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LearnWorlds Review: A Weird Hybrid!

review Nov 16, 2022

This is an expert review of how good LearnWorlds is an online course platform.

I personally tested and reviewed a number of course platforms, and spent days with LearnWorlds latest features.

Now, you can get your questions answered and learn how well LearnWorlds fits your needs.

Let's get started!

Features
Integrations
Support
Pricing
Pros and Cons
Conclusion

 


⚙️ Features

LearnWorlds is best characterized by its feature richness.

It's a course platform that lets you create content, host courses, publish mobile apps, and much more.

Let's take a look at some of the core features.

 

Go Crazy with Advanced Course Creation

It's obvious that a course platform has to be able to create courses. And LearnWorlds does this very well.

Although it took me a few minutes to figure out where this functionality was hidden, I was pleasantly surprised when I found it.

Especially the number of 'learning activities' as they call it, is impressive.

 

This differs from the platform, I've been using for a couple of years now—Kajabi.

In Kajabi, you only have Video, Audio, Quiz, and Text as options for new lessons.

And I've had students ask about more interactive lessons, but that's not possible. 

In LearnWorlds it definitely is, and the interactive learning activities such as Match & Ordering work great.

The architecture of a course is that you create a number of Sections — each with a number of Learning Activities.

Your student will then go through each step of a Section, before continuing to the next. 

This is what it looks like to you as an Admin.

As an online teacher, you also care about how the students experience your course materials.

So, how does this course overview look to a student, who has purchased the course?

The user interface for the student is clean, simple, and relatively modern.

It's easy to overview and navigate between the various learning activities.

And this is customizable — like everything else in LearnWorlds — so it's entirely up to you how you want the course player to look.

What I've shown above is the "skin" called Minimal. I like a simple look that doesn't distract the student from the main learning activities.

But if you prefer a bit more color or different looks for different courses, it's easy to change to another style of course player.

The feature richness shines through in every corner of LearnWorlds, and later in this review, I'll come back to why this isn't only a good thing.

For now, let's turn our attention to one of the most interesting and innovative features of LearnWorlds.

 

Impress with Interactive Video

The idea behind interactive video is that the student can click on buttons inside the video player itself. Instead of the traditional way of locating a button beside or beneath the video player.

I tested the feature.. and I think it's more of a cool idea than a valuable feature.

One thing I tested was embedding a quiz element inside my video.

This is a default Interaction element, where I can customize the text box and add 4 possible answers to my question.

You choose a specific timing of the element, and at that point, the video pauses, and an interactive element pops up for the student to click.

(I should not have placed this on top of my face, of course).

My doubts are about the actual value this feature adds to the learning experience.

Is it better to click on the video, instead of on a button beside it?

I might be wrong, but I believe this to be a fix to a non-existing problem.

(Students are used to finding buttons and answering questions outside the video player.)

My recommendation would be to create your videos in a dedicated video editing tool and then host those videos on LearnWorld.

But interactive video is not the only content creation feature LearnWorlds provides.

 

Create your own Ebooks

If you don't like to use Canva, Google Slides, or similar tools for creating an ebook, you can do it inside LearnWorlds. 

In a simple interface, you are able to piece together your pages, one by one.

It's a quite feature-rich ebook creator you can definitely use for building a strong piece of content.

I'm used to designing my assets outside the course platform, I use—but LearnWorlds ebook creator is a serious competitor to these tools.

You can add images, embed videos, insert tables, and create columns, headings, and links.

There are several examples of these creative features.

Turns out, LearnWorlds is not only a course platform. It's also a content creation tool.

Let's take a look at how LearnWorlds performs on mobile.

 

Get a Custom Mobile App

If you want a custom app, LearnWorlds' got you covered.

If you pay a monthly subscription, you can have your own app published on both iOS and Android.

Most other course platforms offer apps too, but not in your own name.

With Kajabi, for example, the app is called "Kajabi" in the AppStore. Your students download it and log in with the same credentials, they use on my website.

This gives them access to a mobile version of my courses. 

But not in my own app.

The price for using LearnWorlds to publish your very own app on both platforms is $169/month.

So you need a good use case for an app before it's worth the investment.

They've incorporated an impressive number of features into the app, so it may be worth it.

My personal preference revolves around simplicity, because I know many students aren't very tech-savvy.

But impressive indeed, and a unique feature of LearnWorlds.

 

What's inside the Admin?

The Admin module is where you spent most of your time.

When you create courses, design webpages, manage students, and analyze your analytics.

So, it's important that the Admin is a place, you like to be. A pleasant user experience, as we call it.

