LearnPress is a comprehensive WordPress LMS Plugin for WordPress. The LearnPress core plugin is free. But you must pay for a compatible theme. LearnPress has lots of free and premium add-ons for extra functionalities.
LearnPress core plugin is free.
- LearnPress core plugin is free
- The flexibility of adding premium add-ons
- Premium add-ons are priced competitively
- PayPal payment integration included out of the box
- Multiple instructors for one course
- Concerns with plugin compatibility with WordPress themes
- Certifications and some quiz options are paid add-ons
- Limited reporting
With the e-learning market projected to be $325 billion by 2025, teachers, practitioners, and trainers alike are turning to technology to teach valuable skills across all industries.
If you’re a WordPress user, one tool to help transition to the e-learning revolution is LearnPress.
In this in-depth review, we’re going look at how LearnPress works, the pricing structure, pros, cons, support options, and much more.
Let’s get into it!
What is LearnPress?
LearnPress is a free WordPress LMS plugin to create your very own online course platform.
With over 1 million all-time downloads and 70,000+ active installs, LearnPress has proven to be a popular LMS solution for WordPress users.
Why is LearnPress so popular? It starts with the price.
How much does LearnPress cost?
According to their WordPress plugin page, LearnPress is free and will always be free.
This is impressive, considering that LearnPress will give you everything you need to create a functional LMS out of the box.
There are also some free and paid options to add more features to your courses, which we’ll discuss in more detail later.
How to install the LearnPress LMS plugin on WordPress
You install LearnPress just like any other WordPress plugin.
Option 1 – click on add new under your plugin menu in WordPress, and search for LearnPress–click install, then activate.
Option 2 – download the LearnPress plugin from WordPress.org, and upload the zipped file to your WordPress dashboard via add new plugin. When the file has finished uploading, click install and activate.
Once you activate the LearnPress plugin, you’ll be taken to the setup Wizard, where you can choose your currency, payment details, and email notifications. You’ll also be prompted to create four core pages, including:
- Become a Teacher
The LearnPress setup wizard can automatically create the pages for you, or you can do it yourself.
LearnPress features and first impressions of the user interface
LearnPress is not a full-blown drag and drop editor, but it’s incredibly easy to use nevertheless.
Put it this way; if you know how to create a page or post in WordPress, then you’ll be able to build a course with LearnPress. Below is an example of how it works.
Note: for this demonstration, we’re using the WordPress classic editor.
Step 1 – click on LearnPress from your WordPress menu, then select add new in your LearnPress course library.
Step 2 – as you would on any page or post in WordPress, give your course a title, write a description, tick relevant categories, and add tags in the editor. You can preview your course page at any time.
Step 3 – scroll down the page, and below the editor, you can add your curriculum. Start by naming your first section—from there, you can add more sections and lessons to organize your program.
Note: don’t forget to save your course as a draft, so you don’t lose any of your changes!
Step 4 – hover over a lesson and click on the pencil icon to edit. LearnPress will open the lesson in a new tab in your browser window for you to add learning content. You can also access your lessons in the LearnPress menu in your sidebar. From here, you can select the format of the lesson e.g., standard, image, video, etc., and add the content.
Step 5 – scroll down the lesson page to customize settings to your liking. You can set the lesson duration, disable or enable comments, and decide whether prospective students can preview this lesson to give them an idea of what to expect from your course before enrolling.
Once you’re happy with the lesson, click update and close the window to go back to the main course page.
Step 6 – on your main course page, scroll down to your course settings. In this area, you can adjust settings for the course duration, the number of students, block lessons, set pass grades, choose a price (and sale price), amongst other things.
Step 7 – preview your course on the front-end to see what it looks like. Your course page will look different depending on what theme you’re using. For this walkthrough, I’m using a premium theme, called CBKit.
Generally speaking, I found the course layout for LearnPress is clean and straightforward, which is crucial as you don’t want to overwhelm your students with complexity.
Adding quizzes to LearnPress
LearnPress offers powerful quizzes to improve student engagement for your program. Below is a brief breakdown of how to add a quiz using LearnPress.
Step 1 – click on quizzes from the LearnPress menu in WordPress. From there, click on new quiz at the top of the quizzes screen.
Step 2 – add a title and description for your quiz, like you would for a course or lesson page.
Step 3 – scroll down the page to add questions to your quiz. By default, the question format is set too true or false. You can change the format to a multiple-choice or single choice.
Step 4 – scroll down the page to adjust the settings of your quiz. You can turn on the ability for students to review questions after completion, show correct answers, and even set a duration for taking the quiz.
Step 5 – now that you’ve created the quiz, you can link it to the relevant lessons on your quiz screen.
A couple of tips when creating a course using LearnPress
LearnPress, by default, will link customer information to your WordPress user accounts. This means you won’t get the new customer option at the checkout screen.
To avoid this, make sure “anyone can register” is enabled in your WordPress general settings.
Unfortunately, you need to know some basic CSS to make minor changes to the design of your course page. For example, if you want to remove the number of students, you’ll need to add CSS code in your theme customizer.
If you use Google Chrome, you can right click> “inspect” to find the name of the element you want to hide.
