Themeum Tutor LMS featured image

Tutor LMS

Summary:

There is a new online course builder for WordPress! It’s called Tutor LMS and I’m here to show you how close it compares to the big dogs like LearnDash or Lifter LMS.

Less than 6 months after its 1.0 release, Tutor LMS has an impressive number of features, including built-in course announcements and a student/instructor Q&A interface.

But does that mean it works flawlessly? Not quite. Check out this review & tutorial to see everything that Tutor LMS get right …and what it still needs to be polished a bit.

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A course creation tool that lets you sell courses, for life, anyone? There is a new learning management system on the block called Tutor LMS.

Tutor LMS makes it possible for you to create a course marketplace like EDX and Udemy, sell high-ticket courses, establish yourself as an authority in your niche, and more.

It currently includes a lifetime plan courtesy of Themeum, where you’ll get all future developments and features of Tutor’s annual products. This review lets you know if Tutor LMS is worth your time.

Tutor LMS lets you:

  • Build your own course marketplace. Onboard instructors to make their own courses inside your Tutor LMS platform. Some companies opt for this because it lets them earn, strengthen themselves in their niche, and more.
  • Sell courses and do related processes such as payments. To do this, you need to connect your e-commerce plugin with your actual course. This lets customers shop for your course and then access its content.
  • Create course content, where instructors can compose interactive lessons and quizzes.

I’ve spoken to Tutor LMS’ founder who was generous enough to let me test their Pro version. So let’s see how it works.

Tutor LMS Lifetime Plans by Themeum

Tutor LMS’ lifetime deal is from Themeum. Themeum is a company that makes several WordPress plugins and themes.

Themeum’s Current Offers for Tutor LMS

To mention a bit about Themeum’s goals, it is planning to publish its own LMS theme for WordPress. This theme is not available yet, but I’m predicting it will be able to style the elements inside of Tutor.

The company has another product that is available now, which is the Edumax theme. It lets you build an online course marketplace very similar to Udemy. Here, you can let instructors sign up, create their own courses and have commission-based earnings.

Themeum Edumax

The theme’s preview showcases a layout that resembles Udemy’s (e.g. the star ratings). You can also find attractive thumbnails for the courses which ups Edumax’s game.

Themeum Edumax course thumbnails

I’m not really a fan of themes when it comes to building my pages. (We like to style our pages with a page builder or Gutenberg blocks.) But do know that the Edumax Theme is one Tutor LMS option you can expect from Themeum.

Basic vs. Pro of Tutor LMS

In the sales page of Tutor LMS, you’ll see the comparison between the Basic and Pro packages. You’d observe that only a few features are missing in the Basic package when compared to the Pro one. Still, these might be features you really need.

You can always try the free version and get a feel of Tutor LMS if it’s right for your business, or if you want to upgrade to the Pro plan.

Tutor LMS Basic Pro

Some notable features you’ll get in both the free and paid versions are:

  • Tutor LMS’ course builder – access Tutor’s main tools and platforms to create courses successfully.
  • Unlimited number of courses – create more courses without limitations.
  • Unlimited course instructors – no limit when it comes to adding more instructors.
  • Quiz creation features – deploy student quizzes.
  • Course announcements – publish announcements to students when needed.
  • WooCommerce support – sell courses by using WooCommerce.

Features that are present in the Pro version, but are not in the Basic one:

  • Quiz creation options – access more options for question types (e.g. Image Matching, Ordering) to create quizzes.
  • Frontend Course Builder – an intuitive interface to create courses. This is the alternative option to WordPress’ backend editor, which you can also use.
  • Course prerequisites – block people from enrolling to other stages of a course until they meet requirements.
  • Course preview – allow people to view some parts of your course as part of its endorsement.
  • Paid Memberships Pro – integrate this plugin to enable membership sites.

Tutor’s Changelog Record – Predictive of the Quality?

One interesting move of Tutor LMS is its display of changelog on the sales page. Tutor LMS is quite a new product. As you’ll see in their changelog, their elf version was released in February 2019. The 1.0 version was out in March, and they’ve been iterating quickly from then on.

You can see more details by clicking the disclosure triangles of those updates. Good to know that the developers are active in working on the software, especially if you’re going to spend much on a lifetime deal.

Changelog

Tutor LMS Changelog alpha version

Pricing of Tutor LMS’ Lifetime Packages

Talking about competition, other companies like LifterLMS and LearnDash offer different options when it comes to pricing. LifterLMS has a flexible free version while LearnDash has annual subscriptions with reasonable pricing. We mention them because just like Tutor LMS, they let you run the online courses from a host that you control. I’ll state my position now – it is better to own your hosting than to lease on someone else’s when it comes to running courses. But that’s an entirely different subject.

