AccessAlly vs. WP Courseware: a comparison

Our users tell us AccessAlly allows them to earn more with fewer tech headaches from their online courses and membership sites. We think you’ll love AccessAlly’s power features, along with its sophisticated interface and built-in LMS plugin.

If you’re curious to see how AccessAlly really stacks up to WP Courseware, read on!

We’re comparing membership management features, LMS functionality, course design flexibility, integrations, and e-commerce functionality.

Why we're creating this online course platform comparison

AccessAlly and WP Courseware can both be used to build and power your online courses.

This is where the similarities end, and the differences begin.

WP Courseware is a WordPress plugin used to build online courses with some native LMS functionality, but many users find it limiting.

In comparison, AccessAlly is jam-packed with powerful features guaranteed to take your online courses to the next level. It’s an all-in-one membership management and LMS WordPress plugin – perfect for membership site owners and course creators alike.

How do AccessAlly and WP Courseware Differ?

WP Courseware is a traditional course builder plugin that allows you to create courses, complete with modules and lessons. However, it doesn’t include a lot of the bells and whistles you’ll find in more sophisticated LMS plugins.

This means you’ll need to purchase or install additional add-ons or plugins to handle things like:

  • Advanced e-commerce functionality such as upgrades and downgrades, trial offers, and pro-rated subscriptions
  • Integration with your CRM for marketing automation
  • Bulk course enrollment
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Gamification

It’s not unheard of for WP Courseware users to have 6 or more different plugins duct-taped together to ensure they have all the functionality they need to create a complete learning experience.

With AccessAlly, you sign up for one tool that seamlessly handles everything from e-commerce, course creation, LMS functionality, two-way CRM integrations, and membership management.

Styled Member Directories & Fully Integrated Member Profiles in your CRM

We know how important community engagement is amongst your members.

With AccessAlly, you can create beautiful, searchable member directories, sorted by your marketing automation platform tags. This allows members to opt-in or out of your member directory, and even purchase a premium listing.

You decide what you want to include in your member directory – like a biography, or even points earned, and course progress.

Plus, with AccessAlly’s profile editing functionality, a member can update their name, email, address, and password… or any other custom field inside of your marketing automation platform.

With one click, everything gets synced between your membership site and your CRM.

You won’t find this type of functionality when using WP Courseware.

Progress display

Progress Tracking & User Reporting

With AccessAlly, you have two types of progress-tracking and reporting available to you as the site owner: you can create front-end tracking for your users, and back-end tracking for you as the course admin.

Front-end tracking based on objective completion can be displayed as a percentage based on the number of objectives marked complete in relation to the total number of objectives for the course.

AccessAlly’s LMS plugin allows you to display user progress with a pie chart, a progress bar, or a simple percentage displayed as text.

In the back end of the website, AccessAlly displays unique progress tracking stats so that the course admin can see at a glance how users are interacting with their course content.

The back-end user tracking can be drilled down into a general report, an on-page report, and user-specific stats.

These reporting features make it possible for you to gauge student success and see where the dropoff begins to happen in your courses. You can use this data to add various learning reinforcements and checkpoints to encourage and motivate your students to keep going.

AccessAlly also has additional reporting options through its built-in metrics feature for tracking sales, projected revenue, churn, refunds, and so much more.

WP Courseware offers similar front-end reporting with a progress bar, but their back-end statistics are a bit lacking in granularity. As the administrator, you can see overall progress from your students via their grade book feature though.

Your business metrics aren’t as easy to track and analyze from within your WP Courseware interface; you’ll need to use a third-party service for sales and business metrics tracking.

Create a Gamified User Experience to Increase Engagement

WP courseware does have a native certificate of completion feature and quiz functionality, much like AccessAlly.

However, AccessAlly has a few powerful features WP Courseware lacks for increasing engagement amongst your members and course participants.

You can improve student retention through the use of private notes. In addition to using this feature for homework or assignment submissions, another important way for students to learn is through taking notes.

With AccessAlly, you can create a few different variations of Private Notes.

You can add a note-taking area on any page or course module, that’s totally private and individual for each student.

You can also set up a “2-way communication” note, where you as the course administrator can reply to a student’s note. Think of this as a way to do private coaching or submit homework and get feedback on it.

Students can upload files directly on the site, and the site administration will get an email notification when there’s a new item to review.

Oh, and there’s even a note type that requires admin approval before a corresponding checklist item can be completed, preventing students from starting the lesson before their comprehension of the previous one has been approved.

No other students will see each individual’s notes since they’re linked to each student’s login.

You can even create a points or credit system with AccessAlly to gamify the learning environment even more.

This feature really sets AccessAlly apart from its competitors, including WP Courseware.

Looking for an Option with less restrictions?

Have full control of your content, members, and their experience on your site.

