When you plan on starting an eLearning business, posting video lessons on any popular video sharing platform might bring home some revenue. Still, it is nowhere near what you can achieve with your own self-hosted eLearning site. Fortunately, with WordPress and LifterLMS plugin, you can get one step close to starting your own learning management site.
LifterLMS is a magnificent tool that lets you publish and organize online courses with no nuisance. It has established itself as one of the best WordPress LMS plugins available in the market.
Even the free version is featureful enough to handle most of your needs, and with a little bit of money, you can opt for the paid package to broaden the plugin’s capability.
Summary of LifterLMS
Before getting deep with our LifterLMS review, lets take a look at a quick summary of LifterLMS.
- Price plans: Free, $299, $999
- Free Trial: Yes, use all features at $1 for 30 days.
Positives about LifterLMS:
- Core plugin is free to download.
- Lot of extensive features included in the free plugin.
- Very easy to use interface.
What I didn’t liked about Lifter LMS
- No payment gateway is available with the Free plan. In the free plan, you can only accept manual payments. To use PayPal or Stripe, you are required to buy individual payment addons or a pro plan.
- While the core plugin is free, you will surely need extra addons or the pro plan to make your course marketable and sell your courses.
- Limited email addons. Only Mailchimp and Convertkit is available for integration.
- Overall, the plugin is too costly compared to its direct competitors such as TutorLMS or Learndash. Learndash’s most expensive plan is $329, while LifterLMS’ infinity bundle cost almost three times at $999.
WordPress LifterLMS Plugin Review
Like I mentioned above, the LifterLMS plugin can be installed for free and comes with many core features. If you choose to pay for the premium one, you get to use tons of addons to enhance your eLearning platform’s functionalities further.
Here’s a brief list of the key features that the free version has to offer:
- Reward system for students.
- Memberships and coupons.
- Custom sidebars to show the student’s progress.
- Detailed analytics and tracking.
- Student dashboard and profiles.
- Fully mobile responsive interface.
- Drip content.
- Drag and Drop builder.
- Unlimited lessons and quizzes.
- Three types of quizes.
- Custom emails based on students’ activity.
- eCommerce support, and much more.
All above features can be used without having to pay a dime.
However, you will need to upgrade to extend the functionality and get access to an arsenal of additional features. This would include:
- Direct payments via PayPal or Stripe.
- Email marketing.
- Upgrade to quizzes and assignments.
- Group access.
- Private classes and coaching.
- Access to tons of integrations plugins such as WPFusion, GravityForms, Mailchimp, and much more.
We’ll go in-depth about the addons the paid options provide at the end.
Now that you have a rough idea about what features the LifterLMS plugin comprises, let’s dive into the core features in detail.
Installing Lifter LMS
Nothing more essential for an LMS than having an easy-to-use and intuitive course builder, and LifterLMS acknowledges that.
Right after you install and activate the plugin, it will greet you with a welcome screen that leads to a setup wizard. Here you can structure the basics for your online learning website. You can also set up the specifics and change any options later as well.
Here you can also import a demo course to play around before posting a live course.
You can also get started by adding a new course from going to Courses -> Add Course.
Managing Course Welcome Page
For managing the course page, such as the one show below, you can use the blocks.
There is a separate dedicated block with a set of options you can alter for every element on the course page.
The block settings are neatly organized into two tabs – Document and Block. Using the Document tab, you can alter the document’s status, set a category, add tags, and use a couple of other options. The Block tag is used for modifying the look and feel of the page.
The Course Settings option, which can be accessed via clicking on is an icon located in the top-right corner, will let you customize the course interface.
This option includes header styles, title styles, layouts, content style, padding, featured image, and options to toggle header and footer.
When you scroll further down, you will find a meta box called Course Options. Here, you will get to play around with additional settings what includes:
Sales Page: For configuring how the content gets displayed for visitors.
General: For accessing options like featured video and featured audio.
Restrictions: For managing restrictions such as enrollment period, prerequisites, etc.
Reviews: For enabling, disabling course reviews.
Further down, you will find Access Plans that let you manage access to the current course. Here, you can add price, payment frequency, and other related items.
You can add multiple enrollment options with either one-time or monthly subscription payments.
