2020/11/26How to Create a Custom LMS from Scratch
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Nowadays, almost every industry-specific business embraces advanced technologies. Especially, due to the global pandemic COVID-19, a tendency of leveraging technology-powered solutions is increasing; the education industry is not the exception. That’s why online learning has skyrocketed – according to the MarketsandMarkets report, the global eLearning market value is anticipated to reach almost $22,4 billion.

global lms

If you are looking for solutions to build your learning management system website (LMS), we have prepared a brief guide with features and advantages in mind. Considering that LMS can be developed with different purposes let’s go into details to understand what LMS is and what functions it covers.

What Is LMS?

A learning management system is a software aimed to optimize learning processes and the way the education is delivered. Initially, LMS’s purpose was to enhance eLearning, but now enterprises use LMSs to ensure effective and efficient team-building by improving employee training. Tracking and reporting features to make e-learning systems more solid offering opportunities for effective assessments. 

Before deciding which LMS platform you want to implement for your business, you need to look through the following factors:

  • Necessary features
  • The number of students/employees 
  • The necessity of extra add-ons
  • The way of students/employees progress measurement
  • Service provider

Core Features of LMS

Once you embark on LMS platform development your development team has to consider the features that can be crucial for your learning management system. Let’s take a look at some basic features:

  • Content and Course Management. 

This must-include feature allows creating various types of e-learning courses: quizzes, assignments, etc., that will be used for employees/students’ training. Therefore, content management is of high priority feature in LMS.

  • Skill Tracking. 

This feature is required more for organizations or enterprises where measuring employees’ performance is much harder due to undetermined timing for lectures. Thus, the visual skill tracking feature is aimed to assess employee’s skills allowing them to learn at their own pace with asynchronous learning.

  • Social Learning.

Social learning is an effective way to incentivize learners and to help educators reduce the pressure on them. With a community experience, learners can get quick answers to their questions via chat or on a forum. By implementing a community feature in your LMS, you accelerate the overall learning process giving the learner more motivation in real-time collaboration mode. 

  • Gamification.

Incorporating game-design elements engage and inspire learners rather than traditional classrooms that leg behind in the modern lifestyle. Such game-like incentives like leaderboards, rewards, levels can foster building stronger teams in your company or motivate students to keep up learning. 

Gartner analysts claim that the gamification feature is not a must-have due to the high expenditures of its implementation in LMS. There are already a plethora of ready-made solutions, however, those that really address your need are hard to find, therefore, hiring a software development team or LMS provider may be reasonable decision-making if you want this feature to be customized. 

How the Development Process of LMS Platform Should Look Like?

Before hiring an outsourcing web development team of professionals or in-house experts who would assist and support you on every step of software development, you need to analyze the process.

Step 1. Validate Your Idea

Many businesses fail due to their unreasonable investments into the products which can turn out unworthy in the long run. In order to prevent loss and anticipate your ROI, it is of high importance to get deep insights into your target audience and conduct industry research. So before getting started to create an LMS web platform validate your idea by learning about its value on the market. 

With this purpose, we recommend to answer the following questions:

  • What problems will my LMS solve users’ problems?
  • Why do I need to develop LMS?
  • What are my competitors and how do they manage to provide great UX.
  • Who will be engaged in LMS development?
  • What is the budget for LMS development?

Step 2. Select the Best LMS Web Development Partner

Before selecting a service provider for your learning management system there are several tips of advice worth taking into consideration:


Visibility and transparency in communication with the web development team you are going to hire need to be of high priority in order to prevent the risk of getting another product than you envisioned. Your web development partners need to understand your requirements and elaborate upon them if needed. 

We at Northell, keep our clients up-to-date at every step of product design and development providing all the details on the tech stack we use. It is essential to start work on the product only once all the features were discussed beforehand. 


The company that had prior experience and expertise in the domain is already aware of the possible pitfalls and scenarios on how to mitigate risks. If the development team is experienced they have ready-to-use features that can be utilized in your LMS platform development, so that development time will be reduced and your budget as well. 


The company worth hiring for the development of your LMS system has to be flexible enough in terms of the pricing model that would be the most suitable for you. At Northell, we tend to offer such pricing models as:

  • A fixed price (when our team perform a certain scope of work for determining price)
  • Time and material (the client pay for the time spent on product development)
  • Dedicated team (monthly payment for our team rented by a client)

Post-launch Support

Signing a contract with the web development team is a good idea if you want to get continuous technical support during the year, for example, or just fixing the problems as per written request. 

Step 3. MVP Development

A minimum viable product is a method to test your product by developing only core features to solve early adopters’ problems and mitigate risks in the long run. In our article about MVP for startups, you can get a profound clarification of the benefits and process of the minimum viable product before software custom development. 

MVP benefits

Step 4. Test and Launch

To ensure smooth work of LMS features and functionalities running through various tests is a must-do. QA professionals are the guarantees of the ultimate product quality and integrity. Here are the main requirements for QA:

  • Maintains a comprehensive QA checklist ensuring all designs, content, and assessment resources work properly.
  • Checks platform and device compatibility of the LMS website.
  • Scrutinizes every individual functionality.
  • Performs regression testing after each sprint. 

Wrapping Up

With technological advancements, the education sector is also changing. To keep up with the latest trends startups/companies nee and carve out its slice in the market startups/companies need to know the best LMS practices and development process. Developing e-learning websites need a qualified web development partner who not only will help you in the development process but also in maintenance and support. In case you need help and an estimate of the cost for a custom LMS development contact us, and we are always here for you.