Annual Plan

Lifetime Plan

TutorLMS’ lifetime deal is not really AppSumo-style pricing as you’d observe by now. From the sales page, there are yearly based prices which range from about $150 to $300.

Then there are the lifetime offers, which include the:

  • $399 single license – includes 1 domain license, which means you can use Tutor LMS for one website.
  • $599 5 license pack – allows 5 domain licenses for your five websites.
  • $999 unlimited licenses – no limit on the number of websites you can connect with your Tutor LMS tool.

All of the lifetime packages include: a lifetime plugin update, lifetime priority support, and all future extensions.

Meanwhile, all products have a risk-free guarantee, which is the 30-day money refund processed within 24 hours of request.

The WordPress Backend to Manage Tutor LMS

To run Tutor LMS, you need to install its plugin first on your WordPress site.

Tutor LMS’ backend, which refers to the WordPress platform, can let you organize the courses. This is the editor you can use especially if you don’t have the frontend builder (that only comes with the Pro version).

Here, you can explore some elaborate settings of Tutor LMS. (Meanwhile, the frontend editor is meant to let you get a feel of the site instantly.)

Here is my WordPress backend, where I already activated my Tutor LMS plugin and where I’m running an Astra Theme.

plugins

Under the Plugins section, you can see my installed plugins. Of course, I have the basic Tutor LMS plugin and the Tutor LMS Pro plugin, which runs the Pro version.

I also have the WooCommerce plugin that enables course selling, as well as the WooCommerce Stripe Gateway that processes payments. These are some options you can use to work along with Tutor LMS if you want to sell your courses.

I’ve turned off my Breeze plugin to avoid any issues with caching during my demo.

Build Courses with Tutor LMS’ Frontend

Tutor LMS’ frontend builder makes building the website and the online courses much easier, in my opinion.

The frontend interface is intuitive – it lets you preview the site fast, at the same time do the editing. Also, by using it, your instructors don’t have to learn WordPress to be able to create courses.

The software I’ve been using for months now when it comes to course creation is LearnDash. Usually, to start creating a course there, I’d use the backend. I’d look for the Create a Course button, then find my list of courses. Then I’d press the “Add New” button to start building a course.

You can also do that with Tutor LMS, but as I said, the frontend builder is a great option to use.

To go to the frontend, if you’re currently in WordPress’ backend, click the Campus button located at the top left of the page. That will then take you to the frontend course builder.

View a User’s Dashboard

One of the frontend site’s main features is the dashboard page. It shows the user’s profile.

This is the layout that a user (trainer or student) will see for his or her own profile and is only a few clicks away when in the frontend. Other people will also be able to view users’ dashboards if you like and you’re running a marketplace like Udemy.

You just need to click the corresponding tab at the top menu to go to the dashboard.

The dashboard contains the summary of information related to a user’s account. It has one’s avatar and profile name. It also shows information about the courses you’re enrolled in, number of courses completed, the number of students you have, and your total earnings.

dashboard

Create a Course

Let’s discuss Tutor LMS’ core function, which is to create courses. The platform lets you build a course where you can organize your lessons and attach files.

Creating a course is only allowed to your assigned instructors.

Start by clicking the “Add a New Course” button at the top right of the dashboard.

The Course Info page then appears. This page lets an instructor put all the necessary content related to the course including:

  • details about the course overview,
  • the course builder where a user uploads the lessons, and
  • other details before the user publishes the course, whether for admin approval or not.

The Course Overview

Some details to enter are about the course’s general information. These will let your site visitors know what your course is all about. At this point, do some good copywriting to attract prospects in taking your course.

course info

These include the:

  • Course title – the course’s official title as it gets published.
  • Category – choose from the available course categories, as named by the admin. Categories are supposed to group the courses according to their fields or niches.

To add a new category, you will need to go to Tutor LMS’ backend. The idea behind this is for the admin to control the approval of course categories.

  • Course Description – a brief description of what the course is all about.
  • Course Price – indicate whether the course is free or paid. If it is paid, put the course’s price.
  • Difficulty level – choose one from the options Beginner, Intermediate, Expert, or All Levels.
  • Image – the featured image of the course. The proportion they recommend is 700 by 430 pixels.
  • Video – the sales video that represents a course and introduces it. Video sources that can run here include: HTML5 (mp4), external url, Youtube, and Vimeo. You can also use an embed code.

There are many video setups you can opt for. One option is Wistia, a go-to for maintaining private videos. Another is Youtube, where you can set it to unlisted for some privacy.

