February 28th, 2022 WordPress

Getting the best hosting for your learning management system (LMS) site is crucial if you want that site to operate at peak performance. Using a reputable hosting site helps with avoiding unnecessary downtime, improving site speed for your learners, and protecting against cyberattacks. All of which are important for your LearnDash courses. 

How To Choose Hosting For Your LearnDash Course Site

Online e-learning programs have specific demands that range from multimedia support to traffic monitoring for concurrent users. If your course site includes extra integrations like WooCommerce for ecommerce capabilities, you’ll need to have hosting that can support those complexities.

One frequently asked question we get is, what hosting provider works well with LearnDash and its unique set of demands. Our hosting recommendations are based on four factors— speed/performance, support, flexibility/functionality, and price. 

Let’s take a detailed look at each factor. 

Speed/Performance

Most WordPress sites can be easily cached because they only feature a blog or a few pages. But since LearnDash is an application site that supports online learning, it requires a bit more power to stay online during traffic increases. 

When looking for a good hosting site you’ll need to choose one that’s a bit more robust than the cheaper ones that are available. 

Support

All hosting support plans are not created equal. If you’re not a technical expert, you’ll need help when problems arise. When you experience unexplained outages or need to access site backups, it’s always best to have quick and easy access to a support team that knows WordPress. 

Your hosting solution comparisons should emphasize knowledge of WordPress and offer various support contact methods that include chat and phone support. 

Flexibility

As mentioned above, LearnDash sites have a unique set of demands that requires a web hosting plan that can meet those demands. Flexibility comes in when you need to support things like

  • multiple subdomains
  • Mixed course content and features like video embeds or forums
  • custom rule creation for caching for performance optimization. 

Your host needs to be flexible enough to support the complex functionality of LMS sites.  

Price

The first three factors come at a price and it’s usually not the cheapest. There are an endless amount of website hosting options available and they promise the same things. This makes choosing the right one even more difficult. Sometimes, the price can be the deciding factor. 

For the best hosting sites, you should expect to pay around $30 per month or more. We’ll talk about an exception below. 

Hosting Recommendations For Your LearnDash Course Site

SiteGround

If you are just starting, then you cannot go wrong with SiteGround. They have three main plans for their shared hosting and the top-tier will only set you back ~$12/mo. I tested their hosting and I must say that it is really fast considering how much it costs.

I’d recommend going for their middle plan and then ramping up as needed. This host will take you far.

WPEngine

Arguably one of the more popular names in regards to WordPress-specific hosting, WPEngine is a fantastic option for your LearnDash powered program. Where they excel is in their support which is critical when it comes to hosting platforms. If something is wrong with your site then you just need to hop onto chat.

Kinsta

Perhaps not the first host that comes to mind for most people but that could very well change in time. Kinsta has a solid offering with reliable speed, service, and support. LearnDashers say positive things about them.

Nexcess 

For $79/ month, Nexcess includes the CDN, staging, SSL, multiple sites, and more. You also get custom caching and greater PHP workers for high concurrency. And there are no limits to how often you get visitors.

Pressidium

An up-and-coming premium hosting provider, LearnDash customers love the fact that they go out of their way to configure their servers specifically for LearnDash. If you have a popular LearnDash site then they work with you to get everything optimal. It’s like having a tech partner!

Pantheon

Pantheon is a perfect option for those with more of a developer background. I am aware of massive multi-site LearnDash programs that are sitting on Pantheon, and for good reason. They are reliable and scale incredibly well.

Justin Ferriman photo

About Justin Ferriman

Justin Ferriman started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Justin's Homepage | Twitter

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Hi Justin,

You didn’t mention Lightning Base – the host you recommended in an earlier blog post? Any change of heart?

Jenny Gomes

Avatar Jenny

Also a great host to use! The ones above are the most popular.

Hi Justin,

Would you be able to tell if there are any specific hosting considerations in order to handle LearnDash page or functionality requirements? Any specific use cases that would require a dedicated or cloud vps instead of a shared server?

Bruno

Avatar Bruno Dias

When you contact the hosts make sure to mention the expected number of simultaneous users you expect and they’ll be able to point you towards a plan that can accommodate accordingly.

FYI: Anyone who needs to regularly import H5P content into LearnDash should avoid Pantheon. I develop much of my content in H5P on a separate development server, and then import it into WordPress using the H5P plugin. As I was developing a new site on Pantheon, the site kept timing out whenever I tried to upload H5P files (even ones as small as 1MB). Their support folks told me that this was due to their PHP max_execution_time setting (apparently the H5P plugin is rather resource-intensive when uploading and processing H5P files) and that it cannot be altered for a specific site, so I was pretty much out of luck. I have not experienced this problem at all on other hosts (including WPEngine and even cheap shared hosts like Bluehost).

