Are you looking for LearnDash alternatives? It doesn’t matter if you’re an established education institution or just a training center in its infancy. It doesn’t matter if you’re neither of those but just an individual with a vision and passion for providing skill and knowledge to people. If you want to create and sell online courses, then the right time is now.
But to create and sell your online courses effectively, you need a robust platform that can provide your students an option to choose the courses, make payments, enroll themselves, earn certification, reports, and more. There are two viable options here; either use WordPress based LMS plugins to self-host your courses or use a ready-to-use cloud-based solution.
The first option is comparatively difficult and requires more technical knowledge, especially WordPress, its themes, and its plugins. Numerous LMS plugins for WordPress are available in the market. One such popular plugin is LearnDash. The latter option also requires specialized knowledge but is relatively easier to use and suitable for most beginners.
Being one of the most popular LMS plugins used by course creators, LearnDash is one of the best and widely used options out there. But unfortunately, it might not be the cup of tea for everyone. There are many factors at play here – pricing, features list, business requirements, technical know-how, and more. So looking for an alternative is always a good idea. To make it easy for you, here are what we think are the best LearnDash Alternatives.
Best LearnDash Alternatives
Lifter LMS has a free version that comes with a bundle of features that might be more than adequate for anyone just starting in this niche market. In fact, the free version packs all the essential features that will keep your eLearning business running for quite some time before you need to go for the paid plan.
Lifter LMS also provides its users with top-of-the-class services and lets you buy features as bundles. You can either select individual addons or go for a bundle. It has many features that let you customize the background and other graphical elements using its graphics pack.
Its integration with Divi and Beaver Builder might be what lures beginners into choosing this LMS plugin. These two visual drag-and-drop builders will let you customize your eLearning platform as per your preference without having to write a single line of code.
Lifter LMS cares about your students and has a few useful features up its sleeve for them. For instance, students have access to a progress bar to track their study progress, quizzes to sharpen their minds, automated emails to keep them informed, and more. The payment processing aspect is covered as well. Lifter LMS comes integrated with PayPal, Stripe, and Authorize.net to make payments as easy as possible.
What I liked about LifterLMS:
- A self hosted course builder tool
- Free core plugin
- WooCommerce support
- Tons of addons and multimedia support
- Integration with Divi and Beaver Builder
- Assignments, quizzes and tons of marketing features.
You can add additional functionalities to the free core package with addons bundles. The bundle starts from $299 per year and comes with features such as eCommerce addons, forms addons, priority support, and much more. You can also opt to purchase individual addons that start from $99+ per year.
Tutor LMS might be a younger player, but it is clearly one of the strongest. This freemium LMS plugin comes with features that are enough to attract eLearning enthusiasts’ attention. The intuitive frontend builder it comes with is hassle-free and makes it extremely easy to get your eLearning website up and running in no time. In addition to that, you get a drag and drop course builder with a setting to configure every aspect of the course you design.
Tutor LMS also supports Gutenberg blocks, multimedia files, rating ad more. If there is any need for it, you also have the ability to add unlimited instructors to a single course. Furthermore, you can add a dashboard and profiles for both students and teachers and customize it with available styling options.
The plugin also supports WooCommerce and EDD. All the features mentioned above plus a lot more are available in the free version. The paid packages add additional functionalities and features to the plugin such as assignment submission, frontend course builder, certificate templates, email notification, support for WooCommerce Subscriptions, Paid Memberships, and more.
What I liked about Tutor LMS:
- Highly customizable with paid addons
- Student forums
- Support for WooCommerce, EDD, Restrict Content Pro, and Paid Membership Pro for your monetization needs
- Google Classroom and Zoom integration, and more
The paid plans start from $149 per year and go all the way up to $299 per year. There is an option for a lifetime subscription too.
Compared to LearnDash, Podia is a relatively new entry to the world of eLearning and online course selling. It is, however, getting a lot of attention due to its “unlimited everything” plans. You can create the eLearning platform of your dreams and have no problem selling courses through it.
It comes with an intuitive user interface that will give you no difficulty navigating and supporting tons of content forms such as PDFs and ebooks to deliver eLearning content as per your preference. Podia does not require any technical knowledge or going through extensive documentation to operate, so you can go set up and start selling courses in no time.
Furthermore, this plugin also allows you to stay connected with your audience with the help of newsletters and emails. Podia comes with essential features such as membership, digital downloads, webinars, and messaging. Since Podia is a SAAS based course tool, it provides a comprehensive platform for digital downloads and memberships, along with other features to handle sales pages and affiliate marking. This eliminates the need to opt for 3rd party apps.
What I liked about Podia
- A complete SAAS tool
- Intuitive interface with Drag and drop editor
- Integrated email marketing tools
- Highly affordable compared to its alternatives
- No transaction fees
- Affiliate marketing and more
Podia offers two different paid packages called Mover and Shaker, with a price tag of $39 per month and $79 per month, respectively.
Simvoly is primarily a website builder, but it is also a platform for selling products and services, all for a fraction of the price compared to its competitors. It offers a user-friendly interface and tons of customization options to let you create the website as per your preference.
When building the website, you get two options – either choose a template and customize or use the Magic Website Wizard. If you follow the first option, you can choose from 50 beautiful templates to cover almost every niche. If you choose the Magic Website Wizard, you will be asked a few questions that will determine how your website will look and generate it automatically.
The selling aspect is covered by Simvoly as well. You can sell digital downloads and memberships with ease. For selling courses online, Simvoly provides an easy and hassle-free way to do so. For instance, if you’re using one of the pre-made themes for creating a platform for selling courses, it comes with dummy contents and prices that you can change as per your need.
