Are you interested in creating your own LMS website? But how much does it actually cost to create an LMS website? Find out in this post.
Recently there has been a rise in online education platforms. It all started while the COVID-19 pandemic when many educational institutions were forced to shut down. Fitness clubs, art classes, etc. had to discontinue their physical classes. But thanks to LMS websites, coaches, teachers, and instructors were able to continue their classes online.
WordPress is such a platform that allows you to build and publish websites with ease. WordPress combined with an LMS plugin, almost everybody can create and sell courses online. This much information is enough to motivate you to start selling online courses. But here’s the thing, how much does it actually cost to create an LMS website?
In this article, we will explore the price list of everything you need to create and sell courses online. So, enough with the introduction, let’s get started!
Types of LMS website creators
In order to start building an LMS website, you need a few essential tools. But before discussing these tools, let’s first understand the types of LMS website creators.
Beginner: The individuals who are familiar with eLearning platforms but have little to no prior experience in building an actual LMS site. They might create 1 LMS website and a handful of courses to sell online.
Intermediate: The intermediate users have experience in building LMS websites and also used WordPress tools and plugins. These individuals occasionally take on LMS projects.
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Advanced: These are experts at planning and creating complex eLearning platforms. They could either be an agency or just independent professionals. They are really good at carefully planning and strategizing before starting to create the website. Once the planning is complete, they can create several LMS websites in the future.
Based on the type of user, the cost of creating an LMS website might vary. For a beginner, the cost will be the least as it’s generally meant for 1 simple website. While advanced users will have a higher cost since it’s meant for multiple websites and with complex features.
What you need – Essentials
Previously we said that you need some tools or essentials in order to actually create an LMS website. Between a WordPress hosting plan and an LMS plugin, there could be several things that you might need when you want to create your LMS website. But we are mentioning the absolutely necessary tools that you need in order to create your eLearning platform.
This is a no-brainer. If you want to have a website, you need a hosting plan. Remember, an LMS site gets large traffic gradually as it becomes more popular. You need such a plan to accommodate this increasing traffic. Having your site broken down in the middle of a course is an absolute nightmare. To avoid such issues, check out our best WordPress hosting collection and pick a hosting plan that is best suited to your needs.
But as we’ve said earlier, your cost depends on what type of user you are or how many websites you are planning to build. Let’s take Hostinger’s WordPress plans for example. Hostinger’s Business web hosting plan with the 12-month package will cost you $53.88 (with discount). Renewal price will be different.
In general, when you purchase hosting from a well-known provider, you will have the option to pick your own domain. But if you want to register your domain from another provider, you can certainly do it.
Now let’s talk about the pricing of domain registration. Generally speaking, a domain can cost you $2 to $20 per year (may vary if you have any special plan or discount). Picking the right domain name takes time and patience. Also, the domain name you want to pick has to be available in the first place.
It is difficult to say how much your domain will cost, but we are providing a general idea here.
- Common: $2 to 12
- Advanced: $33.99
Some of the new domains out there such as .app, are higher-end and are more expensive as these are new to the market.
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The next thing that you need is the LMS plugin that you want to use to build your eLearning website. Your cost will depend on which plugin you want to use and also how much you want to expand your website. There are several WordPress LMS plugins in the market with a free version. You can use that free version to set up your website and courses and when you’re ready you can upgrade to the pro version.
Let’s take a look at some of the popular LMS plugins and their starting cost.
- LearnDash – price starts at $199 (No free version)
- Tutor LMS – $199 per year for an Individual license (Has free version)
- LearnPress – 299 (Basic version is free)
- LifterLMS – $199 per year (Has free version)
- Sensei LMS – $179 per year (The basic version is free)
Of course, there are more LMS plugins in the market, but we’ve mentioned some of the top ones. From here, you can see that Tutor LMS is less pricey than the others. It has some of the most amazing LMS features that you’ll love. Also, the free version of Tutor LMS allows you to build and sell courses, which is a rare thing for a free LMS plugin.
If you want to build a good LMS site, you must use a quality theme. There are several LMS themes that you can use to create your LMS website. The themes with one-click import reduce a lot of your work. There are some LMS plugins that develop their own themes which you can use in combination with the plugin to make your LMS website shine.
Tutor LMS has 5 themes from Themeum. Tutor Starter is one such theme that is completely free. There are others as well, you can check out our post on the best Tutor LMS themes to find out more cool themes for Tutor LMS.
ThimPress, the developers of LearnPress also has tons of themes for you to use. The Education Pack theme is also free to use. They have a lot of themes, but most importantly, they have around 20 educational themes to choose from.