I would use an embed code from VooPlayer, the video service I currently use. One thing I like about it is that it has an HLS encryption. With that, people can download your video but only will be able to view a blank screen if they play it .

I tried to use an external url from my VooPlayer video, but it didn’t work, so I used the embed code. To embed, I chose the “Embedded” option from the dropdown menu. Then I pasted the embed code I copied from my VooPlayer video.

Introducing, the Course Builder

The same page has a dedicated section for the Course Builder itself. It is here where you can add your course’s content.

Whenever you’re using a course creation site, try to understand the hierarchy of their course builder.

In case of Tutor LMS, you can “Add New Topic”, then eitherAdd New Lesson” or “Add Topic Quiz” within that topic.

That means, here, you can add a number of lessons underneath a topic and insert a quiz when you find it necessary.

I would prefer to call topics as modules – I’m used to thinking of the main category as a module with several lessons inside it while taking online courses. I haven’t found a way to customize this here but I’m sure there’s a way to do that by tweaking the code. I do know that LearnDash has an even weirder nomenclature but it is very easy to change those.

Moving on, let’s try to add a topic and then a lesson.

Add a Topic

To start, hit the “Add New Topic” button. This then prompts you to add the Topic Name and the Topic Summary (where you can share what students can expect from the topic) as shown below.

course builder

After doing that, the section for the created topic will be visible. In that section, the buttons for you to add a new lesson or a quiz will be available.

add new lesson

Add a Lesson

If you click the “add new lesson” button, the pop up box for it will show.

add lesson

Here, the fields you can fill in about the lesson include the:

  • Title
  • Text – add the text for the lesson. Use it like a normal WordPress text editor, where you can add pictures and other media. You also have the option to use the newer Gutenberg style block builder.
  • Featured image – the image to display as your lesson’s thumbnail.
  • Video – add a video for the lesson if preferred. The options for the video sources are as usual.
  • Video run time – set how long the video should play.
  • Attachment – upload files here (e.g. pdf, image, etc.). It is possible to put more than one attachment. The “x” next to the file name lets you remove the file.

After including all the necessary details for a lesson, you can press the Update Lesson button.

Adding More Lessons and the Issue with Copying a Lesson

One weak point of Tutor LMS is that it lacks an obvious way to duplicate a lesson.

You can’t find an easy duplication button, at least from the frontend builder. That means you can’t reuse a lesson for a different course, unless you copy that lesson manually.

You can also try searching for a WordPress plugin that lets you copy a lesson. Still, this is one instance where another tool like LearnDash is better. If you’ve ever tried LearnDash, you know that it allows you to search and assemble your lessons upon building a course.

I don’t think most online courses will need to duplicate lessons and that can also depend on your nature of business. Still, this is something worth noting about Tutor LMS’ current platform.

Now to add more lessons, all you need to do is press the Add New Lesson button and continue building it.

add more lessons

Publish the Course

After completing the construction of the lessons, you can scroll further down the page to set the necessary details.

Remember that these also serve as pointers that students will consider as you sell the course.

These are the:

  • Instructor – the instructor or group of instructors for that course.

instructors

  • Total Course Duration – let the audience know the overall time of the course.
  • Benefits of the Course – impart what people can possibly accomplish by the end of the course.
  • Requirements/Instructions – note if there are requirements (e.g. regarding internet connection, textbooks) that a student needs to satisfy before taking the course.

additional data

  • Target Audience – specify the types of audience who will benefit most from the course.
  • Material – list the assets provided in the course.

Audience Material

  • Announcements – broadcast announcements regarding the course.

The Announcement function is actually a plus for Tutor LMS. It lets you update students about the course whenever needed. Another popular lifetime deal with a similar notification feature is Beamer. LearnDash doesn’t have this without needing to install another feature.

Announcements

Now when everything is set, you can go ahead and click the Publish Course button – choose from either the one at the top right of the page or at the bottom of the course builder.

Note that there is also an option for you to press Save Course as Draft while building a course.

Previewing the Course

As you create a course, you’d probably want to know what it looks like from the users’ view.

Here are some ways to preview your course:

While in the process of editing your course, you can look for the button as shown below to get a preview.course preview button

After finally publishing a course, including getting admin approval, you might look for your created course at the frontend builder.

(For one, don’t click the course as listed on the dashboard’s front because you won’t preview it there.)

no preview in dashboard

What you can do is go to My Courses, click the Pencil icon to edit the course, then, look again for the Preview button. It takes a few seconds before the course and its contents load up in My Courses. That is why I was not able to find the course there while making the video.

my courses

Another way to preview your own published courses is to return to the WordPress backend.

