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LearnDash vs LifterLMS: A Detailed Comparison of Features, Functionality, and Pricing

Updated on May 15, 2023

11 Min Read
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Are you trying to find the best learning management system (LMS) for your needs but feeling overwhelmed by the options on the market? Two of the most popular LMS platforms are LearnDash and LifterLMS, which offer powerful features for course creators and educators.

But how do you decide which one is right for you?

In this article, I’ll compare LearnDash and LifterLMS, highlighting their features, pricing, ease of use, and pros and cons. Whether you’re a solo course creator or part of a larger organization, this article will help you choose which LMS best fits your needs.

So buckle up and get ready for the ultimate showdown: LifterLMS vs LearnDash  !

Brief Overview of WordPress LMS Plugins

WordPress LMS plugins enable you to transform your site into an e-learning platform. These plugins let you create, manage, and sell online courses by providing features like course creation, content management, progress tracking, and integration with payment gateways.

With the help of these plugins, you can create and organize course content, track student progress, and even monetize your courses through different payment options.

Some of the popular LMS WordPress plugins include:

  1. LearnDash
  2. LifterLMS
  3. Sensei
  4. LearnPress
  5. Tutor LMS
  6. WP Courseware
  7. MasterStudy LMS

Other than this, you can check the best WordPress LMS themes to create an amazing visual experience for your users.

Purpose of Comparing LearnDash vs LifterLMS

The purpose of comparing LearnDash and LifterLMS is to help potential users decide when to choose the right Learning Management System (LMS) plugin for their WordPress website.

LearnDash and LifterLMS are the two most popular WordPress LMS plugins. However, they differ in terms of features, ease of use, pricing, and integrations, which may affect your choice depending on your specific needs and goals.

Here’s a bird’s-eye view of the LifterLMS vs LearnDash comparison.

Features LearnDash LifterLMS
Free version No Yes
Drag-and-drop course builder Yes Yes
Video lessons Yes Yes
Quizzes Yes Yes
Content dripping Yes Yes
Assignments and certificates Yes Yes
One-time payments Yes Yes
Recurring payments Yes Yes
Course bundles Yes Yes
Group Access Yes Yes

LearnDash WordPress LMS Plugin

LearnDash WordPress LMS Plugin 

– Source: LearnDash

LearnDash is a powerful and versatile WordPress LMS plugin that can help you create and sell engaging online courses.

With its intuitive drag-and-drop course builder, customizable quizzes and assignments, and robust reporting and analytics, LearnDash is a top choice for educators and entrepreneurs alike.

Whether you’re looking to build a single course or a full-fledged e-learning platform, LearnDash offers the features and flexibility you need to succeed. So if you’re ready to take your online education game to the next level, LearnDash may be the perfect tool. Don’t forget to launch it on perfect WordPress hosting for a seamless experience.

Key Features of LearnDash

The key features of the LearnDash WordPress plugin are:

  • Drag-and-drop course builder;
  • Advanced quizzing and assessment options;
  • Automated email notifications and reminders;
  • Gamification features, including badges and certificates;
  • Content drip-feeding and course prerequisites;
  • Group management and user assignments;
  • Robust reporting and analytics dashboard;
  • Multi-tier courses and memberships;
  • Compatibility with a wide range of WordPress themes and plugins;
  • Integrations with popular payment gateways and email marketing tools;
  • Mobile responsiveness and accessibility features.

User Reviews

LearnDash WordPress plugin has a rating of 4.2 stars out of 5 on G2.com based on 43 reviews.

User Reviews

– LearnDash Reviews (G2.com)

You can check other LearnDash plugin reviews too for a better understanding.

Community Reviews

I was scrolling through groups to check the community reviews about LearnDash, and here are the key takeaways along with the attached screenshots.

  • The user was concerned about the speed of the LMS platform against its size. The below screenshot shows the response.

Learndash CR

-Source: LearnDash Facebook Community Group

Learndash CR

-Source: LearnDash Facebook Community Group

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
User-friendly interface No built-in membership feature
offers a wide range of integrations Limited built-in reporting
Highly scalable and can handle large numbers of courses and users LearnDash may not be compatible with all WordPress themes
Advanced quiz features
Pricing plans are straightforward and offer good value for the features provided.

LifterLMS WordPress LMS Plugin

LifterLMS WordPress LMS Plugin

– Source: LifterLMS

LifterLMS is a comprehensive and user-friendly WordPress LMS plugin that enables users to build and sell engaging online courses.