Watch this LearnPress tutorial to get an idea of how you can tweak the design of your course page with CSS.
LearnPress add-ons – are they worth it?
The free version of LearnPress is enough for you to get a course up and running on your WordPress website. But there are some paid add-ons to give you more features to enhance the student experience.
Let’s have a look at some standout LearnPress add-ons.
More payment options – $29.99-$39.99 each
In addition to PayPal, you can also pay to use WooCommerce, 2Checkout, Authorize.Net, and Stripe.
Having integrations with different payment carts is a big deal! For instance, WooCommerse will open up a variety of payment options for prospective students and thus removing another barrier/step to buying your course.
Content drip – $39.99
This content drip add-on gives you the ability to make different lessons available at different times.
For example, instead of providing all lessons upfront, Netflix style, you make one lesson available each week. This is especially useful if your course content is highly specialized or challenging to learn.
Your students can focus on one learning outcome at a time instead of skipping back and forth and potentially getting overwhelmed and losing interest.
The content drip feature in LearnPress also enables you to set your course to be available at a future date. This is handy if you prefer your class to have regular intakes e.g., quarterly or bi-annually.
With this approach, you can create a cohort of students who go through the course together. You can even create a free Facebook group for each intake to build a community.
If you plan on taking pre-sales, you’ll need to use the LearnPress content drip add-on to set a future date for your course.
Alternatively, your course will be evergreen—meaning it will be available to purchase and participate in at any time.
Co-instructors – $29.99
If you plan on collaborating when creating your course content, then the co-instructor’s add-on could be useful.
With this add-on, you can add multiple co-instructors to a course. Each instructor can add their unique content to programming.
To keep things consistent, instructors cannot edit content authored by other instructors.
Other LearnPress add-ons
In addition to the premium add-ons we’ve mentioned, you can also get:
- Front-end editor: the ability to make course edits on the front-end of WordPress for a more seamless user interface for instructors.
- Automatic email system: you can send broadcast messages to your students, and they’ll see your email as part of “announcements” on their dashboard.
- More quizzes: you’ll get access to even more quiz styles and formats to keep your students on their toes.
Price for LearnPress add-ons
In terms of pricing, you can purchase add-ons individually, or you can get them as part of a bundle.
The creators of LearnPress, ThimPress, also make premium WordPress themes. They have a suite of gorgeous themes created specifically for LearnPress.
LearnPress WordPress themes cost up to $69 each. However, you can access all 25 of them, including the premium add-ons in the LearnPress Pro bundle.
It’s worth mentioning that LearnPress has a range of free add-ons including:
- Course review: where students can comment and rate your course upon completion.
- Fill-in-blank: adds another type of quiz option for students to fill in the black of a sentence or paragraph.
- Course wishlist: allows students to save their favorite courses to purchase later.
- Offline payment: allows for payments to be processed offline if online options aren’t available.
- Coming soon: create some excitement around your course before launch with a coming soon landing page.
- Student list: enables you to create a list of students for each class, including progress for each quiz.
Are the LearnPress add-ons worth the money?
The good thing about these add-ons is that they are one-off payments with lifetime updates. This is refreshing, considering that many premium WordPress plugins require an annual subscription.
You can also pick and choose which add-ons are essential to you, offering great flexibility.
Lastly, the bundles represent fantastic value considering the price of each LearnPress theme and add-on.
So yes, we think the LearnPress add-ons offer value, but it depends if all you’re looking for is a basic WordPress LMS, or something more advanced.
What support options are available for LearnPress?
Creating an online course can be very stressful.
Not only do you need to develop an engaging curriculum, but then you have to make sure the technology runs smoothly to deliver the best experience.
Furthermore, creating a course is hard, and having things go wrong with tech can be off-putting–increasing your procrastination to complete the project.
So support in the context of LMS software is incredibly important. What does LearnPress offer?
As ThimPress have a suite of WordPress products in their portfolio, they don’t offer dedicated support for LearnPress users.
LearnPress does, however, have a support forum and Facebook group where you can post your questions.
As of publishing this post, the LearnPress support page seems to be broken, which is a little concerning!
Now that we’ve provided an overview of LearnPress let’s zoom in on the pros and of this plugin to help you decide if it’s right for you.
Familiar WordPress user interface
Whether it’s adding a course, a page, a quiz, or changing the settings, there’s little difference between LearnPress and the main WordPress dashboard.
If you’re an existing WordPress user, this familiarity reduces your learning curve to build an LMS–so you can get on with content creation for your program.
The flexibility of adding premium add-ons
We love the fact that you can add features to your course on an “as needed” basis. This level of flexibility will help you to simplify and stop wasting time with unnecessary bells and whistles.
This is very much in line with the open-source philosophy of WordPress in terms of adding features to your website only as you need them.
Premium add-ons are priced competitively
Pricing for LearnPress add-ons are once-off payments, which makes it very affordable when compared to other LMS tools.
PayPal payment integration included out of the box
PayPal is one of the most popular payment options on the web, and it’s available to use for free with LearnPress. This is one less thing you have to worry about when putting your first course together.
