Learndash is one of the most popular self-hosted LMS solutions out there. Now, LMS is starting a new journey with its Cloud-hosting solution and joining the league of other learning management systems which are cloud-only.
What is Learndash:
Learndash is (used to be only) a WordPress plugin that converts your website into a learning management system. This way, you could sell online courses on your WordPress website. It offers integration with all popular payment gateways and is WordPress’s #1 LMS solution.
What is Learndash cloud:
Learndash cloud is the newest managed solution by the Learndash team, where you don’t have to host Learndash on your server. Everything is hosted on the Learndash cloud server, and you can choose from available templates and plugins to customize the website.
This is a better alternative to self-hosted Learndash for instructors and coaches who wish to focus on creating and marketing content rather than managing the technicality of the website.
Difference between Learndash Cloud Vs. Learndash WordPress plugin:
When you are using Learndash cloud, you don’t have to worry about web hosting and WordPress maintenance. Think of Learndash cloud as Kajabi, Thinkific, and other cloud-hosted solution, which does not require you to manage complex open-source software such as WordPress. Learndash Cloud is running on WordPress, but it is a managed Learndash hosting. It means you don’t have to worry about day-to-day maintenance, security, and other aspects of your WordPress hosting.
All you need to do is, grab a $29/month subscription of Learndash cloud, and launch your online course with their easy-onboarding process.
Note: Learndash cloud comes with a 15-day full money-back guarantee.
Learndash WordPress plugin:
Learndash WordPress plugin requires you to buy their plugin for $199/year and use it on a self-hosted WordPress website. You need to buy a hosting for Learndash, and some of the popular Learndash hostings are:
These are mostly managed WordPress hosting, costing upwards of $25/month.
For running a Learndash WordPress plugin online course, you would be paying:
$199 (WordPress plugin) + $300 (Learndash Hosting) = $499 (This is the minimum cost, as you may be paying for customization + more plugins).
Which is better? – Learndash Cloud hosting or Learndash WordPress plugin:
If you are someone who never used WordPress and is a solopreneur (working alone), you are better off using Learndash Cloud. It gives you almost everything, with less headache of maintaining it.
Price-wise there is a significant difference, as you would be paying $149 /year more for Learndash cloud. This could be a dealbreaker for a price-sensitive creator. However, when you include the hosting price (as mentioned above), you would save some time.
However, if you are already paying for a hosting account, this cost adds up, as you might not be paying extra for hosting the Learndash website.
However, if you like advanced customization of your website and love control, you should use the Learndash WordPress plugin. For now, I will continue growing my existing online course on the Learndash WordPress plugin, and when the time is right, I will consider moving to Learndash Cloud.
Now, it is your turn to let me know: Which one would you pick as your learning management system and why?