3 Best LMS Plugins

Online courses have been growing in popularity, particularly now that it’s practically impossible to organise offline classes due to the social distancing regulations.

According to forecasts, the global e-learning market is expected to reach $238 billion by 2024, which means that we’re talking about a very lucrative industry.

Regardless of what your field of expertise is, you can easily transform your WordPress website into an online learning platform or a virtual classroom and offer your courses to people globally.

What you need is a learning management system (LMS) plugin, and voila! You can run your own version of Udemy or Treehouse without having to write code or build an entirely new website and start making money.

Here are some of the best LMS plugins that you should consider using.

What to Look for in an LMS Plugin?

A learning management system comes with several different features that allow you to create an online class setting. With an LMS plugin, you’ll be able to create and share classes, manage them, handle the paperwork, enrol students, and use tests and quizzes to evaluate your students’ knowledge.

To make sure that your e-learning website is effective and successful, pick an LMS plugin that offers the following functionalities:

  • Course building. Having a decent course page builder as well as tools for uploading various kinds of content such as PDFs, videos, or links, is very important.
  • Course progress information. This is important so that your students can see how well they’re progressing and stay motivated.
  • Student enrollment and management. With this functionality, you’ll be able to see how many students are there in your courses and collect payments from them.
  • Content dripping. This is a useful option that will slowly reveal the course materials as your students are progressing.
  • Homework options. Make it easy for your students to submit their homework, and for you to grade it.
  • Gamification. Offer your students incentives in the form of badges and certificates when they complete a task successfully or after the course is finished. Gamification plays an important role in making your students feel good about themselves and their accomplishments.

1. LearnDash

LearnDash is a popular online learning plugin – many universities and Fortune 500 companies use it thanks to its speed, powerful features, and professional-looking course design.

If you choose it, you’ll have more than just a basic set of features, meaning that you’ll have everything you need for selling courses, dripping content, gamification, and rewarding students, as well as action-based triggers.

It’s optimised for mobile, which means that learners will be able to attend your courses while on the go.

This plugin comes with a simple drag-and-drop functionality with which you can create multi-tiered courses together with lessons, quizzes, topics, and categories.

You can deliver all lessons at once, or you can use its drip-feed feature to schedule it for the entire duration of your course. Besides that, with this feature, you can also ensure that every learner spends the same amount of time on each lesson.

Other features include great monetisation tools, detailed reporting, support for different media types, and an option for running LearnDash on a network.

When it comes to pricing, you should know that there’s no free trial, although you can cancel your subscription after 30 days. You can have LearnDash for $159 a year for a single license together with support and all features.

2. LearnPress

This plugin is free, but to make the most of it, you’ll have to invest in some paid add-ons that will expand its functionalities.

Since there’s no set-up wizard, you’ll have to install and set it up on your own.

You can easily create a course together with lessons, quizzes, and questions. It’s worth mentioning that you can use the lessons and quizzes from one course into another, as well as that you can export your content and use it on another LearnPass-powered WordPress website.

LearnPress is a great option if you’re offering a course taught by multiple instructors. This can be useful for companies building courses for onboarding and training their employees, as these usually require different trainers for different fields.

When we’re talking about business training, the success of the entire effort depends on using business intelligence and data to scale training operations and aligning training metrics to key organisational objectives.

This plugin also supports the content drip option, assignments, quizzes, grading, and other standard learning features. It also integrates with WooCommerce and WordPress membership plugins.

You can use a WordPress theme, but to avoid compatibility issues and provide a better user experience, it’s best to purchase a dedicated LearnPress theme. Also, you’ll have to invest in a payment gateway integration, because by default, this plugin comes with PayPal as the only option.

3. Lifter LMS

Lifter LMS is a plugin that’s pretty easy to install, even on the existing WordPress websites.

Although its pricing starts at $299 annually, it does offer a full bundle for that amount. If you’d like to test it before committing to pay the full price, there’s a $1 30-day trial. However, it’s important to mention that the core plugin is free so that you can also choose to purchase individual add-ons at $99 each. In other words, you can choose to build a very simple e-learning course for free and invest only in a payment gateway plugin.

