Do you want to create an eLearning website on WordPress? If so, you’ll need to choose the right LMS theme for your needs.
Right now, there are hundreds of themes to choose from when setting up your LMS website, particularly if you’re using an LMS plugin that integrates with most WordPress themes. However, you’re much better off choosing one dedicated to LMS sites with critical eLearning features built-in, such as lesson-optimized templates.
Not sure where to look? Don’t worry: this post lists all the best WordPress LMS themes in one place so you can make the right choice.
What you should look for in a great WordPress LMS theme?
LMS themes are usually designed to work with LMS plugins, so you’ll need both if you want to make a great course. Such plugins provide all the functionality you need, such as student management, course registration, exam and assignment grading, etc., while the theme gives it an attractive appearance, encouraging users to interact with it.
Some learning management system themes are standalone, so you could technically set up a course using a theme alone, but we’d advise against that. An LMS theme alone will not be as powerful as an LMS and plugin in combination.
Just remember that you will generally need to pay for an LMS plugin, especially if you want access to premium features that are essential for course creators. Therefore, if costs are a concern, it’s a good idea to offset them with a cheaper or free theme.
Next, look for themes that are compatible with your LMS. Ideally, you want to create courses and pages using the same editor. For instance, if you use Gutenberg to create your website content, then it also makes sense to use it for course content, too. LMS plugins and themes that share an interface are easier to implement. Otherwise, you might find yourself switching between tools regularly.
The best WordPress LMS themes should have plenty of templates and patterns for different lesson plans. Good themes provide space for text and multimedia elements, such as video and audio. These should fit seamlessly alongside other items on the page and work well with each other.
A well-designed theme factors in how learners are connecting to the course. For instance, today, many students learn on smartphones and tablets. Therefore, themes should be responsive and easy to use on mobile. The layout should be intuitive.
Lastly, the theme should be compatible with WooCommerce, WordPress’s own free eCommerce plugin, to make it easy to sell your courses. Participants should be able to check out as if they were buying a regular product online.
These days, most themes are compatible with WooCommerce and a range of payment gateways. If you’re not sure which you can offer learners, check the theme’s documentation first.
The top 8 LMS themes for WordPress
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the best WordPress LMS themes you can get right now.
Course comes in at number one on our list of best WordPress LMS themes for 2023. But why?
Course is extremely flexible and modern, designed for virtually anyone looking to share their knowledge. It’s built to integrate with Sensei LMS, an LMS plugin by Automattic, the same team behind WordPress.com and Jetpack. This plugin lets you schedule lessons, feature interactive videos, form groups and cohorts around lessons, and apply interactive quiz features. It also has WooCommerce integration so you can make money selling your courses.
Because Course is made with Sensei’s platform in mind, it takes advantage of its best features. For instance:
- Course is built to display Sensei Blocks, which are a collection of multimedia elements including quiz questions, flashcards, interactive videos, and tasklists. The theme has lots of patterns and templates that are great for multimedia elements. For example, you can use a column-style pattern to have text on one side and an interactive video on the other.
- Course is completely seamless with Sensei’s Learning Mode, which is intended to provide a distraction-free learning experience.
- You get a choice of colors, styles, and fonts, letting you create the perfect aesthetic for your course.
Second, both Course and Sensei use the Gutenberg interface. Therefore, you can work on them both via the same editor.
You also get a massive choice of colors and the ability to customize your own. This way, you can create courses that complement your brand easily. Plus, the basic design is minimalist, making it easier to meet accessibility requirements.
Finally, Course does not rely on CSS, which makes it much faster if you have a lot of course content on your site already. It feels snappy, responsive, and light to users, without throttling, stuttering, or annoying lag – great for anyone offering extensive course material.
Coming in at number two on our list of the best WordPress LMS themes is Reign. This theme works in various contexts, including for eLearning site builders, offers free templates, and integrates with a wide range of LMS plugins.
Right now, you can combine it with Sensei LMS, LearnDash, and LifterLMS, with individual templates included for all of them, with more to be added in the future. It also pairs with Elementor if you prefer it to Gutenberg but, remember, your LMS plugin may not.
If you want to add a social networking element to your website, Reign lets you do that, too, thanks to BuddyPress integration. This option is ideal for academies or online schools that want to share learning experiences with wider audiences.
To see what a Reign website looks like with Sensei LMS and WordPress installed, go to this demo site with Reign and Sensei LMS installed.
Coming in at number three on our list of the best WordPress LMS themes in 2023 is Guru. This theme is helpful because it provides so many of the pre-built features that course creators need, including:
- Course assessments
- Instructor profiles
- Course duration
- Course details
- Course news
- Related courses
- Fee structure
- Course events
Conveniently, the theme works with Sensei, which makes it easier to create courses and lesson plans. You can also use the inbuilt Visual Page Builder if you don’t want to rely on editing your courses and site with Gutenberg.
The developers behind Eduma designed the theme for LMS, education websites, universities, schools, academies, and even kindergartens. However, it’s a little different from the themes discussed so far.