Note that both the admins and instructors have the frontend and backend versions of a Tutor LMS site.

To preview a course, you just need to look for the particular course under the Courses section. Then you can click on “Preview”.

preview course backend

Finally, note that once you promote or sell a course, you’d probably create a link for this, which you will constantly use to preview. You can also include that link on your email or sales page.

The Course’s Preview so Far

You can see that we didn’t install any styling as of this point. It doesn’t look beautiful, but for me, it doesn’t look bad either.

preview course

You might observe the interface’s similarity with Udemy. You’ll find the average star rating, aside from the overview details we’ve entered upon building the course.

The featured video retains its player’s styling. In this case, it is VooPlayer, with a big blue button at the front.

You can also find the Enroll Now button. So this means the page shows the course preview as viewed by a student.

Start the Course – Checking Out the Course’s Content

Let’s say you’ve successfully enrolled in a course. (To do that, choose your course, then click the enroll button.) Now, you can consume the content for that course – the start of a learning experience.

Find the button “Start Course” in the page. This will take you to the course user interface.

The Course Interface

preview lesson

Tutor LMS mark off a lesson

The outline of the course content is at the left part of the page. This comprises the main topics/modules, along with the sub-lessons underneath them. You can mark a lesson off to indicate you’re done with it.

This is also where you can go through the lessons of your courses. Lessons can have text, images, and videos, depending on what you put.

text lesson

As for styling, you have two general options to change the course’s look as you like. One is using custom CSS. If you really want a custom look, then you can hire an expert to write a clean CSS for you. Another option is to install a theme applicable to Tutor LMS. Currently, it’s using Tutor LMS as CSS but you can turn that off and then customize the site using your theme’s built-in customizer.

The Course Contents

Here are some takeaways when it comes to setting up the course contents.

Video

You might prefer to pay for a video player that has more special features. On the other hand, if you’ll use Youtube, know that the Youtube video can play without its typical player here.

youtube video

Tutor’s player has a simpler interface with fewer video playing buttons. At the top, it still links to Youtube itself (i.e., at the title), while as you pause it, shows other videos as uploaded from the Youtube channel. However, unlike Youtube, it’s not going to display your competitor’s videos, which can be a concern with other built-in Youtube embeddable players.

Attachments

You can also check if there are any attached files in a lesson by scrolling down the page.

file attachments

Full Screen View

If you want to view the lesson’s content full screen, you can minimize the course outline at the side by clicking the hamburger menu as shown below.

full screen

Mobile View of the Course

Tutor LMS gives you the option to make the courses appear well in devices.

To see the mobile preview of the course, I did the typical method of right-clicking the page, selecting “Inspect” and finding the mobile icon (Toggle Device Toolbar) at the appearing sidebar.

mobile view

From here I can see the mobile preview, which looks like the one below.

hamburger menu

You can switch the screen on either the menu view or the lesson content’s view by pressing their corresponding hamburger menu button.

I like the two hamburger menus here, where one is for navigating the course and the other is for fetching the website’s controls.

You can see the lessons’ contents as usual, such as finding attached files at the bottom.

To avoid distractions, there is also an option in the settings where you can turn off the header and the footer.

Enable “Approval” before it Goes Live

Tutor LMS’ default setting when it comes to publishing courses is to require admin approval. This is supposed to help the course site owner facilitate quality control.

To approve a course, the admin needs to go to the backend site. As seen from below, the course is marked as “pending”. This means that before a course actually goes live, it requires the admin to publish it.

admin pending

Meanwhile, from an instructor’s platform, the Publish button won’t appear and will be replaced with the Submit for Approval button.

submit for review

If it’s okay for you to turn off the admin approval setting (although I don’t recommend it), you can change that in Tutor LMS’ settings page. (Refer to “Configuring Guest Purchase and Other Tutor LMS Guides” section of this article for more details.) This is when the admin trusts all instructors to publish only appropriate materials.

Add a Quiz

Quizzes test a student’s ability and make a course interactive.

You can add a quiz from either the frontend or backend site. At the frontend, just find the button underneath a course’s topic (or module) that says “Add Topic Quiz”

If you use the backend route, go to Tutor LMS’ Courses section and select a certain course. Upon entering a chosen course’s editor, scroll down to find the Course Builder section. Then find the quiz button as shown below.

add quiz

After pressing that button, a pop up box will display. First, you will need to enter your Quiz title and description.

quiz info

Then, you can add questions by clicking the button for it.

quiz

This will take you to the part where you can customize a question.

Customize Each Question

You can further tweak a given question’s settings.

The settings here are related to the question’s type and mechanics.

