December 5th, 2016 LearnDash Tips

formsUPDATED December 5, 2016

Since the original publication of this article a lot has shifted in the learning management system industry. Moodle (while still a popular choice) suffers from the reality that it offers a poor user experience. It is also really difficult to customize… painfully so.

WordPress learning management systems have sprung up since then with LearnDash leading the way.

In fact, in just three years LearnDash has been listed as a Top ELearning Tool by ELearning! Magazine.

The main reason of course is that WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system (CMS) and is extremely flexible. It’s why we have customers like Infusionsoft, the University of Michigan, best selling author Michael Hyatt, among others.

If you need a light-weight LMS packed with features but without the hefty price-tag then you need to take a serious look at LearnDash.

In recent years, one thing has become abundantly clear: the learning management system market is growing by leaps and bounds.

I remember the days when the only viable LMS was Blackboard – and the cost for implementation was somewhere to the tune of $25,000.

Well, times have changed (for the better… except for Blackboard) in that there are plenty of new accessible options available, and for multiple different software platforms (for example, the upcoming LearnDash WordPress LMS plugin).

The biggest shift in this market in recent years has not been the technology (although there have certainly been advances), but in the expectations of the consumer.  Today it isn’t enough to offer a piece of software – people want solutions.

They want advice and guidance in the best ways to utilize the functionality of their LMS, and they want it from industry professionals who have “been there, done that”.

The SaaS model of business is evolving as people demand more in regards to the final “S” (SERVICE!).

What I found most striking about the list below is that a good number of these learning management system providers primarily offer a piece of software, and that’s it.

In some cases there is additional support offered, but it comes with a hefty price tag.  Even this support is limited as the account representative is either trying to upsell you, or that person is strictly a programmer who lacks experience in setting up an LMS within an organization.

Is it possible to think that LearnDash could make a list like this one day?  It’s hard to say, primarily because LearnDash is more than a software provider, but we are a specialty shop.

Sure we have the tool to help you reach your organizational goals, but the real value comes in the strategic support we offer in conjunction with the plugin.  Implementing learning programs for Fortune 500 companies across a wide-variety of industries enables us to better serve you.

What are your thoughts on the list below – does anything surprise you?

To read more about this study and how the results were obtained, visit the Capterra website.


The Top 20 Most Popular LMS Software Solutions

© 2012 Capterra, Inc.

Justin Ferriman photo

About Justin Ferriman

Justin started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide. He is currently founder & CEO of GapScout. Justin's Homepage | GapScout | Twitter


33 responses

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Like it and look forward to trying LearnDash.
BTW Typo on sign off tho’ “he impelments large-scale training programs”.

Looking forward to LearnDash. Any time-frame to when it will be releases? I need to make a decision soon on which LMS to use and wanted to see what LearnDash is all about but I may not be able to wait.
Thanks Justin.

Avatar Pat

Keep an eye out for an update being sent today. Sign-up for the email list if you haven’t already 🙂

Thanks Justin. I signed up a couple weeks ago but just checked the status and it says ‘FeedBurner encountered an error confirming your subscription’. Also, I tried to sign up again today and there seems to be something wrong with the ‘Enter your email address’ script. Please sign me up if I am not on there already.

Looking forward to seeing the update.
Thanks again.

Avatar Pat

You should be all set, I have you added to the list (you may still get that Feedburner issue still, but it’s all good).

I know the infographic lists the number of users, but I’d be interested in how that number was determined. For example, Moodle has a ton of people who once downloaded a Moodle instance and are no longer using it. (I know I did once upon a time.) Or Blackboard might list how many users have logins, but what kind of saturation do they actually reach within the schools? Most schools say they reach about a 30% usage rate a colleges and universities.

Edvance360 didn’t make your top 20 list, but we actually reach a 95% or higher faculty usage rate at all our institutions. That means at every institution or organization using Edvance360, 95% or more of the users who should be using it ARE using it, and loving it. (That last part might be to salesy, but it’s our main focus so we sleep, eat, and breathe it here.)

Your thoughts?

A most interesting list with a few surprises.

I find it useful to distinguish between those systems used primarily in education and those used in corporations. For example, SumTotal Systems, Cornerstone, and Net Dimensions are some of the top corporate systems but are rarely used by educational institutions. Blackboard and Desire2Learn are mainly used in education although they do have some business customers.

Skillsoft is primarily a provider of off-the shelf courseware for business and is by far the largest such provider. They do provide an LMS but it is mainly for customers who want to run Skillsoft courses and do not have another system in place.

