I tested out Tutor LMS and LearnDash — I wanted to see how they would aid in transforming a website into a central infobusiness hub and, along the way, I worked out the major differences in how they help create, monetize, and sell online courses. They’re both excellent LMS plugins but, of course, each has pros and cons.
Tutor LMS is a simple but powerful WordPress plugin that provides everything you need to create, sell, and manage courses on your website. It offers a course builder, assignments, quizzes, personalized dashboards, a mobile app, and advanced analytics. It’s great for tutors that need simple tools to create complex courses on their websites.
Similarly, LearnDash is a highly-customizable WordPress plugin that equips your website with course-creation and learning management solutions. But it focuses more on educators with advanced assignments, quizzes, and certificate-building features that keep students engaged.
The platforms are similar and have an identical pricing model to boot, so choosing one over the other means looking at the nuances. That’s why, in this article, we’ll compare and contrast Tutor LMS and LearnDash in terms of:
- User Interface
- Reporting & Analytics
- Features and Capabilities
Without further ado, here’s the breakdown of Tutor LMS vs LearnDash!
Offers a free plan with limited features. 10-site plan for $399/year and unlimited sites for $799/year. 30-day money-back guarantee and lifetime purchase option.
Offers a 15-day money-back guarantee. 10-site plan for $399/year. Unlimited sites for $799/year.
|Features and Capabilities|
Standard course builder with drag-and-drop tools. Offers user-friendly templates. Personalized dashboard for tutors and students.
Highly-customizable templates. Gamification features, such as points, badges, and certificates. Course creation wizard, dynamic course delivery, and advanced quizzes.
Essential integrations including WooCommerce, MailChimp, Zoom, and Google Classroom.
Offers over 30 native integrations and 5,000+ Zapier integrations. Includes all of Tutor LMS essential integrations.
User-friendly dashboard. Easy navigation and tools for a streamlined experience.
User-friendly dashboard. Strong navigation. Steeper learning curve with a little more trial and error.
|Reporting & Analytics|
High-quality analytics. Earnings chart and a time filter. Tracks student progress and course performance.
Great student progress monitoring and data support through the ProPanel addon. Supports third-party analytics tools.
|Beginner course creators who are just getting started with frontend course building and would benefit from hassle-free templates.||Experienced creators who require higher levels of customization and more advanced student engagement tools.|
|Try the live preview||Try the free demo|
Tutor LMS was created in 2019 by Themeum — a small group of WordPress theme developers that wanted to change the infobusiness industry. Despite its relatively young age, it quickly became a foundational tool in the world of e-learning.
Tutor LMS is popular for its beginner-friendly features like the drag-and-drop course builder and high-quality dashboard for both creators and students. It includes assessments, quizzes, and a no-code certificate builder to bring up the learning experience. Furthermore, it provides a mobile learning app, advanced reporting and analytics, and seamless migration from other plugins without data loss. Tutor LMS also supports video embeds from any source and integrates with advanced page builders like Divi and Elementor.
Tutor LMS is great for beginners that need a simple but powerful platform to create and sell courses. Its free plan allows infopreneurs to test their business ideas before committing to a paid subscription.
LearnDash was founded in 2013 by Justin and Khloe Ferriman as an e-learning blog before rising to a top online course creation software. It initially offered its products and services as a WordPress LMS plugin but has since expanded to include a full website in its software suite.
LearnDash has many features and functions for next-level online course creation: advanced and customizable course builders, and impressive monetization integrations. Its claim to fame? The gamification of lessons and other content. Alongside badge and certificate builders, LearnDash has great engagement tools to keep students on track and focused. With content automation, built-in analytics, and stable user support, few LMS platforms can match LearnDashs’ toolset.
LearnDash is great for course creators that want to build a knowledge-based business on the WordPress platform. It provides a fully-featured course website, complete with optimal customization and student engagement tools.
Tutor LMS offers a free version and lifetime deals, while LearnDash offers similar prices and a free hosted website.
Tutor LMS’s price breakdown clearly explains what value you get for your money, making it easier to understand. For example, the free version allows you to create unlimited courses for unlimited students but lacks vital features like the front-end course builder, certificates, monetization, and analytics.
The paid plans all offer the same features and higher tiers increase the number of site licenses and free installation services. Some of these features include:
- Reports and analytics
- Pre-built email templates
- Automated student grading
- Drag-and-drop certificate builder
- Advanced quiz builder with multiple quiz types
Tutor LMS also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and a lifetime purchase with free lifetime updates on all plans.
LearnDash Cloud is a fully-hosted, cloud-based website that costs $24/month and includes the essentials to get started with LearnDash: hosting, security, a webstore, and analytics (ProPanel is included in the price — usually $49/mo).
The other product is the LearnDash LMS Plugin, which is a completely customizable plugin for existing WordPress sites. It starts at $199/year (~$17/mo) for one site and allows unlimited licenses at $799/year (~$67/mo). However, you have to manage the hosting and other services yourself.
LearnDash also offers add-ons for group management, analytics, student progress tracking, and note-taking at $49/year per plugin. All subscription plans and plugins have a 15-day money-back guarantee.
Winner: Tutor LMS wins the price-point battle. While they both cost the same, Tutor LMS is best for new users because of the risk-free free version. Meanwhile, LearnDash is better for users with an existing website, so price alone shouldn’t be your deciding factor.
Tutor LMS offers pre-built templates, advanced lessons, and quiz features while LearnDash has better customizations and gamification tools.
When it comes to high-definition optics, navigation, and content capabilities, Tutor LMS and LearnDash are evenly matched.
