LearnDash Vs LearnPress 2020

by Adam @ WPCrafter   |   Last Updated: April 29, 2020
LearnDash Logo

LearnDash is the leading learning management system for WordPress. It allows you to facilitate selling and managing online courses on a self-hosted platform that you own & control.

LearnPress is a comprehensive WordPress LMS Plugin for WordPress. The core plugin is free and there are many free extensions and paid extensions available.

Current Pricing: $159 to $189
Current Pricing: Free to $249

If you want a learning management system that you can depend on, then LearnDash is the best choice between these two. I have serious reservations and concerns with LearnPress, the quality of their code and the support you would receive when issues happen. While I don't think the support process with LearnDash is that great, ultimately you would receive better support there. There is a reason universities trust LearnDash, because they can't afford for there to be a problem. The pricing from LearnPress is better, but it's just too good to be true.

LearnDash Pros

  • *Exclusive* Modern Learner Experience With Focus Mode
  • Easy To Use Course Builder
  • Drip-Feed Course Lessons
  • Sell One-off Courses And Subscriptions
  • *Exclusive* Video Progression Feature
  • *Exclusive* Lessons Can Be Reused In Other Courses

LearnPress Pros

  • Core Plugin Is Free
  • Drag / Drop Course Builder
  • Looks Great Out Of The Box

LearnDash Cons

  • Slower / Methodical Development
  • Some Design Features Lack Options

LearnPress Cons

There are many concerns I have with this plugin for using it in a serious environment. If you look at the reviews people have left, there are many red flags there.

Concerns with it breaking websites, not following proper coding standards, and limited to no support.

I do question their business model and if there will be enough revenue for them to continue developement.

Ease Of Use

10/10

There is no other WordPress LMS that is this easy to set up because of the new “industry first” focus mode feature.

Ease Of Use

8/10

Price / Value

10/10

Currently, I find LearnDash to be seriously underpriced when you look at what you get and the other options on the market.

Price / Value

8/10

Support

8.75/10

It’s super easy to get the help you may want from their fully staffed ticket desk or their active Facebook group community.

Support

3.5/10

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  1. Learnpress is crap. Please do not buy. I can’t believe this ‘safe’ review of them. Learnpress is shit.

  2. One concern I have about LearnDash is that when working on a recent project to push LearnDash data out to AirTable I realized to my surprise that LearnDash quizzes are actually WP Pro Quiz. If you know the story of WP Pro Quiz, it’s an interesting one because it remains the #1 stand-alone quiz plugin for WP despite not having been updated in about 8-years because the developer retired or was unreachable. I personally tried to reach him at least a dozen times because I have many clients using WP Pro Quiz on it’s own. So LearnDash has wrapped WP Pro Quiz and relies on it for quizzes. Which maybe is okay, it’s just that WP Pro Quiz interface is fairly horrible, and there are definitely storage issues if your site ends up storing lots of quiz stats. Hooks are far and few between… there are no templates you can override at the theme layer… it was never really built in a “WP way” though it is a very high quality MVC PHP app, it doesn’t really “integrate” much with WP. I think LearnDash has tried to improve on that base, but long-term, I think that’s a major weakness for LearnDash.

    1. While not knowing the specifics there, all WordPress plugins are released under the GPU license. This is so code can be shared to advance innovation faster. But usually it’s just for a starting point and over time the shared code will not resemble the original.

      You see this with WooCommerce, GiveWP, and so many other tools that are rock solid and highly used and respected.

      So even if this was the case, you can be guaranteed that what is in LearnDash today bears zero resemblance to what it may have used as a starting point 8 years ago.

      1. @Adam, If you see the code of LearnDash, its just a wrapper around Wp-Pro-Quiz even today. There is no change on the code base for the quiz part. For a layman who doesn’t understand code and look at UI and UX alone, its a complete makeover though.

        1. I seriously doubt that its “just a wrapper” today. When you make a plugin, some of the decisions you make in the beginning, you are stuck with. For example, what you name your database tables or what you name your custom post types. Many plugins and even themes got their start from using GPL based code but over time it doesn’t resemble the origonal.

  3. Adam, I heavily regreted not reading ur review before purchasing LearnDash and Eduma (oh I purchased in 2019). They are really poorly engineered. It looks good on demo, but once you start tweaking, whist the tweak options are so limited, still the whole theme brokes everywhere. Support? Dont count on them, feel like freelance student level and casual. Avoid!

