Home Reviews LearnDash vs LifterLMS: Which Is Higher? Hands-On Comparison (2020)

LearnDash vs LifterLMS: Which Is Higher? Hands-On Comparison (2020)

Making an attempt to decide on between LearnDash vs LifterLMS to create and promote on-line programs with WordPress?

These are two of the very best and hottest WordPress LMS plugins, so that you gained’t make a horrible choice with both. Nonetheless, there are some essential options and pricing variations between the 2 which may push you in a single course or one other.

In our hands-on LifterLMS vs LearnDash comparability, I’ll attempt that will help you uncover these essential variations by evaluating every plugin intimately. Right here’s what I’ll examine intimately:

  • Excessive-level characteristic lists.
  • The course builder for classes, quizzes, and so on.
  • How every plugin allows you to cost for entry to your programs.
  • Pricing and the way there might be enormous pricing variations relying in your wants.

There’s quite a bit to cowl, so let’s dig in.


To kick off our LearnDash vs LifterLMS comparability, right here’s a fast rundown of a few of the high-level options that every platform presents.

Characteristic LearnDash LifterLMS
Free model
Drag-and-drop course builder
Video classes
Content material dripping
One-time funds
Recurring funds
Course bundles
Group entry

Principally, my aim with this desk is to point out you that each LearnDash and LifterLMS have the entire options that most individuals will want.

Nonetheless, there are clearly smaller variations which may apply to your particular wants, so that you’ll wish to look intently at every characteristic.

For instance, whereas each allow you to create quizzes, they every have totally different lists relating to the kinds of quiz questions that you may ask. Evaluating all of those smaller characteristic variations would take a e book, so that you’ll have to dig in your self if in case you have particular wants.

However by way of the high-level stuff, you gained’t discover enormous variations both method for the typical use case.

Course Builder

Each LifterLMS and LearnDash provide you with drag-and-drop course builders to create and handle your content material. Generally, I discover each builders to be user-friendly and environment friendly for course creation.

Total, I might give a slight edge to LifterLMS as a result of it manages to offer you extra settings from a single unified interface. That’s, with LifterLMS, you’ll have fewer conditions the place you’ll want to open a brand new tab to alter one thing, which makes for a extra streamlined creation/administration expertise.

Nonetheless, each are glorious builders, and I feel you’ll be proud of both. Each additionally don’t require any technical information — you shouldn’t have any issues creating programs even should you’re a non-technical consumer.

LearnDash Course Builder

Once you create a course in LearnDash, you’ll work throughout the regular WordPress block editor…however with some additions on the prime of the web page:

LearnDash course builder

To create the construction on your course, you possibly can go to the Builder tab. There, you possibly can divide your programs with part headings and use classes so as to add content material.

LearnDash additionally provides a 3rd hierarchy — matters. Matters allow you to additional subdivide your classes into totally different sections. Matters are non-compulsory; some course makers will simply use part headings and classes. However matters are a pleasant characteristic so as to add if in case you have plenty of content material and wish to break your classes down into extra bite-sized chunks.

LearnDash will clearly mark classes with a inexperienced “L” and matters with an orange “T”. You can too add quizzes, which will likely be marked with a “Q”:

Drag-and-drop builder

Rearranging any sort of content material is straightforward. You simply use drag-and-drop to maneuver the content material the place you need it to be throughout the total construction of your course.

Total, I discover this chook’s eye view to be very intuitive for laying out the construction of the programs. It’s simple to see how every part comes collectively.

LearnDash Lesson Builder

To edit a person lesson (or quiz), you’ll have to open a separate interface, which you are able to do proper from the course builder by clicking an icon.

Within the lesson builder web page, you’ll be capable of add content material utilizing the common WordPress block editor.

One factor I like is that LearnDash contains some bins within the lesson editor that will help you see the place the lesson suits into the general course and in addition return to the principle course builder web page:

Within the lesson settings tab, you possibly can configure some helpful settings together with:

  • Including a video that learners should watch as a part of the course development.
  • Including a drip content material schedule for when the lesson must be obtainable. For instance, if you wish to drip content material, you can make the lesson obtainable seven days after a consumer enrolls within the course. That is particularly helpful for recurring programs because it allows you to forestall folks from binging course content material.