Thanks Eric, good to know!

Any thoughts about Bluehost? How do they rate in your books?

Hi Paul-

Some people do use BlueHost. The list above is what LearnDash users reported in our Facebook Group as being the best options.

Thank you for your help. I’m looking in to SiteGround. I hope you get a commission 🙂

what about Hostgator? is it recommended?
Thanks

Avatar ahmed

No, we do not recommend HostGator.

I currently have Hostgator is it easy switch hosting on a website already live? What issues does Hostgator have with being compatible to LearnDash?

How about inmotion?

Avatar Aleeshah Ahmad

No experience with them, sorry. The list above are what LearnDash users reported they like best.

Yeah, I have Inmotion right now and they are horrible. So it’s a no from me.

can I used Bluehost?

Yes, but we don’t recommend them. The hosts above are what LearnDash users have reported as working best.

Hi, my website is hosted and built by Wix. Do you know if the Hosting part can be removed but the Building part kept? I’ve contacted Wix but still waiting a response.

Thank you,
Nicole

Avatar Nicole

LearnDash only works on WordPress hosting.

Hi Justin

I’m running a site whith capacity need for 20-30 simultanious users, sometime class room. Must change host (server issues and they lack experience of LD) and found this article. Thanks!
I was thinking of lightningbase.com which has been recomended before but they were not in this list.
Is lightningbase.com an alternative for me or would it be better to choose a host from this article?

Lightningbase is a great choice too. The options mentioned in this article are what folks in our Facebook Group reported as being the best options.

Bluehost webhosting?

No, that wouldn’t be the ideal. You’d be better off choosing one from the list above.

Hi are you familiar with Namesco? This is a UK hosting company?
We have just bought LearnDash!

Avatar Cate Evans

I’m not familiar with them to be honest.

Any thoughts on Namecheap, Justin. Don’t really want to change if I don’t have to. What sort of questions should we ask the host to ascertain whether they’ll be any good for LearnDash?
Concurrent users you mentioned earlier, what about memory or SSD and anything else?
Thanks

Avatar Chris

Not ideal. These recommendations are from our community.

Hello Justin,
I am interested in your advice.
Can you tell me your opinion on the OVH hosting for LearnDash please ?

Avatar Alexandre

I have not heard of it so unfortunately I do not have an opinion.

Great information! As a little hint – in times of GDPR it would be also useful to know WHERE these servers are (countries). I can do the research by myself, but it would be interesting for all EU edupreneurs.

Avatar Martin Millinger

How much cpu and memory is needed to run a fast website with LearnDash?

Regarding LiquidWeb – which product do you recommend?

Can you explain to us why you do not recommend HostGator.

The list is the result of our user feedback. HostGator was not on that list.

the number of visitors to the site at the same time, about 5,000 students, what is the proposed host plan recommended ?

Avatar Sam

It depends on estimated simultaneous users. Contact the hosts and let them know, they will be able to point you to the correct plan.

Hey Justin,

Thanks for that, always great to have honest recommendations 🙂 just wondering if that means you would also upload your videos on these hosts and start working from there? Or would you go for a private hosting solution? (if so, which one would you recommend so that my content isn’t available elsewhere than on my website?)

Thanks a bunch and looking forward to hearing from you 🙂

Avatar Sarah

Hi

Would you please let us know if we can change the learndash item (menu labels) to different languages?

Avatar Ali Jeddi

Hi,

Can we Use AWS Lightsail for Using Learndash + Woocommerce?

If Yes, what specification we do need to use? How much Ram is required?

Thanks

Avatar Ben

Hello Justin how are hosting recommendation what about godaddy? Thank you. they are great and also have a wordpress hosting.

Thank you.

Avatar Gabriel D.

The hosts here are what users have reported as their favorites. Some use GoDaddy too.

Hey Justin. Anyone using Pressable for a LearnDash site? Been trying to find if their Google Cloud platform is a viable hosting platform. We need to move a site off of Liquid Web due to the size and on to a more scalable platform which Pressable is.

Avatar John A.

Hi, I am based in South Africa and I use a local host (VE Host). Due to the astronomical difference between the ZAR and USD, it is absolutely not affordable to use hosts if they are not SA Rand based. I checked the installation guide specs and all seems to be fine. Will I be OK?

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