LifterLMS vs. LearnPress: A Feature Comparison of Two WordPress Plugins

The marketplace is full of options to support your online courses. We understand that deciding on a software or platform is a huge decision that will impact your entire business.

We’re the creators of AccessAlly, an all-in-one WordPress LMS plugin. We realize the marketplace can be overwhelming, so we research and write comparison articles on available options.

If you’re considering LifterLMS vs. LearnPress or either of these vs. AccessAlly, you’ve come to the right place.

LifterLMS vs. LearnPress

We want you to have all the information you need to make the best decision for your business, even if that’s not AccessAlly. LifterLMS and LearnPress are two plugins that you may be interested in.

...So, what’s the difference between LifterLMS vs. LearnPress?

We’ll take a close look at LifterLMS vs. LearnPress to see how they compare when it comes to the overall plugins, cost, integrations, features, e-commerce functionality, and other valuable features like affiliate management and bulk course enrollment.

We’ll also do a side-by-side comparison of both their features against AccessAlly so you can see how they really stack up.

By the end of this page, you’ll have a clear idea of which software: LifterLMS, LearnPress, or AccessAlly will be the best choice for your business.

How do LifterLMS and LearnPress differ?

The biggest differences between LifterLMS vs. LearnPress is in their pricing, functionality, documentation and support, and design options.

Both LifterLMS and LearnPress are WordPress LMS plugins that work with your WordPress site. They both support online course websites, but LifterLMS supports memberships and recurring payments while LearnPress doesn’t support these natively.

Their philosophies are very similar: they use a freemium model where the core plugin is free, and from there you can select either paid or free add-ons, or choose a bundle that includes various add-ons.

Pricing: Free Core Plugin + Paid Tiers

As we’ve mentioned, both of these core plugins are free, and from there you choose paid or free add-ons to build your setup.

It’s important to note that while the free core plugin can be a great way to test drive the software, it likely won’t be free for very long due to its limitations. Most people think of the free version as a free trial, knowing that they’ll have to upgrade to a paid plan very quickly.

tablet showing screenshot of LifterLMS pricing

LifterLMS pricing can be quite deceiving, even its users will tell you that. The core plugin is indeed free, but add-ons and integrations start at $99 per year.

For example, if you want to accept PayPal and Stripe payments, those are $99 each per year, so instead of free, you’re already at $198.

In many cases, it makes sense to upgrade right away on LifterLMS. And to get the full suite of features, you must be on the Infinity plan at $999 per year.

You may find yourself in an uncomfortable limbo if you’ve chosen the middle of the road plan at $299 per year. You may add on a few more add-ons and be paying $699 or $799 per year, just awkwardly below that highest tier, but not getting nearly as much.

LifterLMS’ pricing structure has the ability to back you in a corner where you’re forced to upgrade to get the full benefit of the LMS plugin.

LearnPress has two paid tiers and one free tier. The free version is enough to create a basic online course website. You only pay for the extended features you need. LearnPress allows you to accept payments via PayPal on the free version, which makes it one of the most generous free offerings. You may even be able to stay on the free version longer if you choose LearnPress over LifterLMS.

LearnPress has all kinds of add-ons you may be interested in, such as a frontend editor, assignments, and a Stripe add-on so that you can collect credit card payments. The free version may be great to get you started, but if you need more than 1 basic add-on, it will quickly make sense to upgrade to the LearnPress theme bundle that starts at $49.

The theme bundle cost is based on the theme you select, and once selected, you’ll be able to use some of LearnPress’s add-on features with your chosen theme. The theme will heavily influence the design of your course website. They have various themes for different types of courses and audiences. For example, school and educational themes, coaching themes, and more.

LearnPress has a big theme advantage because they were developed by ThimPress, which is more widely known for their theme development.

The LearnPress pro bundle is a series of premium LearnPress add-ons. With this bundle, you get the power of the LMS with most of its premium add-ons and beautiful out of the box design to build your online course website quickly. It’s $249.99.

Tablet showing LearnPress pricing

Your final pricing here really depends on the features you want to use, how you want to accept payments, and if you'll be using other systems to make it all happen. When you map out each of your courses, make a list of features you'll use, how you'll take payments, and where you'll store all this information, then map out of the costs of each of those items.

