Totara Recipe: How to choose the best learning management system

Choosing a Learning Management System (LMS) in a market of over 600 can be a daunting task. So, where do you start? To help you choose the best LMS, we have prepared a recipe in collaboration with Webanywhere with everything you should keep in the mix.


  • Goals, expectations and needs
  • A list of ‘must-have’ features
  • Request For Proposal (RFP)
  • Demo/free trial
  • A shortlist of LMSs
  • Budget


  • Have a clear sense of what are you trying to achieve
  • Ensure you get feedback from a good cross section of business stakeholders
  • Consider the skills and feedback of your L&D team when building your RFP
  • Compile a list of ‘must-have’ features you want your LMS to have


  • Choose a system that is flexible, quick to deploy and user friendly. Try a system that offers a free trial or demo site to avoid making a costly error.
  • Bear in mind the technical limitations of your audience. Are you learners tech savvy?
  • Check that the new LMS offers the essential features and functions you really need. Does it have to be mobile friendly? Is it secure? Are gamification and social learning a ‘must’ for you? Is in-depth reporting available?
  • Check your new system is future-proof. Is it scalable to grow with your organisation’s needs? Will it be easy to upgrade and maintain?
  • Evaluate how the new LMS will be integrated with your current software.
  • Review a variety of vendors and negotiate your preferred terms of contract. Ask them about their experience, skill sets and qualifications. Look at online reviews to give you a better idea of how they dealt with customers in the past.

Serve and enjoy!

  • There will be times when you are going to need 24/7 support from your LMS vendor. Will the vendor be able to guide you through the setup and training process? Can you call them when you face a technical problem?
  • The best LMS will allow you to create an ideal e-learning experience for your audience.
Totara Learn LMS

Download the LMS selection recipe

Check out our latest recipes using #totararecipe.

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