At first glance, it looks a little 00's to me, but once you get the hang of it, it's quite intuitive.

You've got all your core features on the left, submenus up top, and everything unfolds onto the big right side of the screen.

Nothing revolutionary, it just works.

One thing I find extremely delightful about the LearnWorlds admin is the speed.

You want everything to load fast, and it certainly does.

When we spend so much time here, we want everything to work swiftly.

This means a lot to the general feel of the platform.

On the left side, you find all your menu items:

  • Dashboard
  • Courses
  • Site Builder
  • Users
  • Marketing
  • Mobile App
  • Report Center
  • Settings

All of these open up additional sub-menus that you'll either find overlapping with your primary menu. Or, open up as a top menu bar, as with the Course Creator.

Confusing at first, but as with all software, it takes a bit of getting used to.

And once you've spent 1-2 hours inside the Admin, it's a pleasant interface to work with.

But LearnWorlds doesn't have it all. Email management is missing, for example.

So, we need Integrations.

 


🧩 Integrations

LearnWorlds integrates with a number of other software. From affiliate programs to email providers, analytics tools, and video solutions.

All these integrations make it possible for LearnWorlds to exchange information with tools you already use.

Integrations are part of many course platforms, and they are necessary if the course platform doesn't provide e.g. email management themselves.

I use Kajabi, which has it all built-in. But most other platforms are not "all-in-one".

Then, they need integrations, so let's dive into them!

 

Manage your Affiliates

If you want to incentivize your students or people from your network to promote your course, an affiliate program is great.

It makes you able to create custom tracking links that trace course sales back to the person who shared the link.

LearnWorlds doesn't have an inbuilt solution, so they integrate with two players: Referral Candy and Refersion.

When you click 'Activate' you can insert "keys" that you get from within those two affiliate platforms.

I think they could integrate with larger players, like PartnerStack, Affiliately, and Rewardful. 

Now, you have to sign up and pay for one of only two options.

But each of these affiliate tools work well, they're powerful and easy to set up.

Let's see how LearnWorlds integrates with Analytics tools.

 

Get Nerdy with Advanced Analytics

LearnWorlds integrates with the largest Analytics platforms on the market—great!

You probably already know and use these, if you have a blog, a website, or have worked in marketing.

Google Analytics, Mixpanel, and Facebook are the tools you can integrate with.

Google Analytics and Mixpanel are dedicated analytics tools, and Facebook is a way to embed a Tracking Pixel on your LearnWorlds site.

This allows Facebook to track visitors to your site, so you can retarget them with ads on Facebook.

LearnWorlds already has a simple "analytics" Dashboard inbuilt, but if you need more detailed statistics on where your traffic comes from, and what pages are most visited, these Analytics integrations are necessary.

Let's take a look at the Customer Service integrations, LearnWorlds allow for.

 

Level-up on Customer Service

I know many Kajabi users request "live chat".

This is a feature, where a small chat box appears on the visitors' screen—usually bottom right.

LearnWorlds integrates with a number of tools that make you able to install this on your course site.

Well done, LearnWorlds—these are some of the most popular "customer relationship management" tools on the market.

They differ in complexity and size. 

Mixpanel is a HUGE tool you can use as a big corporation. 

Tawk to is a smaller chat widget.

So, no matter if you're big or small, you will find a customer service integration that fits your needs.

On to the next one, Email providers!

 

Connect your Email Provider

LearnWorlds doesn't provide an inbuilt email tool.

(To my surprise.)

Instead, they integrated with some of the largest platforms out there.

MailChimp. ActiveCampaign, AWeber, and ConvertKit.

As you can see, the Admin looks a bit different now, as it's more complicated to integrate correctly with email providers.

LearnWorlds provides guides to a correct integration between your email tool and your courses.

Although, I dread these integrations because I've experienced first-hand how this can go wrong.

(Emails don't send. Students don't get login details. Data doesn't flow back into the course platform.)

As you know by now, I'm a Kajabi user for the simple reason that it's an "all-in-one" tool. 

I want as little setup as possible, with close to 0% chance of anything breaking.

LearnWorlds helps you set up your email tools, but make sure you double-check all functionality yourself.

Emails are vital to running an online business, so this can't go wrong.

With that out of the way, let's look at Growth tools!

 

Growth Tools to Help you Scale

This section contains tools that didn't fit anywhere else, I guess.

It's a mixed bag of Google Console, Intercom, Sumo, and Hubspot.

Google Console helps you understand what works in terms of search traffic.