Select the Question Type

question types

There are different question types you can choose from, including:

  • True/False
  • Single Choice
  • Multiple Choice
  • Open Ended/Essay
  • Fill In The Blank
  • Short Answer
  • Matching
  • Image Matching
  • Image Answering
  • Ordering

Remember that the Short Answer, Matching, Image Matching, Image Answering, and Ordering options are only available for Tutor LMS Pro users.

Other Settings for A Question

There are more fields you can decide on as you customize one question. These include:

  • Answer Required – choose whether to require an answer or not.
  • Randomize – decide whether to randomize the choices for a question or not.
  • Mark for this Question – assign how many points a question is worth. (“Mark for this question” seems confusing in terms of American English and perhaps a little information icon next to it can clear things up.)
  • Show Marks – also a bit confusing for a name. This notifies the person how many points a question is worth.
  • Description – describe what the question is all about.
  • Answer options & mark correct – add the items to choose from for a certain question (for question types like multiple choice). You can also choose to display the answer as text only, image only, or image and text.

add a question

After customizing the settings for a question, you can then hit the Save & Continue button.

I noticed a small bug at this point. The button somehow means that I can move on to the next questions when I click it. However, it just made me stay on the box.

So that led me to just find the Back button at the top to exit the current box and return to the one where I can add more questions.

add more questions

Choose the Settings for an Entire Quiz

quiz settings

The settings here include general functions that apply to a given quiz. These are the:

  • Time Limit – duration allowed to answer the entire quiz.
  • Hide quiz time – choose to either show or hide the timer for taking the quiz.
  • Attempts Allowed – limit the number of attempts that one is allowed to take a quiz.
  • Passing Grade – impose the passing grade in a percentage form.
  • Max questions allowed to answer – set the maximum number of questions that are available for a student to answer. The questions will automatically come in random order.

A student would have completed the quiz if he or she reaches answering the maximum number of questions allowed.

If the indicated amount is higher than a quiz’ actual number of questions, then all those questions will be available to answer.

One reason to use this could be to discourage cheating, where you mix questions up so that not every student gets the same set of questions.

Try the Advanced Options for a Quiz

More options are available for a particular quiz. You can do away with them if you like, especially if you don’t have reasons in mind to use them.

The section includes the following:

  • Quiz Auto Start – the quiz automatically starts once the quiz page appears. (I’d like to turn this off. Instead, I want to retain the button that a user can press to start a quiz.)
  • Question layout – choose from these options to set how questions will appear: Single Question per page, Question Pagination, or Question below each other.

quiz advanced options - question layout

  • Hide Question Number – won’t display the question number during the quiz attempt.
  • Short answer characters limit – applicable to the “Short Answer” question type, it limits the number of characters allowed for a given answer.

quiz advanced options

Previewing the Quiz

You can preview a quiz to check its final flow and appearance.

To start, preview a specific course as usual. Then, look for your quiz in your lessons’ outline.

course permalink

I clicked my quiz (the LTD Pop Quiz section) and it shows this screen:

course quiz

Here, you can see the important details that the student needs to know before taking the quiz. These are the time limit of the quiz, number of attempts allowed, number of attempts remaining, and the passing grade.

Some Bugs in the Quiz Section (Uh-oh!)

Uh-oh, bug alert! Yep, I’ve encountered a few mishaps in the quiz section. I don’t think they’re deal breakers, but they can be turn offs. Check out what I saw.

“You need to have three questions or more”

After I clicked the Start Quiz button, it didn’t take me to the questions I was supposed to answer. Instead, it took me to the page with a Finish button.

Tutor LMS quiz finish

And when I clicked the Finish button, it showed a blank page with a “0” character in it.

quiz error

As seen on my review video, I attempted to put two, then three questions to the quiz before it finally worked.

The bug could be related to the fact that I had fewer than three questions before it was fixed. So make sure to keep that in mind if you run into this problem.

“The true or false conundrum” 

Another thing to make sure is that you indicate answers for question types that require them. This includes the true/false question type, where you need to answer whether it is True or False.

So what happened was after creating my quiz, I ran into another problem. The True/False question I entered before didn’t show any selection.

true or false error

What I did upon creating the quiz was leave the setting for it untouched. It would be nice if a reminder popped up alerting me that I was supposed to provide an answer.

true or false add an option

I went back to the quiz settings page, indicated the answer, and saved it.

save answer

Meanwhile, I explored if the words “true” and “false” were editable. For example, I can put something like “yep” or “nope”. They weren’t, so I guess playing with words here is not optional.

After setting the answer for the True/False question, I successfully published the question.