LearnDash lesson settings

The subject editor is mainly the identical because the lesson editor. Nonetheless, you possibly can’t drip out particular person matters — you possibly can solely drip classes (and the entire matters contained in the lesson).

LearnDash Quiz Builder

The quiz builder is quite a bit just like the course builder. First, you get the common WordPress block editor the place you possibly can add fundamental content material on your quiz, resembling some introduction textual content. Then, you possibly can go to the Builder tab to create your quiz structure utilizing drag-and-drop.

You possibly can first add your high-level questions. LearnDash will mark them with a pink warning icon at first to point that you simply haven’t absolutely configured the query.

To configure a query, you possibly can open its settings to:

  • Select which kind of query it’s.
  • Add reply decisions (if relevant).

LearnDash quiz settings

You get the next kinds of questions:

  • Single alternative (choose a single reply from a listing of choices)
  • A number of alternative (choose a number of solutions from a listing of choices)
  • “Free” alternative
  • “Sorting” alternative
  • “Matrix sorting” alternative
  • Fill within the clean
  • Evaluation
  • Essay/Open Reply

Within the total quiz settings, you possibly can configure further settings resembling:

  • What a passing rating is.
  • Whether or not folks can retake the quiz and, in that case, what number of instances.
  • Including a certificates for finishing the quiz.
  • Setting a time restrict.

LifterLMS Course Builder

At a excessive degree, LifterLMS does issues equally to LearnDash in that it additionally presents a drag-and-drop course builder. Nonetheless, there are a couple of smaller variations within the particulars.

First, you’ll add fundamental course info utilizing the block editor. You can too configure some fundamental particulars, such because the course size, issue degree, and a featured introduction video.

LifterLMS course settings

Then, you possibly can launch the course builder by clicking the button.

The course builder takes up the total display. You get two ranges:

LifterLMS doesn’t embody a “subject” degree like LearnDash, however I don’t suppose that may make a distinction for most individuals.

Once more, one of many issues that I actually like about LifterLMS is the way it tries to incorporate as a lot info as potential within the course builder.

For instance, utilizing the icons under every lesson, you possibly can shortly see:

  • Whether or not it has any textual content content material.
  • Whether or not it has any audio or video content material but.
  • Who can see the lesson.
  • Whether or not or not it’s scheduled to be dripped out.

LifterLMS course builder

There are plenty of icons to be taught. However when you be taught them, they make it very easy to shortly see the place you’re at with every lesson.

Along with the icons, you additionally get to edit some essential settings with out leaving the course builder. For instance, you possibly can:

  • Add video or audio embeds.
  • Management the drip schedule.

LifterLMS lesson settings

You’ll additionally be capable of management quizzes from the principle course builder web page, however extra on that later.

LifterLMS Lesson Builder

When you can add video and audio embeds with out leaving the course builder, you do have to open a brand new tab so as to add different lesson content material (resembling textual content content material).

Like LearnDash, you need to use the common block editor the place you’ll additionally get a field that exhibits you the place you’re at within the total construction of your course:

LifterLMS lesson editor

On the backside, you possibly can configure some further settings, most of that are additionally editable from the principle course builder, for instance, drip settings.

LifterLMS Quiz Builder

Once more, LifterLMS allows you to create quizzes with out leaving the course builder, which I discover to be very handy.

First, you possibly can arrange fundamental settings resembling:

  • Passing grade
  • What number of instances folks can take the course
  • A time restrict

LifterLMS quiz builder

Then, you possibly can add questions.

With the free model, you solely get the next questions:

  • A number of alternative (both select a single reply or select a number of solutions)
  • Image alternative
  • True or false

To unlock the entire superior questions, you’ll want an expensive add-on (extra on pricing later):

LifterLMS quiz questions

How You Can Cost for Programs

Each LifterLMS and LearnDash embody a number of choices for charging for entry to your programs:

  1. You need to use the plugin’s built-in cost characteristic and join on to cost gateways resembling Stripe.
  2. You possibly can combine with WooCommerce to make use of it to deal with funds. This allows you to make the most of WooCommerce’s versatile coupons, in addition to different WooCommerce extensions.

In addition they provide you with a great deal of flexibility for the way you cost. For instance, you possibly can promote particular person programs, teams of programs (bundles), group memberships, and extra. You can too go along with one-time funds or recurring subscriptions.