Generally, all the LMS themes cost around $49 to $69 per website. If you are building multiple websites, then check with the developers if they’ll provide support for more than one site. Otherwise, you have to purchase these separately for each website.
But if you are using themes like Tutor Starter and Education Pack which are free, then you can use these on multiple websites easily!
If we use our user type method we can understand the cost of LMS themes for different users:
- Beginner: $0
- Intermediate: $79
- Advanced: $199
You have your hosting, you have your LMS plugin, and you have a nice theme to build your website on. Now it’s time to monetize your content and start selling the courses. The most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress is WooCommerce. A great thing about WooCommerce is that it’s free to use. Although there are several features of WooCommerce that you need to pay to unlock, for a moderate LMS website, those might not be needed.
In many free LMS plugins, you can create your courses but you cannot sell those using WooCommerce. For example, Sensei LMS is an amazing plugin. It gives you a basic free version to work with but if you want to sell your courses, you need to purchase Sensei LMS pro.
The free version of Tutor LMS is quite different in this regard. Not only you can create courses, but you can also sell those courses online. But you can’t sell subscription based courses online with the free version. For that, you need Tutor LMS pro.
With Tutor LMS Pro you will be able to use WooCommerce Subscriptions, Paid Membership Pro, and Restrict Content Pro. But if you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can always add more extensions to your WordPress website.
So, if we refer back to our types of users, the costing for eCommerce will be:
- Beginner: $0
- Intermediate: $150
- Advanced: $250
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Some optional stuff
After getting all the essentials, you can also include some optional plugins to add something extra to your online education website. These are not mandatory but it can be useful sometimes to have these features on your LMS site. Based on what you want out of your LMS platform, some of these plugins might actually become a requirement.
With that being said, let’s find out what these plugins are.
When you have an LMS website, it is common to hold live classes via Zoom, Google Classroom, etc. The live classes can be very useful to hold Q&A sessions and answer the questions of students. Some instructors prefer taking only live classes and not offline classes. If that is what you want, then this plugin will be a requirement.
A good thing to note is that Tutor LMS pro has Zoom and Google Classroom integrations. So when you purchase the pro version, you can simply enable the addon(s) and take your online classes normally. Your students will be able to find the link to your online classes from the website and join the sessions.
- Beginner: $0
- Intermediate: $149
- Advanced: $240
Once you have your theme and your plugins ready, you are good to go. But if you want to customize your website and add something extra, you need the help of a website builder. Gutenberg is amazing and there are several Gutenberg block builders out there you can use to build your site.
Before you choose your builder, make sure you are comfortable with it and you can create what you want with that builder. Elementor is one of the most popular page builder for WordPress.
It is impossible to talk about WordPress website builders without talking about Elementor. Elementor is one of the best website builders for WordPress. It has over 5 million active installations and counting. Elementor is always updated with the latest technologies to give you the best web-building experience.
- For Beginners: $0 (Free version of Elementor)
- For Intermediate: $59/year
- For Pros: $99 – $399/year
Security is something that people overlook most of the time. You might even consider it as “unnecessary” but it is actually very essential. Hackers are targeting websites every day and causing serious harm to businesses all over the world.
Today WordPress is much more secure than before. There are some amazing WordPress security plugins that you can use to secure your LMS website.
However, some of the security plugins might be really expensive at first. While there are some free plugins that you can use, but for ultimate security, we recommend purchasing a premium security plugin.
- For Beginners: $0
- For Intermediate: $99
- For Pros: $400
Total cost to build an LMS website
Now that we’ve seen some of the essential and optional things that you need to purchase in order to build your LMS website. It’s now time to add up all those costs and see what’s the final price or how much it actually costs to create an LMS website.
This price isn’t fixed and will change from time to time. Again, it might vary depending on how broad (regional, national, international) you want you LMS site to be.
It is important to note that, this is just to get started. To actually build a successful LMS business, it will cost a lot more. It is difficult to put an exact number but you can expect the cost of building a successful LMS site can be from $1,000 to $10,000.
Again, this is not a fixed price. Many people start with even less budget. It depends on how much you want to spend and at what level you want to take your LMS business to.
In this day and age, LMS websites are a great way of generating revenue. If you are an expert photographer, why not start to create online courses and teach others about the craft.
Every skill has a value whether you are a fitness instructor, a sketch artist, a graphics designer, a programmer, or a chef. You can teach others and also earn money in the process. The LMS industry is booming and we believe investing in this industry is a great idea.
Running an LMS business might seem expensive, but if you are a beginner, you can see that there are ways you can cut corners. For an LMS professional, it is very expensive as they have to create multiple LMS websites.
So what are your thoughts on LMS websites? Do you think it is a great way of generating revenue? Let us know in the comment section below.
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