Online learning has become a thing a while ago yet its importance was not recognized until 2020. The pandemic caused such misery that the physical classes had to be closed. In this scenario of global evolution, teachers and students would prefer an education platform of ease, flexibility, and cost efficiency.
As WordPress is the top choice for web development, its learning management system plugins also get massive attention. Among all LMS plugins, the long-improved LearnDash and the rookie Tutor LMS come as the 2 distinguished candidates.
This article will help you decide which one to establish your online learning platform.
- What do Tutor LMS and LearnDash have in common?
- Tutor LMS and LearnDash’s Differences
- Bonus Tip: Protect Your Online Courses
What do Tutor LMS and LearnDash have in common?
Since 2 plugins serve the same purposes, they share several features. Tutor LMS and LearnDash are the 2 pioneers in the learning management system section. Here is what they have in common:
- Blended and synchronous learning
- Course builder by dragging and dropping
- Built-in course authoring functionality
- Report and analytics
- Reminder and emails
- Learner portal
- Features for corporates and business
The list above indicates their same features. What about their unique traits?
Tutor LMS and LearnDash’s Differences
#1 Interface/Native Theme
What we first encounter after finishing the installation is a warm welcoming message from the setup wizard. The setup wizard gives you 2 options:
- Individual: to start as an educator.
- Marketplace: to create a platform for people to earn through online teaching.
Following the on-screen instructions, you can either choose to continue personalizing in the General Settings menu or skip it. The plugin offers you an eye-catching interface with complete clearance and accessibility. You can return and finish your settings at any time.
On the aesthetic aspect, the developer of Tutor LMS – Themeum has created a lot of pretty themes for its plugin. There are 5 available options and plenty of premium native themes to choose from. The native themes ensure the users not worry about the website’s beauty and put their heart into creating courses.
Unlike Tutor LMS, LearnDash goes straight to the point after the installation. The plugin also has a setup wizard followed by LearnDash Bootcamp – a series of tutorial videos. LearnDash Bootcamp takes care of the users with brief instructions for each section of the plugin.
Designing themes seems not to be a LearnDash concern, which results in zero creation from the developer. However, the third parties have handled the problem since they have built tons of free and premium compatible themes. Users must carefully follow LearnDash’s references in choosing themes.
Sharing the same features is not unusual in building plugins. However, how they built the features is what makes the customers stay.
The swiftly gained prominence of Tutor LMS is based on these unique foundations:
- Sophisticated Quiz Building: A good set of quizzes will stimulate the students to engage in your courses. Tutor LMS gives you full of quiz options such as Yes-No, Single choice, Image ordering, etc. to keep your courses interesting.
- Simplified Data Analytic and Visualization: With Tutor LMS, you have a detailed yet understandable approach to your course statistics. Observing and processing your analytics surely help you make better decisions.
- Certification System: It is important to make students feel accomplished by giving them amazing awards and certificates. The pro version of Tutor LMS provides users with nicely designed certificate templates.
- Zoom Integration: Zoom allows instructors to create and manage live lessons and meetings, which establishes an interactive learning experience. However, the pro versions of Zoom and Tutor LMS do not come along so users have to purchase them separately.
There are solid reasons that make LearnDash maintain its relevance in the LMS industry until today:
- Focus Mode: Since focusing on the lessons is fundamental, the users have all the distractions terminated by LearnDash’s exclusive focus mode.
- External Sync: The mentioned third-party themes are just a small part. LearnDash seamlessly synchronizes with many other WordPress-based third-party applications, media, and also websites.
- Membership: Not only can you sell individual courses, but also LearnDash membership lets you create various memberships that contain access to multiple courses. The membership comes with the payment options of one time and lifetime.
- Course Management: LearnDash also supports course management besides course creation. Notification reminders and emails can be scheduled to be sent automatically. You can also create groups and assign group leaders for better management.
#3 Customer Support
Overall, LearnDash has a positive reputation for customer service. Users are free to seek help from any platform, from Facebook groups, and Youtube channels to FAQ sites and emails. As mentioned before, LearnDash offers a system of documentation and tutorial videos.
On the other hand, not only Tutor LMS supports its users in similar ways but also within live chat sessions. Regardless of the supporting platform diversity, the customer service of Tutor LMS shockingly receives mostly negative reviews.
Both plugins have enormous communities of loyal and experienced users and developers. New and confused users are always able to find assistance when something goes wrong.
Premium is a must if you are considering going long-term with your LMS plugin.
Here is the comparison between the latest pricing of LearnDash and Tutor LMS:
|License type||Tutor LMS||LearnDash|
|Multi-site||$199 for 5 sites annually
$299 for unlimited sites annually
|$399 for 10 sites annually
$799 for unlimited sites annually
|Lifetime||$399 – $599 – $999 respectively||Not available|
As observed, not having a free and lifetime option is a minus for LearnDash, despite its history in the industry. Not only the license structure but also the license fees differ as well since LearnDash’s packages are obviously more expensive.
To summarize, LearnDash seems to be ahead of Tutor LMS in most criteria. It is the clearest proof of why LearnDash is well trusted by big brands and universities. Besides, LearnDash involves the famous Paypal in the payment system while Tutor LMS has its payment handled mostly through WooCommerce.
Nevertheless, Tutor LMS is the best initial choice if a basic and low-budget plugin is what you seek. Tutor LMS gives you the feeling of full management when you have tons of built-in customization options. Furthermore, once you are familiar with Tutor LMS, you can make a lifetime purchase, which is not what LearnDash has.
Bonus Tip: Protect Your Online Courses
After choosing your best LMS plugin, security should be one of your top concerns. Prevent Direct Access (PDA Gold) and Password Protect WordPress (PPWP Pro) are 2 WordPress security plugins that can provide your LMS with strong protection.
LearnDash: With PDA Gold’s LMS LearnDash extension, you can grant access to students to their own courses. The students can only see the education content of the courses in which they have enrolled. A 404 no access page will automatically appear when they attempt to access other courses.
Tutor LMS: Have you ever wondered how to prevent unauthorized educational video downloads on Tutor LMS? It is truly a pity that Tutor LMS only shows how to block unapproved video access. Worry no more, the Protect Videos extension of PDA Gold will handle the rest.
Right from the name, PPWP Pro already indicated to us what its strength is. The plugin has the omnipotence of password-protecting almost everything the users need. Whether the users are using LearnDash or Tutor LMS, PPWP can be reassured that their courses and lessons are completely safe.
What To Do First?
Online education is extremely fundamental in the present time. Developers have soon realized the importance so there are a lot of useful LMS plugins in the market. Therefore, we highly recommend following your most basic plugin requirements in order to make a checklist of criteria initially.
Still confused? Prevent Direct Access has a list of crucial mistakes to avoid when selecting an LMS plugin.
Did we help you choose your ideal LMS plugin and which plugin should we compare next? Please express your valuable opinion in the comment section below.