Tutor LMS vs LearnDash – Which One Would be Better for You?

Find our extensive Tutor LMS vs LearnDash comparison here. We hope this will help you find out which one you should choose and why.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the landscape of many socio-cultural aspects. It has influenced our ways of living. The education sector has also been changed drastically. Since many academic and training institutions had to close their physical classes, people are more inclined to learn online. This is why investing in an LMS is a very good idea today.

An LMS or Learning Management System is an application for the administration, documentation, reporting, tracking, and delivery of educational courses or training programs. Many people actually prefer online courses as they can continue at their own pace. 

Since WordPress is the most popular web development platform, WordPress-based LMS solutions are getting huge attention these days. LearnDash and Tutor LMS are two of the most popular LMS plugins for WordPress. Both of these plugins are loaded with features that help you create an amazing eLearning portal. 

In this article, we are going to discuss and compare LearnDash & Tutor LMS and help you choose the better plugin for your online educational platform. First, let’s have a quick introduction to LearnDash and Tutor LMS.

Tutor LMS

tutor lms logo

Tutor LMS is developed by Themeum and was first launched in March of 2019. Even though it’s relatively new, it has managed to create a buzz in the WordPress LMS market. There are already 40,000+ active installations of Tutor LMS and it has received great reviews. It is very user-friendly and gives you loads of free templates to work with. Using Tutor LMS you can quickly create courses and add lessons. Tutor LMS also gives you a free version which consists of ample features to create engaging courses. If you find it useful you can upgrade to any of their paid plans.

Tutor LMS is built with comprehensive features and a frontend course builder that simplifies your tasks. You will also have the option to select multiple types of quizzes such as True or False, Single or Multiple Choice, Image Answering, Fill in the Blank, etc. The variety of quizzes increases the level of engagement in a course. This makes learning more fun and productive. There are tons of addons made by Themeum that can greatly enhance your LMS experience. 

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It also integrates perfectly with Elementor and Gutenberg. So you can use the drag-and-drop features to create your courses. Gutenberg support is built inside Tutor LMS. You just have to enable it to use it. For Elementor, Themeum has developed a plugin for you. Just install and activate it to use the power of Elementor on your educational website.

LearnDash

LearnDash logo

LearnDash is one of the most popular WordPress LMS plugins. It is also one of the earliest and most widely used LMS plugins in the market. LearnDash was designed to take the latest eLearning methodology and integrate it with WordPress. Using LearnDash you can create & sell courses, track user progress, award certificates, points & badges, and so much more. Because of its comprehensive features and ease of use, LearnDash is trusted and used by many academic institutions, small to mid-sized companies, startups, individuals, and bloggers from around the world.

LearnDash is a premium product. Purchasing a license grants you access to all the features, future updates, and support for 1 whole year. LearnDash seamlessly integrates with popular plugins like WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, BuddyPress, PayPal, Stripe, MailChimp, and many more. It gives you a complete package for all your LMS needs.

Top FAQs

Is there a free version of LearnDash?

No, LearnDash has no free version as of yet. But you can get a LearnDash demo version by contacting the LearnDash team. The pricing for LearnPress starts at $199 which includes all the features. All of the plans have a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Is Tutor LMS free?

Yes, Tutor LMS has a free version for you to use. There is no trial period for the free version but it lacks some of the advanced features like the frontend builder. To unlock the best of its features you have to purchase the pro version.

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Tutor LMS vs LearnDash – Common and unique features

LearnDash and Tutor LMS are two of the most amazing LMS plugins in the market. Both of these plugins are feature enriched and have lots of users. While Tutor LMS and LearnDash both have some common features, there are some unique features in both of them. We want to explore both, the common features and the unique ones. Let’s first take a look at the common features.

Common features of LearnDash and Tutor LMS

  • Blended learning
  • Synchronous learning
  • Drag-and-drop course builder
  • Corporate/Business features
  • Learner portal
  • Built-in course authoring

As you can see, the most essential features are present in both plugins. As LearnDash has been around longer than Tutor LMS, it isn’t surprising that it has more features. Let’s take a look at some of these unique features.

Unique features in LearnDash

  • Focus mode
  • Multilanguage support
  • Manual grading system
  • Certificate expiration notification
  • SCORM compliance
  • Storyboarding

Tutor LMS has gained much popularity in a very short span of time. This is because it’s very user-friendly and it also has some unique features too. Let’s take a look at these features.