“Quiz attempt not showing at the WordPress backend” 

After dealing with those halts, at last, I was able to create a quiz. Then I took it like a student. I clicked the Submit Quiz button to finish it.

submit quiz

However, when I checked my quiz attempt at the backend site, it wasn’t recorded. (I went to Quiz Attempts under the Tutor LMS Pro section.) So this is another bug I need to point out.

quiz attempts

quiz attempts error

What’s odd is that the quiz attempts showed at the frontend builder, but not in the backend.

“Essay question bug”

Under the list of attempts at the frontend builder, another faulty part I noticed was regarding the recording of the essay answer.

essay question bug

It is likely for an essay to be graded by the teacher, so that means it isn’t supposed to have an automatic grade from the system. In the screenshot above, I got 2 out of 3 answers correct and I know the one answer regarded as wrong was the essay answer. That got me a grade of 67%, which meant I failed, because I set the passing grade to 100%.

What’s further wrong about this is that you can’t see the questions being referred to. That means instructors or students won’t notice these errors on the quiz grading.

In the frontend, such details are not included as shown in the screenshot. In the backend, you won’t see them either, as the quiz attempts data are absent in the first place.

So far, I do like the course building applications for Tutor LMS, but there’s definitely something screwy going on with the quiz builder. Hopefully they can get that sorted out quickly.

Sell Your Courses

Tutor LMS happens to be geared for selling courses. So if you intend to monetize from courses, it is possible here.

First of all, change your course’s Course Type to “paid”. To do that, go to the backend site, open the course you want to edit, and scroll down to the part as shown on the screenshot below:

paid free
Also, be reminded to install the WooCommerce plugin.

woocommerce

Add a Product

Then we need to add a product in your site’s system that will represent your course. The product application enables purchasing procedures such as payment processing.

Go to the WooCommerce section and click Products underneath that.Then you can hit the “Add New” button.

woocommerce add new product

It will take you to the created product’s editor.

add new product

Here, you could put information like the product name, product description, and others.

However, these details don’t have to be fully fleshed out. We already have a dedicated course page that shows those details. It is also optional for you to build a full sales page.

(If I were selling online courses, I’d use something like CartFlows for course selling, Elementor for web design and WP Fusion for course membership settings. Tutor LMS can restrict access to the materials inside of a course. Still, if there are course materials that I want some people to access, as well as have my email service provider integrated, I would use WP Fusion for that. Also, a good thing about CartFlows is that it is fully compatible with Tutor LMS and WP Fusion. Let me know if you want me to demonstrate this setup. If there are enough requests, I can make a dedicated video for it. These products are not lifetime deals, but they do pair with Tutor LMS.)

I went on to put more details, which are the price (my examples in the video are $497 for the regular price and $297 for the sale price) and the product image.

product data
Then I hit the Publish button.

Integrate the “Product” into the “Course”

The next step is to integrate the product functionality into the course. It takes a customer from the shopping process to the course content access.

To do the integration, go back to your course’s editor in the WordPress backend. (As usual, select your course in Tutor LMS’ Courses.)

Inside the editor, scroll down the page to look for the Select Product field.

edit a course

select product
Here, we’ll choose the product (the one we just created in WooCommerce’s Products editor) to integrate into the course.

After updating this, the course becomes available for sale, as backed by WooCommerce. When someone buys the course, one will then be automatically enrolled and get access to the content.

It’s a pretty smooth integration. I really like how they created an easy sales process here.

Previewing the Course with its Sales Features

I viewed the course page (as presented by Tutor LMS’ platform) from my browser’s incognito window. So if you don’t change any page styling, you’ll see something like this:

course preview with price
For me, if I was selling a high-ticket course, I would make a dedicated sales page and wouldn’t use this at all.

Still, the page here shows all the vital information about the course. These include details about the course’s content, sale price versus the original price, and the add to cart button.

If you click the add to cart button, a log in box will appear, if you’re not already within the site.

login

There is an option to check out as a Guest. You can check Tutor LMS’ guides for that (Refer to the “Configuring Guest Purchase and Other Tutor LMS Guides” section of this article on how to do that). I suggest that you turn this feature on and I’ll tell you why in the next section.

Register as a New Customer

If a visitor is in the purchasing process and is not registered yet within your platform, the prompt for account registration appears.

student registration

As mentioned, I recommend that you enable the settings for checking out as a guest. It’s because the account registration prompt usually takes the person out of the sales process.

As seen below, it will ask you to enter your account details. After that, it will kick you into the user’s dashboard. So if the person wants to continue purchasing, he or she will have to find that course again in the history tab or whatnot.

