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Tovuti

Designed as a people-centric LMS, Tovuti makes learning fun and management simple – boosting productivity for users and admins alike. Generate courses in seconds with AI. Increase learner engagement with interactive videos, memory...Read more about Tovuti

4.8 (99 reviews)

63 recommendations

eloomi

Our learning and development platform is the simplest way to see success with people development. In one unified platform, you can now eliminate complexity and fuel productivity. From onboarding to compliance, from skill-buildin...Read more about eloomi

4.4 (93 reviews)

46 recommendations

DigitalChalk

DigitalChalk is the LMS you want and the PARTNER you deserve. We are the LMS you want. We offer a full-featured LMS that industry experts such as Brandon Hall and Talented Learning consistently rank among the best in the industry...Read more about DigitalChalk

4.7 (99 reviews)

43 recommendations

Trakstar Learn

Skip the classroom, train anywhere. Trakstar Learn's cloud-based e-learning platform provides a simple, training solution for employees working from home, in the office, or in the field. We make it easier for business leaders to e...Read more about Trakstar Learn

4.2 (105 reviews)

34 recommendations

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LearnWorlds

LearnWorlds is a cloud-based, all-in-one LMS designed to help businesses create, sell and market online courses. It is suitable for entrepreneurs, eLearning companies, corporate trainers, educational organizations, SMEs and large ...Read more about LearnWorlds

4.7 (126 reviews)

28 recommendations

SkyPrep

SkyPrep LMS is a cloud-based learning management solution that offers a platform to training administrators for creating, managing and selling training courses. Key features include custom branding, automated learner enrollment an...Read more about SkyPrep

4.8 (150 reviews)

27 recommendations

Thinkific

Thinkific is a versatile and comprehensive online course platform designed for entrepreneurs and educators. It excels in offering an array of features for course creation, marketing, and sales. Users can build personalized, brande...Read more about Thinkific

4.4 (180 reviews)

22 recommendations

Acorn

Acorn Performance LMS (PLMS) is the dynamic AI-powered platform for Learning and Development (L&D) experiences synchronized to business performance. Corporate learning is broken. Acorn is the antidote. It’s the only solution that ...Read more about Acorn

4.7 (31 reviews)

21 recommendations

Docebo

The Docebo Learning Platform is designed to be intuitive for admins, engaging for learners, and transformative for businesses. With Docebo, organizations can deliver personalized learning experiences to multiple audiences, includ...Read more about Docebo

4.3 (198 reviews)

18 recommendations

TalentLMS

TalentLMS is the LMS built for training success. Designed to get a yes from everyone, its where great teams, and companies, go to grow. With an experience thats fully customizable and easy to manage, teams embrace training while f...Read more about TalentLMS

4.7 (536 reviews)

17 recommendations

LearnUpon

At LearnUpon LMS we’re on a mission to help you unlock the power of learning. Combining our award winning LMS and our industry-leading Customer Experience team, we pride ourselves on being a trusted partner to over 1,300 businesse...Read more about LearnUpon

4.8 (95 reviews)

15 recommendations

Absorb LMS

Absorb Software is an AI-powered learning management system (LMS) provider for all learners inside and outside an enterprise, across industries globally. Purpose-built for an engaging, personalized learner experience and efficient...Read more about Absorb LMS

4.5 (284 reviews)

14 recommendations

SmarterU LMS

Does your organization have multiple learner audiences that need proactive, impactful training? SmarterU LMS can help! We specialize in multi-use training needs for organizations just like yours. Whether you need to deliver comp...Read more about SmarterU LMS

4.8 (35 reviews)

12 recommendations

360Learning

360Learning is a Collaborative LMS tool. The platform helps users to author and conduct interactive learning experiences so learners can practice, demonstrate, and repeat until they master the skill. 360Learning helps teams auto...Read more about 360Learning

4.7 (388 reviews)

8 recommendations

Kallidus Learn

Kallidus Learn is a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) featuring certification and compliance management, a built-in course library and SCORM compliance. The system is suitable for large and midsize organizations in a va...Read more about Kallidus Learn

4.3 (63 reviews)

7 recommendations

OLIVE VLE

My Virtual Tutor is a learning management software designed to help corporate businesses and educational institutions manage assessments and streamline communication between tutors and learners via video calls. Professionals can u...Read more about OLIVE VLE

No reviews yet

7 recommendations

Adobe Learning Manager

Adobe Learning Manager an award-winning cloud-based learning management system (LMS) that addresses personalized learning experiences at scale for customers, partners and employees alike. Learning Manager is a headless learning ...Read more about Adobe Learning Manager

4.3 (671 reviews)

5 recommendations

Cornerstone LMS

Cornerstone Learning helps you provide a connected learning and growth experience for your people. Create a personalized development and growth experience that inspires people and accelerates transformation. Get a solution designe...Read more about Cornerstone LMS

4.3 (220 reviews)

5 recommendations

Travitor

Travitor makes it easy to create, deliver, and track training. Plus get hundreds of top-rated courses in Compliance, Business, Safety, and Personal Development included. Help your teams do great work with featured courses like H...Read more about Travitor

4.5 (51 reviews)

5 recommendations

Paradiso LMS

Paradiso LMS from Paradiso Solutions is a learning management solution that helps corporations and educational facilities train their staff and students. The Paradiso Learning Management System provides multiple integrations with...Read more about Paradiso LMS

4.2 (10 reviews)

5 recommendations

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: November 21, 2023

If you’re in the market for a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) which is accessible from any Web-enabled device, you’re not alone. A survey conducted by Capterra in 2015 found that 87 percent of LMS users rely on a cloud-based system.