Intercom is a chat widget as well as a tool for onboarding new students.

Sumo lets you embed popups and collect emails.

And HubSpot is an advanced CRM and marketing platform.

As with most other integrations, these come with detailed step-by-step guides on how to set them up correctly.

(We don't want anything to break, right?)

Now, let's look at how we can teach our students on air—with Live Session integrations.

 

Host Live Sessions for Students

These Live Session integrations look similar to the Email providers in terms of layout.

A number of tools with check boxes that unfold to let you connect your accounts.

Solutions around live sessions are not a common inbuilt feature in course platforms.

So LearnWorlds acts like many others when opening up for integrations instead.

Zoom and Webex are made for 1:1 sessions, group calls, and online conferencing.

And Calendly is made specifically for booking and scheduling these sessions.

I use Zoom and Calendly today, but they are not integrated with my course platform, Kajabi.

What the benefit of this is.. is unclear to me. 

But the option is there.

Let's dive into a devisive category of integrations—Social Proof.

 

Use Social Proof to Convert Visitors

There's only one integration in this category, and I think it's quite interesting to support this.

The tool is called Fomo, and it's a widget that shows up as a small text box at the periphery of your browser window.

You probably know these; "Bob from Chicago just sign up" or "David from Cleveland purchased product X".

They are there to show that real people buy, and now you should too.

Personally, I'm not a fan of the whole idea. 

(Fomo stands for Fear Of Missing Out).

Using fear and pushing people to buy because others did is not my style.

But if you want to experiment with social proof for your courses, the integration with LearnWorlds is there.

Moving on to Zaps!

 

Make "zaps" with Zapier

Zapier is a platform that connects other platforms—simply put.

You create so-called "zaps" which are links between otherwise disconnected tools. 

Here are a few examples of how you can connect LearnWorlds.

Although, in LearnWorlds you need a higher plan to use Zapier integrations.

Zapier gives you 5 "zaps" for free, but they aren't worth much if your LearnWorlds plan doesn't support Zapier.

So:

Zapier is a good fallback if you use systems that I haven't mentioned in the above Integration walkthrough.

And their Zap library is HUGE. So you'll be quite sure to find your exact tool. 

(As long as it's a popular one.)

But wait!

There is another "hidden" integration: Video Players.

What's that about?

 

Integrate with High-End Video Players

LearnWorlds provides you with a great inbuilt video player.

You upload your .mp4 file to a course lesson, and LearnWorlds wraps it in a custom player.

But:

If you already subscribe to Vimeo or Wistia, you might want to integrate and use their features instead.

Your reasons for doing this might be that you already host a lot of material on those services.

That you love the advanced analytics you get from your viewership. 

Or, that you use custom colors and player settings that you want to keep on LearnWorlds.

I host my courses on Kajabi and use the inbuilt player.

The reason is that I prefer as few integrations as possible, and I trust what they've built for their own platform more than any integration.

So:

You have the option to integrate with a wide range of tools, platforms, and systems.

If and how is up to you.

Should you run into any problems, you need a direct line to Support, right?

Let's take a look at how LearnWorlds handles that!

 

☎️ Support

If something goes wrong, it's vital to get help quickly and easily.

Most course platforms offer live chat, a resource library, and live webinars as means of support.

LearnWorlds matches that and ups it to another level.

It's clear to see, from the reviews of LearnWorld on G2 and ProductHunt, that users are raving about LearnWorlds amazing support.

On G2, many of the individual reviews mention the amazing customer support in their review titles.

And on ProductHunt, LearnWorlds gets 59 x 5-star reviews with multiple mentions of "the awesome team".

It's clear to see that LearnWorlds prioritizes support—both customer support and technical support. 

Let's dive a little deeper into each one.

 

Responsive and Helpful Customer Support

If you ever have trouble finding a specific feature, a student has disappeared, or you're curious to learn more about say Integrations, Customer support is who you reach out to.

I tried to write them an email myself, and I got a swift reply within a couple of hours.

They reply quickly, write well, and they're easy to reach from anywhere within the Admin.

Just click the widget in the lower right corner, choose Contact Us, and fill out the form.

This sends an email to their support team, and they replied to me within 4 hours.

Pretty sweet and simple.

But:

If you need more advanced help, because something is broken on your website, or you can't get an integration to work properly, you get ahold of Technical Support.

 

Awesome Technical Support

These folks are nerdier and deeper into the weeds of how every functionality works.

I like how they've divided this.

Nothing worse than spending hours explaining a complex issue to someone who can't help you in the end.

So:

Technical support will take a deep, long look at what you're trying to do and find a solution—one way or another.