Here’s a newcomer to the LMS family:
I hope it’ll make it in the list for the next update.

That is a nice list, but some good solutions that in my opinion should be in top 20, were simply omitted. A very cool list of LMS softwar can be find in GetApp’s marketplace:

Avatar Julia

Interesting, I would love to know whether they are just for managing a learning experience, or offer tools to create plans and manage the user and subscription rates with a shopping cart, in effect be able to price plans and sell subscriptions.

Avatar Geoff

Interesting list, I would like know more about the LMS, based on the features and user friendly experience. Please write an article about these factors by comparing the first five CMS, as refrence guide to many peoples; who are struggling ot choose a best LMS. Great work, Justin. Cheers!

Where is Saba/Centra and Adobe Connect?

Avatar Terrell Smith

EDU 2.0 is another great LMS, maybe it will make it in the list this year.

Avatar Alina

SkyPrep is a good LMS alternative for SMB’s. Check it out.

So informative and useful list to analyze and choose… thanks a lot for sharing.

What about VLE Frog?

Avatar saaharimd

Do you know of any information concerning how these are hosted on these systems? If a school district comes in do they get to create their own web site or would they be merged into one big site?

Avatar Christian

Lovely written article, definetly helped me understand and made me check a couple of apps in the list.

Wow!!! Really interesting. It will be very helpful if you can provide a small description or review about each product listed here. I don’t prefer LMS that need to be integrated with any CMS. Because most of the small organizations don’t have CMS in their website. So how they can implement them on their company. It is great to use online software like that are independent to customer website or CMS but stiil offer customization.

Avatar Fred S Rowan

We’ve been using Aktiv Mind LMS for our online training software. So far we have no complaints. The site works on all our devices from iPads to Computers to phones. The training software is VERY easy to use. I had our secretary create the courses which she loves doing. They offer a free sign up trial. I’ve tried a few other LMS platforms but those were kind of difficult to use and the prices were just way too much.

Thanks for the comment antoine, we tried along with Aktiv Mind LMS was great value for money so we decided to go with them.

Thanks for this update. Interesting and will keep a watch out for wordpress plug in.

Avatar Ann Jordan

I have been working for a new client for the past year on their LD system. I have worked with other LMSs including Moodle and Adobe Connect. I’m very impressed with LD, I like that it is a WordPress plugin. We specialize in WP development. I have recently created a simple plugin to integrate LD with another plugin. As a WP developer I would be very interested in finding more LD/WP customization work. Let me know if you have any suggestions. Also, can you tell me how many LD downloads have occurred? I have no doubt that this LMS will grow.

Tim Marker

I’ve been using aktiv mind LMS. It’s pretty good works on my iPad Pro!

Avatar Matt

You should definitely check out NEO LMS, works on every device and the interface is just awesome. It would be nice to see an updated list now.

Avatar Olivia

I have below questions regarding LeranDash :-

1.Can we add swf file and html 5 files on the Learn Dash LMS?
2.Can we upload SCORM 1.2 or SCORM 2004 course in the Learn Dash?If yes then please let us know the steps to upload swf or html 5 integration steps to upload a course.

You swift response will be highly appreciated.

Thank you

Avatar Abhishek Chourasia

Thanks for the note. SCORM data cannot be recorded in LearnDash. If you want the data to be recorded, you should publish your course(s) to Tin Can API. If you go the route of Tin Can API, you’ll need to specify a Learning Record Store (LRS) as well. There are both free and paid options out there. The best free option is, and the best paid option is GrassBlade LRS offered by (due to its tight LearnDash integration). More information on the integrations can be found at

If you don’t need data (as in Tin Can data) obtained from the file itself, you can launch Articulate and/or Captivate courses in LearnDash using this free solution:


hi, we need programmers for our LD, urgent!! please do you can sendme a list ? in spanish…better. thanks from URUGUAY

Still Moodle, while experiencing some challenges, is a relatively small vendor – considering that, kudos to them.

I’m actually shocked that in a list this large, I don’t see iSpring Learn. I’ve been using it for years, and it’s always served me well. The reports system is the best I’ve seen!

Avatar Peter

Where is SuccessFactors, the LMS system owned by SAP? In 2013, the last numbers I know of, it was listed to have 11.5 million users.

Thanks Justin. During the pandemic period, online education software became even more popular. This type of software is now a mandatory need for the business and education sector. The information you provide is extremely important in this respect. Thanks.

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