The title says it all: Ruzuku is notoriously easy to use, but ease of use doesn’t necessarily mean that something is good.
While they’re not exactly one of the biggest LMS systems out there, they have a lot to offer that top-tier LMS systems simply don’t bring to the table.
In this Ruzuku review, we’re going to cover everything from pricing to the pros and cons, forums to course management, and more. It’s important for you to have 100% transparency before committing to an LMS like this, which is why we have no holds barred.
What is Ruzuku?
Ruzuku is an online learning platform, or LMS, hosted for you on a site you design at Ruzuku.com.
On Ruzuku, you can build your course, host online live videos, and provide documentation and other materials through their CDN (content delivery network).
Ruzuku is essentially an all-in-one site builder, course builder, and tool to help you monetize online courses, and make a business out of your knowledge. With all the necessary tools and components you need to make an online learning empire, Ruzuku is the backbone of your online presence.
Why Use Ruzuku?
You should use Ruzuku if you’ve never hosted an online course before, dealt with live video, or taught online.
Ruzuku is a beginner’s platform that lets you get your feet wet and understand what it takes to make an attractive, engaging, and functional website.
Ruzuku isn’t an accredited learning platform, meaning you’re not going to see everyone in the education community represent or recommend it. Ruzuku is a tool that you have to put to use, because while it doesn’t compete with a lot of larger online learning platforms, it does help you learn the ropes.
With its understandable pricing module, you should use Ruzuku to begin your online presence as an educator, and then port over to another LMS in the future (preferably one that makes that migration process simple and painless).
Ruzuku also hosts everything on their site, so you don’t have to manage annual domain registrations. Even if you upgrade to the University Plan, they handle the site registration for you.
The one major benefit to staying with Ruzuku is that they don’t charge a transaction fee, so you get to keep all of the money that your students pour into their education. Ruzuku is already making their money off of your monthly subscription.
How to Use Ruzuku
Ruzuku’s UI is limited, which we’ll get into further in this guide, but it’s easy to navigate.
This is the basic structure of how you go about creating courses, managing them, and streaming content to your students.
To create a course, all you have to do is find the course creation option and begin filling in the fields.
Sounds simple enough, right? Well it is, and that’s sometimes the problem. Ruzuku is so simple that it’s almost one-dimensional, and some options you were hoping for might not be present.
You create a lesson, then activities within the lesson (view a video, fill out a quiz, etc.), and then determine how your student is going to continue from that point on. While you have options to stylize your course, it’s limited, so don’t expect anything insane here.
Managing your course is as simple as creating it. Simply enter the interface and dissect your course module by module to find what you need.
Everything is displayed in an easy-to-access manner, so if you have additional material, helpful links, or more documents to add into a course, you can do it easily.
Course management is a strong feature of Ruzuku for sure. If Ruzuku expands their service to allow more features and integrations, the current interface would become a bit cluttered.
It’s at a good point right now with a simple UI, but as an SaaS company, they’re always toying with things and expanding. At the time of writing this review, managing your course is simple, but that may change.
Streaming content gets a little dodgy. Remember earlier when I mentioned that you may want to eventually leave Ruzuku behind and port to something bigger and better? This is one of the reasons why.
For small online classes, Ruzuku does great with live video streaming. You can host a webinar with ease, interact with your students, and update them about course materials in real time. It makes the whole experience more enjoyable for you, but also provides peace of mind for students since they can get live answers to their questions without having to wait.
But there’s a catch. If your class hits over 100 participants, the audio and video quality drops significantly. Hosting webinars is a big part of the price package when you look at Ruzuku’s limited services, so this ends up being a big bummer. However, if you have 100 students in a webinar at the same time, you’re doing something right and you’ll be able to upgrade to another service without a problem.
It should be noted that in their pricing plan for Bootstrapper, you can’t host live videos at all. This isn’t surprising, but something you should know before going into this.
Ruzuku forums are basic, just like the site is. However, forums don’t need to be complicated. In many ways, their minimalist approach to the forums—intentional or not—serves as a clean place to learn about using Ruzuku, or to talk to your students in your course forums.
I’d say they absolutely nailed this feature by keeping it simple. Nobody is hanging around educational course forums for fun; they’re doing it to get an answer or solve a problem, and ideally, people want that to take as little time as possible. Since there’s no elongated setup time to get situated on the forums, it’s a fast way to get answers.
How Much Does Ruzuku Cost?
Ruzuku, like many LMS systems, has three separate tiers. For the Bootstrapper tier, you pay $99 per month, or a total of $897 ($74.75 per month) through the annual plan.