What you’ll get is support for multi-tier courses with training modules, lessons, topics, categories, and more. All this allows you to create both shorter courses as well as the entire degree programs. With the help of this plugin, you can make appealing courses with lots of multimedia content such as videos, audio recordings, text, and images. Besides that, there’s also a graphics pack with different backgrounds that you can use to make your courses more attractive.

The content-dripping feature allows you to control the delivery of your courses, while the import-export tool means that you can move your content between sites.

Another interesting feature is the so-called Social Learning, which allows your learners to create advanced profiles and learn together by leveraging a timeline similar to that of Facebook.

Regardless of which one of these three LMS plugins you choose, you can’t go wrong. It only depends on what kind of features fit the bill for your online courses, as well as the size of your budget.

Posted by: Michael – Qeedle

Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael’s work at Qeedle.

 

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Trello vs. Asana: Project Management Software for 2020

Cloud based office software has been around for a good while now, with the two most popular suites being Microsoft Office and Google Drive with all of the document creation software that comes with both. Both make collaboration possible when working with a document, but neither is suited for project work meaning that you would need project management software.

Project management software allows teams of all sizes to work together in a much more organised way than scribbled notes, text messages and emails can ever provide. Even if you and your team are in the same room, project workflow becomes much easier if you are all able to see the same lists, notes and progress at the same time. This becomes especially useful when something is amended and everybody’s work board updates in real time.

Two of the best project moment software solutions on the market right now are Trello and Asana.

Trello vs. Asana: clash of the project management software giants

It can feel pretty overwhelming, trying to decide which project management software is going to be right for you, there is just so choice out there we are, well, spoilt for choice. Two of the most popular options are Asana and Trello, so we’ve limited this comparison to just these two guys in an effort to make things a little easier for you.

Nobody likes setting up multiple accounts on multiple platforms just to try and figure out which one is right for them, who does? Let’s break these two down then, shall we?

Trello basics

According to Trello, the platform is “easy, free, flexible…”. Based on a system of cards, boards and lists it really is a super simple way to organise your workflow in a very visual way.

Boards are at the top of your organisational tree, the home of your individual projects. To these boards, you can add lists (To Do, Doing, and Done for example). To the lists, you can add cards which can contain all kinds of information such as due dates, descriptions, checklists, images, labels etc.

Elements can be moved around using a very simple drag and drop so that you can organise everything as you need to, or as team members need to as tasks are picked up, completed or added.

How it all works

Even the free project management software account, Trello allows for the creation of as many project boards, lists and cards as you need – as the project progresses, so does your collection of board items. Individual tasks can be assigned to different members of your team, and you are also able to tag them in comments. This tagging feature allows you to provide live feedback and you are also able to tag clients too, provided they themselves use the Trello platform too.

This method of communication keeps everything together, on topic and helps to keep your inbox free of unnecessary clutter.

You are also able to fully customise your boards, perhaps with the main colour of your brand, logo enriched image (not for the free account)? A wide selection of stock background photo’s are provided free from Unsplash. Labels can be customised too.

Introducing Power-Ups

Beyond the basic necessities, Trello also offers something they call Power-Ups. These add functionality to project boards that you create.

Beyond its native functionalities, Trello also has Power-Ups available that add different functionalities to your boards. When it comes to project management software, these additions make Trello stand out when compared to most of the other project management software packages. There are lots to choose from too allowing the user to add custom fields, calendars, task automation and a lot more besides.

Trello is also compatible with services you may already be using, such as Google Drive, and it even integrates with Asana.

These additions are available on all account plans but you can only have one per project board if you are on the free plan.

