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Learning Management Systems Complete Buyer’s Guide


You’ve probably heard of Learning Management Systems (LMS), but you might need to learn what they are and how they can help your business.

This LMS buyer guide breaks down everything you need to know about LMSs, including what they are, how they work, and the pros they offer. Let’s get started!

What Is a Learning Management System (LMS)?

An LMS is a software application that enables educators to create, manage, and deliver instructional content and learning experiences to students. You can use it in both traditional and online learning environments.

Due to the significant nature of the investment, it’s important to take your time choosing an LMS that will suit your specific needs.

You would need to ask yourself questions such as:

  • Do you need a system that can be used for both online and traditional learning?
  • Or do you need a system that is specific to online learning? What features are important to you? What pricing options are available? and so on

What to Consider While Buying an LMS?

While buying an LMS, you will need to consider a few points:

  1. Purpose of the LMS: What do you want to use the LMS for? Learning management, employee onboarding, training & development, or something else?
  2. Size of your organization: How many employees will be using the LMS?
  3. Features you need: What features are important to you? E-learning modules, collaboration tools, online assessments, reporting & analytics, etc.?
  4. Budget: How much money do you plan to spend on an LMS?
  5. Vendor reputation: Do your research and read reviews before selecting a vendor

After having selected your LMS with the help of our LMS buyer guide above, your next concern lies in the deployment of the same. As there are quite a few methods of doing so, you can peruse the sections below to decide the best way to deploy your LMS.

Learning Management System Deployment Options

When it comes to deploying your Learning Management System (LMS), you have a few different options:

  • Cloud-based (SaaS)
  • Self-hosted
  • Desktop application
  • Mobile application
  1. Cloud-Based (SaaS)
    This is the most popular deployment option, as it’s easy to set up and manage. In a cloud-based LMS, all your data is stored on the provider’s servers.However, one downside would be that you would be at the provider’s mercy if they experience downtime or data loss.
  2. Self-Hosted
    A self-hosted learning management system is when you install the software on your servers. This option gives you more control over your data, but it’s also more challenging to set up and can be more expensive in the long run.
  3. Desktop Application
    A desktop application is software that you install on your computer. This option is best for organizations that don’t want to keep track of updates and patches, as the desktop app takes care of all that for you. However, this option can be less mobile-friendly.
  4. Mobile Application
    A mobile application is an LMS that’s explicitly designed for use on mobile devices. This option is excellent for organizations that want a mobile-friendly LMS but want to avoid the hassle of setting up a self-hosted or cloud-based LMS.

Licensing Options For Learning Management Systems

There are two main licensing options for Learning Management Systems: Open Source and Paid.

1.Open Source
With an open source learning management system, you get the code for free, wherein you can modify it as you wish. It’s also typically supported by a community of developers who help keep the software up to date.

2.Paid Licenses
On the other hand, Paid Licenses usually require a one-time fee for access to the software and ongoing charges for support. They also typically offer more features, customizability, and technical support than Open Source options.

Tip: The best license for you depends on your budget and the features you need from your LMS.

Generally speaking, if you don’t need any extra features or customization, then an open source learning management system is the better option.

Pricing Models For Learning Management Systems

Price also matters when purchasing a learning management system. Often that means understanding the different pricing models. Three of the most common pricing models for learning management systems include:

  • Licensing
  • Subscription
  • Freemium
  • Perpetual

Licensing typically requires a one-time payment as well as an annual maintenance fee. This model is becoming less common as it is often expensive upfront.

Subscription requires an ongoing monthly or yearly fee and may include additional fees depending on usage. This model is great if you need to scale quickly and have a steady budget for the software.

Freemium offers limited access to the platform with basic features included. A free learning management system allows organizations to get familiar with the software before committing to a paid plan.

Finally, there’s also Perpetual License, which provides access to the software indefinitely and makes sense if you plan on using your system for many years.

LMS Specification Support Types

There are four main types of specifications when it comes to learning management systems. These are

  • SCORM 2004
  • Tin Can API
  • AICC

1.SCORM 2004
SCORM 2004 is the most popular choice as it allows organizations to combine different types of e-learning content into a single system. It also has features such as tracking and reporting, so you can manage learner progress more efficiently.

2.Tin Can API
The Tin Can API is another popular choice. This API makes e-learning content more interactive by allowing learners to access data from different sources.

Freemium offers limited access to the platform with basic features included. A free learning management system allows organizations to get familiar with the software before committing to a paid plan.

Lastly, IMS LTI allows for content to be shared easily between different LMSs, making it ideal for institutions that want to collaborate with external parties.

Which Businesses Can Leverage LMS Systems?

If you’re wondering which businesses can benefit from learning management systems, the truth is; almost any business can.

Whether you’re a large enterprise or small-to-medium business (SMB), a freelancer, or somewhere in between, an LMS can provide specific value to your organization.

1.Large Enterprises
Established enterprises typically have multiple divisions and may have several L&D objectives they need to address.Learning management systems allow companies to create uniform training programs across different departments and ensure all employees have access to up-to-date learning materials.