Spend your time doing what you do best, not struggling with frustrating platform restrictions.

With AccessAlly, you’ve got all of the power and flexibility of WordPress, and there are no limits on your business’ growth potential either.

What AccessAlly Customers Are Saying...

Heidi Decoux

"We moved them over from Kajabi to Access Ally and every single member loves the new site!

I’m head over heels in love with AccessAlly! We saw an immediate increase in sales!

Access Ally is SO easy to use and integrates perfectly with Ontraport. We’ve had ZERO issues with it, which I don’t think I can say about any other software or tool or plugin we use. Plus the interface is beautiful.

We moved them over from Kajabi to Access Ally and every single member loves the new site. It’s extremely user friendly for our clients, and for us. AccessAlly is a brilliant, beautiful, user friendly platform that has had a direct positive impact on our bottom line.” – Heidi DeCoux, HeidiDeCoux.com

Eden Fried

"AccessAlly is the better option, hands down

“Honestly, Teachable, Thinkific, or Kajabi would have been the *easier* option, but AccessAlly with my WordPress theme is hands down the *better* option. It’s going to grow and scale with me over time, and that’s unbeatable.

AccessAlly allows me to provide a dashboard for all members, and it also allows me to create a member-directory (great for forming that community), an editable profile, plus lots of gamification features that can help members track their progress and reward them for their achievements.

AccessAlly integrates directly with my ESP, which gives me the functionality to track progress, send reminder emails. That’s priceless.” -Eden Fried, EdenFried.com

Onboarding and Customer Support

Getting tech help when you need it means you’ll spend less time troubleshooting and more time taking care of your students and customers. That’s why dependable, quality customer support for your course or membership tool is crucial to the success of your course or membership build.

WP Courseware’s documentation is rather thorough and the interface is fairly intuitive. They also offer a monthly Q&A call so you can get your questions answered in real-time, but depending on the timing, this may or may not be beneficial for you.

In comparison, here at AccessAlly, we respond to all e-mail inquiries within 24 hours, Monday-Friday, and in most instances, you will receive a response the same day within the hour.

We also have a dedicated knowledge-base jam-packed with step-by-step tutorials, setup guides, and troubleshooting articles to help guide you in your setup process.

Upon signup, we provide a complimentary Jumpstart call to you. It can be used right away to kickstart your course build, when you hit a roadblock, or right before launch to review your setup and answer any lingering questions.

You can also hop on live group Tune-Up calls scheduled on different days and times throughout the month to accommodate as many users as possible. Users can Join to ask questions, troubleshoot any setup roadblocks, and receive live support from our team. Plus we’re always checking in and responding to inquiries posted in our very active user-group on Facebook.

No question goes unanswered here at AccessAlly.

Increase conversion rates with advanced e-Commerce functionality

WP Courseware and AccessAlly both integrate with Stripe and PayPal for payment processing. You’ll be able to collect one-time payments, set up recurring subscriptions, and offer payment plans for your offers.

AccessAlly’s order forms are more customizable and it offers more advanced e-commerce features and functionality than WP Courseware.

With AccessAlly you can offer 1-click upsells for other courses and memberships you sell. You even have the opportunity to add order bumps for add-on products.

Allow your customers to upgrade and downgrade their subscriptions to increase retention right inside your membership site. You can even allow users to pause or cancel their accounts. This functionality will help reduce the number of customer service inquiries you field.

You’ll also be able to improve your sales conversion rates with cart abandonment campaigns for those who initiate the checkout process but abandon their carts mid-checkout using AccessAlly.

The best part?

Because AccessAlly has built-in payments and integrates directly with your CRM, you can easily manage and segment your sales and marketing funnels so your customers and prospects get the right communication.

To benefit from these features if you choose to use WP Courseware, you’ll need to purchase an additional plugin adding complexity and expenses to your tech stack.

Looking for something that integrates both ways?

Marketing automation tools are here to stay.

Use your marketing automation tool to power your course and membership program by taking advantage of AccessAlly’s deep 2-way street integration.

It’s built to help you sell more, teach better, and engage with your students longer.

Email marketing envelope

Bulk Course Enrollment & Umbrella Accounts

If you want to offer bulk licenses or the ability to have umbrella parent/child accounts, where a group leader can assign sub-accounts, say for a corporate training team…

Unfortunately, WP Courseware does not offer this functionality. At least, not natively without the use of a third-party tool.

Now, more than ever, businesses and organizations are turning to online trainings to onboard team members and offer company-wide trainings. 

Bulk course enrollment and team licensing are baked right into AccessAlly using the teams feature. 

Your setup can include multiple team managers, and even show student progress to the different administrators. Team leaders can see student progress and even quiz results. 

With AccessAlly, you can even design and customize the member management dashboard to your liking. It’s easy for students to upload homework attachments, like PDFs, Word documents, or other files for the administrator to review.