Integrations

Integrating your tech stack is an essential part of any online course. At the very least, you’ll likely integrate your CRM and at least one payment gateway with your LMS software.

Anytime you can integrate directly through your software, that’s generally better supported than an integration with a third-party plugin tool such as Zapier or WP Fusion.

LifterLMS does integrate directly with MailChimp and ConvertKit on the upper tier. Note that you’ll be paying an additional cost for these on the lower tiers.

You can connect LifterLMS to ActiveCampaign, Infusionsoft, Ontraport, Drip, ConvertKit, AgileCRM, and many more using WP Fusion as the bridge.

Remember that if you’re on any plan, other than the Infinity Plan, you’ll be using add-ons (and paying extra) to get access to these integrations.

You can connect LifterLMS and 1,500+ other apps via Zapier. Third-party connector tools like Zapier work on event triggers, for example, when someone purchases on an order form. That can trigger an event in another system using these third-party tools. And while that is very handy in certain situations, it can become complex, and difficult to troubleshoot if something goes wrong.

LearnPress offers quite a few integrations through their add-ons, as well. Again, these types of integrations are generally better supported compared to a third-party plugin tool.

LearnPress doesn’t work with Zapier, but it can work with WP Fusion to connect to your CRM. This is a one-way integration that could push information to one system, but not a two-way integration where they communicate seamlessly. If you want deep CRM integration to create a unique learning experience for your students, LearnPress won’t suit your needs.

They offer integrations through add-ons with Paid Memberships Pro, WooCommerce, Stripe, Authorize.net, 2Checkout, myCRED, bbPress, and BuddyPress.

With either system you choose, you’ll need to use integrations. The question of which, LifterLMS vs. LearnPress, comes in if you want to rely on third-party tools to connect them, or keep as much as possible within the plugin itself.

If you’re already using MailChimp or ConvertKit and planning to join the Infinity plan, then LifterLMS may be the best choice for you. If you’re comfortable using a third-party connector tool, then LearnPress may work just fine with your current tech stack.

Theme Choice & Design Flexibility

Two screens showing design options for LifterLMS vs. LearnPress

Since both LifterLMS and LearnPress are WordPress plugins, they work with your WordPress theme, but different than you might expect.

LifterLMS has its own theme, LaunchPad, but can work with any WordPress theme. The benefit of using the LaunchPad theme is that it was specifically designed for course websites that work with LifterLMS. With the LaunchPad theme, you can customize various elements like your fonts, header, and footers. Other customization options are available if you’re familiar with CSS and HTML code.

LifterLMS works well with popular page builders, like Beaver Builder and Divi.

Once you’ve set your foundational design for your course website, you’ll use the course builder to add content to your site. The course builder on LifterLMS and LearnPress are quite similar, with neither standing head and shoulders above the other.

On both, check your tier level and what’s included. If you want a front-end editor that is generally more visual, for example, you may have to upgrade your plan or pay for an add-on to be able to build your pages that way.

LearnPress works a bit differently. Its middle payment tier is called the Theme Bundle, because you purchase your theme, and get features from there.

LearnPress offers multiple themes specific to your online environment. Customization is possible, but these themes are designed to be out of the box ready, more of a “plug and play” design if you will. If you have a very specific design in mind, you may find yourself scrolling through themes, unsure of which one will best serve your design vision.

LearnPress's design appeal is in using its own themes with these out of the box, ready to launch designs.

Your decision here will also be impacted by whether you’re planning to build the course website yourself or hire someone for help. If you’re building yourself, choose an option that has the theme you really want to work with since it will impact your website in such a huge way. Not only do you need to know it well, or be willing to learn, but it also must work seamlessly with your chosen plugin.

So, with either, you’ll have access to a standard drag-and-drop course builder. The main differences here come in your theme choice. If you want a little more direction and curated design, then LearnPress might be a great option for you. If you already use a page builder like Beaver Builder, or you want the LaunchPad theme specifically, then LifterLMS is the best choice.

If you’re looking for a course builder that allows full design flexibility, take a look at our showcase page to see what’s possible when you choose AccessAlly instead.