2.Small & Medium Businesses
SMBs could also benefit from using an LMS as they often require their employees to take on multiple roles and tasks.

A learning management system for small business organizations gives access to organized educational materials and training programs.

That way, SMBs can provide their personnel with better knowledge about their products, services, and processes.

Freelancers also turn to LMS to share knowledge with their students or customers online. This could be anything from giving online classes for a fee, offering free webinars or digital courses on a specific topic, or teaching students virtually through video conferencing – the possibilities are endless!

Why Look Out for LMS Integrations?

Depending on the size of your organization, you already have multiple software systems in operation. Your LMS should work with them. Look out for software that integrates with your existing systems. This can save you time and hassle by reducing the number of manual processes and double-entry.

The great news is that you can integrate most modern LMSs with a wide range of third-party products and services. These include accounting software, customer relationship management (CRM) programs, web conferencing platforms, social media plugins, authoring tools, and more.

No matter what kind of business or learning environment you run, your LMS should integrate with other programs to meet your learning objectives.

So be sure to consider this when shopping for LMS – after all, who wants to go through the hassle of manually transferring data from one system to another?

LMS buyer Guide: Which LMS Is The Best For Your Needs?

Now that you understand Learning Management Systems and their features, you may wonder which software is best for your needs. Well, that depends on a few factors, including the number of users you plan to support and the type of content you will deliver.

For example, a hosted solution may be the best option if you are looking for an LMS to host large amounts of content or support lots of users. On the other hand, if you want something more lightweight and easy to use, then a self-hosted solution may be better.

Additionally, an open-source solution may be worth exploring if you want to customize your LMS with features specific to your business. That said, no one software fits all when it comes to LMS as the best tool depends purely on your needs.

Top Features To Look For In Learning Management Systems

When searching for the right learning management system, there are several key features that you should be on the lookout for.

  • Flexible Course Creation & Delivery options:
    The platform should allow you to create and manage courses in multiple formats, such as self-paced lessons and instructor-led sessions. You also want software compatible with all devices, browsers, and operating systems
  • Automated Reports & Analytics:
    The best platforms generate automated reports on user engagement, which can help you keep track of student progress. In addition, make sure that you have access to powerful analytics tools that give you insights into how learners respond to your content
  • Interoperability:
    It’s essential to find a platform that can easily integrate with other systems like customer relationship management (CRM) or enterprise resource planning (ERP). This will help streamline processes across all of your systems

Ultimately, the best learning management system meets your organization’s needs and fits within your budget.

What Are The Benefits Of Using The Right LMS For Your Business?

You’ve surely heard of the many benefits of using the right Learning Management System for your business. But what are they?

  1. Organize & Store Your Data Safely
    A good LMS allows you to keep track of all the necessary information about employees/students in one consolidated place.That way, you can quickly analyze trends, progress, and outcomes. It also gives you an overview of the entire system to ensure data safety.
  2. Monitor Learner Progress & Performance
    An LMS makes it easier to monitor learner progress and performance. Remember, tracking progress is integral to learning, and these tools break down everything for you, making the process much more painless.
  3. Personalize the Learning Experience
    Every learner has specific needs, and your primary job is to deliver— something that’s not easy to achieve in a traditional learning environment.But LMSs allow you to personalize the learning experience; you can create customized content to fit different student needs.
  4. Improve Learning Accessibility
    Lastly, accessibility is crucial in attracting a massive following and building a successful online course. The best Learning Management System offers easy access regardless of physical location or device type.


Ultimately, the best LMS for your organization will depend on your specific needs. Do your research, consult experts, and test out a few different systems before settling on the best fit.

Ready to start? Schedule a demo with us and enjoy a first-hand experience before committing to an LMS. It’s all free!


  1. What Are the Two Primary Functions of An LMS?
    There are two primary functions of an LMS: to create and deliver content and to track learner progress. The best learning management platforms help businesses manage and deliver training and educational programs more effectively and efficiently. The best LMSs can also allow trainers to measure outcomes.
  2. What Is the Main Objective Of LMS?
    The main objective of an LMS is to provide a platform for organizations to create, manage, deliver, and track training and learning programs. By using an LMS, small and large businesses can improve employee productivity, engagement, and retention.
  3. What Makes a Successful LMS?
    To be successful, an LMS must be easy to use, have a robust feature set, and be affordable. It should also integrate with other software applications to provide a seamless learning experience. It must also be accessible on any device.
  4. Is LMS Easy to Use?
    Yes, most LMS systems are easy to use, but some software may be challenging if you don’t have enough technical knowledge. If you are new to learning management systems, consider user-friendly solutions like Gyrus. You can also schedule a free demo before committing to an an LMS.
  5. How Do You Evaluate an LMS?
    To evaluate an LMS, you’ll want to consider factors like ease of use, features, price, and support. You’ll also want to go through user reviews to learn what others think of the software. Once you’ve considered all of these factors, you’ll be able to decide whether or not LMS is the right fit for your needs.


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