Unique features in Tutor LMS

  • More question categories
  • Data Import/Export
  • Comprehensive analytics and data visualization
  • Certificate template and certificate builder
  • Zoom Video Conferencing – Zoom addon must be turned on

As LearnDash has been in the market for a prolonged time, more and more features were built into it. Tutor LMS also has a lot of modern features as you can see.

Tutor LMS vs LearnDash

LearnDash and Tutor LMS- both let you create and manage courses. In terms of usability, features, customer support, course management, payment handling, etc. both these plugins have their own perks. Before starting to build your online courses, it would be better if you compare the strengths and weaknesses of these plugins. So, let’s see what these LMS plugins offer!

Interface and Ease of Use

Let’s first look at the interface and usability as these are the things that we notice first. The interface and the usability of any software are two of the most important aspects. People might even choose ease of use over functionalities sometimes. Let’s take a look at the interface and the usability of LearnDash and Tutor LMS.

Tutor LMS

First off, let’s look at what Tutor LMS offers. As soon as you install and activate Tutor LMS, you will be greeted with a welcome message followed by a setup wizard.

Tutor LMS vs LearnDash - Tutor welcome screen

When you click on the “LET’S START” button, you will be taken to the setup screen. The next option lets you choose whether you want an individual LMS site or a course marketplace.

Tutor LMS vs LearnDash - Tutor welcome screen two

After you have selected your LMS category, you can click the next button and you will be directed to the setup page. In this section, you can configure the overall settings of your LMS. You can also skip these steps. You will always have access to these settings later on.

Tutor LMS vs LearnDash - Tutor welcome screen three

Tutor LMS is compatible with Gutenberg and Elementor. To use Gutenberg blocks you have to enable it from the settings menu. But if you want to use Elementor, you have to get another plugin called “Tutor LMS Elementor Addons”. Now you can build your course using the drag-and-drop builder.

It is refreshing to see that Themeum has taken the time and effort to create a setup wizard for you. Just by following the on-screen instructions, you can understand what Tutor LMS has to offer.

LearnDash

As soon as you install LearnDash you will also see a clean setup wizard. Yes, LearnDash also has a setup wizard that helps you quickly setup your LMS website. LearnDash also provides you with a series of video tutorials called LearnDash Bootcamp.

Tutor LMS vs LearnDash - LearnDash bootcamp

The LearnDash Bootcamp is designed to give you a brief tutorial on how to use LearnDash. These tutorials are also included within each section of the LearnDash panel. For example, when you want to add a course, you will find the tutorial on how to create a course with LearnDash within that section.

Tutor LMS vs LearnDash - LearnDash courses tutorial

From our perspective, Tutor LMS has a well-defined and modern interface. While both of the plugins have a frontend course builder, it is a paid feature. This means, you have to purchase Tutor LMS pro to have access to it and for LearnDash, you have to buy a plugin called WISDM. It is a third-party plugin that lets you create courses from the front end. It also allows the instructors or teachers on your website to create and manage their own courses.

A cool thing about LearnDash is that you will have a setup wizard to help you set up your LMS website and you also have mini tutorials to help you out. You can watch a tutorial and start building your course or refer to the tutorials when you get stuck. If you find yourself in a difficult spot, you can also contact LearnDash support.

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Features – LearnDash vs Tutor LMS

Great features make an LMS platform more engaging and fun for students. A Learning Management System is a culmination of several features. Tutor LMS and LearnDash are loaded with essential and useful features. Listing all of these features will make this article unnecessarily long, so we are going to discuss the core features only. 

Tutor LMS

While tutor LMS is new in the LMS market compared to LearnDash, it has quickly gained a lot of popularity. It has many features that make course building fun. There is an add-on to create and customize certificates. You can select up to 10 different quizzes, check your course analytics and make informed decisions, and so much more.

Features like these make your course more engaging and interesting to the students. Building courses and managing your educational platform with Tutor LMS is fast, simple, and fun. Let’s take a deeper look into the important features of Tutor LMS.

User-friendly Course Builder

As we have stated earlier, creating courses with Tutor LMS is quick and simple. You just click on ‘Add New’ and give a name and description of the course. Next, you will find the Course Builder where you can insert topics to your course.

Bonus Video: How to Create a Course with Tutor LMS (Complete Tutorial)

You can then start adding lessons with videos and add one or more quizzes. If you simply keep following the instructions on the screen, you will be able to create an entire course with quizzes in no time. Of course, you can also create questions ahead of time so that you can add those later on.

