What is LifterLMS?
When talking about the top WordPress LMS plugins, LifterLMS often comes up at the very top of the list.
Launched in 2014 and one of the earliest Learning Management System plugins for WordPress, the platform has grown into an industry benchmark.
It is important before we get started with this review and how LifterLMS compares with other alternatives, to understand this:
LifterLMS, in spite of what may be perceived from their website, is not an all-in-one solution for online course creators.
It is simply meant to help you sell, deliver and manage your online courses and content or create a membership site.
You’ll still need at least a few other things like: a video hosting service, an email marketing system, a WordPress theme with funnel builder, etc.
Features: What Can You Do With LifterLMS?
The list of features you can see on the LifterLMS website is very long… but a lot of them are redundant or more simple than they sound!
Again, since the main purpose of the platform is to help course creators selling and delivering their online courses, we’ll focus on how these features compare to other platforms we review on the site.
Courses Design & Tools
Creating a course in LifterLMS is relatively easy once you’ve understood how things work.
You’ll be able to create a new course as a special post type and categorize them in many different ways
The way you’ll then add lessons and content will be through the “Course Builder”, which helps adding a range of different learning tools LifterLMS has:
- Main content: text, video, audio, images
- Assignments: these can be simple to-dos tasks to complete or essays, files to upload,etc.
- Quizzes: to test your students with questions, they can be time limited or a requirement before unlocking future content.
These tools are very flexible and honestly compare very well with other WordPress LMS!
There isn’t much you won’t be able to do in terms of content and popular learning tools you might want in your online course.
Understand that once you’ve created your course’s content with this Course Builder, the course layout and design can’t be customized much more.
As in, you won’t be able to choose different themes or ways the course is presented like you might with something like Kajabi.
This is a bit of a limitation, especially since one of the main reasons for going for a WordPress + LMS plugin solution is to remove the limits of what’s possible!
If that’s too much of a problem though, you can skip this and create your own pages with your favorite page builder, and then restrict these pages with LifterLMS to a certain course/membership purchase.
That being said, the course default design is very professional and simple for students.
It seems to appeal to a more “academic” audience than other platforms.
Which imply means that LifterLMS has put a lot of effort into making everything very customizable and trackable:
You’ll have access to a lot of reports and statistics on your students progress and engagement throughout the program.
You’ll literally be able to see everything a student does for each video, assessment, grade, certificates,etc.
The last notable feature around the online course creation in LifterLMS is the Engagements you can create.
This is definitely something unique very few other platforms offer and can be great for gamification!
You’ll be able to create Achievements, which are badges to be earned based on triggers like completing a course, passing a test or a quiz for example.
But you can also create Certificates for your students, with a range of pre-made templates available.
This can really upgrade your online programs and give it some credibility as well as making it extra engaging and fun.
Checkout & Payment
LifterLMS has a native checkout and payment system, which is a lot easier than trying to connect a 3rd party tool for this (although you still can).
You’ll still need to connect a payment gateway like Stripe, Paypal or Authorize.net.
But at least everything will be seamless for your students to checkout, and create an account to get access to their products.
The checkout page can be edited via the WordPress editor but also added as a block with a lot of popular page builders.
Here again, the default checkout and sales page provided by LifterLMS are very basic.
You’ll be creating a checkout and offer by creating a “Membership” which can then bundle a few different Courses and multiple pricing.
The pricing options are very varied: anything from free, recurring with any frequency you’d like, free and paid trial,etc.
Orders can then easily be seen and managed from your WordPress Dashboard all in one place.
This is the case with multiple WordPress LMS plugins now, but I found LifterLMS a little more robust on that feature.
One last thing to note is that LifterLMS is one of the easiest platforms to license your courses for B2B.
With easy export/import and role management features, this can be one of the main reasons some decide to choose it.
Beyond the standard features we’ve reviewed so far, LifterLMS and its community have started building a great marketplace with Addons to add further capabilities to the tool.
- An affiliate system with AffiliateWP
- Advanced assignments and quizzes
- Email marketing: Mailchimp and ConvertKit
- Forms plugin integration (Ninja Form, WPForms, Gravity)
- Forum (BuddyPress)
And a few others!
These addons, although not game changers to the fundamental way LifterLMS works, could be a dealmaker in helping you integrate everything else you’ll need as a course creator.
User Experience: Is LifterLMS Easy To Use?
This is an important area to review and talk about with any WordPress LMS plugin.
That’s because one of the main criticisms of this setup is its clunkiness and steep learning curve…
Unfortunately, we haven’t found LifterLMS to be very intuitive for beginners.
The interfaces are very busy and it's hard to find what you’re looking for…
Again, nothing that a bit of playing around and experience can’t fix, but there will be a pretty substantial amount of learning when you get started (even compared to other platforms).
Everything is there, you just need to look around and find it!
On the other hand, everything for your student within the course area is very well designed and easy to navigate.
The student interface is distraction free, easy on the eye, and with the amount of control you have can be accessible and SCORM compliant.
Pricing: How Much Is LifterLMS?
LifterLMS offers 3 rather affordable packages.
You’ll have to pay on a yearly basis but will benefit from a 30 days money back guarantee
Realistically, most course creators will need to be on the “Universe Bundle” plan and up in order to have what they need to sell their programs.
This includes a lot of Addons necessary for payment integration and connecting third party tools for example.
You can also purchase addons individually but this will probably not be the most cost effective solution…
To put these prices in perspective, competitors like Memberpress or LearnDash have similar packaging respectively around $300/year and $200/year.
LifterLMS’s pricing and value is relatively competitive then and wouldn’t be a big differentiator!
Do take into consideration the other tools mentioned before you will need as a course creator, and their cost...
How is the Support & Community for LifterLMS?
LifterLMS makes it very easy to ask and get help quickly!
Between tutorials and free training, a greatly detailed and populated resource center as well as live chat and ticket support,...
There’s a lot to help you in your journey and learning phase here.
And if that’s not enough, you will also be able to join a private Facebook of fellow course creators and LifterLMS users of 8,000 people.
This is always a great opportunity to get help from other experienced users and online course creators, not just for tech but also marketing and selling tips.
The company is also very close to its customers and has a feature request system that will allow you to bring your input and contribution to the plugin future improvements!
Our Overall Rate: 8
Community & Support Rating:
LifterLMS is not a disappointment and lives up to expectations of most course creators using it.
We’ve seen in this review that there are a few limitations and things to understand before deciding whether it could be the best option for you!
But overall, it does compare really well and deserves its place in the top WordPress LMS plugins in our books.
The good thing is that there is an easy and risk free way to get started with the tool for 30 days with $1 and a dedicated WordPress setup during that period.