9 Best LMS Platforms For 2023.

Written by Tim Newham

15 May 2023

learning management system

what is the best LMS platform?

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Adopting a learning management system can help you standardise your training opportunities, provide clear structure to your teams and help you retain top talent.

Learning and development should be a key factor when considering a new position. A company that invests in one, is a company that’s investing in you, their employee.

From compliance training, to mentoring and simplified reporting on admin processes like appraisals, an LMS can provide you with a range of features to maximise your company.

In this blog, we’ll walk you through:

  • What an LMS is
  • What to consider when comparing different learning platforms
  • The top 9 LMS (in our humble opinion)

Let’s get started.

What is an LMS?

what is the best LMS platform out there?

Each LMS supplier and partner offers something different, so it’s important to understand what your goals are before you start looking.

From performance management and talent retention to out-of-the-box learning solutions, there’s an LMS out there that can help you achieve your goals.

What to consider when choosing an LMS

There are several factors you need to consider when selecting your LMS.

Remember, out-of-the-box solutions are great, especially if you’re on a tighter budget, but they likely won’t offer as much capability as other custom tools.

Top considerations when choosing your LMS can be rounded down to:

  1. User experience
  2. Open source or proprietary software
  3. Configuration and personalization
  4. Support
  5. Features
  6. Roadmap

Let’s discuss these in a bit more detail.

User experience

If your learners aren’t using your LMS, well, you have a big problem.

You need to be able to put in the time, either in-house or via your provider, to fully consider the learner experience and look at ways to improve the learning experience.

Good user experience on your LMS can lead to:

  • Increased employee engagement
  • Improved learner retention
  • Less time wasted on training users to simply use the LMS
  • More positive experience using your LMS

With any LMS you consider, make sure to check out what the end product will actually look like and how easy it is to navigate and use.

You need to ensure even your least tech-savvy users can find their way around.

Open-source or proprietary software

At Think Learning, we’ve taken the three core features of Totara; Learn, Engage and Perform and we’ve supercharged them.

We’ve added our own flavour, meaning users get more innovation and customization while still having that expert know-how at the end of an email or phone call. 

Configuration and personalization

Many LMS offer basic personalization aka a logo in the top left-hand corner. It doesn’t scream good user experience, does it?

When you’re assessing your options for a new learning platform, make sure you consider how easy it is to configure and personalize the front-end.

It might not seem that important but ensuring it’s cohesive with your brand offers learners a better experience.


When you’re using a new piece of software, there’s always a certain amount of time needed to onboard. The more complicated the software, the more time it’ll take to get acquainted.

The more features you have, the more time that’ll take. So, make sure you’re getting access to an onboarding or support team member from your chosen LMS.

For larger learning platforms, this service will be costed into your billing meaning you have support every step of the way.

If you don’t have this support, you might find it difficult to get over the learning curve of your new tool.

✏️ Note

At Think, we’re responsive, solutions-focused and collaborative. They’re etched into our very being. That means we put a lot of time and effort into providing deeper support to our customers.

We care about our track record for lightning-fast migrations and long-lasting customer relationships.


You might just be looking for a basic learning platform right now. But what’s important to consider is that you can bolt-on a lot of extra features and services as part of your LMS.

From performance and talent management tools to engagement and feedback tools, there are a whole host of extra plugins available with more advanced learning management systems.

Make sure you check out what extras you can access and compare this to your wishlist.


A lot of the learning management systems you’re about to read about are out-of-the-box solutions. But many offer a whole raft of features and as such, have roadmaps of new products and product developments.

And remember, lots of LMS suppliers charge for platform upgrades. We believe they should be part and parcel of your ongoing maintenance package, so we don’t charge any extra to make sure you’re on the best version of our platform.

Knowing your LMS roadmap might not be vital, but it’s worth asking about so you can see what new products and upgrades you could stand to get access to in the future.

9 best learning management systems for 2023

Knowing where to start when buying a new LMS can be tricky. So, we’ve done the hard work for you.

Here’s our list of 9 great LMSs to check out:

  1. Think Learning
  2. Thrive
  3. Kallidus
  4. Learning Pool
  5. Oracle
  6. Synergy
  7. Cortexa
  8. Hubken
  9. Accipio

Now you know which ones we rate, let’s go into a bit of detail on each.

Think Learning

Plus, you can totally personalise your learner experience!

Some standout features include:

  • Mentoring product, Think Link, where your people can find experts to learn from
  • Workflows to take processes like apprenticeships, course applications and probation reviews online, and
  • A big talent suite with everything from 360 feedback, 9-box grids and succession.

If you’re looking for a tool that can help you standardize your training materials, document learner uptake and report back on employee progression, then Think is a strong contender.


Thrive offers theming personalisation, and focuses on content, social learning and collaboration. Their Learning & Skills Platform is a good one to check out.


It’s worth noting that there isn’t a huge amount of personalisation available with Kallidus, meaning what you see is what you get.  It does offer a simple and straightforward dashboard despite its catalogue of products, making it easy to navigate.

Learning Pool

Some users do report struggles of making small changes to courses and functionality which does require support assistance, but this is accommodated as part of your package.

While they do offer a wide range of tools and products, there is sometimes limitation in customizing it to your own needs and requirements.


While this is the national LMS and has a whole host of resources available, the functionality is lacking and a lot of processes are left to paper because they’re not repeatable in Oracle.

This is still a valid option when working in the NHS so do investigate further to see how it could fit your needs.


There are some limitations when it comes to features and branding/theming within their core LMS, but it does offer a suite of other tools like personalisation and plugins.

You do have the option for custom development of your LMS, but of course, this will come at a premium. Synergy is worth considering if you’re looking for something quite bespoke and have the budget to build and maintain bespoke elements over the lifetime of the LMS.


Another Totara partner, Cortexa, is a great option if you’re looking for support with creating content for your LMS.

While it offers the key functions of Totara (meaning you can access their learn, engage and perform tools), it is less focused on complex learning and performance management user journeys. What you can access though is excellent support from start to end when it comes to designing and implementing your learning content.


As mentioned with previous suppliers, that does mean there’s little extra functionality capable with Hubken though you can be sure to receive excellent support whether you’re looking to upgrade your TXP or move your whole learning platform over.


Accipio is another Moodle and Totara partner but this software offers a lot more in the way of homemade plugins. That means you can use the core functionalities of Moodle and Totara plus tag on extras like e-learning authoring or eCommerce and paywalls. They excel in membership organisations as you’ll see from their case studies.

This gives you more scope to create a more bespoke platform for your company and so is a good option to consider.

Choose the right LMS for you

Hopefully this blog has gone at least part of the way in helping you decide which LMS to choose to implement.

Remember, your needs should be met within one tool to save having to integrate lots of tools together which can lead to:

  • A drain on budget
  • Messy data
  • Confusing processes

Think Learning isn’t an out-of-the-box solution, it’s totally custom built and we pride ourselves on great customer service.

Jenny McKnight Circle Health Group case study