First thoughts on LifterLMS for Wordpress

John Newton

Is LifterLMS a viable alternative to Moodle for non profits?

For many years, our go to learning management system (LMS) has been Moodle. Tried and tested, open source and more or less industry standard in the further education and not for profit sectors, Moodle is a sound platform with which to deliver your online learning.

Recently, I have been reviewing LifterLMS which is a dedicated Wordpress plugin.

Unlike some other LMS systems in the Wordpress ecosystem, LifterLMS offers core functionality for free. Its freemium model makes it easy for you to explore its core functionality on your local site. More advanced features are paid for either as a bundle or on a per-plugin basis.

LifterLMS is certainly not another Moodle. Moodle is a huge piece of software that has been under constant construction for many years. It’s completely free and has many advanced features built in. It’s proven to be hugely scalable and incredibly robust. It also has an enormous global user base and is excellently documented.

One final and hugely positive aspect of Moodle is that SCORM compliance is fully integrated and indeed the platform is adept at handling the import and export of course materials in many formats. If you have or are planning to use a large suite of third party created content then I’d suggest Moodle remains a compelling solution.

That said, if you want a light-weight, thoughtfully designed and intuitive LMS then LifterLMS has a lot going for it. It seamlessly integrates with Wordpress and the thousands of Wordpress plugins. It makes course creation incredibly easy and it practices what it preaches by offering a lot of supporting courseware and documentation. For charities wanting to deliver bespoke courseware via payment gateways LifterLMS could be an excellent choice. Its lack of native support for SCORM (or xAPI) might be an issue for some but there are third-party libraries that may help here, although I haven’t tried them. I think, however, that the strength of the platform lies in its simplicity, thoughtful feature set and perfect positioning within the wider Wordpress ecosphere. LifterLMS makes course development very approachable for beginners. The people at LifterLMS also back up their product with tons of useful information on marketing and you’ll feel well-supported as you move to promote your new courses online. If you are thinking about delivering courseware for the first time and are already invested in Wordpress then I suggest you look closely at LifterLMS.