Total, I might say that LifterLMS is a bit more versatile than LearnDash, particularly relating to the extra “membership web site” points of promoting on-line programs.

Nonetheless, each must be versatile sufficient to deal with most conditions.

Charging for LearnDash Programs

If you’d like essentially the most flexibility for charging for LearnDash programs, you’ll in all probability wish to use the WooCommerce add-on, quite than the built-in funds performance.

Nonetheless, for fundamental makes use of, the built-in LearnDash funds characteristic works nice.

Once you edit a course, you possibly can select totally different strategies of entry:

  • Open – anybody can take the course, no registration required.
  • Free – the course is free, however folks should register to take it.
  • Purchase Now – folks have to pay a one-time charge to take the course.
  • Recurring – folks have to pay a recurring charge to take the course.
  • Closed – use this should you’re utilizing a separate integration (resembling WooCommerce).

LearnDash payment options

LearnDash additionally allows you to create consumer teams that give the entire customers entry to a number of programs. You might use this to promote institutional entry. For instance, if in case you have a certification course, you can promote a bunch membership to a enterprise that wishes to get all of their workers licensed:

LearnDash Groups

For group memberships, you’ll get all the identical cost settings as particular person programs.

Once more, in some conditions, this is likely to be all you want and the built-in cost settings are tremendous simple to make use of. However if you need extra flexibility, you’ll wish to combine LearnDash with WooCommerce.

With the WooCommerce extension, you’ll be capable of affiliate a number of programs with WooCommerce merchandise. This allows you to:

  • Promote bundles of programs.
  • Provide gross sales and coupons to entice folks to enroll.

With the extension, you’ll get a brand new Course product sort in WooCommerce. You possibly can hyperlink the product to offer entry to a number of programs or teams:

LearnDash WooCommerce integration

If you wish to promote recurring subscriptions with the WooCommerce technique, you’ll have to buy the separate WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin, although, which might get a bit of dear.

By utilizing WooCommerce, you may also pair LearnDash with one thing like CartFlows to create gross sales funnels with order bumps and upsells, which might be very efficient for on-line programs.

Charging for LifterLMS Programs

LifterLMS is kind of versatile relating to funds, even with out integrating with WooCommerce (although it does provide a WooCommerce integration plugin).

To handle entry to programs, you possibly can create Entry Plans, that are much more versatile than LearnDash’s native funds characteristic.

With an entry plan, you possibly can select between lifetime or recurring funds. You can too use totally different recurring schedules and set a plan finish time. For instance, you can create a cost plan like “Pay $199 each month for three months for lifetime entry”.

You can too set entry expirations for each one-time and recurring plans. For instance, you can cost a one-time $99 charge for six months of entry.

Different helpful options embody:

  • Trial provide – you possibly can provide a free or paid trial that provides folks entry for a restricted time.
  • Sale pricing – you possibly can run gross sales throughout particular dates.

LifterLMS access plans

You even have the choice to assign a number of entry plans to a course. For instance, you can provide each one-time funds and a cost plan for lifetime entry:

  • $499 one-time for lifetime entry.
  • $199 per thirty days for 3 months for lifetime entry.

Once more, you are able to do this all with out WooCommerce. So, as you possibly can in all probability see, LifterLMS is unquestionably much more versatile than LearnDash, a minimum of so far as built-in cost options go.

Along with charging for particular person programs, you may also create memberships.

With a membership, you possibly can mechanically give members entry to a number of programs. You’ll additionally get all the identical “Entry” plan settings that you simply noticed above for particular person programs.

LifterLMS bundles

You possibly can promote memberships on to people. Or, with the paid LifterLMS Teams extension, you possibly can promote memberships (and programs) to teams of customers.

In the event you do wish to use WooCommerce, LifterLMS additionally does have a WooCommerce integration, although.

LearnDash vs LifterLMS Pricing

In relation to pricing, there’s no clear-cut winner on which plugin is extra inexpensive.

Total, LifterLMS has the potential to be the cheaper possibility. Nonetheless, should you want entry to a lot of options, LearnDash could be a far more inexpensive possibility

To unpack why that’s, we have to dig into the pricing.

