How Much Does It Cost To Build A WordPress LMS?

How Much Does It Cost To Build A WordPress LMS?
Summary: Learning Management Systems (LMS) are vastly used by companies and organizations to increase the knowledge base and qualifications of employees. They are a profitable business model, allowing trainers to connect with learners, evaluate the needs for training, provide courses, and track learners’ progress. A smartly built LMS provides companies immense opportunities to increase their know-how, receive insights for improvements of their working force, and adjust the courses to receive the maximum benefit from eLearning. But what if you want to keep your spendings under control? 

WordPress LMS Building: How Much Does It Cost?

Building an LMS may result in a huge Return On Investment for you. To ensure profitability, you would want to keep your spendings under control. WordPress is one of the most popular web platforms, which can be easily customized to provide for any features you may need. The WordPress Core is regularly maintained and optimized by the WordPress Community.

We looked for credible industry studies to discover how much a website costs to estimate what budget you may need to build a WordPress-based LMS. The cost of building and maintaining a Learning Management System will vastly vary based on the functionalities you want to add and the hosting architecture you decide on.

Your Return On Investment will depend on those choices as well. The more you invest in the quality of your services and user experience, the higher your monthly subscription plans could be, provided that the trainers using the platform offer outstanding quality as well.

Here are a few key aspects of the process of building Learning Management Systems, and how much it will cost you to implement them using one of the most popular Content Management Systems, WordPress.

Make Your Educational LMS Desirable

There are a bunch of things people do not like in Learning Management Systems. Make sure you optimize those carefully:

  • Usability and User Experience
  • Page load time
  • Downtimes
  • Lack of users management
  • Bad localization
  • Poor content maintenance
  • Lack of advanced features

Your development agency can find it cost-effective to use ready plugins, such as LearnDash or LearnPress, integrated into the system, and focus on studying and optimizing your business processes, instead of building the core functionality from scratch. Some ready-made LMS plugins can be integrated with a ready CRM, mail senders, and numerous other tools, already built or used by your organization.

Following your business model, you can build a truly intuitive interface and add virtually any features on top of the WordPress platform. Do not limit your creation only to yourself. Most LMSs nowadays are built as SaaS (Software as a Service). Professional development agencies typically have the experience to provide insights for monetization.

How Can You Tackle Challenges As Your LMS Scales?

Building the right LMS solution can put you in the fast lane for success, where you will need to grow quickly and in a secure way. The WordPress platform allows for building stable and robust platforms that can scale because the technology is built and maintained by thousands of developers worldwide and is highly modular.

SaaS building developers, contributing to the WordPress core as well, list these as the most common challenges of scaling a successful SaaS business:

  • Large volumes of active users and data.
  • Numerous functionalities, connecting to 3rd-party services, complex modules, and custom-built plugins and extensions.
  • Concurring users and transactions per second.
  • Distributed infrastructure.
  • Streaming membership data across platforms.
  • Streaming live events to rapidly changing traffic of users.

In order to ensure scalability, make sure your SaaS solution can be easily integrated with all other popular systems that your target clients are using. Provide speed and stability at all times. Your WordPress agency can also find the right balance for database and hosting solutions. Your cost can be right for your current needs, but you could still scale, without having to migrate to another hosting solution later.

If you were using separate systems for a marketing courses LMS and a business courses LMS for example, one system may not know the user interests on the other.

A popular solution is to build a WordPress multisite. If your LMS is targeting different niches, you can have a separate website for each separate target market, but still manage all websites from one place. You can collect user insights from each vertical via machine learning or automation in order to provide exceptional customization. To manage that data cohesively, your multisite platform can cross-promote interrelated courses to learners on different sites.

How Does A WordPress Development Agency Calculate The LMS Building Costs?

If you are building a large and complex LMS, you should not build it at once—before testing the business model and features and make sure they are performing well. Building an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) would be the best choice, where you can adopt early users and add-on functionality in time. As the most agencies charge hourly, here is a breakdown of the hours it may take to build a “first-version” MVP of your LMS depending on how large, complex, and tailored it may be:

  • 40-100 hours for business analysis
  • 40-100 hours for platform architecture for larger projects
  • 50-80 hours for proposing 2-3 design options and revisions
  • 50-100 hours for building the frontend and backend functionalities
  • 40 hours for integrations
  • 20 hours for testing
  • Additional time for code reviews, project management, 3rd party tools installations, media or content creation, etc.

That will add up to 400 - 500 hours, or about 2-3 months, for building an initial MVP. Depending on your system, it may take twice less time or a few more iterations, before the final version is built.

Agencies may charge $80 to $300 per hour for the build, depending on the complexity of work. That will add up to anywhere between $30,000 to $120,000 for the first two months, server costs not included.

You will need ongoing maintenance that is between $50-$220 per hour after your system is fully built. Depending on your needs, user count and platform functionalities, if you need 15 monthly hours, that will be about $1,200 to $3,300 per month.

To Sum It Up

If you decide to build your own SaaS LMS, you can do that across several iterations with a WordPress development agency. You can use third-party plugins to ease the process if you need a proprietary solution.

Agencies provide stability and long-term collaboration, ensuring the stability and scalability of your platform. They employ senior developers and DevOps with diverse experience and make the best use of billable hours, coordinating complex and routine tasks, testing, security audits, maintenance, project management, reporting, and communication.

Professional agencies using WordPress collaborate with other contractors as well and choose from thousands of infrastructure options to ensure they build platforms that do not use excessive resources, but can easily be scaled.