With features such as a powerful course builder, advanced quizzing options, and integrations with popular payment gateways and marketing tools, LifterLMS makes creating and selling online courses that meet their specific needs easy.

LifterLMS also supports multimedia content such as video and audio and advanced analytics and reporting tools. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, educator, or content creator, LifterLMS provides the flexibility and functionality needed to create and market successful online courses.

I would recommend you to do your research and select the best managed WordPress hosting to enhance the user experience.

Key Features of LifterLMS

The key features of the LifterLMS WordPress plugin are:

  • Drag-and-drop course builder;
  • Multimedia support (audio, video, images);
  • Advanced quiz and assessment options;
  • Customizable student dashboard;
  • Powerful membership and access control features;
  • Built-in ecommerce functionality for selling courses and memberships;
  • Gamification features like achievements and certificates;
  • Integrations with popular tools like Mailchimp, Stripe, and Zapier;
  • Robust reporting and analytics capabilities;
  • Support for multiple languages and currency options.

User Reviews

LifterLMS WordPress plugin has a rating of 4.8 stars out of 5 on WordPress.org based on 302 reviews.

User Reviews

– LifterLMS Reviews (WordPress.org)

You can check other LifterLMS plugin reviews too.

Community Reviews

I was scrolling through groups to check the community reviews about LifterLMS, and here are the key takeaways and the attached screenshots.

  • The user was looking to boost the page speed and admin panel speed without harming the LMS, and he created the thread for it. He mentioned that he was using Bluehost. The reply on the thread is shown in the screenshot below:

Lifterlms CR

-Source: LifterLMS Facebook Community Group

lifterlms CR

-Source: LifterLMS Facebook Community Group

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Comprehensive built-in features Fewer integrations
Flexible pricing model Potentially higher cost
Intuitive course builder Limited quiz question types
Built-in reporting

Differences Between LearnDash vs. LifterLMS

The main differences between LearnDash and LifterLMS, two popular Learning Management System (LMS) plugins for WordPress, are as follows:

LearnDash Course Builder vs LifterLMS Course Builder

Here’s a table highlighting the key differences between the course builders of both platforms.

Key Features LearnDash  LifterLMS
Course Builder Drag-and-drop course builder for a user-friendly experience. Visual course builder that is also easy to use.
Course Structure Hierarchical organization with sections, lessons, and quizzes nested under each other. Lets you create sections, lessons, and quizzes in a hierarchy.
Quiz Options Advanced quiz options include multiple-choice, single-choice, and essay questions. Limited quiz options compared to LearnDash, but still offers multiple choice, true/false questions, etc.
Ease of Use You might need to open different tabs to work on different aspects of the course. Provides a single unified interface.

Who wins?

While both LearnDash and LifterLMS offer robust course builders with many features, LearnDash has an edge in quiz options and a more user-friendly drag-and-drop course builder.

However, LifterLMS offers a unified interface, eliminating the need to switch between multiple tabs.

LearnDash Lesson Builder VS LifterLMS Lesson Builder

Here’s a table highlighting the key differences between the lesson builders of both platforms.

Key Features LearnDash  LifterLMS
Lesson Creation Interface Easy-to-use interface that integrates with WordPress’s block editor (Gutenberg) for lesson content creation. User-friendly interface integrated with the WordPress block editor for creating lesson content.
Lesson Organization Hierarchical Hierarchical
Multimedia Support Yes Yes
Lesson Settings Allows settings such as lesson prerequisites, drip-feeding content, assignment uploads, and more. Offers settings like lesson prerequisites, drip-feeding content, time limits, and more.
Integration with Quizzes Seamless integration with LearnDash’s quiz builder, enabling quiz assignment to lessons. Smooth integration with LifterLMS’s quiz builder for attaching quizzes to lessons.
Progress Tracking Yes Yes
Lesson Templates Does not offer built-in lesson templates. Offers built-in lesson templates for quick lesson creation.

Who wins?

LearnDash and LifterLMS offer comprehensive lesson builders with user-friendly interfaces and WordPress block editor integration. They provide similar settings and features, including multimedia support, lesson prerequisites, drip-feeding content, and progress tracking.

However, LifterLMS has an advantage in offering built-in lesson templates, which can speed up lesson creation.

LearnDash Quiz Builder vs  LifterLMS Quiz Builder

Here’s a table highlighting the key differences between the Quiz builders of both platforms.

