WordPress can be used as a Learning Management System

WordPress can be used as a Learning Management System

WordPress was released for public use in 2003.  It is the most popular web content management system worldwide. There are an estimated 64+ million WordPress websites, roughly 37.5 million of which are hosted through WordPress.com.

WP websites account for roughly 34 percent of the internet.  Additionally, 60% of websites which use a web content management system are powered by WordPress.

One area where WordPress is not as well-known for its power is as a learning management system (LMS).  However, there are 23 LMS themes and over 140 LMS plugins available for download through WordPress. Another 50+ WordPress LMS themes are available for purchase download through other websites.

The main question that a person needs to decide when choosing whether to use a WordPress LMS theme or LMS plugin to build a learning management system is whether the better choice is to build a LMS with WordPress or to go with a hosted learning management system.  Don’t be frightened by the enormity of how that choice first sounds.

Proponents of learning management systems built with WordPress argue that it is easier to build, customize, and to use. They also argue that all of the features and functions that are available through hosted learning management systems (for example: Blackboard) can be built into a WordPress LMS at a much lower cost for hosting, setup, support, and training.  

Most colleges and universities still use a hosted learning management system like Blackboard but use WordPress for other websites such as blogs, academic programs, admissions, and student orientation.

If you choose to build your LMS with WordPress, you will have to select a theme and a plugin for course content management and course enrollment management.  One recommendation that you should follow is to use a theme and a plugin that have developed by the same organization.

The highest rated WordPress learning management system plugin and theme is LearnPress from ThimPress.

LearnPress has both themes and plugin available for use at a low cost for all levels of education.  

Additional LearnPress plugins for course content and course enrollment management are available through WordPress. The basic LearnPress plugin is free. The themes currently cost $49 – $65.

Before you choose to go with a hosted learning management system, you may want to explore whether a WordPress learning management system is a better choice for your organization.

If you want to preview LearnPress, you can view the YouTube video below to see how it is used in the development of single course for Coursera,org or Udemy.com.

Have you considered using WordPress for the learning management system for your organization, college, or university?

2 thoughts on “WordPress can be used as a Learning Management System

  • Hi Tod,
    Thank you for this post. No, I did not considered using WordPress for our organization’s LMS, but in hindsight wish I had explored creating our own customized system before purchasing a pre-packaged hosted system. It has been three years with our current system and we are continually frustrated by the number of functions that are “hard coded” and cannot be customized for our specific purposes. My word of caution to anyone shopping for an LMS is to be as specific as possible with what you want a system to be able to do while you are shopping around, and ask for demonstration of those functions before selecting the one that is best for you – OR perhaps better yet – consider the option of developing your own customized site!

    • Hi Annemarie,

      I agree with your word of caution. I definitely think anyone looking for an LMS should have a requirements list to follow and share with software companies. If the LMS doesn’t come with a feature that is in the required list, then there is the opportunity to ask the software company to add the functionality or feature. The other option as you note is to develop one’s own customized LMS . There are many options for a WordPress LMS that can be customized to meet the requirements of an organization.

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