AccessAlly Review – The Good and Bad for 2023



For this software, you’re going to need two things: one, be an online coach, trainer, or course creator, and two, know how to use WordPress. If you have those two items covered, then you’re ready for AccessAlly.

AccessAlly is a plugin that completely transforms your WordPress site into a monetized educational platform—it gives you a way to sell educational courses, memberships, and content right from your site.

The plugin also makes it easy to build courses that fit your needs and to nurture a community that is truly your own. Plus, it even has an affiliate program feature you can use to extend your reach.

AccessAlly logo for Crazy Egg AccessAlly review.

AccessAlly: The Good and the Bad

We’re going to rip the bandage off right away and admit that our demo of AccessAlly was not the best. Despite offering a feature-rich educational experience for your clients and pupils, you may find it to be a little clunky and outdated. That said, the demo is only a quick peek into what AccessAlly can do, so it’s important to remember that there is a lot more going on under the hood.

Another thing to note is that AccessAlly is only for WordPress—which could be limiting for businesses and individual entrepreneurs who want a learning management system (LMS) that’s built strictly for courses and education. On the flip side, since AccessAlly is a WordPress plugin, it also gives you more freedom and flexibility to create and design a solution that is uniquely your own. It even allows you to build a subscription-based recurring revenue website.

In the end, with a 60-day risk free money back guarantee, if you’re looking for an all-in-one WordPress-based LMS solution, AccessAlly looks to deliver.

What AccessAlly Is Good At

Online learning focus: From its visual course builder to its admin dashboard, AccessAlly provides online coaches, trainers, and creators purpose-built tools to deliver and sell transformative learning experiences.

The drag-and-drop course builder makes structuring your content intuitive—you can easily match the flow to your coaching methodology by organizing modules, lessons, assessments, and more. You can also customize the colors, logos, and style to match your brand’s design.

Rather than starting from scratch, AccessAlly has a collection of built-in templates for common coaching frameworks that can accelerate your course creations. If you want, you also have the option to design fully custom layouts and content. The builder is flexible enough to fit your creative vision from start to finish.

AccessAlly even offers a complementary WordPress theme to carry over your course design for a cohesive member experience. Its dashboards elegantly display available modules, upcoming releases, and the overall course progress.

Course progress screen with 33% complete and 50 points.

For coaches using a drip campaign approach, it’s easy to schedule automatic content unlocks based on time or completion. This creates anticipation while respecting your larger rollout strategy.

Lastly, AccessAlly also gives you cross-promotional capabilities to help sell other offerings like memberships, packages, and standalone programs right within the member dashboard.

With these custom dashboard options and tailored templates, you can quickly monetize your coaching services, courses, and subscriptions through any delivery model.

AccessAlly landing page to see preview of WordPress LMS plugin.

Membership management: AccessAlly equips you with diverse membership tools like self-service, bulk access, sophisticated permissions, and frictionless mobile login to fully control and optimize your membership experience.

Members can upgrade or downgrade subscriptions by themselves through convenient self-service options, and access is automatically restricted once payments stop. This puts membership control in the client’s hands—including password management, as the mobile-friendly Snappy Login Link emails members a quick sign-in link to bypass remembering cumbersome passwords to reduce login friction.

On the admin side, you can offer flexible membership structures like free trials, paid tiers, cohorts, all-access, and more. Having a custom membership dashboard can simplify cross-promotions and upselling when appropriate, so you can play around with what works for you.

Granting selective access across membership levels is also easy, as tag-based permissions give you unlimited control. If you get new sign-ups in the middle of a sales period, the platform elegantly pro-rates the membership. Registrations can be configured as free opt-ins, direct sales, bulk enrollment or handled by your CRM shopping cart. This flexibility can be key for capturing more leads.

For corporate training or white-label reselling, AccessAlly allows you to create bulk coupons for providing discounted access to groups. This is great for selling to schools and teams.

WordPress Membership Plugin landing page.

Learning features enrich the learning experience: AccessAlly equips course creators with diverse tools to enrich the learning experience for students. Video bookmarks allow you to link to specific spots in videos while setting objectives that participants must complete before continuing. There are also checklists and task sets that can boost retention and comprehension.

To personalize communication between adminds and individual students, the platform has a private notes feature. Students can also privately ask questions and get coaching, so nothing goes unanswered.

AccessAlly private notes window.

Displaying progress tracking motivates students as they visually see themselves moving through modules—and you can reward them with completion certificates for reaching course milestones.

Course completion certificate.

Beyond the gamification, the ability to assign coursework and accept direct submissions within AccessAlly keeps students engaged.

From progress bars and private notes to deep-linked media and interactive assignments, AccessAlly provides online educators with advanced yet intuitive tools to involve their learners with an immersive experience.

Points systems features and offers.

CommunityAlly: AccessAlly’s CommunityAlly module provides powerful tools for building an engaged member community. It facilitates collaborative learning through discussion forums where users can network and share knowledge.