This is another bug that the developers should fix.

user dashboard
Product Checkout

If a user successfully adds the product to cart, it will look like this:

add to cart

It’s also clunky at this point, as once I add the product to cart, a notification at the top appears with the button “view cart”, instead of simply taking me to the next page.

This will then take me to the page below:

checkout

So I don’t recommend doing this process. Again, I’d use something like CartFlows to go with my WooCommerce plugin to make these steps much smoother.

Put Add-Ons to Extend Tutor’s Functionalities

Tutor LMS Pro comes with default add-ons that you might like to use depending on your goals. This is aside from the fact that you can search for more add-ons out there.

To view the add-ons, find the AddOns section in the backend site (look for Tutor LMS, then Addons).

addons

They include:

  • Paid Memberships Pro – an alternative to WooCommerce, sell membership access to your courses.
  • Tutor Assignments – add assignments for your students.
  • Tutor Certificate – have students acquire course certificates.
  • Tutor Course Attachments – attach an unlimited number of files to a course.
  • Tutor Course Preview – let guests preview some parts of the course.
  • Tutor E-Mail – email about different course events.
  • Tutor Multi Instructors – enable multiple instructors in a course.
  • Tutor Prerequisites – oblige the completion of prerequisite courses if there are any.
  • Tutor Report – present the performance of your course assets.
  • WooCommerce Subscriptions – handle recurring payments for subscription-based courses.

Check Tutor LMS Settings for More Tweaking

To control more of your site’s settings, you can explore the different tabs of the settings page.

General Settings

You can find here settings that apply to the overall system of Tutor LMS.

settings

  • Dashboard Page – change your dashboard by choosing among your site’s pages, if you don’t prefer the current one.
  • Public Profile – allow users’ profile to be publicly visible.
  • Load Tutor CSS – uncheck this if you’re using another theme’s styling.
  • Load Tutor JavaScript – uncheck this if you’re using another required script for your theme.
  • Course Visibility – require the students to log in to the platform to view the course, by checking the “logged in only” box. (A use case for this is when you’re selling a high ticket course where you don’t want this to have a Udemy-style of visibility.)
  • Erase Upon Installation – clear the data settings if you uninstall Tutor LMS.
  • Spotlight Mode – enable the full screen mode for the course’s interface.
  • Youtube Player – disable Tutor LMS’ default settings of the player and retain Youtube’s original interface.
  • Vimeo Player – disable Tutor LMS’ default settings of the player and retain Vimeo’s original interface.

Course Settings

Here are some settings that let you further sort your courses.

  • Gutenberg Editor – turn on the Gutenberg editor in your courses’ editing interface.
  • Display Instructor Info – display the tutor’s profile details in a course’s page (something you could select if you’re have a Udemy-style platform).
  • Question and Answer – adds a Q and A section in every course. (Of course, you can install plugins to enable discussions, but I think this one’s a great move. I don’t have this inside of LearnDash.)

It looks like the one below from the student’s view:

q & a

  • Archive Page settings – modify the settings for the archive page. The page lists all the published courses, including the number of columns per row and courses per page.

Lessons Settings

lesson settings
Here, you can find an option to change the permalink for your lessons. So if you don’t want to call it a “lesson” and want to call it something else, you can alter that.

Remember that in Tutor LMS, the default hierarchy is having a course, then topics, and lessons underneath them.

Still, there’s no option here to change the name “Topics”. As you might have heard in the video, I don’t like the name Topics one bit ;P – I hope the Tutor LMS developers let me name that Modules.

Quizzes Settings

While there are many settings you can customize for each quiz, there are also ones you can execute for all quizzes.

quiz settings
They are the following:

  • Time Limit – assign the default time limit for quizzes.
  • When Time Expires – set the automatic site response when time expires for the quiz taking.
  • Attempts Allowed – put the default number of attempts allowed.
  • Grading Method – set the basis for calculating a student’s grade when multiple quiz attempts are allowed.

Instructors Settings

This is the area that lets you change relevant settings on the instructors allowed in your site. So take note of it.

 Tutor LMS instructors settings

  • Course Marketplace – activate the course marketplace where you can let people sign up and create their own courses. In turn, you can have a monetizing system.

People can go to the instructor registration page, which looks like below:

instructor registration

  • Can Publish Course – remember when we tried to publish a course as an instructor and its status became “pending” for admin approval? This is the setting to change that. It lets instructors’ courses become live automatically without needing approval. Still, this might not be the ideal setting for quality control.
  • Become Instructor Button – add an option on students’ dashboard that allows them to become an instructor. The student will see a promotional line regarding it.