    1. Yea sorry to hear your troubles with LearnPress. The reality is, the learning management system you choose to start with is a very important decision, it’s like getting married. You are gonna be stuck with it for a long time and it becomes a huge part of your online strategy. It’s best to go with proven market leaders.

  4. Hi Adam. We are running LearnPress for our web site and had to modify considerably to get the functions that we wanted. Will check out LearnDash as we heard about it from some other serious course providers. One question – do you know if either can be integrated with a biometric (face or voice) proctoring system and is there any such plugin? We need to have courses where the student will upload their photo at registration and we automatically check that it is them doing the course at certain intervals (either through face recognition or they have to call a number to be voice verified). If it cannot verify them the course is paused and they have to repeat the module. Any suggestions what is the best way to achieve this? We are also considering going to Digital Chalk but they also do not have this feature, we would have to integrate it ourselves. Many thanks

    1. I have not heard of an integration for anything like that. It would have to be accomplished with custom coding if you can’t find an off the shelf solution.

      1. Oh. And I’ve been “subjected to” Digital Lock when doing exams for courses. It is a video proctoring program using the exam takers webcam.

  5. Hey Adam,
    i see that learnpress has creative content available like crosswords among other things, does learn dash have this too or is this a plug in that i don’t know about?

    great video, i already purchased elementor via your website and have given your videos thumbs up.

  6. Thanks Adam for all the helpful info. Great! Question: I already have my website running. I hosted on Dreamhost and built it with WordPress. Can I purchase Learndash and create my courses into my existing website? Thanks.

  7. I don’t want to update my site. What happens If I don’t renew learndash license after 1 year. will my site crash & have problems? Or it will keep working without updates?
    regards

  8. What would you recommend for someone who wants to commercially sell access to their training on a site? This will be typically videos + downloadables. We would definitely need recurring billing options, discounts and promos, etc.

    I am looking at LearnDash or LifterLMS

  9. LearnPress (LP) has caused me and many other people who use or have used it serious financial and reputation damage. There is a group of us all upset about LP and improper release of upgrades. With each upgrade the site crashed. They never test the upgrades or the newer versions, and so after you install a new version nothing works. But if you dont install – site stops working as well. On top, support is super slow and is not available at all on weekends and all holidays.

    1. Yea sorry to hear that. When you need a serious business tool, you want to buy it from a serious and reliable business.

  10. Support at LearnDash does their best to keep asking for more info without actually spending any time looking into problems. Avoidance at its best. They will delay and hope you can solve your own problem with LearnDash.

    1. I haven’t had that experience with their support. I do understand when they need to get more info before looking into an issue because many times the problem is not caused by what we think is causing it.

      1. Hi Adam,

        It will be great if you can do a video about the most used LMS systems. Besides LearnDash, LifterLMS and LearnPress there’s is another new plugin by the maker of Ultimate Membership Pro, Azzaroco, named Ultimate Learning Pro.

        It has payment processors and integrations all included for $39. Would be cool to see how it compares against the other LMSs.

        1. User experience and learner experience matters to me. I looked at that one and it’s not a good user experience or back end experience.

  11. Hi, Great article! Can you suggest me the best WordPress Educational theme which is compatible with LearnDash? Initially, I was going for Eduma but then I found that it’s better with LearnPress which is not a good option for me. I’m looking for a more professional theme which shouldn’t give an impression of a ready-made template!

  12. Thanks a lot for this incredible post.
    Is there. Is there a feature where a type of course will be determined based on a questionnaire students full up (students will have to go through a questionnaire to determine their level and a course will be selected automatically based on the questionnaire results) I tried my best to look for this functionality and I could not find in any LMS Plugin.

  13. “For example, there is no easy way to reorder lessons in a course, which makes managing large courses very tedious.” This was true, but LearnDash recently released Course Builder functionality that does let you reorder topics/lessons/quizzes etc. Works really nicely!

    1. Yes I started playing around with the LearnDash course builder and am working on a full review. I will be updating this review as well.

    1. 100% the Astra Theme because I have been working with then to have LifterLMS integration. Today they released the first version of the integration that will make it really easy for anyone to have an online course website. No other theme has integration, sure LifterLMS will work fine, but for styling, it can be a pain to add custom CSS for everything.

  14. I am a purchasing user of EducationWP (LearnPress). LearnPress is the crappiest LMS ever built. It is not a LMS, even membership plugins have more features. I purchased in 2016 and my site is not ready yet.
    It is honestly a scam, every time you visit their site, they have a popup saying save $500 and get their theme (Eduma), the $500 and get those addons pack free. The addons are for simple functions which are present in LearnDash for free.

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