The Rise of Online Learning and LMS Plugins

I know that the word “online education” kind of sounds a bit boring. It has that negative connotation sometimes. The lack of human touch and interaction makes it look like a sub-standard thing. But let’s think for a while here. If you have an online business, then you have definitely read a lot of articles and blog posts about improving certain parts of your business. And what do these posts and articles really do? They teach you something, right? And I bet you have watched a lot of videos too, haven’t you?

It is kind of impossible to be online, and not learn anything. You learn a thing or two every day. It happens everywhere inevitably. If you are smart, you will know where to go when you need answers. Of course you start with google and then you work your way around. The number of self-taught developers, SEOs, content writers, translators, designers etc. is growing every day. The internet plays a big role in making us who we are today.

Market research firm Global Industry Analysts projects that the Elearning industry will reach $107 Billion in 2016. More traditional methods of training or education are not going away, not yet, but organizations of all types, from public schools to corporations, are opting to train and inform via the web.

I agree that it can be pretty boring and there isn’t enough motivation to complete these courses, but that’s just an opportunity for people who are offering online courses. They should try to make the course interactive enough and keep the students motivated by offering incentives. Check out this post to see some tips for increasing user engagement

Setting Up Your Elearning Webiste

Setting up an online learning website to start selling your online courses can be done pretty easily these days.

Just combine the No.1 CMS with its No.1 LMS plugin i.e WordPress + LearnDash and a basic learning management system is ready without breaking a sweat.

If you know the team at Wooninjas, we don’t recommend a plugin or a theme unless we have done our thorough due diligence. Until a few months ago, we had no intentions to jump into the LMS world. It all began when one of our clients asked us to integrate LearnDash with WooCommerce subscriptions and we had no choice but to spend countless hours researching and finding out everything about this LMS plugin.

LearnDash LMS plugin is a full-featured learning management system that enables you to add courses and start selling them immediately with no other plugin needed (even the basic payment system is built in the plugin so there is no need to add an e-commerce plugin to sell the courses).

Once we completed our first project with LearnDash, we did face some challenges and we decided to take a look at the market for competitors just to see if there is any thing better available. We took out the time to conduct some extensive research comparing LearnDash with some other popular LMS plugins out there, especially Sensei, only to come back to LearnDash with more love and respect for the plugin.

Here are some of our findings during our research on comparing LearnDash with other LMS plugins.

Content Hierarchy

Content hierarchy for LearnDash is more in-depth which enables the admin to have more control over the course content.

Course >> Lesson >> Topic While Sensei has only Course and Lessons.

Also LearnDash’s interface to create courses is fairly straightforward with an additional level of depth which makes it much better than Sensei.


Courses can be sold via LearnDash plugin itself, it has a built in PayPal Payment option, and there is no need to install any other e-commerce plugins or payment gateway plugins while this was not the case with its competitor where a course needs to be linked to a product which is a little too much work for the site admins.

Flawless Integration

The plugin’s integration with any theme is flawless and we did not need to add a single line of code to fix any issue. Unfortunately this was not the case with Sensei which has some theme compatibility issues where the Sensei content wrappers conflicts with the theme’s. Many users have reported that they had to spend hours fixing the theme compatibility issues when they were using Sensei.

Overall Cost

We also noted that overall LMS project cost with LearnDash compared to its top competitor Sensei is low


LearnDash plugin($129)

Membership – PMPro (Free)

Theme (can be any theme Free Or Paid)


Sensei Plugin($129)

Membership Plugin – WooCommrce Memberships ($149)

Theme – Wootheme Recommended (Paid)

Community Support and Updates

LearnDash has more features compared to any other LMS plugin and it appears as if it is more thought through. We also found out that the author of the plugin has a strong background in the Elearning industry which explains why this plugin is gettind adopted by a large number of educationalists and e-learning experts around the world.

The LearnDash team is also constantly working on releasing updates on a regular basis and are pretty active community builders. They will not let a single customer go away unhappy and will always go an extra mile to make your experience with their plugin better.

Getting Better With Every Update

It’s amazing how many features have been added in just last 2 months including

  • Ability for admins to mark Course Content as complete for users.
  • Manual grading for assignments
  • Essay question support
  • More hooks available for advanced customizations
  • A lot of small issues have been fixed in V2.2.1.1

We hope this article will help you make a decision about which LMS plugin should you use for your Elearning website. As far as we are concerned, we have worked with at least a dozen LMS based websites (yes in only few months) including single course sellers to consulting firms working with multiple companies with thousands of employees, so we know a thing or two about the needs of the users. LearnDash LMS plugin is doing its best to fulfill the needs of the most demanding group of people in the world 🙂

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4 thoughts on “The Rise of Online Learning and LMS Plugins”

  1. Very nice write-up, and thank you for the kind words regarding LearnDash. We really take pride in bringing useful innovation to the WordPress LMS industry. It’s great to hear the feedback on what we have been up to recently.

    I can promise we’ll continue evolving and refining LearnDash based on our user feedback. Articles like this one are a great help to our team as we continue moving forward.


  2. Hi Paul,

    Thank you for your comment.
    It is very subjective and totally depends on your requirements. We prefer to use the plugin instead of a theme as a plugin can be used with any theme and most people have different design requirements. If you want to discuss you requirements in detail, feel free to get in touch.

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