Online learning has exploded over the past decade or so. Even before the pandemic, more and more companies and even schools and colleges were embracing online education. The pandemic exacerbated that until almost any learning that was happening was happening online.
Now, online learning is firmly on the map and in the mainstream. There are more online colleges, more companies embracing online training, and more opportunities to monetize online learning than ever before.
One product that is designed to help with that is the MasterStudy LMS plugin for WordPress.
It’s a complete LMS (Learning Management System) that provides the platform from which you can offer courses and monetize learning.
But is it any good? That’s what we’re here to find out in this MasterStudy LMS review! We are going to thoroughly test the MasterStudy LMS plugin and put it through its paces. Is it the easiest way and best WordPress plugin for online courses? Let’s dig in!
What Is LMS?
What is an LMS, and why should you use one? Let’s start with the basics. An LMS Learning Management System is to learning what WooCommerce is to online stores.
It provides the framework that enables you to turn a WordPress site into a fully functioning online college. Along with an attractive WordPress theme and a few basic plugins, you can turn any website into something that could genuinely compete with the likes of Udemy or Coursera.
MasterStudy LMS Review – What It Offers?
The MasterStudy LMS plugin for WordPress installs onto an existing website and provides everything you need to build courses, host them, add quizzes and tests and student areas.
As long as you have course material to use and a working WordPress install, the plugin provides everything else you need. There’s a generous free version of MasterStudy LMS with a premium option that adds more advanced features.
Frontend Course Builder
If you have ever used a drag and drop page builder, the MasterStudy course builder is similar.
It uses a simple editor with configurable elements to arrange how you like, customize and make them look perfect. It’s the easiest way we know of to create an online course!
Quizzes & Interactivity
If you have ever completed an online course, you will probably know that some are more interesting than others. It’s typically a one-way conversation with pre-prepared course content and the student absorbing it.
That is why you need a plugin that adds interactivity. Adding quizzes adds more interest, an element of gamification, and an incentive to learn. They are also things other LMS don’t always get right.
Student Profile Areas
Another often overlooked element of WordPress LMS plugins is the student area. They are often minimalist sections that require little user input and have no purpose except to assist logins.
With MasterStudy LMS, the student profile area becomes interesting and can include course lists, scores, assignments, messages, groups, certificates, and even points.
Want to sell your courses? Then you’ll love the fact MasterStudy LMS is fully compatible with WooCommerce.
You can sell courses, sell merch, subscriptions for recurring payments, and more. You can even use plugins like Paid Membership Pro to turn your LMS into a fully-fledged membership site!
MasterStudy LMS integrates seamlessly with other products too. It works perfectly with Zoom (allowing you to create virtual classrooms), Paid Membership Pro, Stripe, WooCommerce, PayPal, GamiPress, and others.
There are many features that come with MasterStudy LMS, but this should give you an idea of how good it is.
Course Creation With MasterStudy LMS
We now know what MasterStudy LMS is and what it can do, but how easy is it to use?
MasterStudy LMS Prerequisites
There are no specific requirements for setting up MasterStudy. As long as you have a working WordPress website and have installed MasterStudy LMS, the rest is super simple.
Setting up MasterStudy LMS is the same as setting up any LMS plugin.
You’ll need a working WordPress installation, a decent web host, a lightweight WordPress theme, WooCommerce if you’re accepting payments, and any security, caching, or SEO plugins you would typically use.
You will also need your course content all ready to go. Again, this is the same as other WordPress LMS plugins. There are none that we know of that come complete with courses!
Course Creation Basics
Let’s walk you through creating a basic course using the MasterStudy WordPress LMS plugin so you can see for yourself.
Before we get to the actual course creation, we need to configure MasterStudy LMS. There is a lot to set up, but as with the prerequisites, there is no more here than with other LMS plugins:
- Select Tools from the left menu in your WordPress dashboard.
- Select LMS Wizard to get started.
- Select a business type in the opening screen, either courses for individuals or as a marketplace.
- Select Generate Pages on the next screen to create basic outline pages for course content and user profiles.
- Toggle WooCommerce Checkout and Enable Guest Checkout to on if you’re planning to sell courses. You’ll need to configure each with the relevant information to get them working.
- Set Admin commission underneath if you’re planning to resell as an online course marketplace.
- Select the page layout, courses per page, courses per row, and other settings on the next page. Then select Generate Course Page to create placeholder pages for your course lists.
- The Single Course tab allows you to set up your course styles and add tabs containing relevant content for each course. Configure them as required.
- The Curriculum tab has more settings to help design your courses. Configure those as required.
- The Profiles tab provides control over how student profiles will look and feel.
- The Finish tab allows you to add new courses or import demo courses to use as examples. Select whichever you like to proceed with.
That’s the basic MasterStudy LMS setup completed. You have generated placeholder pages and set up the framework for your online course content.
We have a few more steps to take before we’re ready to create a course, but it won’t take long:
- Select the General Tab within LMS settings on your WordPress dashboard
- Configure your primary brand colors, currency, and other settings on the page
- Select the blue Save Settings button when you’re done
Now it’s time to build a course!
Individual Course Creation
Now the configuration is complete, let’s build our course:
- Select the LMS menu and Add course from the left. You should see the drag and drop course builder.
- Add the course title, instructor, co-instructor if you’re featuring multiple instructors and course categories.
- Add your course content in the center where you see ‘Upload Course Image’ and the text editor underneath.
- Select Add Course Materials if you’re adding supplementary content or required material to the course.
- Configure the course price, add any prerequisites for the course, passing percentage requirement, duration, and other details from the right-hand menu of the course builder.
- Scroll down to Publish Course or Save as Draft as required.
That’s all there is to course creation with MasterStudy LMS!
