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Fueled by the COVID-19 outbreak and internet penetration, online education has replaced traditional face-to-face education widely across the globe. The industry is anticipated to hit $585.48 billion by 2027 from 187.877 billion in 2019.
Thus, it’s no surprise to witness the huge demand for learning management systems (LMS) and e-learning platforms in both academic and corporate landscapes.
This also drives many entrepreneurs to capitalize on this fastest-growing industry by building an LMS website. When it comes to taking that route, there are many things you need to take into account that we’ll discuss in this post in detail.
But before you learn how to create an LMS website, let’s first have a quick look at what LMS is all about and its usage statistics.
What is LMS?
“A learning management system (LMS) is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, automation, and delivery of educational courses, training programs, or learning and development programs.” – Wikipedia
To put it into simple words, an LMS is basically a software or web-based system designed exclusively to curate, manage, monitor and deliver educational content.
With an LMS, you can garner all your e-learning courses under one roof and make them accessible to target learners. Depending on the application of the LMS being developed, they are categorized as:
- ⦁ Corporate or Academic
- ⦁ Enterprise or Individual
- ⦁ Free or Paid
- ⦁ On-Premise or On-Cloud
- ⦁ SaaS or Single License
- ⦁ Integrated
Who Can Benefit from an LMS?
Anybody who wants to deliver e-learning courses and programs can benefit from building an LMS. That includes:
- ⦁ Businesses from large multinational companies to small and medium-sized companies across different industries to train their workforce, clients and partners
- ⦁ Government organizations and public sector agencies for the development of their staff
- ⦁ Nonprofits and non-government organizations
- ⦁ Traditional educational institutions – universities, colleges and schools
- ⦁ Other educational institutions such as entrance exam coaching centers
- ⦁ Independent instructors who want to share their knowledge with the world
An LMS can cater to different training needs- onboarding, workforce training, partner training, customer training, sales training, remote training and retaining workforce knowledge.
Some Key LMS Stats to Watch Out
- ⦁ The global corporate LMS market size is on track to grow at a CAGR of 23%, with a revenue of $12.48 billion
- ⦁ As Per Brandon-Hall Study, learning via e-Learning typically requires 40%-60% less employee time compared to traditional learning
- ⦁ As per Statista, 75% of universities in Latin America use a learning management system
- ⦁ 81% of US college students stated that digital learning technology was assisting them to enhance their grades
- ⦁ Udemy for Business is trusted by 80% of Fortune 100 companies for employee upskilling and it includes industry leaders such as Apple, Accenture, Samsung
Why Invest in Custom LMS Development?
The market is full of off-the-shelf LMS for both corporate and academic training. But you may decide to build an LMS from scratch if you want to relish the following advantages:
- ⦁ Cost-effectiveness over the long-term: Especially for large organizations, the upkeep of a custom solution costs pretty less than yearly license payments for an off-the-shelf LMS solution.
- ⦁ Complete control: You’ll have complete control over your LMS to keep pace with the constantly evolving requirements of your business. You can decide what features to incorporate and what content to store.
- ⦁ Integration with legacy systems: A custom solution can be designed to integrate smoothly with your legacy infrastructure for enhanced automation.
Two Ways to Custom LMS Development
When it comes to investing in a custom LMS development, you can either start entirely from scratch or use a platform-based approach. Let’s discuss both in detail for more clarity:
1. Custom LMS Development from Scratch
This approach means building a solution from the ground up for unique requirements. A fully customized solution ensures full product ownership, top-notch security measures and personalized features.
2. Platform-Based Approach
Platform-based development approach means using existing platforms like WordPress to build and run your LMS website. WordPress comes with a great collection of LMS plugins; you can have a head start to build and run e-learning content like Udemy using WordPress.
As it’s feasible to customize WordPress plugins, you can hire a WordPress developer to customize your LMS website according to your requirements.
But you should also know that a platform-based approach is not ideal if your top priority is security. WordPress is a popular platform and thus, websites built using WordPress are often the target of hackers.
Therefore, businesses and educational institutions should not rely on this approach to build their LMS as the information of their staff could be in jeopardy.
Step-by-Step Instructions: How to Create an LMS Website from Scratch?
Custom LMS development will help you build a solution tailored according to your needs all while ensuring top-grade security and retaining product ownership. To help you get started, down below are the steps you need to follow.
1. Create an LMS Project Plan
To start things on the right foot, it’s a must to come up with a strong plan for your LMS project. Your LMS project plan should give answers to the following concerns:
- ⦁ Project purpose: You need to get clarity on why you need to build your own LMS – whether for internal use in your company/university or you want to offer LMS software as a service (SaaS) to individuals, businesses and educational institutions.
- ⦁ Project goals: You should pour a considerable amount of time into defining the goals you would like to achieve with the LMS, such as reducing training costs.
- ⦁ Development Team: You need to list down the resources you need to build and implement your LMS.
- ⦁ Budget and timeline: A strong project planning is not without defining the available budget and timeline for your LMS development project.
2. Choose Core Features of your LMS
Depending on your needs, the LMS features you need will vary. But there are certain features that are a must in any learning management system. Have a look below!
2.1. Course Management
The feature that makes course creation as straightforward as possible. It should enable you to create various types of educational content such as videos, audio, slides and more.
2.2. User & group management
Your LMS should allow trainers to organize learners into groups based on various elements such as role and location.
2.3. Learning paths
Incorporating this function will enable you to group multiple courses together for learners to take them in a specific order.