The functionality of the free version of LearnPress
From lesson structure to quizzes, to various media types, LearnPress has more than enough features for you to create and sell your online course with little hassle.
While LearnPress has many pros, it also comes with its share of cons. Let’s have a look.
Concerns with plugin compatibility with WordPress themes
On their pricing page, ThimPress state that you can use LearnPress with any WordPress theme.
However, when looking at the reviews on the plugin page in addition to comments on articles and video tutorials, users have reported problems with customizing LearnPress on existing themes.
For example, you may not be able to get rid of the sidebar on your course page because of your theme design.
Some users have also reported that LearnPress crashed their sites during routine plugin updates.
So while LearnPress is technically compatible with any WordPress theme, it doesn’t mean you’re exempt from running into some problems—so keep that in mind.
As always, please ensure you follow best practices and backup your site before updating any plugins.
If you choose to add video to your LearnPress course, just know that the performance of loading times is going to come down to the size of your file you upload as well as the performance of your web host.
That’s the trade-off of having an LMS built into WordPress, instead of hosting your LMS separately.
Being able to see how students are engaging with your course is critical to identify opportunities for improvements.
The statistics section in the LearnPress menu is underwhelming, to say the least. They merely provide graphs showing the number of orders, students, and courses.
From what we could find, they don’t show specific completion rates for each lesson, when students drop-off from watching videos, so you can see where you’re losing interest in your materials.
Lack of support
With support limited to forums, and an elementary support page, LearnPress leaves much to be desired in this area.
If you’re an experienced WordPress user who is willing to troubleshoot, you can make LearnPress work.
But if you struggle with WordPress, this could be a significant disadvantage, despite LearnPress being an affordable and relatively simple product.
Who will benefit the most from using LearnPress?
There are three things to consider when deciding if LearnPress is right for you:
- With LearnPress being a free WordPress plugin, it’s suitable for new course creators who want to test what it’s like to build and sell an online program on their existing website. From there, you can get a feel for what worked and what didn’t so you can slowly invest more money into your course platform.
- LearnPress is a great tool to complement an existing set of products and services. For example, you can create a course as supporting documentation or onboarding for your digital product.
- As the integration between themes and plugins is not always ideal, we suggest that LearnPress is best used with new WordPress sites and themes (ideally LearnPress themes). This will give you confidence that LearnPress and your theme will work in harmony. The problem with many WordPress users is that they often have an established website with ancient themes (and sometimes custom coding from a few programmers), which presents issues when working with plugins like LearnPress.
Who would benefit the least from using LearnPress?
While LearnPress is packed with features, it pales in comparison to dedicated LMS platforms like Teachable, Thinkific, and Podia.
These popular LearnPress alternatives offer their own hosting, different product offerings, intuitive user interfaces, email segmentation, landing page builders, dedicated support, and useful reporting.
Even alternative WordPress LMS, LearnDash, offers more in terms of features and support.
So if offering online courses is your primary business model, you may be better off looking at the alternatives.
But if you’re new to the world of online courses, and have a WordPress website with some offerings, LearnPress could be a fantastic introduction.
LearnPress: Frequently Asked Questions
Is LearnPress SCORM compliant?
LearnPress isn’t SCORM compliant at the moment, but there are plans of incorporating in the future.
Can I create a membership for my course using LearnPress?
You can. However, you’ll need to pay for the premium add-on that enables you to integrate your LearnPress course with Paid Memberships Pro.
Is LearnPress compatible with Gutenberg?
While there’s some code you can add to use the Gutenberg editor for the course and lesson creation, at this moment, LearnPress isn’t compatible with Gutenberg.
How many languages does LearnPress support?
LearnPress supports up to 16 languages, with more to come. LearnPress languages in 2020 include:
● Chinese (China)
● English (US)
● French (France)
● Portuguese (Portugal)
● Spanish (Columbia)
● Spanish (Costa Rica)
● Spanish (Venezuela)
Final thoughts on our LearnPress review
LearnPress is a fantastic entry-level LMS solution for existing and new WordPress users.
With premium add-ons and bundles, you can pick and choose what features you need as you become a more experienced online course creator.
LearnPress has limited support, which is fair in some ways, considering the affordability.
Also with LearnPress 4.0 due to come out soon, the team at ThimPress are promising:
- An improved user interface and faster checkout experience
- Faster page speed performance using React technology
- Better SEO through structured course data
There seem to be some nice upgrades to look forward to!
What we love about this plugin is that it removes your excuse to start your course. Jump into WordPress and give it a go. What is there to lose? It’s free, after all. At the very least, it will push you to create content, which, if you choose, you can always take it elsewhere later.
- What is LearnPress?
- How much does LearnPress cost?
- How to install the LearnPress LMS plugin on WordPress
- LearnPress features and first impressions of the user interface
- LearnPress add-ons – are they worth it?
- What support options are available for LearnPress?
- LearnPress pros
- LearnPress cons
- Who will benefit the most from using LearnPress?
- Who would benefit the least from using LearnPress?
- LearnPress: Frequently Asked Questions
- Final thoughts on our LearnPress review
I highly recommend trying out LearnPress. Especially since you can try it out for free now!