LearnDash Vs Sensei 2020

by Adam @ WPCrafter   |   Last Updated: September 8, 2021

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.
Sensei is a learning management system for WordPress from the makers of WooCommerce. WooCommerce was acquired by Automatic, the parent company of WordPress itself.
Current Pricing: $159 to $189
Current Pricing: $149 – $299

On the surface, both look like solid options for adding an online course to your website, but only one of them are really worth consideration. Sensei is really difficult to get working with any WordPress theme, however, LearnDash will work right out of the box. Also, Sensei hasn't seen any new development since 2015, any updates have been bug fixes. Where LearnDash has had countless new features added, features that you would want in an LMS. I just can't recommend anyone use Sensei because it is not a serious product for the future where LearnDash is their main and only product, so they are laser-focused on it and have added massive improvements each year.

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

Sensei Pros

  • WooCommerce Integrated
  • Question Bank
  • Manual Quiz Grading

LearnDash Cons

  • Slower / Methodical Development
  • Some Design Features Lack Options

Sensei Cons

Sensei does not integrate well with 99% of WordPress themes. So if you are not a developer/coder, you will have a tough time getting it to work right with your theme. Also, it requires WooCommerce and several expensive extensions to function properly. This makes the total cost 3x higher per year.

Ease of Use

Ease Of Use

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

Ease Of Use

Price Value Icon

Price / Value

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

Price / Value



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




  1. Hi Adam, Really liked this review. I was wondering if you can tell me which would be the best LMS for an academic website whose main focus is on assessments? There will be more assessments than course content. Can you suggest assessment plugins? I like moodle’s assessment/quiz page of having each question per page, but it feels like it will be an overkill for this project. Would appreciate your reply.

    Thank you.

    1. LearnDash has that built-in. I would recommend buying it, but if you see it not meeting your needs, there is a refund period.

  2. Hi Adam, I’m seeing Woocommerce advertise that Sensei is free. I’m a bit confused, can you help explain? Here is the link. Is this only during the Covid19 season or is this a watered down version of a pro software.

    1. Yes they recently went freemium. What that means is the core features are free, but the minute you want to sell a course or other things, you pay out the nose. It’s the same business model that WooCommerce has. This further shows why LearnDash is a MUCH better value and 10X cheaper. But more than that, its the industry standard where Sensi is a forgotten product that no one uses. Like zero market share.

  3. Hi Adam
    I was very excited about Learn Dash but it is not available for a WordPress.com site, which is what I have. What should I use?

    1. Nothing is gonna work on WordPress.com. I know it’s confusing, but it’s not the same WordPress that 33% of the internet uses. They don’t let you install plugins and most themes. What you need is self-hosted WordPress from a web hosting company such as SiteGround.

  4. Joel R Nodelman says:


    We are on Podia right now, with about 8 months left on our current subscription. Looking at moving over to LearnDash towards the end. Is there any way to streamline the transfer of assets? Also, do you have any thoughts on Podia as a platform? It sure isn’t WordPress, but it does allow us to sell downloads as well as courses, and we can add a membership site, if we wish. Like to hear your thoughts.

    1. I think Podia is great. In fact here is my Podia review.

      Unfortunately, when you start using an online course system you sorta are locked into it. There is no quick or easy way to transition into a different platform.

      The main advantage with any SaaS solution is they all include video hosting which is normally extremely expensive.

  5. Hi Adam,

    Thank you for the great work you’re doing here. I’m heavily invested in Avada. Do you think Avada will sync well with LD? Ditto for Genesis Framework?
    I’ll note the Elementor Pro & Astra theme you mentioned earlier too.
    Thank you for the trouble.

  6. Dr Randall Fandrich says:

    Sensei was the LMS of the month when I got it!…then all went down hill! Not supported, obvious pet project, and non user friendly! Now I have to figure out what to transfer to successfully! Over 100 courses and counting! Ugh..

    1. Very accurate observation and sorry to hear you are 100 courses in. I mean it’s great that you have created 100 courses :-), but what stinks is that they are trapped in Sensei. I have 10 courses and I am in the process of moving them to LearnDash right now.

  7. Sensei development process is horrible. They cannot do a simple fix it will take month. Definitely don’t subscribe to automatic payments it is not worth it. They will charge you money and make a one small update a year.

  8. Barbara Tidwell says:

    Hi, thanks for the helpful comparisons. I want to build a music learning website where, much like Udemy, instructors can add their courses to my website and I sell the course, where I can a small transaction fee. Does LearnDash do this or is there another plugin that can accommodate this structure?

  9. Hi I have been researching all of the options now could you recommend what theme and plug ins i should go with regarding a membership website where not only courses will be given but discounts on software packages ans… Almost like the digitalmarketer.com I have been stuck with now for a very long time with what to go with. How is thive + learndash will that be an option. thanks for all your work i follow you on all platforms!

      1. Dear Adam, what is the best solution in your opinion and experience?

        1. to buy Astra an use free version of Elementor?
        2. buy Elementor PRO and use free version od Astra? + very good plugin Astra Starter Sites with ready prebuilt sites
        3. buy Elementor PRO and use free very light Elementor Hello Theme? and use ready sites from Elementor Pro and customize it?
        4. your advice for page builder (version) + Theme (version) + prebuilt websites (version) – best solution for beginners to start making its own website with modern, beautiful layout, easy in making and development in future?

        I saw may your films about WordPress on YT and thank you for your job and advice! Thank you

          1. Thank you very much Adam. What about ready pre-built websites to import. Do you prefer from Astra Starter Sites or from Elementor PRO or sets from other developers? There are many – I noticed – makers but I did not have time to find out witch set / package is it really worth of use – I mean moder and bautyful layout … ? What do you advice or prefer Adam?

          2. I love what Astra provides, but out of the box, the integration with Astra is great. All that being said LearnDash v3 is really going to change this. I have a beta of it and can confidently say that it’s going to make a lot of things easier and more beautiful.

  10. Terry Fickwut says:

    I like many of the features, particularly h5p integration for interactive video, offered by LearnDash but big concern is the lack of mobile app / offline learning. So many people study whilst travelling where they may have no wifi (underground) or rely on 4g and don’t want to risk exceeding their monthly data plan that they want to download parts of courses for use in such circumstances. I see that there are bespoke services for developing a custom mobile app but guessing these are not cheap – starting at £8k from one I looked at.

  11. Artur Zygmunt says:

    I got 10 courses made on Sensei. Do you think it would be profitable to make a transition to LD?

    1. I think you will have no choice at some point. But I would say that the challenge is more with students and their progress.

      1. To which LMS did you switch, in order to compare to it? Thanks for helping me take the best decision.

          1. I have been working with LD so far and well it has its issues I am just not going to look back 🙂 Just go full force forowrd 🙂

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