Keep in mind that Eduma only works with LearnPress. Therefore, if you don’t already have this plugin, you’ll need to purchase it separately. You’ll also need to be comfortable using Elementor. You can’t edit Eduma in Gutenberg.
Once you get to grips with the theme, you’ll get access to many premium add-ons. These include:
- WooCommerce Integration
- BuddyPress integration
- myCRED Integration
- Paid Membership Pro Integration
- Sorting Choice Question Type
- And more…
In total, there are 26+ demo templates you can import and build on, and Eduma says that more will be arriving soon. All themes come with the “Demo Importer” which does all the theme installation for you. (Go to Tools>>Demo Importer).
Lastly, there are plenty of ways students can pay via the LearnPress plugin. WooCommerce is available but so are PayPal, Stripe, 2Checkout, and Authorize.net. If you don’t want to install WooCommerce to get access to all your favorite payment gateways, you don’t have to: they’re all still available.
Next on our list of the best WordPress LMS themes is University, built with educational institutions, course builders, and LMS users in mind. Developed by CactusThemes, it’s designed to be used with the LearnDash LMS.
University’s list of features is impressive. You get
- A responsive design
- Built-in event calendar
- Full event management tools
- Facebook and Disqus comments integration
- Course management tools
- 7 home page demos
- Compatibility with all Google fonts
It also comes with a host of plugins, designed to make your life significantly easier and save you money at the same time. For instance, you get access to RevolutionSlider, worth $16, and Visual Composer, worth $25 if you were to get it separately.
It’s not without its drawbacks, though. Because of the complexity of the tool, University is best suited for businesses and organizations wanting to create online academies. It is not suitable for average course creators because of its sheer scope.
Gostudy is another popular theme because it is compatible with so many WordPress LMS plugins, including Tutor LMS, LearnPress LMS, and LearnDash LMS. It also works with WooCommerce and The Events Calendar, giving you tremendous functionality.
Gostudy is very much a theme for beginners. The fact that it uses Elementor and offers one-click demo imports will be appealing to some new users. But it is also a great choice because of its SEO friendliness, how you can easily customize it, and the potent admin panel.
For those who want to get conversations going around their courses, Gostudy integrates with bbPress so you can add a forum to your eLearning site. It also works with, and it’s compatible with Zoom so you can set up lessons in real-time.
Unlike other themes we’ve seen today, it includes certification as a feature. This means that you can issue certificates for course completion within the app without having to source them separately.
Next comes Masterstudy, an LMS theme that claims to be a complete LMS solution by itself with no additional plugins required to set up courses. For those looking for a simple solution, this is one of the best WordPress LMS themes on the market. However, you still don’t get all the advanced functionality you need to set up fully-fledged curriculums.
You can, of course, get around this by using the feature-packed Sensei LMS plugin and Masterstudy’s free theme. This tactic gives you the best of both worlds.
Popular features include:
- A student grade book showing you who is in attendance, who completed the course, and who passed all the quizzes
- The ability to drip-feed students content automatically over time
- Online payments via multiple payment gateways
- Questions that make it easy to incorporate questions into your quiz templates
- Statistics and payouts, a tool that lets you control your site’s finances with ease
- A points reward system that lets you award points to students when they complete certain milestones, such as completing courses or registering for a new course
- Assignments which lets assessors grade long-form work, such as essays, and leave notes
Finally, we have Courselog, a relatively basic LMS theme designed for use with the LearnPress LMS plugin. This theme is meant to work for practically all kinds of education platforms, from kindergarten to university.
Full demo with one-click installation is one of Courselog’s most cherished features. You can get started quickly, without having to do a lot of manual work. It also comes with the Elements Kit which includes many comprehensive modules, including the header, footer, mega menu builder, and the Elementor Templates Library.
But even more helpful than that is Courselog’s list of integrations. MetForm, for instance, lets you build easy-to-implement forms that won’t disrupt your user interface. There’s also video-calling software Zoom for giving courses directly, and BuddyPress for site community features.
If you’re not happy with the main theme, a child theme is included. You can change the appearance significantly, depending on your preferences. You also get 15+ unique pages automatically that you can use as the basis of your site. However, if you want more than this, you’ll need to make them yourself.
Verdict: Which WordPress LMS theme is best?
For us, Course is the best WordPress LMS theme and has clear advantages over the other themes in this list.
The main reason for this versatility. It offers a plethora of block patterns, making it easy to construct pages quickly in Gutenberg. You can generate new course material on the fly without having to spend a long time editing and making sure that everything is in the right shape.
Course is designed to be used with Sensei LMS, and with this theme-and-plugin combo, you can build a really powerful LMS site. First of all, Course is free which makes it easy to invest in Sensei Pro to get access to all of Sensei’s premium features. For example, you can things like drip-feed students’ lessons and restrict access to content as you please. All Sensei Blocks are also included, so you can add all kinds of multimedia elements to your lessons.
Get started with the best WordPress LMS theme, Course, and craft beautiful and engaging courses that drive completion rates and motivate students to learn.