Accessing Trello

No project management software package would be worthy of a second glance if it didn’t allow access from more than a browser. Trello for instance, I am happy to report, is accessible via:

  • Web browser
  • Desktop app – PC & Mac
  • Mobile app – Android & iOS

This means that whatever your preference, wherever you happen to be, you are able to access the platform whenever you need to. Total access like this means you can review changes, requests, progress and respond to client tags as well as update with your own ideas or tasks for yourself or your team.

Pricing

The free account is likely enough for smaller teams and you as many project boards as you like which includes unlimited cards and lists as well as the ability to add as many team members as you need. Your only real limitations, in terms of getting things done, is attachments are limited to 10mb and you can only have one Power-Up per board.

Gold is $5 a month and includes everything the free plan does plus 3 Power-Ups per project board and customisable backgrounds. Gold can also be gained for free if you share with others.

Business Class is $9.99 month and includes everything the Gold plan does plus 250mb attachments and unlimited Power-Ups.

Here is an example of how a typical Trello board may look (there are so many ways to use it; yours could be quite different):

Asana basics

Asana is a project management software tool that, according to Asana, “helps you coordinate all the work your team does together”. You are able to build up project boards using lists, tasks and calendars at every step of the project progression.

This package works in a very similar way to Trello, however, where it differs from Trello is that Asana has extra built-in sections for each of your project boards… including separate projects, calendars and file collation.

How it all works

Projects give you the ability to organise tasks that are related to a specific initiative, goal or work ideas into board or lists. Each project can be set up as either a board or a list and you can add specific tasks, subtasks and assign these to individual team members or groups. You are also able to assign descriptions, attachments and also due dates.

It is entirely your choice whether you opt for a task list or board, it’s a personal preference more than anything but it can also partly depend on the type of project you and your team are engaged with. For example, if there are different steps in different parts of a project then a board may work better for you than a task list.

Integration possibilities

No project management software package is an all in one solution by itself, and as Trello has Power-Ups and can integrate with other applications, so Asana provides users with over 100 separate integrations. These allow you to collate files, emails, tickets and much more in one place. This makes it much easier to track tasks, projects and everything associated with much easier.

Accessing Asana

Just Trello, and most other reputable project management software packages, Asana is accessible no matter where you are – which is obviously a huge plus. You can access it via:

  • Mobile – Android & iOS
  • Web browser – PC & Mac
  • Tablet – Android, iOS & Windows (via the browser on Windows tablets)

A native desktop app is not available yet though, but the web app is still very versatile.

Pricing

Asana has a free plan available. With this option, you have access to unlimited tasks, conversations and projects. You only have basic search, dashboards and a maximum of 15 team members.

Asana’s Premium plan is more costly than Trello, costing $9.99 a month per team member. This gets you everything in the free plan, of course, plus task dependencies, custom fields, a timeline feature, as many dashboards as you need, private projects and teams, admin controls and start dates.

Below, you can see an example of how we use Asana to manage some of our workloads:

Which one should you choose?

When all is said and done, whichever project management software package you choose, much of it is just personal preference.

Trello is very much a visual system while Asana is geared more toward a text-based environment. In terms of actual functionality, Trello offers much more on the free plan that Asana, while Asana’s more useful features are only available on the premium plan.

However, Asana does provide more functionality for its boards while Trello’s project boards are more basic. Depending on your actual needs, these different approaches could either be too basic, just enough, too much or just right. As I say, much of it personal preference.

It could be said that if you prefer a more post-it note approach and you don’t need anything much beyond that type of layout, then Trello is for you. Should lists and slightly more complex project board are your things then Asana is for you.

Here at Silva Web Design, when it comes to project management software, we prefer Asana. Don’t let that cloud your judgement though, each option is an excellent one. Use this comparison as a guide however and you won’t go wrong.

 

Nathan da Silva - Profile

Posted by: Nathan da Silva

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development, website design and basically anything digital related. His main expertise is with WordPress, Magento, Shopify as well as many other frameworks. Whether you need responsive design, SEO, speed optimisation or anything else in the world of digital then get in touch. If you would like to work with Nathan, simply drop him an email at [email protected]

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