Key Aspects LearnDash  LifterLMS
Quiz Creation Interface Intuitive interface for creating quizzes and managing questions. User-friendly interface for building quizzes and organizing questions.
Question Types Offers a wide range of question types Limited question types
Quiz Settings Advanced Not as extensive as LearnDash
Question Import/Export Allows import and export of quiz questions in various formats, including XML and CSV. Does not have a built-in feature for importing or exporting quiz questions.
Integration with Lessons Seamless integration with their respective lesson builders. Smooth integration with their respective lesson builders.

Who wins?

While both LearnDash and LifterLMS offer functional quiz builders, LearnDash has a slight edge due to its wider range of question types and more advanced settings. Additionally, LearnDash allows course creators to import and export quiz questions, which can be a valuable feature.

LearnDash vs LifterLMS  Pricing

The table below shows the pricing of LearnDash against the features it has to offer:

Basic Package – $199/year Plus Package – $399/year Pro Package – $799/year
  • 1 site license
  • Unlimited courses and users
  • Access to all core features
  • Free integrations and add-ons
  • 1 year of support and updates
  • Up to 10 site licenses
  • Unlimited courses and users
  • Access to all core features
  • Free integrations and add-ons
  • 1 year of support and updates
  • ProPanel Enhanced Reporting (add-on)
  • Unlimited site licenses
  • Unlimited courses and users
  • Access to all core features
  • Free integrations and add-ons
  • 1 year of support and updates
  • ProPanel Enhanced Reporting (add-on)

The table below shows the pricing of LifterLMS against the features it has to offer:

Infinity Bundle $1200/yr Universe Bundle $360/yr Earth Bundle 

$199/yr

Core Plugin

Free

  • Limited active sites
  • Unlimited support for 2 users
  • LifterLMS Core Plugin
  • Everything in Universe Bundle
  • 8 Advanced Add-Ons
  • Weekly Mastermind & Private Facebook Group
  • 5 Active Sites
  • Unlimited support for 2 users
  • LifterLMS Core Plugin
  • Sky Pilot theme
  • 4 Ecommerce Add-ons
  • Email Marketing and CRM Add-Ons
  • Forms Integration Add-Ons
  • 1 Active site
  • Unlimited support for 1 user
  • LifterLMS Core Plugin
  • E-Commerce Add-Ons for Stripe, PayPal or WooCommerce
  • Complete LMS plugin
  • Unlimited Courses
  • Unlimited Memberships
  • Unlimited Students and Teachers

Who wins?

There is no obvious winner in this case. LifterLMS can be considered a cheaper option because it offers a free core plugin. However, if you need access to many features, LearnDash might be the best fit.

Although LearnDash lacks a free version and is only available as a premium product, starting at $159, the premium version encompasses all features in a single package without separate extensions.

On the other hand, LifterLMS provides its primary plugin for free on WordPress.org, with different add-ons available for purchase individually or as part of a bundle. Individual add-ons start at $99; the most affordable bundle costs $299 annually.

Thus, the choice of LMS should depend on what you’re looking for.

How to Use the LearnDash Plugin?

You can easily create courses, lessons, and quizzes using the LearnDash platform. Here’s how you can do it.

Step 1: Purchase and Install the plugin

LearnDash pricing

–  LearnDash Plugin Downloading

  • Download the plugin files and log in to your WordPress dashboard.
  • Navigate to Plugins → Add New → Upload Plugin, and upload the plugin files.
  • Click Install Now and then Activate the plugin.

Step 2: Create Courses, Lessons, Topics, and Quizzes

Here’s how you can create courses:

  • After activating the plugin, you can see the LearnDash LMS option on your WordPress Dashboard;
  • Select Courses → Add New.

LearnDash Course Dashboard

– LearnDash Course Dashboard

  • Fill in the course title, description, and other relevant details.

LearnDash Course Builder

– LearnDash Course Builder

  • Under the Course Builder section, you can add lessons, topics, and quizzes by clicking the corresponding buttons.

LearnDash Course Creation

– LearnDash Course Creation

  • Click on the Publish button.

LearnDash Course Publication

– LearnDash Course Publication

  • Similarly, you can create lessons, topics, and quizzes by going to the relevant tabs and repeating the same process.

