When people start looking for LMS, the price question becomes a primary criterion to consider. A wide functionality, considerate support and even the simplicity of usage pass into the background. So it is not surprising that we are constantly asked how JoomlaLMS is different from other free Learning Management Systems, particularly Moodle.

“There are Moodle LMS and other free open source LMSs. What is the difference or benefit of taking your LMS?”, “Please make us a list of compare the benefits to read, I really do not care about the open source because Moodle cost me $0 while JoomlaLMS over $800”.

3 years ago we published an article JoomlaLMS vs Moodle for ELearning where the difference was explained, however a lot has changed since then and the article needs to be updated. First of all, I would like to say that I tried to make the comparison unbiased as much as possible. The article publishing was preceded by careful research, forums and reviews analysis and demo testing, however certain discordance is not excluded and you are welcome to express your opinion in the comments section below.

JoomlaLMS and Moodle Features Comparison

Both Learning Management Systems are characterized by a wide range of functionality. The main difference is that there is a huge community behind Moodle. If a feature is missing anyone can make a contribution (develop a plugin for example) and share it with the community. However, it is worth mentioning that because of frequent Moodle updates some plugins can become incompatible with new versions until a third-party developer or a person with coding knowledge repairs it.

JoomlaLMS development team is much smaller and the decision to add a particular feature is always well thought out as the main goal is not to overload JoomlaLMS with the features that just a few people will use. (In the basis of JoomlaLMS development there is Pareto Principle (The 80/20 Rule) that indicates: 20% of features cause 80% of usage). The rest of the features can be added on demand. The further upgrades are provided with JoomlaLMS team help.

The number of Moodle features exceeds the number of features JoomlaLMS provides, mainly on account of plugins available, however the most commonly used tools such as quizzes, surveys, calendar, discussions, file upload, assignment, gradebook are presented in both eLearning solutions. Additionally, JoomlaLMS can be integrated with any third-party extensions using the open source code available in Professional version.

Among other “must have” LMS features are the following:

Modern interface

Moodle community prefers to concentrate on new features, but not design. The interface seems to be outdated. However, it doesn’t mean that it cannot be changed. There are themes available, plus, you can customize it on your own (development skills and money investments are required).

JoomlaLMS layout has been recently updated and is much more intuitive, clean and uncluttered. It is possible to upload your own logo, change the color scheme and fonts.

moodle vs joomlalms: interface

Advanced Reporting

Both Learning Management Systems are provided with an advanced system of reporting.

Standards Compatibility

Moodle is SCORM 1.2, AICC and IMS compatible.

JoomlaLMS is SCORM 1.2, SCORM 2004 and AICC compatible. TinCan API support is on the roadmap for the future releases as well.

Multilingual Interface

There are around 100 language packs available for translation and download at Moodle website, however only 30 of them are translated more than on 80% (Moodle 2.9 version). It means that translation work is required to complete them.

JoomlaLMS is available in English, Russian, Spanish and German currently. The rest of the language packs are not full and we welcome anyone who wants to translate JoomlaLMS and get rewarded. If you are interested in knowing the details, please contact us and we will provide all the details.

Ecommerce Integration

There is no such feature in Moodle that will allow users to pay for the course. Moodle takes the position of a non-profit organization that is convinced that education is supposed to be free. However, there are third-party add-ons for eCommerce purposes.

JoomlaLMS not only supports multiple payment methods, but offers different types of subscriptions, issues invoices, supports discount coupon codes and provides detailed payment statistics.

User-friendliness

Moodle seems confusing for novice users mostly because of the system’s rich functionality (but it is possible to get used to it after some practice). Moodle is more for programmers or people with IT knowledge. If you know how to manage it you will appreciate its true value and functionality. However, to discover all this power you need technical background most people don’t have.

JoomlaLMS course creation is carried out though an embedded course builder, which significantly simplifies the process. Moreover, there are predefined course patterns to cut the development time. JoomlaLMS is developed on the basis of Joomla! and if a client knows how to manage Joomla! they know how to manage JoomlaLMS too.

moodle vs joomlalms: user-friendliness

Mobile Compatibility

Both Learning Management Systems are Mobile devices responsive which makes them a great choice for mobile learning.

Social Learning

Both Moodle and JoomlaLMS support social learning: there is a variety of social plugins for Moodle, JoomlaLMS supports the integration with one of the most popular social tools for Joomla! – JomSocial.

Purposes of usage

Besides the features comparison, I would like to pay attention to the fact that Moodle and JoomlaLMS are meant for different purposes. To be exactly, Moodle is not intended for selling courses. It is designed for teachers. Also, Moodle should not be considered by small organizations that don’t have enough resources to set it up, manage and administrate. If you have programming and technical experience then Moodle is your solution thanks to its rich functionality. If you don’t have enough knowledge Moodle managing can be tough and time-consuming. There is no support available and you can either rely on community help by posting your questions on forums or hire a developer which can be costly. Thus a free LMS stops being such any longer.

JoomlaLMS is a paid solution, but there is a support team to solve your issues and help with upgrades and customization. The LMS is well suited for such purposes as teaching, training and selling courses. JoomlaLMS prices start from 299$ but you get support and the LMS that don’t require coding skills to work with.

In conclusion

Learning Management System choice or its price is always less than half the cost of a successful project launch. If your goal is to build just another impersonal eLearning project (just to publish courses and that’s it) then Moodle is a good choice.

If you want to launch a successful project (commercial or non-profit, it doesn’t matter), want to differentiate yourself among the competitors and at the same time have your own website and not to diffuse your efforts on multiple platforms management, then JoomlaLMS is the best alternative. There are more ready-to-deploy solutions and it is easier to learn how to manage Joomla! than Moodle.

Plus, there are more specialists who can help. Joomla! is much more flexible where it concerns customization and finally there is a support team to assist you.

What to read next?
10 Reasons to Build Your ELearning Project With JoomlaLMS [Infographic]
Learning Management System Comparison
ELearning Project Launch CheckList