Learning Reinforcements

Both LifterLMS and LearnPress offer learning reinforcements to enhance your students’ learning experience.

With both though, be sure to check your tier level. You may find yourself needing to upgrade or pay for add-ons to get the features you desire.

LifterLMS offers quizzes, quiz timers, prerequisites, assignments, student dashboard, discussion areas, achievement badges, and customizable certificates.

Advanced quizzing systems are only available on the Infinity plan, or for an additional cost on the basic one. Advanced quizzing systems allow for multiple quiz question types, like fill in the blank, short or long answer, file upload, and code among other features.

Advanced assignment features include test submissions, task lists, and manual grading which are only available on the infinity bundle or for an additional cost.

Two screens showing quiz options for LifterLMS and LearnPress

Here are some learning reinforcement add-ons that are available for LearnPress: co-instructors, certificates, grade book, prerequisite courses, fill-in-the-blank questions, random quiz questions, and sorting choice add-on.

If you have access to these features in LearnPress will depend on your tier level, or how many add-ons you’re willing to purchase. The Pro tier includes the bulk of these features, but not all of them. Be sure to map out which add-ons you’ll use right away, and others you may grow into.

All in all, the available learning reinforcement features are pretty similar between LifterLMS and LearnPress. The difference will come in the cost to get each and every feature you want. Be sure to map out each to get a final cost.

That being said, they both lack valuable learning reinforcements like gamification, detailed progress tracking, and video bookmarking. All of which AccessAlly has.

Pro Tip: AccessAlly’s built-in LMS features include quizzes, homework submissions, and private notes, progress tracking, and certificates of completion.

These advanced learning reinforcements help your students become engaged in the learning process, which makes for a better learning experience, leading to long-term, happy students, and ultimately more sales. 

E-Commerce

Macbook showing LifterLMS ecomm options

LifterLMS has a robust suite of e-commerce functionality that you’d expect from an all-in-one LMS plugin. They can accept credit card payments, one-time payments, recurring payments, payment plans, unlimited pricing modules, PayPal, Subscriptions, upsells, bundles, and coupons.

LifterLMS integrates with Stripe, PayPal, Authorize.Net, and WooCommerce. Be sure to check your plan though, because these integrations cost at least $99 per year to add-on.

With LearnPress, you can use WooCommerce to integrate your country’s currency or use LearnPress’s own natively built payment gateway for 2Checkout, Authorize.net, or Stripe.

LearnPress doesn’t natively support memberships, therefore they don’t natively support recurring payments. They can work with something like Paid Membership Pro though, so your students can pay monthly fees for your course. Adding Paid Memberships Pro to your tech stack is a whole other conversation though.

If you want to run memberships and/or accept recurring payments, then you’ll have to choose LifterLMS over LearnPress, unless you’re willing to work with multiple systems and LearnPress to accept those types of payments.

Macbook showing ecomm options for LearnPress

Affiliate Functionality

The short of it is that neither LifterLMS nor LearnPress can support a robust affiliate program.

LifterLMS doesn’t offer an affiliate management feature at all. You must use another platform like AffiliateWP or iDevAffiliate and pay for an integration with LifterLMS. This will up your monthly cost quite a bit, and it won’t even be a seamless affiliate program that’s easily managed from one system.

LearnPress doesn’t have features to support an affiliate management system, either. They do offer an add-on for commissions though. It’s $39 and allows you to manage commission percentages on each course, and withdraw payouts via PayPal.

Even with the LearnPress commission feature, you’re missing out on valuable affiliate management features like a dashboard or home base for your affiliates. Your affiliates won’t be able to log in and see their metrics, like clicks, commissions, and payouts dates. Nor will they be able to find your marketing copy to share your work.

So although the commission feature is nice for simply paying commissions, it’s not a true affiliate program.

two screens showing affiliate options for LifterLMS and LearnPress

Pro Tip: If you’re looking for a fully-functional, completely integrated affiliate system, consider using AccessAlly.

Register affiliates, and create a beautifully designed dashboard where affiliates can find their links, commissions, conversation rates, and assets to promote your brand.

