Choosing a pricing plan for LMS

How to Choose the Best LMS Pricing Model for Your Business?

Learning Management Systems (LMSs) help businesses increase productivity and retention by training employees and clients. However, with so many LMS models available, it can be a challenge to decide which one is the right fit for your company.

By understanding the different LMS pricing models, as well as having a clear idea of what your desired outcome is, it’s possible to find the right balance between cost and objective. Comparing features and pricing will enable you to choose a software that can help you deliver powerful training programs. 

In this post, we’ll discuss what LMSs are and the benefits they can have for your business. We’ll then help you navigate the best pricing options available. Let’s dive right in!

What is an LMS?

An LMS is an app or software that helps you build online courses. It’s a virtual school that lets you create classes, connect learners to your material, and evaluate their progress.

For example, Canvas LMS offers e-learning solutions for both schools and corporations:

Instructure LMS software

Certain features that define an LMS are: 

  • Progress tracking: this tool helps you track information about specific learners, such as time spent reading the course material, their scores, and average grades. It can provide reports at the end of each module.
  • Personalized user experience: an LMS can provide tailored material based on the learner’s history. This can help you customize the course content according to each student’s needs and knowledge. 
  • Content and user management: the software enables you to add and edit content, assign learners specific tasks, and manage material. 
  • Automated features: LMSs can send notifications and other updates to learners. Many aspects of the software are automated, including enrollment, deadlines, and tracking.

The principal purpose of LMS for business is to train workers. Learning and development are vital factors in maintaining a company’s workforce – organizations with strong learning cultures augment their retention rates by 30-50 percent

A powerful LMS can save you time spent on grading exams or ensuring material access for your users. Although video conference technology such as Zoom is useful for meetings and other forms of communication, these tools are not optimized for learning. LMSs can help you adapt to the user’s educational needs through their unique features.

LMS Pricing: What Determines the Cost of an LMS?

There are a number of components that determine the cost of an LMS. Factors such as number of courses uploaded, data storage space, and quality of material will determine how much you’ll need to pay for the software.

There are also costs such as licensing and one-off setup fees. Ultimately, the amount you’ll pay for any given LMS will depend on what you want out of the technology. 

For example, Tutor LMS offers three paid plans, with the highest-priced option giving your unlimited site licenses: 

Themeum LMS software

Of course, you could opt for free, open-source software. However, this kind of LMS may require some technical expertise. For instance, you’ll need to install it on your server. Most companies hire an IT expert to help them with the setup and maintenance of the LMS, so this is another cost you’ll need to take into account.

Popular Pricing Models

Determining which LMS pricing model is the right fit will depend on how many learners you have, how long you plan on using the software, and your budget. To help you make a decision, we’ll be looking at five LMS pricing models that you’ll find on the market, and compare their costs, pros, and cons.

1. Per Learner

With a per-learner pricing model, you’ll pay a set price for a fixed number of learners. Larger organizations can get discounts if they have many users on the program.

One main advantage of this pricing model is that you can predict monthly or annual expenses. As the number of users goes up, the cost goes down. This means that this model would be ideal for a larger workforce. 

An example of a per-learner LMS model is iSpring:

iSpring LMS software

This model is based on tiered pricing. It starts at $3.66 per month per 100 users. The cost decreases as the number of users goes up (for example, $2.82 per month for 500 users). 

This is a good option if predictable billing is important to you. However, this model isn’t ideal if you can’t guarantee the number of users that will be using the software. 

2. Per Active Learner

This setup is similar to a per learner model, except that you’ll only be billed for learners who used the LMS during a payment cycle. It’s ideal if you want to disperse your training to different groups of learners throughout the year.

AccordLMS is an example of a per-active-user pricing model: 

AccordLMS plugin

It starts at $0.90/month, but you can speak with a representative for more specifics. A big advantage to using this model is that you don’t spend money on users that are inactive. However, pre-paid plans can still be full-priced, even if you have less active users than originally expected. 

3. Per Use

With a per-use LMS, you’ll pay only for what you use. This model is good for companies that don’t have a fixed demand for the learning software. If you don’t have any active users, you won’t be charged. 

An example of a per-use pricing model is Upskill:

Upskill LMS plugin

With Upskill, pricing starts at $2 per user per month. There is no licensing, setup, or hosting fees, and you don’t have to sign a contract. Pricing is solely reliant on usage. However, high usage could spike a big bill, which can be problematic for smaller businesses with a lower budget. 

4. One-Time Licensing Fee / Subscription

This model provides a one-time fee for a set period of time. In most cases, you pay on a monthly or annual basis, and you can have as many users as you want. 

Cost usually varies depending on what features are offered. This model is ideal for big companies that are sure to have a high demand. 

A monthly subscription LMS is Easy LMS:

Easy LMS plugin

Easy LMS costs $250/month for enterprises, which includes 100,000 monthly participant sessions. The one-time payment means that costs won’t fluctuate depending on usage. 

However, there isn’t much flexibility with this model. If not enough people use the software, you could end up wasting money. 

5. Free or Open-Source Software

A free or open-source LMS is one that you can download to your server. Although you won’t pay anything for the software, you might need an IT expert to help you set up, maintain, and customize the LMS. This is a good option if you want to have a highly customized platform.  

For instance, LifterLMS enables you to create a world-class online training program for free:

LifterLMS open source software

This flexible WordPress tool includes features such as reporting and analytics, individual user accounts, and progress tracking. You can also build more advanced courses with premium add-ons. 

Additionally, LifterLMS is very easy to use, and you can set up your online courses without any hassle. It also integrates with many other WordPress tools. 

How to Choose the Best Pricing Model

With so many pricing models on the market, it can be a challenge to decide which is the perfect fit for your business. However, there are certain factors to take into consideration. 

Let’s look at some tips to help you make your final decision. 

Specify Your Budget

You can start by determining how much money you’re willing to spend. If you’re a large company that’s looking to train both clients and employees, you might opt for an advanced solution to accommodate a bigger audience. In this case, you might consider a subscription model for your LMS. 

If you’re a startup or small business with a low budget, a subscription service might not be your best option. Instead, you might opt for a pay-per-user model to save costs. 

Define Your Goals

You’ll also want to think about your goals, such as training objectives, the number of people you wish to train, and how long you want to run the course for. Also, what is the ultimate outcome you want to achieve with your LMS? 

You could research various vendors to see what features they offer. Different software options have different elements, and knowing which one matches up with your goals can help you make your final decision.

Read the Reviews

As with any other product or service, you’ll want to take a look at the reviews of some LMSs on the market. It can be helpful to see what other companies have to say about the software, and how it has helped them achieve their goals. 

Of course, each vendor will say that their product is the best on the market. They’ll also display the best client testimonials on their websites. Therefore, we recommend that you look at some third-party review sites.You might also connect with other businesses in your industry and ask for their recommendations. 

Try a Free Trial

Most LMSs have a free trial option. Before making a final decision, you might want to sign up for a free trial version. This will enable you to troubleshoot, check out different features, and test customer service capacity. 

You might even ask your trainees for some feedback. For example, you could ask them to rate the software’s ease-of-use and performance. This will help you select an LMS that the majority of your users will be comfortable working with. 


The e-learning industry is projected to grow, as more businesses search for ways to expand their employees’ skill sets. Finding the right learning management system can help you grow your business and empower your workforce. However, you’ll also need to find the most cost-efficient solution for your company. 

To recap, here are five different types of LMS pricing models to consider:  

  1. Pay per learner.
  2. Pay per active learner.
  3. Pay per use. 
  4. A one-time licensing fee or a monthly/annual subscription.
  5. Free or open-source software.

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