The Cost of an LMS

and Investment?

It can be time-consuming to compare prices for LMS solutions because vendors have different kinds of payment plans. In addition, some vendors state pricing info on their websites, while others ask you to contact them directly for a quote, we give you a general idea of what a financial commitment looks like when working with AltusLMS.

Per learner, per month.

The most common payment option is a per learner, per month subscription fee. This figure is either calculated based on the total number of users in the system or the number of active users enrolled in courses.

There may also be an initial service fee for creating an account. In addition, vendors might ask for payment to be made annually, even if prices are broken down monthly. Fees are generally $5 or less per learner, per month. Small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) with general training requirements are the best fit.

Per learner, per use.

LMS solutions can include more features, lessons, modules and tools than a company needs. A per learner, per use pricing model allows clients to opt out of certain parts of the software and pay only for what they use.

This could mean being charged based on the modules in use, the number of active accounts in use or only the content that’s being used by those accounts. It depends on the arrangement made between the vendor and client.

Prices range from $1 to $10 per learner, per use. This option best serves companies that don’t need to train employees regularly.

Per course. (Best Method)

Some LMS vendors have a pay per course option for employees that need special certification for their industry or job function. Vendors might have content available in an internal library or partner with third parties to deliver lessons through their LMS platform.

This pricing option has elements of the per learner, per use pricing model, but with premium prices for specialized content. The best fit for this option is compliance-focused industries with learners that must be certified, such as human resources, healthcare or safety.

Licensing Fee.

Companies can purchase a license to install LMS software on-premise. The licensing fee can be paid annually or up-front as a one-time fee. There are often additional implementation expenses for installation, data migration and training, and there may also be a charge per learner.

Licensing fees generally range from $500 to $20,000, and setup can cost over $25,000. This pricing model works best for mid-sized or large businesses with an existing data center and internal IT staff.

Quality Over Quantity

Additional LMS costs to consider.



The cost of LMS implementation varies by vendor and whether the company chooses a cloud LMS solution or to host the software on-premise. Expenses may include consultants, hardware installation, software customization, data migration and integration with other software (e.g., enterprise resource planning systems).


Many vendors may include web-based training services for free, but in-person training at the client’s site usually comes at an extra fee.


Basic support (e.g., knowledge base, email support) is typically included in the price. However, vendors may offer plans that include advanced support, such as priority support or access to a dedicated customer service manager.


LMS software requires ongoing maintenance, such as updates, patches and upgrades. This is generally included with subscription pricing, but not with licensing fees.

Content Creation

Many vendors offer services to create custom training courses and educational content for businesses and schools. Some vendors can even produce site-specific videos and with a company’s particular operating procedures. This service may be charged per hour or as a one-time fee based on course requirements.

Open-Source and Free LMS Software

Quality You Can Trust

Open-source LMS software has source code that’s publicly available. Companies can download, install and customize the software on their own, for free. Some vendors also offer free versions of their LMS software. Open-source and free LMS solutions generally include basic functionality or may limit the number of users. Companies that choose these options will still have pay for implementation, customization, integrations and maintenance. In particular, installing and customizing open-source software can be complicated for companies that haven’t used an LMS before, and there’s no support if something goes wrong. Companies that choose this route will need to have a knowledgeable in-house IT team or hire implementation consultants.

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