But just because something’s popular doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for you and your organization. That’s why we’ve created this buyer’s guide to help you understand everything you need to know about cloud-based LMS software.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Cloud LMS Software?

What Type of Online LMS Buyer Are You?

Pros and Cons of a Cloud-Based LMS

How Much Does Cloud LMS Software Cost?

Common Features of an Online LMS

What Is Cloud LMS Software?

If knowledge is power, then consider LMS software to be the electrical grid that delivers that power to your business or school. These systems allow managers, trainers and teachers to administer more flexible digital e-learning courses through computers or smartphones, using premade or self-created teaching materials.

With an LMS, you can test learner knowledge with customized assessments, track worker certifications, measure learner engagement and more.

Courses-in-LearnUpon-LMS

Courses in LearnUpon LMS

Cloud LMS software, also called Web-based or SaaS (software-as-a-service) LMS software, is software deployed through a Web browser. Unlike on-premise systems, which users host and maintain on their own servers, cloud platforms are hosted and maintained by the software vendor.

Buyers pay a subscription fee—typically monthly or annually—to access cloud-based LMS software. As long as you have a web-enabled device and an Internet connection, you can access your account from anywhere in the world.

Cloud-based products are popular for a few common reasons. First, the subscription pricing that typically accompanies a cloud product offers lower up-front costs to buyers (though that subscription fee does recurr monthly or annually, depending on the contract). Second, because the software is hosted online or "in the cloud," remote access is a breeze. And finally, software updates are pushed out automatically (whereas with an on-premise system, buyers typically have to manually install upgrades themselves).

However, organizations with a large or resource-rich IT department sometimes prefer on-premise solutions so that they can manage the software on their own servers. Additionally, for some businesses, the larger up-front and smaller recurring costs may be appealing. (Either way, the cost of on-premise and cloud-based systems tends to converge over the life of the software.)

What Type of Online LMS Buyer Are You?

Buyers of cloud-based LMS software typically fall into one of two categories:

Education professionals. Schools and universities are increasingly relying on cloud-based LMS platforms to deliver lessons and assignments to students. If you’re considering cloud-based LMS software for your school, some features to look out for include:

  • Social learning functionality, such as class forums and student blogs to increase engagement

  • Responsive design to cater your courses to varying screen sizes on tablets and phones

Corporate trainers. Within the corporate sphere, cloud-based LMSs allow trainers to develop their workforce and also get external groups such as channel partners or customers up to speed.

If you’re a buyer in this category, look for extended enterprise functionality that allows for custom branding to tailor the e-learning experience to different learner audiences, while gamification features such as badges and leaderboards can increase course participation.

Some corporate LMSs also offer integrated content authoring, but there are standalone tools for this as well.

Pros and Cons of a Cloud-Based LMS

Having a cloud-based LMS carries a number of benefits over an on-premise system, but also some drawbacks:

Pros

Cons

Reduced IT costs

Because the software is hosted on the vendor’s servers, there is no need for buyers to pay for their own servers or IT staff to maintain them. This can be a huge cost-saving measure, especially for small organizations.

Lack of customization

Though cloud systems have some options to customize the solution to individual needs, these pale in comparison to tailored on-premise platforms that can look vastly different from client to client, and which better integrate with proprietary solutions.

Added flexibility

Cloud-based LMS software accessible through a web browser means your learners can choose where and when they can take their e-learning courses, instead of being forced to use the software during operating hours at one location.

Connectivity dependency

If your users have a stable internet connection, your cloud-based LMS is good to go. But if that connection is weak and unstable, or you experience an outage, you won’t be able to access the system. On-premise systems don’t need an internet connection.

How Much Does Cloud LMS Software Cost?

Cloud LMS software is typically priced on a per-user basis, meaning your monthly or annual fee depends on how many users you have in the system. This price can vary widely from $5/user for small organizations to $0.50/user for large ones.

A common misconception is that cloud-based software is cheaper than on-premise options. Although the upfront cost for cloud-based software is certainly less, the cost of both types of systems ends up being around the same over time when you factor in recurring expenses.

Example-on-premise-vs.-SaaS-software-cost

Example on-premise vs. SaaS software cost

Common Features of an Online LMS

The most common features of LMS software are found universally in both on-premise and cloud-based solutions. These include:

Learning management

The core functionality of any LMS helps educational or business organizations create, store, organize and administer learning materials.

Certification / compliance management

Tracks and manages compliance training, as well as certification programs that some industries may require for performing certain jobs.

Virtual classrooms

Facilitates live, remote training sessions, typically led via video.

Proficiency reporting / testing

Facilitates the administration of tests to gauge users' learning of the course material. Allows for reporting of test scores to identify proficiencies or gaps in learning.

Content authoring

Allows users to create or "author" their own course content, which is in turn delivered through the LMS.