WP Courseware Alternatives:
Compare WP Courseware to Competitors

If you’re considering WP Courseware or looking for a WP Courseware alternative for your online course or membership site, you’re in the right place. 

In this review, you’ll find in-depth comparisons of popular competitors, native software feature breakdowns, and pricing overviews.

WP Courseware Logo

Before We Dive into Our WP Courseware Comparison

We're always curious about who is behind a review when we find it online, so we want to give you the full disclosure.

We are the creators of the AccessAlly LMS plugin for WordPress, and we are affiliates for some of the tools that we’re comparing here, which means that we may earn a commission if you buy from our recommendations.

We never let an affiliate incentive sway us in our reviews, but this makes it possible for us to test and provide in-depth and hands-on experience with a lot of the course and membership tools you might be comparing. 

Now let’s see how WP Courseware compares, and why their current users might start looking for a WP Courseware alternative in the first place.

WP Courseware pricing table

Why People Choose WP Courseware

Before we get into our list of WP Courseware alternatives, let’s look at why you might consider implementing WP Courseware for your online course or membership site.

  • You don't need a lot of bells and whistles: If you’re just getting started online and don’t require complex or advanced LMS features and functionality, WP Courseware is a good choice. You can create courses with modules and lessons, as well as quizzes for each course.
     
    Upon completion, you can even issue a certificate to celebrate your users for their accomplishments. Users can mark their lessons complete, but it’s not automated and isn’t as advanced as most LMSs in this regard.
  • It's affordable: WP Courseware is one of the most affordable course platforms out there - it’s $249/year unless you need more advanced LMS features or membership management functionality. 

     
    Most serious course creators will require a membership management plugin at the very least to achieve their site design.

  • You're already using a membership plugin: Since WP Courseware is a course builder it makes sense for some users to choose it as an add-on if they already have a membership site powered by a WordPress membership plugin and want to add courses to their existing setup. 
     
    However, if you need an LMS with detailed progress-tracking, gamification, and advanced quizzing and homework functionality you may want to consider some WP Courseware alternatives or look for an all-in-one membership and LMS plugin like AccessAlly.
     
    When you start increasing the size of your tech stack by piecing plugin after plugin together you’re more likely to experience tech issues in the future. 

Why People Recommend WP Courseware

You might have posted in a Facebook group asking people what they use for their membership site or to sell their online courses, and received a lot of “WP Courseware” answers. Why is that?

  • It's extensible and easy to integrate: WP Courseware is an online course plugin first and foremost. Everything else is secondary.  The parent company Fly Plugins have developed the tool so it can be integrated with a variety of other tools and plugins to expand on its functionality.
     
    This is great for some course creators who like to build their tech stack as they go, adding on additional pieces as they need them.  The downside of this is things can end up getting clunky over time depending on how feature-rich you plan to make your online courses and membership site offerings.
  • It’s easy to use: Another reason online course creators recommend WP Courseware is that it’s easy to set up and get started if your focus is purely on online courses. The drag and drop course builder makes it easy to set up your course layout and add content.
     
    If you don’t need a lot of added functionality like advanced sales and checkout features, then WP Courseware can help you get your course online fairly quickly. The core LMS features provide a solid foundation for course creators and are popular among educational institutions.
Wp Courseware Interface

Why People Look for WP Courseware Alternatives

If you’ve tried WP Courseware and found it limiting, or you’ve outgrown the WP Courseware plugin you might already know why you want to move. Here are some of the other common reasons why people look for WP Courseware substitutes.

  • Lack of functionality: Because WP Courseware focuses primarily on your online course layout, additional plugins are usually required to add additional functionality to your site - adding costs and complexity to your tech stack.
     
    Maintaining these integrations can be a tech nightmare if the integrations fail or you need to troubleshoot customer-specific issues and find yourself unsure of which tool may be responsible.
  • Limited e-commerce features: WP Courseware has a Stripe integration, as well as a PayPal integration so you can sell your online courses as a one-time payment, recurring subscription, or on a payment plan, but it doesn’t allow you to create trial options that automatically upsell into a paid subscription. You’re also not able to create an upgrade or downgrade path, or pro-rate subscriptions.
  • Marketing automation and CRM integration: With WP Courseware, you’ll need a 3rd party tool such as Zapier or WPFusion to connect your online courses built on your WordPress site to pass information back to your CRM, adding one more piece of complexity to your setup to achieve a seamless user experience.
     
    It does integrate with ConvertKit, but it’s not a deep two-way integration that allows you to create an engaging customer experience.
  • No gamification features: As more and more online courses become available, one thing that can set you apart from your competition is the user experience you create. WP Courseware doesn’t have a built-in gamification system.
     
    You can issue a certificate of completion for completed courses, but there’s no way to award badges and lacks the functionality to create a credits/points system to reward users.
  • No way to manage VAT or multiple languages and currencies: If you operate internationally with the goal of tapping into a bigger marketplace, it helps to be able to have localized payment and language options. In WP Courseware, you can't add country taxes to collect VAT, or easily handle multiple languages or currencies.