It’s fairly basic and only allows for a single instructor, and puts a cap on webinars, quizzes, and subscription plans for your students.
Next you have the Up-and-Comer package, which is billed at $149 per month, or a total of $996.96 ($83.08 per month) through the annual plan. Bandwidth restrictions are lifted, and your support is still top-notch. You can accept payments through PayPal or Stripe, build coupons, and access every single site feature.
Last but not least, the University Plan is billed at $199 per month, or a total of $1,500 ($125 per month) through the annual plan. The only boost from Up-and-Comer to University is the multiple site managers, getting your own domain (which is big), and having a dedicated account manager.
If your specific course (based on the type and intricacy of it) can thrive on Ruzuku, the University Plan is worth it, but you can also start with the Up-and-Comer and upgrade at a later date. There is a big advantage to starting with a custom domain in the beginning to reel in students, though. Try not to pay monthly, otherwise it can cost you 40% more annually.
What Makes Ruzuku Stand Out From the Competition?
Not as much as we would like. Ruzuku is a site-hosted LMS that charges around the same (if not, more) than some other great LMS options out there.
However, at all levels regardless of the plan you choose, there are no transaction fees whatsoever. That’s a nice feeling when you’re used to being hit with 3% to 5% fees everywhere you look.
You can make unlimited courses, have unlimited students, and host unlimited webinars. The thing is, Ruzuku lists this as a feature, when most of that is implied. Apart from some monthly bandwidth restrictions from some web hosting services, this isn’t groundbreaking, and listing these as features waters down the real value.
You can have multiple site managers, which is good, so if you get big and need to have other people host courses that’s an option. The main benefit that sets them apart and makes them worthy of a review like this would have to be the dedicated account manager that you get with the University Plan. They’re helpful and available quite often.
While they’re not super in-depth, Ruzuku lets you know who’s actually taking their courses, lets you view their progress, and look up pricing histories so you can determine which students have been around for a while.
It’s nothing crazy, and since there’s no real option to integrate a third-party analytics tool, you’re stuck here.
Ruzuku Customer Service
I would say that Ruzuku customer service is a bit above average for most LMS systems out there.
With any SaaS, you have to make sure your users are not only enjoying the service, but that they’re not running into problems with no way out. Unsubscribing is the last thing that they want you to do, so they keep their customer service pretty tight-knit.
Pros and Cons of Ruzuku
Ruzuku is a hybrid between a plugin (in terms of available features) and a full LMS program.
It feels more like an app than an SaaS system at times, but depending on the type of course you’re running, that might be perfect.
- Simple to Learn: You can learn to fully navigate and manipulate the tools at your disposal on Ruzuku in a short amount of time. After two weeks, you’ll be a pro at using it, even if you only spend thirty minutes per day learning the ropes. That means a shorter time from now to when your first course goes live.
- Zero Transaction Fees: At every level, you get to keep 100% of your money. It’s paid directly to you from your students, so there’s no middle man or minor percentages being taken off the top.
- Review Student Progress: Watch as your students progress through the various courses, and if they get stuck, lend a helping hand. This helps you to encourage students to continue using your site and your course.
- Alert Options: Email notifications, alerting you to when students message you, and discussion questions and prompts that alert students of when they’re proceeding through a course without completing all of the necessary material.
- MailChimp Integration: MailChimp is one of the biggest email marketing companies out there, and Ruzuku is partnered with them to integrate everything into one place.
- Multiple Avenues of Payment: You can accept money through PayPal, Stripe, or your own direct form. It’s all in your hands.
- Webinar Limit: If you can get 100 people into your webinar, you’re doing something right, but at that point no Ruzuku plan is going to give you the bandwidth you need to host them all in one webinar at the same time. There’s no way to increase the limit, either.
- Fewer Marketing Options: Compared to some other LMS systems out there, Ruzuku is limited in the way you get to market your class. You can use your own forms of marketing, but usually, big companies in the online education space end up giving you some level of assistance with marketing.
Is it the Last LMS You’ll Ever Need?
It may be. Ruzuku is a newer LMS system, but despite that fact, they’ve been making some fantastic innovations that quickly catch up to their competitors.
It’s not the best LMS out there right now, but after viewing information about course management, pricing, and everything in between, it’s definitely a solid place to start.
If you aren’t sure which one to go with yet, we have plenty of other guides for sites like Teachable, Skillshare, and every LMS in between. If Ruzuku isn’t for you, there’s plenty more to choose from.