Top Learndash Alternatives & Competitors

Top Learndash Alternatives & Competitors

Last Updated on June 1, 2023 by Ewen Finser

LearnDash says, “Your online course deserves the best.” I believe that too, but is LearnDash the best for your online course?

You might not be ready to fall into the LearnDash customer base blindly. Today, my goal is to show you the top LearnDash alternatives and competitors so you don’t settle for a service that isn’t perfect for you. Truthfully, you might get through this article with me and find out that LearnDash is right for you, but there are some very strong alternatives among the LearnDash competitors.

Bottom line Upfront

If you want a full solution for your online courses or coaching, then LearnDash might not be for you. If you don’t use WordPress, LearnDash definitely is not for you. LearnDash is a WordPress plugin learning management system only. It does not stand alone.

However, if you want a high-quality platform to host your course, Thinkific is a solid solution that more and more people are turning to for great service and value.

Our Pick
Why Go With Thinkific?

Thinkific is the best platform if you are looking to replicate a CLASSROOM experience ONLINE. Of all the options, it's the most SCALABLE for multiple instructors, admins, and support staff. In short, ideal for building an education empire!

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LearnDash Overview


Before we get into LearnDash’s alternatives and competitors, let me give it a little information about this platform.

LearnDash is a premium WordPress plugin that you buy so you can put your course on your WordPress website. When you look at their website, you’ll see that they service universities and other big businesses. If you’re in that arena, LearnDash may be a good fit for you, but if you’re a small course creator that doesn’t require precise customization, you should look at one of the alternatives below.

LearnDash boasts that they help you create impressive online courses without restrictions. This can be a good thing, but with too many options, it may get confusing.

LearnDash Main Features

  • LearnDash Focus Mode to help students avoid distractions
  • Drag and drop course builder
  • Dynamic content delivery which includes requiring video viewing before advancing, drip-feeding lessons, and linear and open progression through the course.
  • Forums for community building
  • Group management

Ok, now that we’ve got LearnDash out of the way, let’s get into the LearnDash competitors and alternatives.

1. Thinkific

Thinkific has been around since 2012, but I feel like it’s just gaining more popularity recently. Maybe it’s just in my circles. Whatever the case, I really like what I see from Thinkific. Their goal is to make selling your courses simple.

Why Choose Thinkific:

Top Learndash Alternatives & Competitors: thinkific

If you want to turn your knowledge and expertise into revenue with online courses, Thinkific believes they’re the service to help you do that. Truthfully, I think they might just be right. Anytime I can work with a company that makes things simple—I’m there. Thinkific offers easy-to-use features that still do what you want them to do. The simplicity didn’t take out the necessary function of the service.

One of the neat things about Thinkific is that you can mix and match your content. I haven’t seen any other services besides Teachable that allow course creators to also do live video within the platform. Being able to give live lessons is a nice touch and might entice people to join your course because they know the information is up-to-date.

Thinkific gives you everything you need to create and market your course online. They allow you to build a customized website and provide sales tools and other great features so you don’t feel like you’re swimming in the ocean by yourself.

Another thing Thinkific points out is that they can help you when you just start out. However, they’re set up to support you when your business grows large as well.

I like that Thinkific does give you all the tools to help your students progress. They also give you the tools you need to see how they progress as well.

Our Pick
Why Go With Thinkific?

Thinkific is the best platform if you are looking to replicate a CLASSROOM experience ONLINE. Of all the options, it's the most SCALABLE for multiple instructors, admins, and support staff. In short, ideal for building an education empire!

Get 30 Days FREE Here See Black Friday / Cyber Monday Deal!
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Further Reading:

2. Podia

Podia—not to be confused with the project management software Podio—is another strong option for course creators that want to give the best experience to their students. They give you everything you need, whether you’re primarily selling courses or you’re also doing webinars, putting out downloads, and building a community.

Top Learndash Alternatives & Competitors: podia

Why Choose Podia:

Podia lets you get a feel of how it is to have your course on their platform for 14 days. You don’t have to provide your credit card either. Many free trials require you to give your credit card to use their services for the number of days but not Podia.

One of the reasons I like Podia is because of the many options it gives you. Also, the clarity around those options. Sometimes these options might be available with other services, but if you don’t know and they don’t make it clear—it doesn’t help.

When it comes to selling online, Podia makes it easy for you to sell your online courses and digital downloads, set up and charge for community, charge for webinars, and coaching. Podia is a full suite that lets you monetize your online teaching business your way. They also make it simple to market your online work as well.

They have email marketing, messaging, the ability to create a custom website, affiliate marketing, and you can even embed buttons on your personal website to sell things which makes it look very professional.

A must for many online course creators is the ability to drip-feed your course. If you just let people have it all at once, it often means they’ll blow through it and won’t really get the value you’d planned for them. I also love that they provide the ability to pre-sell courses.

You could even start pre-selling the course and see how it goes. If it doesn’t get enough attention, you can decide to axe it and refund those payments before you launch to go after a course in which your audience truly has an interest.

Our Pick
Podia IS Awesome!

I LOVE Podia. Here's why. It's simple to use . Fun. Works for courses, digital products, and memberships like a charm. It's going to be our FINALIST for 2023 Tools of the Year. Need I say more?

Free 14-Day Trial
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Further Reading:

3. Teachable

Top Learndash Alternatives & Competitors: teachable

I’ve taken quite a few courses on the Teachable platform. It’s pretty easy for students to use which gives it a gold star on the student side of things. You’ll find all the basic features for a course hosting site. Let’s see what else might grab your eye and sway you to use Teachable instead of LearnDash or another alternative.