A WP Courseware Migration Success Story

Julie Waterhouse Photo
Our solution added scalability so that Michael could better leverage his time.

"AccessAlly was the perfect membership plugin choice for my client when we migrated his membership from WP Courseware. Using AccessAlly provided him with a number of advantages.

He gained new opportunities for cross-selling and up-selling with a customized Dashboard that features all his offerings.  He was able to take advantage of AccessAlly’s Team feature as well to sell bundles of licenses to teachers for their classrooms.

A big plus gained by using AccessAlly is the ability for members to manage their own accounts, which is helping Michael to scale. Users can cancel or upgrade/downgrade their own subscriptions and have their fees prorated, all without any intervention from his customer support.

He was even able to use AccessAlly’s gamification features to include learning objectives, private notes, and social sharing in his courses."

- Julie Waterhouse, Accessally expert, JDWaterhouse.com

Compare WP Courseware Pricing

WP Courseware’s pricing can be a bit deceiving. At first glance, the price seems reasonable and competitive compared to other tools on the market. If it’s the only tool you’ll need, it’s quite affordable.

But, let’s say you want to offer free trials before someone commits to purchasing, or you want to create membership levels. Most common builds require a membership plugin, and other add-ons like affiliate management, LMS reporting, or bulk course enrollment. Before you know it your costs are snowballing and you’re spending more money than if you chose a premium plugin with all the features and functionality you need to be built into one piece of software.

While cost is not the only thing to look at when you’re considering what membership software or LMS to choose, let’s be honest, it’s a big deciding factor in the equation, especially if you’re just starting out.

Here is the cost breakdown for some of the most commonly compared WP Courseware substitutes:

WP Courseware + MemberPress $398/year
Basic MemberPress plan, add-ons purchased separately
$748/year
All features, including Affiliate Royale, additional add-ons sold separately
Kajabi $1490/year
Includes only 3 products, and limit of 10,000 contacts
$3990/year
100 Products, 100,000 contacts, limited email sending
Thinkific $490/year
Unlimited courses and students
$4990/year
Additional features and groups
Teachable $390/year
Plus 5% transaction fee
$4990/year
No transaction fees, includes bulk student enrollment
Podia $390/year
No memberships or affiliate functionality
$790/year
Includes 3rd party code and embedded checkout forms
Mighty Networks $280/year
Community forums only, no online courses, plus 3% transaction fee
$980/year
Includes online courses, plus 2% transaction fee
MemberPress + LearnDash $448/year
No course or student limits, basic functionality
$918/year
Includes group licensing, affiliate functionality
LifterLMS $299/year
Ecommerce and CRM addons included
$999/year
Quizzes, groups, and social learning
AccessAlly $990/year
Unlimited courses and students, affiliate, and bulk courses
$1290/year
All LMS functionality

In-Depth WP Courseware Replacement Comparisons

Now that we’ve looked at all of the reasons why someone might choose WP Courseware, or switch from WP Courseware to another LMS solution, it’s time to compare WP Courseware alternatives!

In these in-depth comparison pages, you'll see where each tool shines and where it falls short so you can make the best decision for your particular business and online teaching needs.

Clipboard with Checkmarks

Compare WP Courseware Alternatives

Your WP Courseware Substitute Might Include Several Tools, Software, and Plugins

Now because WP Courseware handles the course design, you’ll likely need to add additional plugins to achieve your desired functionality for membership management, member directories, team accounts, and affiliate management to name a few.

How you decide which tools to include in your tech stack depends on your specific requirements, and what goals you’re trying to achieve. For instance, you might need:

CRM Software

CRM software and an email marketing automation platform is important to both sell your courses and memberships, as well as deliver them.

Website host

If you’re going with the self-hosted membership site option, a reputable host will go a long way toward giving you a fast site that you have full control over.

Website Theme

One of the drawbacks of WP Courseware is their course layout customization options, so you’ll want to decide on a theme that will give you advanced design options.

Subscription management

Taking payments is a key part of selling courses and memberships, and there are several different tools that allow you to take payments, and manage subscriptions.

Affiliate Management

If you want to give students and colleagues the ability to refer and earn a commission, an affiliate management solution can help you do just that.

Membership plugin

Finally, how you'll likely need a membership plugin to help you deliver a seamless customer experience so you can set yourself apart in the marketplace, and help your customers succeed.

WP Courseware Logo

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

What matters most to LMS users in 2020?

We’ve all felt the physical, social, mental, and emotional toll the events of 2020 have taken on us as individuals, business owners, and the impacts it’s had on our businesses. 

When we can adapt not only as individuals but as business owners, we can thrive, even in the face of unprecedented times. 

What’s most important to you right now? 

If you’re exploring online products, courses, programs, or memberships online for the first time, you’re going to have questions. With the right software and support, you can get up and running quickly and give your clients exactly what they’re wanting. 

So, now, in 2020, keep adaptability in mind. Think about how to best support your clients. Create engaging products to not only enhance their knowledge but make it a fun environment they look forward to logging into every day. 

Laptop with words Online Learning in 2020

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Kimberly Gosney