LearnDash Lesson Dashboard

– LearnDash Lesson Dashboard

Step 3: Customize the Course Layout and Appearance

  • Use LearnDash-compatible themes and page builders to create an engaging, visually appealing course layout.
  • Customize the course appearance using shortcodes, custom CSS, or additional plugins.

Step 4: Set Charging for the Course

To set the pricing for the course:

  • Go to Course → All Courses;
  • Click on the Edit button.

LearnDash Course Editing

– LearnDash Course Editing

  • Go to Settings → check mark on Buy now;
  • Set the Course Price and click on the Update button.

LearnDash Course Settings

– LearnDash Course Settings

  • This is how simple it is to create courses and lessons and set prices for each.

How to Use the LifterLMS Plugin?

You can easily create courses, lessons, and quizzes using the LifterLMS platform. Here’s how you can do it.

Step 1: Install and Activate LifterLMS

  • Go to your WordPress dashboard, then navigate to Plugins → Add New.
  • Type “LifterLMS” in the search box, then click Install Now and Activate once the installation is complete.

LifterLMS Plugin Installation

– LifterLMS Plugin Installation

Step 2: Create courses, Lessons, and Quizzes

To create courses, lessons, and quizzes, follow these steps:

  • Go to Courses → Add New to create a new course;
  • Fill in the course title, description, and other relevant details.

LifterLMS Course Creation

– LifterLMS Course Creation

  • Under the Course Options, configure settings such as Sales Page, General, Restrictions, and Reviews.

 LifterLMS Course Options

– LifterLMS Course Options

  • To create lessons, go to Lessons → Add New, fill in the title and content, and set the display and access settings.

LifterLMS Lesson Settings

– LifterLMS Lesson Settings

  • For quizzes, go to Quizzes → Add New, provide a title, and then configure the quiz settings, such as question types, passing score, and time limit.

LifterLMS Quiz Settings

– LifterLMS Quiz Settings

Step 3: Customize the Course Layout and Appearance

  • Use LifterLMS-compatible themes and page builders to create an engaging, visually appealing course layout.
  • Customize the course appearance using shortcodes, custom CSS, or additional plugins.

Step 4: Set Charging for the Course

To set the price for the courses:

  • Go to All Courses → Edit;
  • Scroll down to Course Options;
  • Under Access Plans, Click Add New.

LifterLMS Sales Page

– LifterLMS Sales Page

  • Add details and click on the Save button.

LifterLMS Access Plans

– LifterLMS Access Plans

Summary

The choice between LearnDash and LifterLMS depends on your needs, budget, and desired features. Both plugins offer powerful Learning Management System (LMS) solutions for WordPress but cater to different user requirements and preferences.

Consider choosing LearnDash if:

  • You prefer an all-in-one solution with a comprehensive feature set.
  • You’re willing to invest in a premium plugin.
  • Ease of setup and use is a priority.

Consider choosing LifterLMS if:

  • You want a free core plugin that can add features as needed.
  • You prefer a more customizable, modular LMS experience.
  • You don’t mind dealing with additional setup complexities related to add-ons.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Which LMS plugin is the best for WordPress?

A. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to which LMS is best for WordPress, as the ideal choice depends on your needs, budget, and desired features. However, some of the top LMS plugins for WordPress that have earned recognition for their functionality, ease of use, and flexibility are

  • LearnDash
  • LifterLMS
  • Tutor LMS
  • WP Courseware
  • Sensei

Q. What is the main difference between LearnDash and LifterLMS?

A. The main difference between LearnDash and LifterLMS lies in their pricing models and the way they offer features:

  • LearnDash is available only as a premium plugin, starting at $159, with all features included in a single package, while LifterLMS offers a free core plugin on WordPress.org with additional add-ons available for purchase individually or in bundles.
  • LearnDash provides a comprehensive set of out-of-the-box features without separate extensions, whereas LifterLMS follows a more modular approach, allowing users to customize their LMS experience with various add-ons.

Q. Which is cheaper among LearnDash and LifterLMS?

A. If you only need basic LMS features, LifterLMS can be more cost-effective since it offers a free core plugin. However, if you require multiple add-ons, the costs can add up quickly, making LearnDash potentially more affordable in the long run.

 

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Liza Rajput

Liza Rajput is a Technical Content Producer at Cloudways. Being a software engineer, she loves to play with data and its processes and wishes to grow and excel in Data Science and Big Data Engineering. She has also been an avid reader and exceptional writer, with sufficient experience in technical, research-based, and creative writing.

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