2.4. Automated Reminders and notifications
These features are a must to inform learners about any new activity such as the availability of the new course material, the assigned assignment, test results or deadlines.
Gamification helps in creating an engaging learning experience with elements like leaderboards, reward systems and badges for course completion.
Even one study highlighted that 89% of employees stated that gamification motivates them to complete a particular task and drives a competitive spirit.
2.6. Social learning capabilities
To foster a collaborative learning environment, you can also think of including social learning tools in your LMS such as forums for peer-to-peer discussions or a feature to enable learners to share their achievements with others.
2.7. Mobile learning
One recent study depicted that business leaders stated a whopping 55% improvement in their business after adopting mobile learning.
Thus, an LMS should provide learners access to course content anytime and anywhere via a mobile-friendly LMS website or a mobile application.
2.8. Analytics and reporting
An LMS should provide insights on learner progression, exam results and overall statistics of the whole workforce or at an individual level for future enhancements.
2.9. User roles and permissions
This feature enables you to configure different user roles and permissions as per the organizational hierarchy – providing trainers, learners and admins with different interfaces, features and content.
An LSM should be able to integrate smoothly with other systems within the organization such as a talent management system to streamline processes.
2.11. SCORM Compliance
SCROM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) is a set of standards for e-learning platforms. It is a method to standardize learning content. Every learning management system should be SCORM compliant for content portability.
3. Picking Technology Stack
Once deciding on the core features that you want to incorporate, it’s time to choose a tech stack for your custom LMS.
3.1. Frontend (Client-Side)
To build a user-facing part of your LMS, you need to work with a web designer or UI/UX designer and frontend developer.
- ⦁ UI/UX designer: He is responsible for creating the design and layout of your LMS website using UI/UX tools such as Figma and Photoshop.
3.2. Backend (Server-Side)
Backend development means the development of server-side logic to power web applications and websites from behind the scenes.
A backend developer writes all the logic that enables a database and a web application to communicate with one another.
The recommended backend tech stack for building an LMS includes:
- ⦁ LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Python/Perl)
- ⦁ MERN (MongoDB, Express, React, Node)
- ⦁ MEAN (MongoDB, Express.js, AngularJS, Node.js)
- ⦁ MEVN (MongoDB, Express. js, VueJS, Node. js)
- ⦁ Python-Django (Python, Django, Apache, MySQL)
To foster mobile learning, you can either build a mobile-friendly website or a dedicated mobile application for your LMS. Today, most learning management systems out there offer both. So, you should also think about considering having both options for your learners.
To develop a mobile application for your LMS, there are two ways at your disposal:
- ⦁ Native app development
It means building a mobile app exclusively for one platform: Android or iOS. In that, you need to work with an Android developer to build a native app for Android users and an iOS developer to build a native app for iOS users.
- ⦁ Cross-platform app development
If you want to build an app for both Android and iOS platforms using a single codebase, then cross-platform mobile app development is the way to go. There are many cross-platform technologies to choose from but Flutter and React Native are most preferred.
4. MVP Development
Building a learning management system is not a small undertaking. Going all-in in the first is a high-risk bet especially if you want to build an LMS that you can offer as a service to universities and businesses.
To increase the odds of your project’s success, MVP development is the way to go over the full-scale product development of your LMS.
An MVP (Minimum Viable Product) will be the first version of your LMS website with just basic features that state the value proposition of your product.
To ensure success with your MVP, you must work with an expert MVP development company for your LSM project.
5. Improve your LMS
After launching the MVP version of your LMS, get the opinion of end-users about your product. Gather feedback for future enhancements of your product. With continuous iterations, you’ll be on the path to building a full-scale LMS product.
How Much Does It Cost to Create an LMS Website?
Well, giving a precise estimate is not possible as several factors influence the overall development cost of creating an LMS website.
Whether you decide to build in-house or outsource to an offshore development team, it can significantly affect the development cost.
- ⦁ Building an in-house development team means paying developers as per market standards, training costs and infrastructure costs. On the other hand, hiring remote developers is a cost-effective option.
- ⦁ With remote developers, you don’t have to bear training and infrastructure costs. The provider will deploy a trained remote development team equipped with the required technology to build your LMS website.
Hiring developers from a country with a low labor rate such as outsourcing to India can help you further reduce the overall development cost of your custom LMS website.
Whether you want to build a fully custom LMS from scratch or make use of WordPress, you can hire a custom LMS developer or WordPress developer on an hourly basis with the cost range of $18-$40 per hour.
How Can InfoStride Help You?
With a development team of 250+ experts specializing in different technologies and industries, InfoStride can provide you with immediate access to remote developers with the expertise you need to create an LMS website.
You can hire developers or build an MVP development team to handle everything from initial project analysis to deployment and the product launch with the following benefits:
- ⦁ Recruitment savings: No need to invest your time and resources in sourcing potential experts for your project as we’ll provide you with pre-vetted tech experts.
- ⦁ Flexible engagement models: Whether you want to hire resources hourly, monthly or project basis, we can engage with you as your project demands.
- ⦁ Administrative support: We take on every responsibility from onboarding to payroll and compliance on your behalf for your remote developers.
Interested? Share a few details of your project to get started today!!
If you want full product ownership and top-level security, then maybe it’s ideal for you to create an LMS website from scratch.
Through this post, we discussed all the key steps on how to create an LMS website as well as the cost aspect.
To make sure everything goes in the right direction, it’s just to join hands with a skilled development partner who can help you build an easy-to-use, custom and secure LMS website for your needs.