First, there’s the plain distinction:

  • LearnDash doesn’t have a free model. It solely is available in a premium model, which begins at $159. The premium model contains the entire options in a single bundle — there aren’t any separate extensions*.
  • LifterLMS presents its core plugin at no cost at WordPress.org. Then, the developer sells tons of various add-ons, which you’ll both buy individually or as a bundle. Particular person add-ons are $99+ and the most cost effective bundle is $299 per 12 months.

*The most cost effective tier doesn’t have LearnDash’s ProPanel characteristic, which is a sophisticated admin dashboard that basically solely applies to severe instructional establishments (resembling universities or colleges).

How LifterLMS Can Be Cheaper Than LearnDash

The core LifterLMS plugin at WordPress.org has the entire options that most individuals might want to create programs. You’ll nonetheless get the drag-and-drop course builder, fundamental quizzes, and so on.

So, for a “regular” on-line course, you in all probability solely want the free model of LifterLMS for the course performance.

What the free core model does not provide, although, is assist for cost gateways. Nonetheless, it does embody the entire cost flexibility that you simply noticed above — you simply can’t hook these cost options as much as an internet cost gateway with out an extension.

If you wish to add cost assist to LifterLMS, you’ll have to buy a minimum of one of many premium cost gateway extensions. LifterLMS presents extensions for:

  • Stripe
  • PayPal
  • Authorize.internet
  • WooCommerce

These extensions price $99 every.

If you’d like the most cost effective solution to launch paid solely programs, that is the way you do it:

  1. You employ the free core LifterLMS plugin at WordPress.org to create and handle your course content material.
  2. You buy one cost gateway extension in an effort to cost for entry.

Meaning you’re paying $99 all-in for every part, which is cheaper than LearnDash’s beginning value of $159.

How LearnDash Can Be Cheaper Than LifterLMS

You possibly can in all probability see the place that is going…

LifterLMS’s premium add-ons begin at $99, with some going for $199.

So, should you want greater than the one cost gateway add-on, LifterLMS can shortly develop into much more costly than LearnDash.

Once more, the free core LifterLMS plugin is kind of beneficiant, so most folks will in all probability be nice with the free plugin so far as course performance goes.

However should you want extra course performance and/or administration options, LifterLMS will get costly actually quick.

Bear in mind, LearnDash provides you just about each characteristic in its paid plans. Even with the entry-level LearnDash plan, you continue to get:

  • Group administration to put customers into teams (and promote group entry)
  • Assignments
  • Superior quizzes
  • PDF certificates
  • And extra

These options are dear with LifterLMS.

For instance, should you bought particular person LifterLMS extensions, you’d be taking a look at:

  • Assignments – $199
  • Superior quizzes – $199
  • Teams – $199
  • PDFs – $199

You might get monetary savings by buying a bundle, however you’re nonetheless going to pay much more than you’d with LearnDash.

Conclusion: Which Plugin Ought to You Select?

LearnDash and LifterLMS are the 2 greatest WordPress LMS plugins, a minimum of for my part, so I don’t suppose you’ll make a disastrous choice both method.

In the event you’re nonetheless unsure which to select, right here’s my suggestion:

To get began, set up the free model of LifterLMS on a take a look at web site. Mess around with it and create some course content material. Principally, you wish to see if the free model can do every part that you simply want it to so far as creating and organizing your programs. As I stated earlier, I feel that, for most individuals, the free model is highly effective sufficient as it’s.

If it could possibly, then all you’ll want to do is buy one of many premium cost gateway extensions for $99 and you’ve got a really inexpensive solution to begin promoting premium course content material on WordPress.

Nonetheless, should you run into points with limitations within the free model, then I feel it’s best to severely take into account LearnDash. For instance, perhaps you want extra flexibility for quizzes or assignments, or perhaps you’ll want to place course takers into teams.

In the event you want a majority of these options, LearnDash might be going to be much more inexpensive than LifterLMS.

The precise distinction is dependent upon the options you want, but it surely might be a number of a whole bunch of {dollars}. LearnDash can be an important product, so it’s robust to justify spending a whole bunch extra on LifterLMS in that situation.

And regardless of which plugin you select, try our assortment of the very best LMS WordPress themes to set your programs up with a great-looking basis.

Nonetheless have any questions on selecting between LifterLMS vs LearnDash? Ask away within the feedback!