LMS stands for Learning Management Systems and is typically used to help businesses plan, implement and assess a specific learning process. LMS is a valuable tool for businesses that want to provide online learning options to their product offering.
With so many LMS platforms available in the marketplace, choosing the right LMS platform can be hard. In this blog post, we’ll compare five popular LMSs – Learndash, Kajabi, Thinkific and Teachable – and weigh the pros and cons of each.
The price is usually the first consideration when choosing an LMS platform. All five platforms offer different pricing plans, but some are more expensive than others. Learndash is more affordable, costing between $159 and $329 per year.
In contrast, Thinkific offers a free plan and plans starting at $49 per month. Kajabi and Teachable offer similarly priced packages, ranging from $119 to $399 per month. Prima face, these can be quiet pricey for small businesses however they do offer great support in case things go wrong – and if this is your main revenue generating product offering, then it’s a no brainer to invest in platforms that are less hassle to maintain.
It is important to note that Thinkific, Kajabi and Teachable are all off-the-shelf solutions – meaning that they host your courses and memberships for you, handle all invoicing and login details, have built in pricing options such as subscription payments and have a support team ready to answer your questions.
On the other hand, Learndash is a plugin solution for WordPress websites – however, they did launch their own self-hosted solution in 2022. Because it’s a WordPress plugin, it requires some tech knowledge to connect payment gateways such as WooCommerce, membership portals, connect it with your Marketing automation platform such as ActiveCampaign through third party apps such as Zapier or WP Fusion is our favourite.
Choosing the right LMS platform shouldn’t be made exclusively on price alone. There are so many other things to research and this process can take some time.
Each LMS platform comes with a unique set of features and capabilities. Learndash is often praised for its extensive customization options and advanced gamification tools. Kajabi is known for its high-quality video hosting and marketing automation features. Meanwhile, Teachable is hailed for its user-friendly interface and simple course creation process.
With self-hosted solutions such as Kajabi, you’re limited as to what you can customize if you want to change anything in your customer journey.
We’ve had instances where our clients would use Teachable or Thinkific, but the registration process became a friction point where it forces your customers to create a user account and then they can be redirected to a checkout. Sometimes this is not what businesses require, but is something needed for Kajabi’s platform requirements.
Also, how invoices are generated and user registration seems to be branded with LMS business names, and this cannot be changed.
Another big feature to bear in mind is if your company plans to sell courses under a licensing agreement, and you decide to sell to large corporations who prefer to purchase in bulk. Some of these platforms may struggle while Learndash, might require a 3rd party paid plugin to achieve this solution.
Integrations can make or break an LMS platform.
It’s important to check whether an LMS will integrate with the other software your business already uses. Fortunately, all five platforms we’re comparing offer plenty of integrations. Thinkific and Teachable both have integrations with popular email marketing tools like Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, etc.
Kajabi integrates seamlessly with Zapier, making it easy to connect to hundreds of other apps.
Learndash integrates with WooCommerce, making it a great choice for ecommerce businesses.
If your favourite LMS platform doesn’t intergrate with your favourite cart solution, there is always a way to do this using other methods – you can reach out to us if you need help here.
Another LMS platform worth considering is Mighty Networks.
While it’s not as well-known as some of the other platforms we’ve discussed, it offers unique features that may be appealing to certain businesses.
For example, Mighty Networks allows you to create your own branded social network, which can be a great way to build community and engagement around your courses. It also offers advanced analytics and reporting tools, making it easy to track your learners’ progress and identify areas for improvement. However, Mighty Networks may not be the best choice for businesses on a tight budget, as its pricing plans start at $81 per month.
Other questions to consider when choosing the right LMS platform
- What is a non-negotiable feature for your business?
- What integrations are important for your business? This is a big thing to consider when choosing an LMS platform for your business because apps must play nice to ensure a seamless customer experience
- Do you plan to sell directly to consumers or to large organizations?
- Are you a not-for-profit enterprise?
- Do you have a tech team in-house?
- Do you want to sell courses only or do you want to build a community?
- How much automation do you need?
I hope some of this information will help you in your decision making process.
In conclusion, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to choosing an LMS platform. The best choice depends on your business needs, budget, and preferences.
If you’re looking for advanced customization options, Learndash may be the best option. For businesses that want a user-friendly platform, Teachable is a great choice. Thinkific offers a low-priced plan which is perfect for small businesses, while Kajabi’s marketing automation features make it an attractive option for companies looking to streamline their sales processes.
All in all, you do need to be a systems thinker in order to grasp how these platforms work, so that you can best optimize them for your business.
Just in case you need to have an LMS expert guide you, we offer a strategy session to work through all the complexities with you to save you time and money. We also discuss all elements of your customer journey before we begin the process of recommending LMS platforms for your business. You can book a call with us here.
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Head Honcho | Marketing Automation Expert | Evil Twin Sister
Jovana is the Founder of Bumper Leads - a marketing automation agency that helps businesses simplify and automate their sales and marketing systems to help them save time and money.
She is a former body builder turned fast food junkie turned automation geek.
When she is not watching Cobra Kai on Netflix, she shares interesting marketing advice on our podcast called Marketing Automation Made Simple. This is where she helps overwhelmed business owners build smart marketing growth systems so they feel excited and in control of growing their businesses.
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