Our parent company Valius Digital Agency has done many LMS’s (Learning Management Systems) for our clients, ranging from big companies to small “single owner” businesses. And although there are many options when it comes to WordPress LMS’s, we’ve come to love the LMS plugin offered by LearnDash.
For those who don’t know, an LMS is basically a system that provides a range of avenues to display content for the purposes of e-learning, usually via an e-course. Lynda.com? That’s an LMS. Anytime you’ve signed up to learn something online and had a structured learning system, that’s an LMS. Now that we got that clear, here’s why we like LearnDash so much.
We like LearnDash so much because it’s really a an “all-in-one” LMS solution with all the customization and integrations one could hope for. And in an industry of comings and goings, they’ve been in it for the long haul and are committed to a quality product. One downside is that, although they offer a great LMS framework, their LMS system is about as unstyled as you could imagine straight out of the box, like web 1.0 unstyled..it’s bad.
For this reason finding a good theme to spruce it up a bit is not a bad idea. I know some have a tissy fit at the thought of using a pre-made theme but, like anything, there are pros and cons to whether you choose to use a full-fledged theme or not.
- -Get up and running almost immediately. Especially if you use the theme’s demo content you can have a fantastic looking theme right away.
- -Save time and money. It’s great to build a custom website from ground up to fit your every needs but for most people, just starting out, they don’t yet know what they don’t know. As your business grows and expands you going to get a better idea of what your learners want and your teachers need.
- -Although built-out themes offer a lot, they also offer a lot you don’t need. Because theme makers build themes for a “general” audience you get stuck with a lot of bloat and features that you just don’t need. There’s a lot to say in building exactly what you need and if you’ve been around for a few years, and know what that is, then a custom theme could be a better way to go.
We’ve personally gone both routes, custom and pre-built themes, and there really is no one solution to suit them all. Like any new project you simply need to weigh your priorities and see where you energy is better spent.
If you do decide to work with a pre-built LMS one theme we’ve recently worked with the Social Learner theme by BuddyBoss. It’s beautiful, well laid out, and integrates nicely with LearnDash.
5–10 years ago there really wasn’t anything in the WordPress LMS arena, but that’s not so today. There are hundreds of options from plugins to themes to suit your every need and, with the growing popularity of online learning, that’s not likely to change anytime soon.
Do you have a particular LMS theme or plugin that you’ve come to love. Let us know what you’re working with how it’s going for you. If you have questions, well… good; that’s why were here!