Why Choose Teachable:

Teachable has a solid base of customers that believe in their services. Unlike some platforms, they attract professionals that have all different types of skillsets. Their live lesson feature makes this a great option for coaches or other teachers that want to have live classes with their students.

Teachable makes it easy for course creators to schedule and host meetings. It is also nice that it integrates with Calendly. Calendly is one of the most popular calendar apps for easily scheduling appointments, and integrating it with Teachable makes it even easier for course creators and live event holders.

I have heard some people mention that Teachable‘s customer support isn’t the best. However, the feedback I saw from those people didn’t really uphold the case, saying Teachable didn’t do its part.

If you’re on a tight budget, you might want to check out Teachable because of their free plan that allows you to get started and even put up a course without paying anything. This could be a good option for people that are just starting out and don’t know when they’ll get their first customers.

4. Kajabi

Top Learndash Alternatives & Competitors: kajabi

Kajabi is a big name that many top brands use for their courses. You might guess that big brands using their platform means it will cost a pretty penny for the service. You’d be right, but there are reasons to still use Kajabi.

Why Choose Kajabi:

Kajabi has been in the game for a while, and they’ve been doing it well. The platform is an all-in-one solution that gives you everything you need to market your courses. You can list your products, create a website or websites, design, and host landing pages, accept payments, use their tools and platform for marketing, and more.

When you use Kajabi, your courses look sleek and professional. True, it does come at a price, but if you make your course appealing as well as provide value, you can raise the price on your course.

This platform makes it easy for customers to pay. The less friction you have when it comes to payment, the more likely it is that people will go through with the process and get your product. There are over 50,000 people that use Kajabi, but some of the most notable are names like Amy Porterfield.

Kajabi has a 14-day free trial, so if you aren’t sure you want to put out that much money, you can always check it out.

5. Kartra

Top Learndash Alternatives & Competitors: kartra

Kartra hasn’t been around as long as some companies on this LearnDash alternatives list. They only came on the scene in 2018, but Kartra is from the same team as WebinarJam. Kartra boats that it gives you everything in one place, but let’s see what’s true.

Why Choose Kartra:

If you choose to work with Kartra, you know who is behind it. WebinarJam is a well-respected company that was founded in 2013. This means Kartra gets to borrow some of the clout and trust from this sister company.

It’s easy to see that their creators have been in the software space for quite a while. The first thing they focus on is letting people know how easy it is to use their product. If you’re a beginner and you feel overwhelmed with other software, this could be a good choice. They have some pre-built options that allow you to get your project or product up and running without frustration and confusion.

There are a lot of integrations available, and you can use Zapier if there isn’t an integration that you need.

I like the line on their website that says, “Awesome for the pro… Great for every Joe!”

The pricing of Kartra might not sit well with beginners, so keep that in mind if you don’t want to put out a lot of cash. The lowest option is $99 per month, and it goes all the way up to $499 per month.

Further Reading:

Kartra Review

6. Udemy

Top Learndash Alternatives & Competitors: udemy

Udemy allows teachers to go live on their platform without any approval. If you’re worried that your course is lower quality than what you might like, Udemy could be a good option. However, if you focus on creating high-quality courses and you don’t want to be included with amateurs, you might not like Udemy. Udemy is also a marketplace vs having your own website that is dedicated to only your course.

Why Choose Udemy:

If you don’t have a list and you need a place to sell your products, Udemy could be a good fit. As I mentioned earlier, it could also be a good place if you feel like your content isn’t super high quality as well because there is no approval process.

For those of you that don’t have a list but still want to make money off your expertise, the good news is that Udemy will actually market your courses that you have on their site. Keep in mind that if they market the course and someone buys, they take a big part of the profit. However, that is a sale you wouldn’t have had otherwise, and some people are more than happy when things work out this way.

If you’re short on cash and you don’t want to do your own marketing then this can be a good option for you.


Question: Should I use a marketplace or self-host or use a company for a dedicated platform for my courses?

Answer: Depending on your goals, either one will work for you. If you want to do your own branding, then I recommend going with self-hosting or a company that allows you to brand everything without showing their logos and branding.

Question: Is selling courses online worth the hassle?

Answer: There are many people that make good money selling courses online. You won’t know until you try.

Question: Is the price of my course platform tax deductible?

Answer: Generally, yes, but I am not a tax professional. I suggest you speak to a CPA.

Top Learndash Alternatives & Competitors: Conclusion

Now that you’ve seen these great LearnDash alternatives and competitors, your head might be spinning. It’s easy to get caught up in all of the options and to stay stuck in analysis paralysis, but that’s not necessary.

If you want some help clearing through the options, I have to say that my top pick is Thinkific. Thinkific is a solid solution and a reasonable price for what it provides. You don’t have to use WordPress, and it has so many features that you’ll likely be able to set up your course how you want it set up easily.

As Thinkific says, they help you turn your online courses into revenue and they make it easy for you as well. You can create, brand and market right from the platform without putting your course on your website. In fact, you don’t even have to have a website if you don’t want to have one. Thinkific is really flexible, and that’s one of the reasons I say you should go with Thinkific as the best LearnDash alternative.

Our Pick
Why Go With Thinkific?

Thinkific is the best platform if you are looking to replicate a CLASSROOM experience ONLINE. Of all the options, it's the most SCALABLE for multiple instructors, admins, and support staff. In short, ideal for building an education empire!

Get 30 Days FREE Here See Black Friday / Cyber Monday Deal!
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

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