What I liked about Simvoly:
- Intuitive interface
- Tons of templates for multiple niches
- Digital downloads and store feature
- Website stats
- eCommerce support
- marketing, and more.
There is a total of 4 pricing plans available. The cheapest one goes for $12 per month and comes with 10GB traffic along with other features such as funnels, eCommerce, and A/B testing.
Systeme.io is a powerful all-in-one tool to build your online business. It is a platform that lets you run your business from one place. You do not have to pay for individual marketing tools as Systeme.io will help you with your marketing needs.
This tool is designed for both entrepreneurs and small business owners to help them sell their products effortlessly and doesn’t require a technical background to operate. You can build sales funnels with ease and with few clicks, ace your marketing goals with easy email marketing, build an entire membership website without writing a single line of code, and much more.
Most importantly, Systeme.io is also a tool that lets you supply knowledge to your customers through course selling. You will have no difficulty setting up content, designing enrollment pages, managing participants, communicating with students, and setting up payments.
What I liked about Systeme.io:
- No technical knowledge required
- All-in-one SAAS tool to sell products online
- A powerful tool for selling course online
- Drag and drop editor
- Funnels and email marketing
- Advanced automation, and more
Systeme.io offers three pricing plans – Startup, Webinar, and Enterprise. The cheapest one, i.e., the Startup plan, goes for $27 per month.
Getting started with any online business is more than hosting a website and listing products, Kartra accepts this fact and provides a powerful platform that lets you do much more. Kartra is a cloud-based online platform that offers an impressive list of features that can be utilized by even absolute beginners.
It includes everything you will ever need to kickstart your online business. You get web hosting, advanced email marketing tools, cart, and more. The intuitive drag and drop page builder can be used with tons of templates.
Kartra also comes with a shopping cart feature that is perfect for building an eCommerce website to sell digital and physical products. The feature list goes on and on, but does it help you sell courses online? The answer is yes. Kartra allows you to do entire marketing and sales to help you sell your courses online. You can utilize the sales page and funnels that come built-in to get your courses out there. You do not have to opt for any 3rd party marketing tools. This helps you focus on what’s essential – scaling your business.
What I liked about Kartra:
- Supports multimedia
- Includes sales funnels with email marketing
- Supports popular 3rd party integrations
- Offers inbuilt affiliate marketing
- Easy and flexible to use, and more
Kartra is on a pricy side as compared to Systeme.io, Simvoly or Podia; and comes with four pricing plans that start from $99 per month. The pricing plans include variable leads, domains, emails per month, bandwidth, pages host, and more.
Kajabi is arguably one of the best all-in-one platforms that let you run a blog, create landing pages and pipelines, and most importantly, host your course online. It enables you to deliver courses in a professional manner and with ease. You do not need any additional tools if you opt for Kajabi as your eLearning platform.
For instance, a standard course platform would allow you to create and sell courses, but you would need tools for creating funnels and landing pages, handle email marketing, etc. That is not the case with Kajabi. You can depend on it for creating the entire business and manage it from one single organized place.
In addition to funnels, landing pages, and email marketing, you also have automation, forms, payment processing, iOS, and Android apps, course builder, community, page builder, themes, and tons of other essential features at your disposal. The idea behind Kajabi is to allow you to create engaging courses and deliver them professionally. It even takes care of memberships and subscriptions.
What I liked about Kajabi:
- All-in-one SAAS platform
- More than ten beautiful, customizable themes
- iOS and Android apps
- Offers students assessments, sales pipeline and marketing automation
- Affiliate program
- Hosting, and more.
Kajabi is the most expensive LearnDash alternative compared to other tools mention in this list. It offers two paid plans that start from $119 per month. All their plans include unlimited landing pages and marketing emails.
Thrive Apprentice is a WordPress plugin to manage and organize courses online on your self-hosted WordPress website. The idea behind Thrive Apprentice is to eliminate all the extra bells and whistles your get from a full-fledged LMS and business platform. It gives interested individuals the tools to create courses and publish them online quickly.
Thrive Apprentice is easy to install and run. It comes with step by step course creating functionality, intuitive UI, lead generation, and more. This LearnDash alternative is perfect for those just starting on selling courses, but it is important to keep in mind that Apprentice is not an LMS, so it doesn’t support quizzes, certificates, drip-feed, and advanced analytics like enrollment numbers.
It comes with three membership plugins, but you can opt for 3rd party plugin. So, in a nutshell, Thrive Apprentice is for anyone looking for easy to use to sell courses without unnecessary capabilities that they will never use.
What I liked about Thrive Apprentice:
- Extremely easy to setup and use
- No transaction fees
- Inbuilt lead generation
- A great Cheaper alternative
- Intuitive course builder, and more.
The price starts from $67 for one website and comes with all the features, unlimited updates, and 1-year support.
Final Verdict – Which LearnDash Alternative to Choose?
All these tools are viable options to choose from if you’re starting out on creating courses and selling them online. To find the one that suits your need, look for the features that you’ll need, consider the price tag and such.
If you are experienced with WordPress and want to self-host your courses, choose between Lifter LMS, Tutor LMS, or Thrive Apprentice; else, pick from the remaining options.
Podia is an easy-to-use tool that is built with “unlimited everything” as the mantra. Simvoly is a website builder that comes with features that allow you to sell products online effectively. Systeme.io, Kajabi, and Kartra are all in one business platform.
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