Tutor LMS course builder

This way, you can easily create courses and add topics or modules to that course. Then you can add lessons to those topics and also add quizzes. How you want to organize your course is completely up to you now. You can add text-based lessons or videos if you want.

There are so many features available in Tutor LMS that you might not even need. But take your time to explore and see what could make your course better.

Advanced Quiz Builder

Adding quizzes at the end of your lessons is a great way to see how well the students grasped the topic. It makes your course much more effective and students will pay more attention to each lesson.

Tutor LMS provides you with 10 different categories of questions. You can use Ture or False, Multiple Choice, Single Choice, Image Answering, Fill in the Blanks, and more question categories.

Tutor LMS quiz builder

You can also export all quizzes in a spreadsheet program. This can be imported into your Tutor LMS powered site. But you have to enable an add-on to do it.

Tutor LMS enabling Quiz Export/Import addon

Tutor LMS has an advanced quiz system that lets you choose what type of quiz you want, and where to set it. You can add one or more quizzes at the end of each lesson or you can add those at the end of the entire topic. Tutor LMS gives you the freedom to take whatever path you want.

Multiple instructors

Tutor LMS can be used by individual instructors or trainers and it can also be used by companies or universities. It can be used as a marketplace as well. When you first install the plugin, it prompts you what category of LMS you want.

You can assign multiple teachers on Tutor LMS to teach different topics of the same course. You can also assign one tutor for one single course. You can assign instructors in any way you see fit.

Reports and Analytics

The Reports and Analytics feature gives you insights into how the courses are doing, how popular the platform is, its search results, etc. Observing the analytics helps you make informed decisions and maximize your outreach. With Tutor LMS Pro, you will find more detailed and graphical statistics.

Tutor LMS report section

You have to enable the reports addon to get access to more detailed analytics like course stats, students, reviews, etc.

Course Management

Using Tutor LMS you can create and manage your eLearning platform with ease. It gives you much control over each element. You can create a video session where the students can interact and talk with tutors. You can also create a Q&A session where you can manage students’ questions in one place. 

If you want to check these features out, see the Add-ons section of Tutor LMS. You can create the learning path of a course by enabling add-ons like Course Prerequisites and Content Drip. You can create certificates for your courses using the drag-and-drop feature and also include guidebooks. There are so many things you can do when it comes to course management. So make sure you check out each setting and add-on.

Certification

It is very important to set a certificate for each course. Students will be awarded a certificate after they successfully complete a course. This gives the students a sense of accomplishment. Tutor LMS has a unique approach when it comes to certifications.

Although the free version of Tutor LMS doesn’t have the certification option. But if you install Tutor LMS Pro, you’ll have access to all the premium addons of Tutor LMS including the Certificate addon. This gives you multiple certificate templates which are beautifully designed. You can customize those templates and use those in your courses.

Themeum went one step ahead and created a plugin called Certificate Builder. Using the Certificate Builder, you can create a certificate with an amazing design. You will have access to a completely new interface to design your certificates.

Tutor LMS certificate builder

You will also have access to more certificate templates. You can download the Certificate Builder for free if you have Tutor LMS Pro. To get the Certificate Builder, simply go to Themeum’s official website and log in to your Themeum account. You can download this plugin from there.

Also, check out our video on how to create a certificate with Tutor LMS Certificate Builder. In this video, we show you step by step process of creating a certificate with the Certificate Builder plugin.

Payment Integration

Primarily you can withdraw using Bank Transfer, E-check, and PayPal. Tutor LMS works with WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads (EDD), and other eCommerce platforms. Handle the payment for your tutors and receive payment from your students easily.

You can create your own monetization system with the help of these plugins. You can announce discounts for your courses, also assign a limited-time offer, lifetime access deals, etc.

Get Tutor LMS for LIFETIME NOW!

LearnDash

As you may already know, LearnDash is one of the oldest and familiar LMS plugins in the market. Many individual tutors, well-known organizations, and marketplaces rely on LearnDash for their online education platform. University of Michigan, Yoast Academy, keap, skilljet, optinmonster, and so many are using LearnDash for their LMS websites.

The developers of LearnDash have been molding and modifying this plugin for a long time. Today it is one of the most sophisticated LMS plugins in the market. If you are already using LearnDash, you know what we are talking about. The rich and well-thought features of LearnDash make it such an amazing LMS plugin.