(As far as I can understand from their superfans.)

Yes, this person loves the Technical support—but is not the biggest fan of LearnWorlds pricing.

What's that about?

Let's see how much they want from us!

 


💰 Pricing

"How much does it cost?"

One of the first things, we check when researching a new tool.

Why?

Because if the tool is completely out of budget, there's no reason to continue the research.

That's not the case with LearnWorlds.

Here, you get 4 different plans that fit the stage you're at.

I'd choose the Pro Trainer plan at $79/month with its 0% transaction fee and unlimited courses.

But, let's explore each one in detail.

 

Begin with the Starter Plan

The smallest and cheapest option LearnWorlds has to offer.

You pay $24/month or $29/month depending on monthly or yearly payments.

The features you get are enough to get you off to a good start—test things out.

But you will most likely run into problems with the limitation on the number of pages (3).

You get a Home page, Course Catalogue, and an After Login page for your students.

This is not enough.

You need a 404 page, an About section, landing pages for marketing, and a blog.

(Among other things.)

So, if you're serious about building a nice online home and business, you probably want to turn your back on the Starter plan pretty quickly.

And level up to Pro Trainer.

 

Get Serious as a Pro Trainer

The first serious plan on LearnWorlds is the Pro Trainer which unlocks a bunch of useful features and limits.

You pay $79/month (yearly) or $99/month (monthly).

This is a fair price for a complete course platform in my opinion.

(It's half of what I pay for Kajabi now.)

The most important "unlocks" with the Pro Trainer plan are the unlimited number of pages and courses (paid and free), you can create.

When you start to sell, it's also good to keep all the money yourself.

(The Starter plan takes a 5% transaction fee on all purchases.)

To me, this plan is the first "real" plan that unlocks everything you need to build an online course business.

The next level is called Learning Center and is for the organizations that use LearnWorlds as an LMS.

Let's explore that further!

 

Create an "LMS-like" Learning Center

Some customers use LearnWorlds to support an entire corporate learning platform.

Think of a small-medium-sized company that onboards and upskills employees through courses.

(Hosted on LearnWorlds.)

To achieve this, you need a bit of extra room for more Admins, better Integrations, and Premium Support.

Yes, a bit extra of everything, really.

You pay $249 or $299 per month, depending on your payment intervals—monthly or yearly.

Then, you get a platform that competes with more corporate LMS systems.

LMS stands for Learning Management System and is what many companies use to host their internal training resources.

LearnWorlds states that this Learning Center plan is their "most popular", so maybe their focus is on the enterprise segment.

(More than solopreneurs, like me.)

My immediate recommendation would be to opt for more dedicated corporate LMSs like iSpring or HubSpot.

But LearnWorlds seems to be able to do a pretty decent job at all the "corporate" features: SCORMs, APIs, SSO, and White Label options.

And if that's not enough for you, there's an even bigger plan.

Let's give it a closer look!

 

Go all-in on High Volume & Corporate

Most software-as-a-service pricing tables have an option without a price.

Why?

It allows for upwards escalation.

There's no limit to how expensive this plan can get because it gets tailored to the needs of the customer.

(When the customer is big enough.)

I guess this plan started with a huge client asking for a long list of features.

And over time, more and more corporates joined with individual needs.

So, they made a plan, where you can get a lot tailored to what you need LearnWorlds to do for you.

In the list of extra features, words like "premium", "tailored", "custom", and "flexible" dominate.

Think of this plan as less of a plan, and more of a collaboration between your company and LearnWorlds.

If you've got the budget, they've got the developers to make your LMS dreams come true.

 

Additional Cool Add-Ons

No matter which plan you choose, LearnWorlds prides themselves of including a lot of awesome features in all their plans—from Starter to Corporate.

But there is one thing, you don't get with any of the plans.

A custom mobile app.

I think this is one of the coolest aspects of LearnWorlds, however, I would never pay the price for getting one myself.

The cost of a custom mobile app published for iOS and Android is $169/month.

I also noticed that it takes a lot of setting up and work before you have a live app in your pocket.

For some larger customers, it might make sense.

I'm fine with my generic "Kajabi" app, where my students can watch my courses.

No need for the app to be named RuedRiis.

 

Pricing Compared to Other Course Platforms

Some reviews say LearnWorlds is pricey.

I actually don't think so.

When I look at Teachable, for example, a comparable plan with similar features as LearnWorlds Pro Trainer is simply called "Pro".

Teachable charges $99/119 per month for this one.