However, Tutor LMS’s easy learning curve better enables newcomers to sell courses confidently, quickly, and successfully. Moreover, well-made walkthrough videos like the Tutor LMS Tutorial allow rapid adoption of the software.
Since coding isn’t required, Tutor LMS is less intimidating, while also presenting great online capabilities for students to learn and engage.
The dashboard is elegantly structured for both instructors and students to quickly familiarize themselves with course content and navigate to the appropriate interface. Although Tutor LMS isn’t as powerful as LearnDash when it comes to customization, you can easily customize your course using a custom page builder — including WordPress themes like Elementor, or Gutenberg.
Personalizing your course communicates to learners who you are as an instructor. That’s why LearnDash assists you with student engagement and motivation by providing gamification tools. Although it has a steeper learning curve, its features are pretty straightforward and offer a great user experience.
Again, there’s nothing you can’t do if you have a good tutorial to learn from. And LearnDash isn’t behind on those at all — check out this walkthrough video:
Winner: LearnDash takes the podium! Here’s the thing, both software have really strong features and capabilities, so it really comes down to user preference.
Both platforms offer third-party integrations but LearnDash offers more than Tutor LMS.
When starting out with a course-building platform, instructors need integrations to reach potential students and overall market their e-learning business. As such, both apps have essential integrations to provide a well-rounded experience — they offer integrations for:
- E-commerce — WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads
- Payment Gateways — Stripe, Paypal
- Gamification — Gamipress
- Educational tools — Google Classroom, ChatGPT
- Email Marketing — MailChimp; and many more
LearnDash offers more native integrations than Tutor LMS, including Zapier that lets you connect to thousands of indirect integrations.
|Woo Commerce||Gamipress||MailChimp||EDD||Google Classroom||Shopify||Zoom||Dropbox|
It’s worth noting that Tutor LMS requires you to upgrade to a paid subscription to unlock some integrations. On the other hand, LearnDash offers integrations on all plans but you may need to subscribe to some third-party apps separately.
Winner: LearnDash. It offers the same integrations as Tutor LMS but includes others that the latter doesn’t. Unlike Tutor LMS, LearnDash integrates with Zapier integration to help you connect with any third-party app via webhooks.
Both platforms offer simple and intuitive user interfaces but Tutor LMS is slightly easier to use.
While both platforms offer similar UIs and navigation options, Tutor LMS is slightly less intimidating for beginner tutors and students. Its recent updates modernized the user interface, giving the Dashboard icons a smooth, user-friendly structure.
Tutor LMS has a monochromatic user interface and avoids flashy colors. This feature helps users to focus on the UI’s functionalities rather than its appearance.
On the other hand, LearnDash requires more user proficiency on the front end. The sheer amount of buttons, sliders, and other widgets makes the UI slightly less approachable for newbies. However, this difference from Tutor LMS is hardly noticeable with just a few days of usage.
Winner: Tutor LMS, narrowly. Both apps have a simple and intuitive UI, but Tutor LMS offers a slightly better dashboard configuration.
Tutor LMS delivers sound analytics for business monitoring, and LearnDash uses add-ons to deliver the data.
Both platforms include advanced analytics tools that are essential to e-learning businesses. They include
- Time Filters
- Performance Reports
Tutor LMS provides an earning chart that shows daily, monthly, and yearly reports of sales performance and customer engagement. This allows course creators to assess marketing and content needs for future success.
However, its best marketing tool is customer Testimonials, which you can use to view and manage course reviews right from the dashboard.
LearnDash uses the Google Analytics add-on to provide earnings stats but has great student reporting and grading tools for any enrollment and assignment management needs. It also offers the ProPanel Analytics and Groups Plus add-ons for advanced reporting.
Tutor LMS also offers student progress monitoring, but it’s not very robust. It does a better job with earnings analytics than student growth.
Winner: Tutor LMS for analytics, LearnDash for reporting. As an instructor, it really depends on what is most important to you in these areas. Still, both are capable and provide the essential service in some way.
|Tutor LMS Pros||Tutor LMS Cons|
|✅ Simple and intuitive course builder||❌ No fully-featured website|
|✅ Affordable pricing plans||❌ Fewer integrations|
|✅ Personalized dashboards for creators and students||❌ Less sophisticated student progress tracking|
|✅ Advanced earning performance reports|
|✅ 24/7 customer support|
|LearnDash Pros||LearnDash Cons|
|✅Offers a complete website with built-in LMS tools||❌ Limited built-in payment options|
|✅ Intuitive course builder||❌ Steep learning curve for beginners|
|✅ 30-day money-back guarantee||❌ Depends on third-party plugins and integrations to enhance its functionality|
|✅ Clean and intuitive website builder|
|✅ All-in-one content-creation platform|
|✅ Full access to LearnDash support team and documentation|
Tutor LMS is the best software for user-friendly frontend builders and pricing, LearnDash is best for gamification, integrations, and student engagement.
Beginner course creators looking for stress-free templates, ease of use, and affordability.
Experienced creators looking to build personalized courses with lots of integrations.
So, which one’s the best WordPress LMS solution: LearnDash vs Tutor LMS?
Both apps are excellent learning management system plugins for WordPress websites. However, each has strengths and weaknesses that make it good for some situations and not so good for others. So it’s best to consider your specific requirements. That being said, in my opinion, you should…
Use Tutor LMS if:
- You need a risk-free option to test your infobusiness ideas before paying for a subscription.
- You want to dive right in with little experience.
- You want strong analytics to monitor performance.
Use LearnDash if:
- You want to exercise your creativity with customizations and custom branding.
- You need a pre-built website that ships with course management and content-creation tools.
- You want to use third-party tools to enhance your experience.