organize and arrange modules from the drag-and-drop interface. At the end of the course, you can provide certificates to your students.
Front-end login and student profile creation
An e-learning website developed with the LifterLMS plugin allows students to set up and personalize their profiles that showcase their course progress, achievements, and certificates. Besides, the user-friendly login system is advantageous for students. Learners can quickly go through the sign-in or sign-up process.
Access control and memberships
As a course developer, you can create different membership levels that grant access to the desired content. Depending on the chosen membership plan, users can find the content. This feature is useful when you think of providing exclusive or premium content for paid members. You can also use it to offer additional educational resources for subscribers.
LifterLMS lets you create an interface where students can navigate with their smartphones. It means that course content will be easily accessible to users.
Analytics- The integrated tracking tools provide you with analytical data about members or students. So, you can monitor the current progress of students, new orders, and refunds. These details are essential to improve your course quality.
LearnDash comes with a range of features
- Simple registration and login to let students access your online course.
- Focus Mode- To prevent distractions and improve the learning experience
- Smart course builder- You can develop a multi-faceted online course and break it into different lessons.
- Quiz Builder- It is an advanced functionality that lets you make 8 categories of questions.
- Schedule the course- LearnDash helps you choose from various scheduling options. Display the course content to students at a time.
- Lesson’s time schedule- Set a particular timeframe for every lesson. So, learners cannot skip any lesson.
- Gamification- Allot points to users depending on their performance.
- Official badges and certificates- Give certificates to students by adding their names and other details.
- Email notifications- Create custom notifications for reminders and course status.
The cost is one of the significant factors for choosing the WordPress LMS plugin. So, let us talk about the packages of LifterLMS and LearnDash.
This plugin is available free of cost. But, if you want better features, you can pay for the premium packages.
With the free core plugin, you will be able to add unlimited
- Teachers and students
Currently, there are 3 premium packages.
Earth Bundle- $199 per year- Along with the core plugin, you will have an active site. Besides, you will also get eCommerce payment add-ons for WooCommerce, PayPal, and Stripe.
Universal Bundle at $360 per year- The package lets you deal with 5 websites and choose the Sky Pilot theme. It also allows you to use
- 4 add-ons for eCommerce
- Sky Pilot theme
- CRM, form integration, and email marketing add-ons
- Private Facebook Group
Infinity Bundle at $1200 per year- This bundle includes everything you get in the Universal Bundle. However, you will receive 9 add-ons with this package.
Regardless of the package you choose, LifterLMS offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
It offers 3 packages-
Basic- $159/year- (1 license) You will be able to sell the course with it. Besides, you can deal with certifications, email notifications, forums, advanced quizzes, and free integrations.
Plus- $189/year (10 website licenses)- The extras with this package are course content protection and a ProPanel Reporting dashboard.
Pro- $329/year (25 website licenses)- The features are the same as those of the Plus package.
LearnDash vs LifterLMS – Final verdict
By analyzing the benefits and main features of LifterLMS and LearnDash, you can make the right decision. It is to be noted that both these plugins provide several features and enable you to sell courses online. Both plugins offer a money-back guarantee.
Still, LearnDash is preferable to beginners who want an affordable yet robust and intuitive solution. Its premium packages are cheaper than everything plans. So, you can compare these plugins thoroughly and choose the best one to develop an e-learning website.
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