As an admin, you have the option to create one universal hub along with segmented cohorts, or you can have multiple community spaces such as topic-specific forums to ensure meaningful connections depending on the situation.

With configurable permissions and notifications, you maintain control over discussions while enabling organic interactions. On the flipside, members can also choose their preferred alerts.

Altogether, CommunityAlly helps coaches and course creators foster vibrant member communities within their own native sites. This leads to richer peer learning while future-proofing your audience growth.

Directory feature with three people shown.

Streamlined payments and checkout: AccessAlly streamlines the payment and checkout process for both site owners and customers. The intuitive three-step order forms provide a smooth purchasing experience. The all-important abandoned cart automation also helps recapture sales.

Accepting simple payment options—such as credit cards and PayPal—reduces friction and simplifies memberships with recurring billing schemes.

To create a sense of urgency, you can also add features like countdown timers and vacant spot indicators to promote conversions. When events or courses sell out, customers are automatically waitlisted for the next offering, and you capture more leads for future sales.

Promotional countdown timer screenshot.

For site owners, AccessAlly handles the entire transaction process seamlessly—from the simple buying experience to building in urgency and scarcity, it optimizes payments and checkouts to maximize sales conversions with less effort.

Payment method selection and billing information screen.

Affiliate program: AccessAlly simplifies the launching and managing of affiliate marketing programs to boost course and membership promotions. You can decide commission structures, tiers, eligibility levels, and what offerings earn affiliate revenue.

The affiliate dashboard provides visibility into sales reports and revenue attributions so you can optimize accordingly.

For affiliates, the platform provides an engaging interface to track sales progress and earnings. Leaderboards displaying top affiliates can drive up referrals as they compete for top spots.

By rewarding members for spreading the word about your offerings, you can harness the marketing power of your own community. This expands your sales reach and incentivizes your power users. It’s a win-win.

WordPress Affiliate Plugin landing page.

LMS and reporting features: AccessAlly provides analytics and sales reporting to help online educators track their business growth. The LMS dashboard reveals student progress, scores, and completion rates in real time, while access to data on student activity and progress also gives you the visibility to identify refinement opportunities and drive more engagement.

Similarly, sales and revenue tracking helps determine which offerings are performing best. You can double down on what converts while remediating underperformers. Affiliate sales data also shows which partners are bringing in the most referrals. You can then tailor promotions to incentivize top affiliates.

A bird’s-eye look into all of your sales data like this allows you to leverage powerful forecasting tools to predict future revenue. AccessAlly equips you with actionable metrics and insights to help maximize satisfaction, referrals, completion rates, and sales.

WordPress LMS Plugin landing page.

CRM Integration: By syncing AccessAlly data with your CRM, you can manage members, automate workflows, and analyze data seamlessly without juggling tools.

The built-in email capabilities allow you to send customized messages like invoices, welcomes, and content unlocks. You can also connect your CRM to send materials from your existing platform.

If you have existing email tags and segmented audiences, you can organize your member directory from within AccessAlly. This is great for keeping control of your lists without worrying about cross-platform interference.

To help build relationships and better understand your customers, each member profile can display a photo, social links, course progress, and more with data pulled from CRM custom fields.

With a comprehensive view of your audience across marketing and membership activity, AccessAlly’s deep CRM and email marketing integrations give you a highly convenient way to automate your workflows and build strong member relationships.

Integrations information with a button to view integrations.

AccessAlly’s Potential Drawbacks

Only for WordPress: While being built exclusively for WordPress provides unique advantages, it can be a limitation in some cases. If you don’t already have a WordPress site, you’re going to need one before you can use AccessAlly.

This extra setup of registering a domain, finding hosting, installing WordPress, and configuring themes can deter some users just wanting an all-in-one solution.

Of course, this isn’t a problem for existing WordPress users. In fact, the deep integration as a plugin can even provide more control and customization over your learning portal.

For example, course pages are managed as native WordPress pages, protected by AccessAlly tags. Therefore, even if you cancel your membership, you maintain full access to your content and member details. This avoids the limitations of other turnkey course platforms that completely manage or restrict your access—which, again, some people might want.

Learning curve: While AccessAlly is powerful, the full set of features does come with an initial learning curve. You may find that it takes a significant time investment to become familiar with all of AccessAlly’s capabilities. These include the customization options surrounding courses, offerings, membership tiers, communities, integrations, and more.

The platform’s strength is the autonomy to build a highly tailored learning portal catered to your specific programs and methodologies. But this also means taking time to plan your content strategy, structure, learning flows, and monetization approach. You are in control, and therefore, responsible for pretty much everything. This can be good or bad, but we would guess that most people would want a platform that can reduce their workload right away.

List of features for AccessAlly's LMS.

Limitations and underwhelming demo: By exploring the AccessAlly demo, you may find that the overall learner interface and experience feels basic and/or outdated, and many user reviews echoed these sentiments.