Students Settings

Here, you can change the general settings related to student accounts.

students settings
Some options here include:

  • Student Registration Page – change the student registration page by picking among your site’s pages, if you don’t prefer the current one.
  • Show Reviews on Profile – display the reviews written by students on their own profile.
  • Show Completed Courses – display the students’ completed courses on their own profile.

Earnings Settings

This is another important page to remember when you’re selling courses. Here, you’ll assign the earnings and commissions.

earnings settings

  • Earning – disable this to allow the admin to receive 100% of the earnings.
  • Admin Commission Percentage – the default percentage of earning the admin will receive after a course is purchased. This is after computing the deducting fees.
  • Instructor Commission Percentage – on the other hand, the default percentage of earning an instructor will receive.
  • Fee Deduction – set the default setting for the deduction fee. You can choose to either have a percentage of one’s salary or a fixed amount. This is supposed to cover payment transfers.
  • Show Statement Per Page – set the number of financial statements that each page can display.

Withdraw Settings

Finalize money withdrawal settings here such as the minimum withdraw amount.

withdraw settings

  • Minimum Withdraw Amount – require a minimum amount of earning before an instructor is allowed to withdraw. This measure is supposed to help avoid being subtracted with higher payment transfer fees.
  • Withdraw Methods – provide the settings for the payment transfer. Options include bank transfer, e-check, and Paypal.
  • Instruction – write a default instruction about putting the necessary bank information.

Style Settings

The styling options here are basic. They just allow you to choose the colors for the theme’s primary color, hover color (when a mouse hovers over a command), text color, and light color (actually, it’s more of the background accent color you’ll see throughout the site).

style settings
Monetization Settings

monetization settings
The page just lets you either disable monetization or choose a monetization plugin that you want to run for your course. Tutor LMS supports any among WooCommerce, Paid Memberships Pro, and Easy Digital Downloads.

WooCommerce Settings

woocommerce ecommerce settings

Because I’m using WooCommerce, it is the tab that appears next to Monetization.

So far, the page shows the setting for enabling purchase as a guest user.

This setting allows an unregistered user to buy courses. To configure this setting further, you can check Tutor LMS’ guides. As discussed earlier, checking out a product prompts a visitor to either sign in or register in your site.

Configuring Guest Purchase and Other Tutor LMS Guides

To find the help document for this configuration, you can go the Themeum page, click the Support tab, then the Documentation item.

Tutor LMS themeum documentation

Then look for Tutor LMS and find the “Configuring Guest Purchase” section.

configuring guest purchase

The steps in this document should help you set up the guest checkout. Actually, you can find this document here, but I’m also just showing you how you can navigate Tutor’s guides.

As I said earlier, this can benefit your sales process while someone purchases a course. This setting applies regardless if you’re using CartFlows or not.

Tutor LMS Final Thoughts & Rating

I’m actually impressed with Tutor LMS. You might be surprised, having seen the problems I’ve encountered while building a quiz.

But here is the reason why. Tutor LMS is keeping up. It released an alpha in February, and has been consistently deploying fixes since its 1.0 version in March.

LearnDash has been around for five or six years, but I believe it was only in the last few months that it had a really pleasant user experience. It added a focus mode and the version 3.0 which brought it into visual parity with something like Teachable.

Tutor LMS has time to improve the quiz builder and the other functionalities. Quite frankly, the bugs that I ran into were not massive, they were just broken and need refining.

Also, I’d rather see if Tutor LMS is able to release a WordPress theme and an add-on pack with some more styling options. If they’re successful, then (wow) they’ve caught up in less than six months from March until the middle of August.

So, considering what they’ve accomplished and what they’re probably capable of doing in the next months, I’m going to give them a favorable rating.

Rating: A very solid 8.2.

Tutor LMS is an efficient course platform overall. Its changelog shows how much developers are working on the product, and it gives me faith that it will continue to develop as they take care of their annual products.

But still…

Never buy on a road map. If you need something that works right now, go ahead, get one of the big dogs. Get something like LearnDash or LifterLMS, and see which one works best for you.

But if you are in the process of creating your course and you’re not ready to publish, you’ve got 30 days to try TutorLMS for free. See how it gets refined over the next month or if it is a potential ROI generator.

Now, again, as a disclaimer, I did receive a complimentary trial version of the Pro software. I’m not gonna be hanging on to it. I’m not gonna be using it for any commercial purposes other than creating this review. Ciao!

Community Reviews

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Pros:

Quite an impressive LMS after just a few months of development
Developers are frequently updating and improving the product

Cons:

Some codes need refining but are achievable
More styling options added in the future will make it very competent

Price:
$149
Stackable?

No. But you can pay $199 for a 5 license pack and $299 for unlimited licenses.

Where Can You Get It?
Themeum

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