We have obviously skimmed over adding the course content because that will be entirely dependent on the type of course you’re building, but you get the idea. It’s a simple, intuitive process that makes short work of creating an online course!
If you compare MasterStudy LMS to LearnDash, Tutor LMS, or other popular LMS, we think you’ll find MasterStudy very easy to use.
Navigation is intuitive. Everything is where you would expect it to be, and you can configure just about everything to do with courses.
MasterStudy LMS supports multiple payment gateways, including Stripe and PayPal. You can choose the price of each course when creating it or using the dashboard.
As long as you have a payment gateway configured, students will be able to buy the course as soon as that course is published.
You can also easily create course bundles as well as individual courses using the Course Bundle addon for the LMS.
As well as selling courses, you can also become an Udemy affiliate. Once your site qualifies for affiliation, you can import Udemy courses using built-in tools and add a percentage for profit.
As well as selling courses directly, MasterStudy LMS makes it easy to make a little money promoting Udemy courses.
As long as your website qualifies to become an affiliate, MasterStudy LMS has the tolls to bulk import Udemy courses into the LMS so you can begin earning straight away.
Simply link your website and the MasterStudy LMS to your Udemy affiliate account, configure a few settings, and the importer will take care of the rest! All you’ll need to do is promote the courses and get the word out about your new website!
A key element of monetizing courses for membership sites is content dripping. Content dripping is useful for ensuring students don’t rush courses, don’t join temporarily and download everything or stick to a defined schedule.
This isn’t mandatory but adds another option for those who want to make a little money from their WordPress LMS plugin. Fortunately, MasterStudy LMS supports drip feeding.
Just install the Drip Content addon through the LMS Addons menu, and you will have the opportunity to ‘Lock lessons sequentially’ or drip-feed.
You can then also configure lesson start dates and times within each lesson builder for even more control.
Drip feeding is limited to premium plans, but this is similar to other LMS. It’s a handy feature and one that makes the premium version worth paying for.
Teacher & Student Profiles
The user profile section of many WordPress LMS plugins is often overlooked. In MasterStudy LMS, it is given just as much attention as the rest of the design.
Both teacher and student profile sections are attractive, easily accessible, and contain all the information you could need.
You can create a bio for yourself, access your subscribed courses, course progress, quizzes, memberships, messages, and more from within the profile.
There is also a section for assignments, any groups you’re a member of, and your certificates too. The profiles are a definite highlight of this LMS!
While the student profile area of LearnDash looks pretty good, we think MasterStudy LMS is easier on the eye. It’s also simpler to understand and set up if you’re an administrator too!
MasterStudy LMS Pricing
MasterStudy LMS offers a free version of its WordPress LMS plugin and three premium plans in MasterStudy Pro.
The free version includes:
- Unlimited courses
- Unlimited lessons and instructors
- Unlimited members
- Basic course builder
- Teacher and student profiles
- Course preview
- Rating and review options
- Support for video and rich content
- Quiz creator
- And a whole lot more
MasterStudy Pro is priced based on the number of websites you use the MasterStudy LMS plugin on. Those are 1, 5, or 25 sites. Plans cost from $54.99 per year upwards, which is exceptionally competitive considering what’s on offer.
MasterStudy Pro adds:
- Frontend course builder
- Certificates and certificate builder
- Affiliate options
- Email manager
- GamiPress, Zoom, and WooCommerce Integrations
- Live streaming support
- Assessments, trials, and points
- Course bundles
- Support for multiple instructors
- Drop feed content
- 24/7 support
- And a whole lot more
Considering the price of other WordPress LMS plugins, we think that’s a great deal.
Memberpress, for example, costs from $179 per year and LearnDash from $159 per year. With plans from just $54.99 per year, we think MasterStudy Pro is very well priced!
MasterStudy LMS Support
Another measure of any product is support. You can tell a lot about a company by how they handle support and the contact methods they offer.
MasterStudy LMS comes with a great documentation section that covers almost everything you would need to know. Documents are logically laid out and include answers and walkthroughs for virtually any scenario you could think of.
If you need more support, MasterStudy Pro offers 24/7 support via a ticketing system.
Is MasterStudy LMS Worth The Money?
We definitely think MasterStudy LMS is worth the money. It’s cheaper than much of the competition and yet delivers just as much, if not more, in some cases.
The number and quality of features are second to none. Those setting up their first online course will easily find their way around and create an online course website. It’s super simple to set up and, while there are a few steps involved, they are straightforward to follow.
More experience online course providers won’t be disappointed either. All the basics are covered, but you also get more features like quizzes, certifications, Zoom integration, affiliate opportunities, and a whole lot more.
If you want to set up a course website for fun, there is everything here to do that. If you want to create a full-fledged online school, you have the tools to do that too.
If you want to make a little money as an Udemy affiliate, MasterStudy LMS has the tools and integrations to make it happen. It even has a video import feature to load courses directly from Udemy!
MasterStudy LMS Review Conclusion
The quality of design, included features, range of options, and front-end course builder are all exceptional features to include in an LMS.
The addition of monetization opportunities, to become an Udemy affiliate with bulk course importer, and to include gamification within your courses all add to the goodness.
There is very little to criticize about this WordPress LMS plugin. Some valuable features like certification and assessments are locked into a premium, but that’s normal, and nothing other WordPress LMS plugins don’t do.
Overall, we think if you’re looking for a WordPress LMS plugin that does it all and doesn’t blow the bank, MasterStudy LMS could be it!
Jamie Kavanagh is a dedicated technical writer and researcher. He is a head of Coastal Content, which writes exclusive content, reviews, tutorials, and guides.
DISCLOSURE: Posts may contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links, I might get a small commission, without any extra cost to you. Read more about it here.