Bulk Course Enrollment

tablet with membership site design gif

LifterLMS doesn’t have a teams feature that allows for seamless, automatic bulk course enrollment.

They do, however, allow you to manually enroll students, or use a voucher system where students can sign up with a voucher code.

If you use these alternatives or duct-taped solutions, you’re putting a lot of manual work on yourself and/or your team. You’re also not giving your students and clients the best experience you could be.

LearnPress is similar to LifterLMS in the sense that they don’t offer a seamless bulk course enrollment feature. They do allow for manual enrollments, but nothing that can support a group enrollment.

If bulk course enrollments and teams are a part of your business now or will be in the future, choose a system that has these features natively rather than have to “make it work” with the features available to you.

Your workflow on LifterLMS vs. LearnPress:

Lifter LMS logo
  1. Download, install and activate the LifterLMS plugin on your WordPress website
  2. Download the LifterLMS helper, install and activate
  3. Set up the design of your website using a WordPress theme
  4. Create your course catalog to show visitors your available courses
  5. Create your membership catalog where visitors can see your available memberships
  6. Connect your payment processor
  7. Set up your student dashboard
  8. Integrate with your payment processor
  9. Design your order forms
  10. Add additional learning reinforcements like quizzes, assignments, create certificates, and more
LearnPress logo
  1. Install the plugin on your WordPress membership site
  2. Install your LearnPress theme or choose one of your own.
  3. Install a payment plugin or purchase an additional shopping cart tool (and possibly an additional affiliate plugin)
  4. Install a membership plugin, and configure it
  5. Install or set-up CRM integration third-party tool, team licensing add-ons, member directory add-ons, etc.
  6. Use the LearnPress course builder to setup your course structure
  7. Set up your quizzes, link them to lessons

See how LifterLMS and LearnPress Features Compare:

We’re a digital marketing software company built by marketers and software engineers. With our particular background and expertise, we’ve designed our membership and LMS plugin AccessAlly, to give you everything you need in an easy to use, powerful package, you’ll see where LifterLMS and LearnPress fall short or shine in comparison:

AccessAlly LifterLMS LearnPress
Protected course content
Built-in Recurring Stripe and PayPal payments
Course builder for modules, lessons, and topics
Automatically creates tags, pages, and menus
Deep 2-Way Integration with Infusionsoft, Ontraport, ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, and Drip
Multiple currencies, automated expiring coupons, and order bumps
Cart abandonment automation
Progress tracking, and progress-based unlocking content
Multiple types of quizzes, and auto generated certificates of completion
Course Licensing with Teams or Umbrella Accounts
Searchable member directories and editable custom fields through profiles
Gamification where members can earn points, and activity-based automation, login tracking
Media player, video bookmarks, tagging automation on quizzes
Cross-selling dashboards, with 1-click upsells
Built-in affiliate tracking with multiple tiers, links, and reporting

The True Cost of LifterLMS vs LearnPress

The true cost of LifterLMS comes in the deceiving pricing. While the core plugin is free, you’ll find yourself on the Infinity plan to get all the features you want. Even then you’re lacking valuable features like gamification, detailed progress tracking, bulk course enrollment, and affiliate management features.

The true cost of LearnPress comes when you find it lacking the functionality you need, like supporting your memberships and handling recurring subscriptions. You’ll find yourself with an increasingly large tech stack, or having to migrate to a more robust system that has all the functionality you’re looking for. Furthermore, their support and documentation is seriously lacking in comparison to LifterLMS, and any other software that we’ve researched.

The Real Question: Should I Use LifterLMS or LearnPress?

LifterLMS logo

LifterLMS might be right for you if…

  • You’re looking for a membership and LMS plugin all-in-one
  • You're already using a WordPress website and looking for a WordPress plugin
  • You don’t mind using a third-party tool to connect your course with your CRM
  • You have a need for more advanced quiz functionality 
LearnPress Logo

LearnPress might be right for you if…

  • You need a bare-bones course website, with no plans for added functionality down the line or are open to a larger tech stack, and using a lot of different plugins to achieve your goals
  • You’re comfortable with tech and don’t tend to need additional support for setup and configurations
  • You’d like to use a theme provided by ThimPress, the creators of LearnPress

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Kimberly Gosney