LearnDash’s Comprehensive Course Builder

LearnDash comes with a built-in Gutenberg block-based course builder. It has many custom Gutenberg blocks ready for you to use. So you can utilize the drag and drop feature of Gutenberg and create/customize your course.

LearnDash Course Builder

LearnDash is also compatible with many page builders including:

  • Elementor
  • Divi
  • Beaver Builder

While LearnDash can be used with any page builder plugin, there are some things that you cannot do with page builders. Keep that in mind when using your builder.

To start building your course, go to Courses > Add New. From here give a title and description of the course, select the ‘Builder’ tab and start creating.

LearnDash course builder

You can add new section headings and then add new lessons to it. You can drag and drop these sections and arrange them the way you want. To add a quiz, make sure that you have some created in the first place. If you have created some quizzes, then they will appear in the settings option on the right side of your screen.

LearnDash quiz options

Using LearnDash you can add one or multiple questions after the end of a lesson or a course. To create a quiz, go to LearnDash LMS > Quizzes > Add New. Give a title to your quiz and click on the builder to start creating your course.

LearnDash quiz builder

The first thing you should do is decide what kind of quiz you are going to create. There are 8 different quiz categories for you to choose from. You can also add events/stuff to the quizzes such as limited attempts, time limit, block progression, question hints and more in the question settings.

LearnDash quiz categories

Once you have created a quiz make sure to save it. If you want to add the questions you have created, go to the course builder and on the right side of your screen, you will find the option to add a quiz. Just select a lesson or section and click on Add Quiz to add it.


If you want more advanced quiz options, there is another plugin called LearnDash Advanced Quizzes by WooNinjas. This is a paid plugin and after installing it you will find it under the LearnDash LMS menu in your WordPress.

With this plugin, you can add question reviews, answer statistics, automatic scoring, email results to students, etc. You can add events like these to make your course more engaging and exciting. This keeps your students more engaged and makes your course more fun.

Course Management

LearnDash gives you as much control over your courses as possible. You can create courses and assign tutors for that course. You can create groups and sub-groups and then give your tutors the ability to manage their own courses. A tutor can give out assignments, award points on assignment submission, approve comments, answer questions of students, and so much more.

LearnDash has features to ensure that you can shape your courses just the way you want. It also gives you control of managing your courses.

Memberships

Using LearnDash you can sell individual courses. You can also sell memberships that contain access to various courses. You can use a feature called ‘LearnDash Groups’ to add membership options to your eLearning portal. After that, you can select the privileges for the members such as one-time payment and lifetime access, or monthly payment and access to certain courses, etc. There are various possibilities you can explore and see what works for you!

Payment system

The payment system of LearnDash is fast and simple. It’s compatible with PayPal, Stripe, 2Checkout, and 300+ others with WooCommerce. LearnDash is also compatible with Easy Digital Downloads (EDD). You can use the system that you like better.

LearnDash comes with PayPal pre-installed so you don’t have to look for installing it again. Although, you have to fill out some payment and bank-related details, which will require only a few minutes. But other than that, you don’t have to look for any additional plugins and tools for the payment system.

Certification

In LearnDash, you can award your students a certificate after completion of a course, or you can award a certificate after passing the quiz. But to add a certificate, you must create one first.


The certificate creation in LearnDash is very simple and straightforward. From your LearnDash menu, go to Certificates > Add New. Now you can create your certificate.

LearnDash creating a certificate

Follow the on-screen options and create your certificate. You need to click on ‘Set Featured Image’ in order to set a background image for your certificate.

To preview your certificate, you have to add a quiz and then assign the certificate to that quiz. Then you have to open the quiz in a new tab and give the correct answers to that quiz. After passing, you will be prompted to download the pdf of the certificate. After downloading the pdf, you can check how your certificate looks. That is the quickest way of previewing certificates in LearnDash.

Native theme – Tutor LMS vs LearnDash

Designing your entire site is a time consuming but very important step. This job gets a lot easier and faster if you apply a theme. With a good theme, you don’t have to worry about the aesthetics of your website and continue to build your online courses. Themeum provides some really great Tutor LMS-based themes. There are also many 3rd-party themes for Tutor LMS.

Unfortunately, there are no native themes from LearnDash but it is compatible with many 3rd-party themes.

Tutor LMS

Themeum is well known for developing beautiful themes. For Tutor LMS there are numerous themes that you can choose. But a great thing about it is, Themeum has built 5 native themes for you to use! Let us look at the native Tutor LMS themes by Themeum.