In our experience, we found the built-in order and checkout forms to be fairly bare-bones and lacking in customization options compared to modern ecommerce platforms. Similarly, we also felt that the gamification system with points felt unsophisticated and rudimentary.

The quiz options are currently limited to just multiple choice, scoring, and personality formats. More assessments or open-ended questions would enhance evaluations. In fact, we were surprised to see that open-ended questions were nowhere to be found.

AccessAlly quiz feature.

Additionally, regarding AccessAlly’s “Personality Quiz”, relying solely on unscientific and unverified personality quizzes to customize the learning path is questionable. In fact, according to AccessAlly’s FAQ section, it’s up to you to create the personality quiz to judge the character of your clients and decide the optimal learning path for them whether you feel qualified to do that or not.

As for payments, AccessAlly only supports Stripe and PayPal out of the box. More flexible options like Apple Pay, Google Pay, ACH, or local payment types would improve checkout.

Payment information screen with an order summary.

Lastly—and as a sour cherry on top—the platform gets a bit salesy by offering a $200 discount when you’re finished with the unremarkable demo. To many, this may come across as more of a plea than an attractive price cut.

Step 1 to purchasing AccessAlly with completing contact information.

While the core LMS functionality seems solid, areas like payments, quizzes, and the demo process itself are quite basic and outdated. Significant modernization could help improve the user experience—starting with a modern, more useful demo.

AccessAlly Plans and Pricing

AccessAlly starts you off with a strong 60-day money-back guarantee. If you’re not happy with the software, you get your investment back.

From there, AccessAlly has three pricing tiers: Essentials, Pro, and Community.

Three plan options with prices for each.

Essentials Plan

The AccessAlly Essentials plan provides an affordable option tailored for solo entrepreneurs and owners of small coaching businesses who want to start selling online courses and memberships. With Essentials, you pay a flat rate of $82 per month when billed annually to access the core LMS features needed to create transformative learning experiences.

Unlike other plans with incremental pricing based on the number of members or courses, Essentials offers unlimited courses and members for your training portal, allowing your membership to scale without paying more to AccessAlly. This flat-rate structure makes it very suitable for early-stage coaching businesses aimed at establishing a recurring revenue stream and growing a digital audience.

The Essentials plan grants you a single site license, so your online training portal can be hosted on one domain. For companies with an existing WordPress presence, this allows elegant incorporation of courses and monetization features into your site. You’ll instantly have access to all the tools required to design sleek course interfaces, accept payments, engage members, and sell your expertise.

To help you get started, Essentials provides top-tier support and up to three monthly tuneup training calls. You can leverage these sessions to ask questions and receive guidance for optimizing AccessAlly according to your specific business needs. The ongoing assistance is available to ensure you continue getting value from the platform as your training offerings expand.

Pro Plan

The AccessAlly Pro plan builds on top of the Essentials foundation to provide online education businesses with more advanced tools for growth and maximizing the learning experience. With Pro, you pay $108 per month when billed annually to access both core and premium LMS capabilities.

Like Essentials, Pro offers unlimited course creation and members, top-tier support, and a single site license. Once again, you can continue growing your audience and portal capabilities without dealing with incremental pricing.

On top of the Essentials feature set, Pro sprinkles in some analytics through an integrated LMS dashboard. The dashboard is useful for you to gain visibility into crucial metrics like student progress, engagement, completion rates, and sales trends. These insights identify opportunities to refine your courses and onboarding for better outcomes.

Pro also provides coaches with more options to actively engage students through multiple quiz formats, personalized private notes, assignable coursework, and auto-generated completion certificates. This deeper interactivity drives higher retention rates if your students feel invested in applying newly learned concepts.

The Pro tier is a good fit for established education businesses ready to attract a larger audience and add some more value out of high-touch coaching interactions.

Community Plan

The AccessAlly Community plan is designed for coaches, trainers, and businesses interested in facilitating peer-to-peer social learning. With Community, you pay $124 per month when billed annually to access a full suite of community building features, in addition to everything the Pro plan already offers.

Like Pro, a Community subscription retains all the premium LMS tools to manage educational content and gain insights. Where Community goes beyond Pro is by integrating network-level forums and discussions within your native training portal. You can create unlimited public and private community groups segmented by topic, cohort, or demographic.

Within these segmented communities, active members are able to participate through posts, comments, reactions, and notifications. As the course creator, you have granular management over permissions, moderation, and analytics.

This plan is good for established educators with large audiences looking to provide a social learning and networking community—hence the name.

Book a free discovery call landing page.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking to monetize your expertise via your WordPress site, AccessAlly equips you with the tools to do so. It lets you easily build and sell courses via memberships and subscriptions—giving you more flexibility and control than many standard LMS options out there.

For coaches and educators who are tired of chasing their communities from one platform to the next, AccessAlly provides a way of bringing those members together in one place via WordPress.

It may not be as polished as some other third-party platforms, but having administrative control with a plugin—and knowing you have it—just might be worth it.


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