Tablet with a screenshot of a bulk course dashboard for AccessAlly Teams

Leverage Affiliates to Increase Sales & Reach New Audiences

WP Courseware doesn’t offer an affiliate marketing feature, but they do share a few recommendations which include: Clickbank, Paydotcom, Payloadz, E-junkie, Commission Junction, and Share-a-sale

Although it’s great that you have options for an affiliate platform if you’re using WP Courseware, it’s another integration to add to your tech stack and another expense for your business.

In comparison, affiliate management is a native feature of AccessAlly. You can create a single or multi-tiered affiliate program, and track URLs across multiple domains.

You can also display all of the affiliate stats and links that you need to offer to your affiliates, by building a beautiful affiliate dashboard right inside of your AccessAlly membership site.

If you want full design flexibility, AccessAlly is for you

Because AccessAlly is a WordPress plugin, you can use any WordPress theme or builder you like.

Or start with AccessAlly’s theme, which comes with all of the progress tracking and navigation menus integrated out of the box.

Power, flexibility, and beauty all in one course platform.

Examples of AccessAlly websites

your workflow on AccessAlly vs. WP Courseware:

AccessAlly Logo
  1. Set up your WordPress site with your favorite customizable theme
  2. Install the AccessAlly plugin on your WordPress membership site
  3. Run through the AccessAlly onboarding wizard to integrate with your CRM and select payment settings
  4. Create your first offering with the Offerings Wizard and add your content
  5. Create emails in your CRM or in AccessAlly
WP Courseware Logo
  1. Install the plugin on your WordPress membership site
  2. Integrate with your payment processor 
  3. Add design elements and customization based on your theme and/or page builder 
  4. Connect your CRM
  5. Integrate your membership plugin
  6. Set up your course content
  7. Add desired learning reinforcements (integration likely required)
  8. Test your set up before selling your content

See How AccessAlly and WP Courseware Features Compare

We’re a digital marketing software company built by marketers and software engineers. With our particular background and expertise, we’ve designed AccessAlly to give you everything you need in an easy to use, powerful package.

Protected course content Included checkmark Included checkmark
Built-in Recurring Stripe and PayPal payments Included checkmark Included checkmark
Course builder for modules, lessons, and topics Included checkmark Included checkmark
Automatically creates tags, pages, and menus Included checkmark  
Deep 2-Way Integration with Infusionsoft, Ontraport, ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, and Drip Included checkmark  
Multiple currencies, automated expiring coupons, and order bumps Included checkmark  
Cart abandonment automation Included checkmark  
Progress tracking, and progress-based unlocking content Included checkmark Included checkmark
Multiple types of quizzes, and auto generated certificates of completion Included checkmark Included checkmark
Course Licensing with Teams or Umbrella Accounts Included checkmark  
Searchable member directories and editable custom fields through profiles Included checkmark  
Gamification where members can earn points, and activity-based automation, login tracking Included checkmark  
Media player, video bookmarks, tagging automation on quizzes Included checkmark  
Cross-selling dashboards, with 1-click upsells Included checkmark Included checkmark
Built-in affiliate tracking with multiple tiers, links, and reporting Included checkmark Not all

The true cost of AccessAlly vs WP Courseware

When choosing a course or membership platform, looking at WP Courseware vs. AccessAlly pricing boxes can be deceiving.

With WP Courseware, there’s a good chance you’ll need to purchase additional add-ons and plugins or integrations to achieve the desired functionality you have in mind for your learning environment.

Although this approach can work from a technical perspective, it can add unnecessary complexity to your setup, increases the number of tools in your tech stack, and increases your monthly investment.

On the other hand, AccessAlly doesn’t require any additional plugins or add-ons to create an engaging learning experience for your members. Everything is native to the plugin, and it integrates directly with your CRM or marketing automation system.

In Summary

AccessAlly might be right for you if...

  • You know the value of your time, and you want a tool that will handle set up for you based on your instructions
  • You want everything to work seamlessly from one end to the other (payments, courses, and memberships) with as few plugins as possible
  • You’re looking to create an amazing customer experience, that’s functional, profitable, and helps you stand out in the marketplace
  • You like to geeky or you have advanced marketing needs and need lots of flexibility in your course platform

WP Courseware might be right for you if...

  • You’re already using WordPress
  • You don’t mind using integrations to make your member’s area function
  • You want a basic setup with no plans to enhance
  • You’re already using a membership plugin and just looking for a course-builder

Researching course platforms on your own is great, but if you want to talk to someone, we're here to help!

If you’re wondering whether you’re on the right track or not, we can help you sort out all of the different options.

We’ll let you know if AccessAlly is a good fit or not, too. Not sure what AccessAlly is? Watch the video to find out now, then book a call to discuss further:

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