  • Tutor Starter – Tutor Starter is a free companion WordPress theme for Tutor LMS. It comes with 3 different starter packs. It is compatible with Elementor, Gutenberg and supports Schema. The design is modern and optimized for fast loading.
  • Skillate – This is a Gutenberg-powered theme. Skillate has good interactivity and has a fast loading speed. It’s multi-instructor ready.
  • Docent Pro – This theme is particularly built for single instructors. It’s also powered by Gutenberg and is completely responsive in terms of design and navigation.
  • Language School – The Language School theme is designed for schools, colleges, and language institutes.
  • Edumax – Another responsive and modern designed theme for your eLearning portal. It has advanced course filtering and is SEO-friendly.

Get Tutor LMS for LIFETIME NOW!

LearnDash

LearnDash doesn’t have any native themes. But there is a good number of compatible 3rd-party themes available for this plugin. LearnDash works with most of the themes that are coded with WordPress standards. The free suggested themes for LearnDash are:

If you want to invest in premium themes, then you might want to check the following themes:

Choosing a theme is just as important as choosing your LMS plugin. You need to confirm that the plugin you are using is compatible with your theme. All the themes listed in the section above are referred by LearnDash.

You can also check out our post on the best themes for LearnDash.

Pricing

Pricing is a big difference between Tutor LMS and LearnDash. The starting package for Tutor LMS is $149 per year whereas the starting package of LearnDash is $199 per year.

Tutor LMS

Tutor LMS is available at affordable prices. It also gives you a free version to try. It has a decent amount of features that you can use to build an amazing eLearning portal. The prices may change in the future, but currently, Tutor LMS is available at the following prices:

  • Individuals package – $149/yr for 1 site
  • Freelancers package – $199/yr for 5 sites
  • Agencies package – $299/yr for unlimited sites

LearnDash

LearnDash is a bit more expensive than Tutor LMS. But it is one of the best LMS plugins in the market. There are three packages for you to choose from. The prices might change from time to time. But the following is the current price:

  • Basic Package – $199/yr for 1 site
  • Plus package – $299/yr for 10 sites
  • Pro package – $369/yr for 25 sites

All the packages have the usual features but the Pro Panel is only available for the Plus and Pro Package.

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Customer support

Customer support is an essential part of any software. When you are using plugins like Tutor LMS and LearnDash, it is expected that you will run into some sort of queries. But it’s good to know that you can count on the customer support of these companies.

Tutor LMS

Tutor LMS provides customer support in the following methods:

  • Email
  • Tutorials
  • Documentation
  • Live chat

You can also get help from Themeum’s YouTube channel and the Tutor LMS Facebook group.

LearnDash

You can seek help through LearnDash’s Facebook group, YouTube channel, and FAQ page. But LearnDash mainly provides customer support in the following methods:

  • Email/Help desk
  • Tutorials
  • Documentation

Learn More:  Tutor LMS – Is this the Best WordPress LMS Plugin?

Conclusion

LearnDash and Tutor LMS are the two giants of the LMS market today. In this article, we tried to bring out the strengths and weaknesses of both these giants. Although it cannot be easily decided which is the better platform as both of these products delivers really useful features.

One of the best things about Tutor LMS is that it has a free version for you to try. LearnDash doesn’t give you a free version but you can contact LearnDash and ask for a LearnDash demo version. But for Tutor LMS, you can build a decent eLearning portal with the free version. But most of its advanced features are only available in the pro version. 

If you’re on a budget, then Tutor LMS is a really great choice for you. It also has great customizing options available. LearnDash is excellent in terms of management. In fact, many people switch to LearnDash because of how much control it gives you for managing your LMS.

The broad features and management options of LearnDash are why big Universities like the University of Michigan prefer LearnDash. Again, LearnDash uses PayPal to handle the payment system while Tutor LMS primarily uses the WooCommerce platform. However, you can withdraw money using Bank Transfer, E-check, and PayPal.

Both of these plugins are extremely good for creating your own eLearning website. While LearnDash has a vast number of features, it is also expensive. Tutor LMS gives you a free version to try but there is no free version for LearnDash. If you want to try LearnDash before making your purchase, you can contact the LearnDash team for LearnDash demo.

We hope that you found this article useful. Let us know which platform you use in the comment section and what you love using it.

👉 Video: How to Create a Course with Tutor LMS (Complete Tutorial)


Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links and we may receive a small commission if you purchase something by following them. However, we recommend services/products that we believe good to serve your purpose.

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