Another competitor is Thinkific with their "Start" plan that holds many of the same features as the LearnWorlds Pro Trainer plan.

Thinkfic charges $74/99 per month for this plan.

And lastly, my choice of course platform, Kajabi, is the most expensive out there.

Kajabi's "Growth" plan is $159/199 per month.

So:

LearnWorlds can definitely compete on price if you compare it to some of the heavyweights on the market.

  


🤷 Pros and Cons

Every platform has good sides and bad sides.

Below is my personal and professional opinion, so feel free to disagree.

Let's begin with the good things.

 

Love the Feature Richness

It's amazing to see a course platform that focuses on variety for the student.

How cool is it that you can create interactive lessons, interactive video, and create content inside the course tool?

Of course, you could say that this is a weird and confused focus, but it's great for teachers who aren't familiar with content creation tools like Canva or use Google Slides to create ebooks.

If you have the time, LearnWorlds has the features for you to use.

 

Most Important Integrations

Of course, they aren't all there. But the main tools are!

If you already use an email provider, you like. Or you have all your videos hosted on Wistia already, you can keep doing that.

Just integrate with LearnWorlds.

I like the openness towards other tools. 

(Now that they don't have inbuilt options for everything.)

And it seems like their step-by-guides and awesome support makes it easy to get moving.

 

Scales with You

Course platforms need to scale with the needs of their customers.

I might have a few courses and students today, but in one year, that might have doubled or tripled.

In that case, I don't want to switch course platform.

If I had built my business on LearnWorlds, I am confident that it scales with any rate of growth.

Easy to upgrade to higher plans, stable piece of software, and features that support a huge business, like multiple Admins and lots of user roles.

Flexible, and scalable.

 

Teacher-Friendly Pricing Plans

When you're starting out, you don't have much to spend on software.

It's great that you can get started for free or cheap, with the Starter plan.

And when you get some traction and start to invest more into your business, the Pro Trainer plan is perfect for a long time.

Compared to similar course platforms, like Thinkific, Teachable, and Kajabi, LearnWorlds can definitely compete.

 

Okay, those were the amazing Pros of LearnWorlds.

But what about the things I don't like that much?

Let's take a look at some Cons.

 

Bloated Admin Interface

Maybe I'm a "user interface snob" that have gotten used to the amazingly simple interface within Kajabi.

But there's just something about LearnWorlds' Admin I don't find inspiring to work within.

(Or look at.)

And you are going to spend hours upon hours in here.

So I'm willing to pay the extra price and get something elegant and simple.

LearnWorlds; hire more designers, and fewer developers in the next 6 months.

 

Almost TOO Much Customization

As an online teacher, you're more interested in teaching—and getting your students results.

You are not super interested in technicalities around your website, your Automations, or how stuff works under the hood.

I think there's too much of that in LearnWorlds.

Too much to decide. Too much to change. And consequently—too much to screw up.

Think of an iPhone.

You cannot change that much. So everything looks beautiful.

Some competent designers decided for us. That's a good thing.

With LearnWorlds, you can customize the.. number of pixels of the icon beside the text on a button.

(Is that a necessary feature?)

Less is more, oftentimes. And I see a need for simplification of the LearnWorlds features.

 

Course platform or Content platform?

In my video review, I ask the overall question: 

"Is LearnWorlds diluting their focus—trying to be both a course hosting platform and a content creation platform?"

I conclude that they should focus on course hosting.

But later, I talked to a friend about it, and he advocates for building out platforms to contain more than their primary focus.

He might be right.

Maybe it's a good thing that LearnWorlds users don't have to go to Canva or Google Slides to create eBooks.

I know what I think.

 


🤔 Conclusion 

I prefer software with a clear focus. Software that's extraordinary at what they do.

LearnWorlds lacks a bit of that focus.

Sure, they are one of the most popular course hosting platforms on the market.

(Something has to be working for them.)

And I can clearly see that they do advanced stuff that no one else does.

So many learning activities. And a custom mobile app.

In conclusion. LearnWorlds is a powerhouse of a course platform that needs you to hold on tight to the steering wheel in order to arrive safely.

If you have that clear vision for your landing pages, that strict focus in your courses, and the ability to see through the noise, then LearnWorlds provides you with everything you need to build a rock-solid course business.

 

Now It's Your Turn

So that's what I think about LearnWorlds (here's a free trial, by the way).

Now I want to turn it over to you: What do you think is the most important part of a course platform?

Do you already have a course business running? Or are you still researching the best solution?

Send me an email or reach out on socials.

Would love to hear your thoughts!

See you again next week.

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