Are Education SAAS platforms worth the price for SMBs ?

When choosing between Learning platforms a thing that always comes to mind that whether you would want to chose a SAAS platform for building your educational site. Lets do a short comparison on how the SAAS platforms compare with WP based LMS’s [WP LMS].

We do a scoring based on the arguments to help understand which platform is better for an SMB for starting a community education site.


The main selling point the education SAAS platforms provide is a hassle free onboarding and getting started on building Courses.

Compared to WordPress based LMSs, you have to buy a hosting plan, then buy an LMS theme or plugin then configure it.

SAAS platforms are especially curated for easier and user friendly onboarding process compared to WordPress based LMS’s.


Features & Integrations

SAAS platforms have been there as long as WordPress based LMSs. The SAAS platforms in itself provides a lot of features and integrations. In terms of integrations SAAS LMS provide a lot of features & integrations (most claim over 5000 ) but when compared to WordPress the ecosystem presents a lot of plugins provided in the WordPress plugins directory over 55000. The feature set provided by SAAS is specifically curated for online Learning anything outside that is missing form these platforms.

SCORE : SAAS: 1 , WP LMS : 1


SAAS platforms are built on propriety software where as WordPress is built on Open source technology stack. Development on WordPress is also fairly cheaper compared to SAAS platforms.

Score : SAAS: 1 , WP LMS : 2

Branding & Competition

Branding is an important aspect when you are startgin your online platform. While both SAAS & WordPress offer branding options. It is important to note that Branding is limited in SAAS platforms whereas in WordPress you pretty much own everything.

SAAS platforms also do not give you any edge over your competitors. A new site can easily use same the platform and become a competitor.

Score : SAAS: 1 , WP LMS : 3

Scalability & Security

While both WordPress and SAAS platforms are scalable. SAAS platforms provide this really easy without you having taking care of anything except the huge increase in cost. Compare with WordPress managed hosts this is equally expensive. Security , While this is speculative but experience tells us that the more the popular the platform the more hackers are after it. WordPress is indeed the less secure when compared to SAAS platforms. Plus you have to take additional measures to make it secure.

Score : SAAS : 2 , WP LMS : 3


To answer that question lets take a look at the pricing of these popular SAAS platforms. For ease of comparison we are only going to compare only top 5 education SAAS platforms.

PlatformStarter PlanPro PlanBusiness Plan [OMG !]

To be frank I was blown away at the business level pricing of Kajabi or Thinkific. Since we are comparing SMBs, I would only consider the starter plan as these are comparable with WordPress hosting plans ( except Kajabi ).

These starter plans come with big restrictions :

Learnworlds : Charges a $5 per sale and no subscriptions

FreshLearn : Lack basic features like Assignments.

Teachable : starter plan allows only 5 courses

Kajabi’s starter plan allows only 1000 customers in the starter plan

Thinkific’s starter plan allows for a 5 course limit.

When comparing with WordPress based LMS’s there is no such limits.

Score : SAAS :2 , WP LMS : 4

Content Policy

Very important point is the Content Policy. When you turn off subscription of a WordPress based LMS , you retain your site and all its content. The site pretty much functions and you can resume operations by maintaining hosting of your site.

Whereas when you turn of SAAS platform payments. Your platform is gone forever as SAAS platforms retain the rights to your Content. As they are hosting your content and still paying the costs for maintaining the site.

Score : SAAS :2 , WP LMS : 5

Winner : WP LMS

Were you expecting anything different ? WordPress based LMS give you the Edge when you are launching your online education platform.

What about No Code platforms ?

While No code is a popular framework. WordPress based platforms are also No code as you seldom require coding to build a site. While you get the advantage of security and scalability. The big factor comes in the Cost.

Community LMS PlatformProfessional PlanPrice
WPLMS [ WP ] + WP EngineProfessional$98 / year + $249 / year
BuddyBoss + LearnDash [ WP ] + WP EngineProfessional$299/year + $249 /year
Webflow + + [ No Code ] Professional$2,499/year
No Code platforms vs WP LMS cost

Disclaimer : Self Promotion :

Our product WPLMS is a WordPress based Social Learning management system. One of the most feature rich platform for online and offline teaching.

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