Next, You have the Student Management meta box to manage enrollments. Here you can also add new enrollments manually.
Drag and Drop Course Builder
Using the drag and drop course builder, you can effortlessly add as much course content you want. To use the drag and drop course builder, you have to go to “Courses” and click “Builder“.
The builder has two elements you can drag, drop, and edit – Section and New Lesson. The sections are the main categories where you place multiple related lessons.
Sections do not have many options to configure; all you can do is edit the name, collapse it, or shift it up or down.
The lessons, however, are highly customizable. Selecting a lesson and clicking on the Edit Lesson Settings icon will open a new settings side panel.
Clicking on the small WordPress icon will open up a separate page to edit that particular lesson.
Scroll down to find Lesson Settings with four tabs – General, Prerequisites, Drip Settings, ad Quiz.
General: For embedding video, audio, or marking the lesson as free.
Prerequisites: For restricting the lesson with prerequisites.
Drip Settings: For drip settings.
Quiz: For quiz related settings.
Assignment and Quizzes
You can add assignments and Quizzes to each lesson through the course builder. Everything is drag and drop.
The free version gives you only three types of questions.
LifterLMS also comes with a membership feature out of the box. You can access it through the WordPress sidebar. Inside the membership settings, you can add multiple membership plans with separate instructors, categories, and tags.
Clicking on the Add Membership button will take you to a separate page where you can create a new membership plan or edit existing plans. Like the course builder, you can configure the document and edit individual blocks.
You can set up automation with engagements. You can set up triggers for actions based on your users’ actions.
For example, when a new student registers for a course, you can configure it to send a welcome email automatically.
Engagement settings also allow you to send out achievements such as “Certificates” to whoever completes small tasks such as finish a lesson.
To view your website’s overall effectiveness, the LifterLMS includes the feature to let you see that straight from its dashboard.
You can also configure the general course settings as well as the course catalog settings from the dashboard.
The membership settings restrict the website by membership level and configure other membership options.
The account settings include setting up students’ profiles, grades, and such.
You’ve got the checkout settings for setting up currency options, payment gateways, and other related checkout settings.
It also includes an engagement setting to configure emails, choose email clients, and configure certificate settings.
Similarly, you also get notification settings and the integration tab to manage all the integrated plugins.
So far we discussed all the Free options that comes with LifterLMS. While the free version has all the core features and functionalities to get an eLearning website up and running, the paid plans come with addons to extend the features.
LifterLMS Pro offers three payment gateways – Stripe, PayPal, and Authorize.net. It also provides WooCommerce integration along with many additions to the course features. Purchasing the Pro plan adds advanced quizzes, assignments, and advanced videos.
There are additions for the membership area too. Option for the paid plan lets you access social learning to allow students to connect, private areas for personalized personal content, and groups for selling group memberships.
You get additional email integrations – Mailchimp and ConvertKit, and many form plugins – Gravity Forms, WPForms, Ninja Forms, and Formidable Forms.
Finally, the paid plans also include additional features like custom fields, PDFs for certificates and other essential documents, and Twilio integration for sending SMS. Take a look at the below image to understand how the different plans of LifterLMS compare to each other.
You can buy separate addons or all addons in the Pro plans.
Should you buy LifterLMS plugin or Not?
With such a diverse feature-set even on the free version, it’s hard not to recommend LifterLMS for your websites. Most of the LMS plugins don’t offer features as LifterLMS does. It is pack with features and is extremely easy to set up and use. However, having such a quality level, LifterLMS doesn’t feel cluttered – everything is right where it should be, and the interface doesn’t take long to get used to.
All you have to do is install one plugin, and you can publish not only courses but also manage memberships, eCommerce, email marketing, and so much more. What more could anyone want from an LMS plugin.
When you’re ready to put price tags on your course, you can pay $99 for the payment gateway addons, and you’re set. However, if you find yourself in need of multiple addons, going for one of the bundles is a must. The cheaper one, i.e., the Universe Bundle, can be yours for $299 a year. The most expensive one, and the one with all features, is expensive $999 a year.
My recommendation would be to go around and play with the free version first. When you’re ready to get serious, get one payment gateway addon. When your business grows, you’ll find the paid bundle relatively cheaper.