Digital Transformation

Learning Management Systems (LMS) Platform Quick Comparison 2020

With a range of ready-to-use learning management systems available to use in Australia, we've road-tested ten of the most popular LMS platforms for you


Introduction and Document Purpose

This document is prepared by Hamma.digital to compare platforms with the potential to host, manage and deliver online course content.

What was compared?

We compared both back-end management and front-end usability, price, features, technical support, ease of use and boutique vs mass market platforms, as well as “extras” which are not a necessity, but nice to have in this document.

What platforms are being analysed?

After undertaking some broad research, we compiled a list which will allow us to create, organise and deliver course content efficiently, while also meeting our unique needs — of course, some platforms meet our needs more than others, but there are advantages and disadvantages to all.

  1. Thinkific
  2. Learnwords
  3. Teachable
  4. Kajabi
  5. LearnDash
  6. Podia
  7. Ruzuku
  8. Udemy

Thinkific

Price

  • $39-399 USD p/m

Front-end Usability

  • Easy navigation

Back-end Usability

  • User friendly features (course templates etc)
  • Marketing functionality (email marketing)
  • Membership integration
  • Integrates with Zapier for more control
  • Remove Thinkific branding Pro plan and above

Features

  • Unlimited courses from Pro plan and above (79 USD p/m)
  • Custom domain

Technicals

  • Standalone platform

Support

  • 24/7 customer support

Extras

  • Premium look & feel (masterclass)

Site examples:

Learnworlds

Price

  • $24-249 USD p/m

Front-end Usability

  • Interactivity features (questionnaires, tests)
  • Can build out as many non-course related pages as required
  • Can take in-video notes, highlight important points, get certificates on completion.

Back-end Usability

  • Templated/pre-made course catalogues (drag and drop)
  • Marketing functionality (coupons and discount options)
  • Branding can be customised (requires some coding knowledge)

Features

  • Custom mobile app for your course

Technicals

  • Standalone platform
  • Custom domain

Support

  • Good support

Extras

  • Not as clean as Masterclass

Site examples

  • https://www.feelsgoodwellness.com.au/
  • https://astitchintime.learnworlds.com/
  • https://peoplemgt.com.au/

Teachable

Price

  • $29-249 USD + transaction fees

Front-end Usability

  • Interactivity features (graded quizzes, completion certificates)
  • Easy to use

Back-end Usability

  • Customisable branding
  • Easy to use
  • Affiliate marketing

Features

  • Teachers can engage with students
  • Course and coaching options
  • Mobile app option
  • Members only community
  • Group coaching calls

Technicals

  • Standalone platform
  • Integrated web hosting
  • Advanced analytics
  • Custom domain

Support

  • Good support

Extras

  • Premium look & feel (Masterclass)

Site examples

  • https://courses.deliciouseveryday.com/
  • https://masterclass.wendyrussell.com.au/
  • https://training.stagemilk.com/

Kajabi

Price

  • $199-319 USD p/m

Front-end Usability

Back-end Usability

  • Easy to use site themes
  • Powerful marketing functionality (email marketing automation, upsells)
  • Unlimited landing pages

Features

  • Blogging functionality
  • Unlimited marketing emails
  • 1,000 members and 10,000 contacts

Technicals

  • Standalone platform
  • Best for in-depth courses
  • Customisable checkout
  • Custom domain

Support

  • Good support

Extras

  • Premium look & feel (Masterclass)

Site examples:

LearnDash

Price

  • $159-329 USD outright

Front-end Usability

Back-end Usability

  • Wordpress integration only
  • Custom branding
  • Less easy to customise

Features

  • Marketing email drip campaigns (delivered by LearnDash)
  • Gradebook technology, weighted average (provides overall grades from quizzes)
  • Grading, course points, badges & certificates

Technicals

  • Custom domain

Support

  • Less support in comparison

Extras

  • Not as clean as Masterclass

Sites Using:

Podia

Price

  • $39-79 USD p/m


Front-end Usability

  • Drag and drop but less polished as some others

Back-end Usability

  • Cannot be branded
  • Add extra pages

Features

  • Memberships (product bundles for specific groups, tiered pricing plans)
  • Pre launch courses
  • Host webinars live or on-demand
  • Affiliate options

Technicals

  • Standalone platform
  • Custom domain

Support

  • Less support in comparison

Extras

  • Not as clean as Masterclass

Site examples:

Ruzuku

Price

  • $75-125 USD p/m

Front-end Usability

  • Drag and drop but less polished than others

Back-end Usability

  • Limited customisation

Features

  • Unlimited courses & students
  • Webinars
  • Polls and quizzes
  • Subscription options

Technicals

  • PayPal and Stripe only
  • Custom domain
  • Coupons

Support

  • Less support

Extras

  • Not as clean as Masterclass

Udemy

Price

  • Free to create courses

Front-end Usability

  • Wider reach, but lower sale price (90% of sales occur with a coupon)

Back-end Usability

  • Content must be approved

Features

  • Non-branded
  • Free to participate in Udemy marketing promotions

Technicals

  • Non customisable domain
  • Robust technology, platform and support

Support

  • Great

Extras

Summary

The platforms analysed above are the most popular options to choose from. In some respects, it is much of a muchness — they all offer similar features and functionality. However, the small differences do add up and matter in the long run. The three platforms we were leaning towards are Teachable, Thinkific and Kajabi — as they all are a standalone platform, which provides solid functionality and usability for both front-end and back-end users.

These platforms are also designed to be used as content platforms, rather than “online schooling” in the sense of quizzes, tests, certificates etc. This means that they focus more attention on other features such as marketing emails, automations, integrations and more. Plus - they have that “Masterclass” feel that users want and love.

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