BlogHuman Resources

LMS vs CMS vs LCMS: How are they Different?

Continu Team
One Platform for All Learning
Human Resources
October 16, 2023

Unravel the differences between LMS, CMS, and LCMS. Dive deep into functionalities, use-cases, and which platform suits your organizational needs best.

LMS RFP Template

When developing content to train employees, there are a few platforms that come to mind: LMS, CMS, and LCMS. Here is how to differentiate LMS vs CMS vs LCMS, as well as which one is best used for corporate training.

The differences between an LMS vs CMS vs LCMS

The main differences between an LMS, CMS, and LCMS can be understood by the way that content is manipulated and who the key user is within each platform.

  • An LMS is learner-focused and emphasizes how the learner will use instructor-created content that is delivered on the platform.
  • An LCMS is trainer-focused and specifically serves the person in charge of creating learning content.
  • A CMS is a general content storage system that doesn’t prioritize a specific user and focuses instead on the storage and managing of content.

But how do they compare against each other?

Comparing an LMS and LCMS

An LMS (Learning Management System) primarily focuses on delivering and tracking learning experiences, while an LCMS (Learning Content Management System) emphasizes content creation and management. While they serve different purposes, some systems integrate both functionalities, combining administration, delivery, and content authoring capabilities.

Simply put, a learning content management system LCMS helps instructors create, manage, host, and track eLearning content. While learning management systems provide a more general learning experience besides content.

Both are similar in that they are SCORM compatible, used to develop materials for learners and design a complete training course.

Comparing an LMS and CMS

Compared to a learning management system (LMS), content management systems (CMS) only allow for the creation and hosting of content in general, while an LMS can do both and more.

Typically, a CMS makes it easy to create general content and display it on a website that can be accessed by both external users and internal employees.

Comparing a CMS and LCMS

A CMS (Content Management System) primarily manages website content, while an LMS (Learning Management System) focuses on delivering and tracking learning materials. CMS handles general content publishing, while LMS specializes in educational and training content management and delivery.

Now that you know how an LMS, CMS, and LCMS compare to each other, let's dive into the specifics of each one.

What are learning management systems (LMS)?

A learning management system and is software with features that allow users to create, author, automate, and deliver eLearning content and training courses.

Originally, online training platforms were a response to making learning more accessible and controlled in a company setting.

A learning management system LMS provides a centralized solution for company-wide training and the delivery of eLearning content.

What is the purpose of an LMS?

Learning management systems (LMS) are most commonly used in corporate and higher education to facilitate online learning initiatives, complete training objectives, and develop corporate training content.

These eLearning tools allow companies to create, store and organize training materials while assisting HR members with the automation of new employee onboarding.

Examples of a learning management system (LMS)

Learning platforms that enable individuals and organizations to create content for online and in-person training can be considered learning management systems (LMS).

Examples of an LMS include Continu, Docebo, TalentLMS, Absorb LMS, 360Learning, and LearnUpon.

[FREE DOWNLOAD: Shopping for an LMS? 10 Questions to Ask]

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What are content management systems (CMS)?

Content management systems (CMS) are used to create and manage content that can be hosted online in the form of a website or web application. By using website templates, companies can insert the created content from a database or file within a page without having to code each page individually from scratch.

The majority of CMS’s are self-hosted. Both the template and the CMS will be on a web hosting platform.

For example, a company has a WordPress website with a blog section. This blog content is written in the backend using a WYSIWYG editor to structure and format content, then published to display on the front end.

By using a template, the company can quickly and easily create content to be shown on its blog without having to code HTML for each page.

What is the purpose of a CMS?

The point of a CMS is to create, manage, and publish content to an online repository such as a website, help center, or web application. A CMS makes it easy for organizations to develop content for any situation, from blog posts to help-center articles.

Examples of a content management system (CMS)

A content management system can be classified as any platform that allows for the creation, storage, organization, and management of generalized content.

The most common examples of a CMS are WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Webflow, and even HubSpot.

What are learning content management systems (LCMS)?

Learning content management systems, abbreviated as LCMS, is an online learning platform specifically designed for training content creation and delivery. The LCMS comes with authoring tools to help instructors develop training programs for learners.

An LCMS is composed of eLearning features such as authoring tools, SCORM packages, and premade course templates.

In many cases, LCMS users are in specialized roles: instructional designers, administrators, human resource team members, or L&D professionals.

What is the purpose of an LCMS?

The purpose of learning content management systems (LCMS) is to provide instructors with the necessary features to build, track, manage, and author training programs.

An LCMS focuses more on the instructor's access to digital learning resources and ability to modify or update instructional courses.

Examples of a learning content management system (LCMS)

A learning platform specifically designed for instructors to develop digital learning content, host course libraries, and track content effectiveness are considered learning content management systems (LCMS).

Examples of LCMS are EdApp, Itacit, Next Thought, and Auzmor.

But which type of content system should you use to train your employees?

Which platform is best for employee training?

When it comes to LMS vs LCMS vs CMS, the best tool for corporate training is an LMS, specifically Continu.

An LMS enables your business to do much more than create and manage content, such as:

  • Provide learners with a blended hybrid learning environment
  • Import mixed media, SCORM files, and third-party content
  • Assess how your employees are learning and the effectiveness of courses
  • Automating new employee onboarding

There's a variety of LMS software to choose from, but the Continu platform is ideal for enterprise learning and development.

[LMS RFP Template: Make sure your LMS has everything you need to succeed]

Here's why...

Continu, the all-in-one tool for corporate training

Continu is a user-friendly, easy-to-use, cloud-based learning management system that has the features of all three: LMS, CMS, and LCMS.

Our modern learning platform allows organizations to:

  • Create entire training programs using powerful eLearning authoring tools
  • Import and upload SCORM files, videos, and presentations
  • Centralize learning resources and training materials
  • Track and measure employee training progress
  • Generate detailed LMS reports using learner analytics and data
  • Host virtual ILT workshops with Zoom attendance tracking
  • Deliver training to employees, customers, and vendors in real-time
  • Connect with tools your team already uses through deep integrations

LMS RFP Template

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About the Author
Continu Team responsible for Continu's content.
Continu Team
One Platform for All Learning

Continu is the #1 modern learning platform built to help companies scale and consolidate learning. From training customers to employees, Continu is the only platform you need for all learning.