30 Days With Lynda.com – Why It’s Still Worth it

Lynda.com online training tutorials

Lynda.com is one of the net's most popular video learning services.

I joined Lynda.com a year ago for 30 days to finish a college course. I also wanted to learn WordPress so I could start a blog like this one. Like Grammarly, it's one of my favourite tools.

Back then, I wrote a detailed review describing my experiences with this online learning service.

More recently, I rejoined Lynda.com to learn about analytics and self-publishing. In this updated Lynda.com review, I answer the question: is it worth it?

Discover 21 more great tools like Lynda.com

What You Get for Your Free Trial

In 2013, I signed up to a 7 day free trial of Lynda.com. before upgrading to a paid account. It cost me just under EUR19 for a month's access. For this, you can watch any of Lynda.com's 3000+ courses and learn on your computer or mobile device.

Update: Lynda.com now offer a 10 day free trial. Lynda.com offers a premium version for just under EUR28 per month. This premium service gives users access to all of Lynda.com's source files and lets users save videos for offline access.

Lynda.com also offers a discount if you subscribe for the year. Every time I logged into Lynda.com,

I was prompted to upgrade to the premium service, and the instructors for several of the courses made reference to it. I didn't use the premium service, but these materials would be useful for coders who need assets that they can download while they work.

Isn't This What YouTube is For?

Prior to using Lynda.com, I did what most people do when they want to learn something digital: I watched YouTube. The problem is YouTube videos vary greatly in quality and it's difficult to find consistently useful content (unless you're into videos of cats).

And anytime I watch a YouTube video, I end up scrubbing through the clip searching for those five seconds relevant to my project. When I pay for a premium online learning service like this, I expect it to save me time.

What Did I Watch?

During my time with Lynda.com, I watched courses about WordPress, Powerpoint and Photoshop.

Some of the courses run for over five hours, but it's possible to work through elements of a course in one sitting. This is because the authors break down their courses into a series of lessons normally between five and ten minutes long.

The trainers I watched were informative, entertaining and well prepared. It was enough to simply listen to some trainers but for others, I had to watch and work alongside them in Photoshop or in my code editor. And I even took notes – something I never do while watching YouTube.

It's All in the Playlists

I created several different playlists and saved bookmarks for future reference. I also alternated between watching videos in standard or high-definition, depending on my internet connection. Lynda.com provides a course history and gives badges when you complete a course.

Over the past year, I've cancelled and renewed my membership several times (depending on life commitments), and I was encouraged to find I could pick up from where I left off.

What Did I Learn?

I originally joined Lynda.com because I had to design a website using Bootstrap for a digital media college course. I was new to Bootstrap and I didn't know where to begin. Jen Kramer walked me through Bootstrap step-by-step, but then I came across a huge problem.

Her tutorial video was for Bootstrap 2.0 whereas I was using Bootstrap 3.0. Without getting into the specifics, Bootstrap 3.0 is rather different to Bootstrap 2.0. And the various 2.0 guides on Lynda.com and elsewhere don't directly apply.

After reading Twitter only released Bootstrap 3.0 in August of 2013, I accepted it would take Lynda.com some time to respond.

So, I resigned myself to desperately posting code on Stack Exchange. Then, half way through my project Lynda.com released a comprehensive guide to Bootstrap 3.0, and they even responded to my tweet about it.

Another Lynda.com gem is the Monday Productivity Pointers. The author, Jess Stratton, offers useful tips for apps like Wunderlist, Kickstarter, IFTTT and so on every Monday.

Lynda.com also employ a number of industry experts, notably Deke McClelland, who has recorded a number of excellent tutorials for Lynda.com about the Adobe suite. If you want to master Photoshop, his videos are a great entry point for bloggers who want to visually polish their website.

Learning On a Mobile Device

In February 2014, Lynda.com released a new Android app and it looks as professional as anything Lynda.com has released to date. Learning on a mobile device works if you're watching informational business courses. I mostly watched WordPress guides on an iPhone and on a HTC One, during my commute to work.

These WordPress videos taught me how to create a blog like this one and how to fix it when it breaks. If you're studying coding, an application or practical skills, it's better to take these courses on your computer, as you can practice while you watch the video

How Does Lynda.com Help Me Write?

If you're new to Become a Writer Today, you may be wondering why I'm reviewing Lynda.com or concerning myself with online learning. Well, I'm always interested in learning new skills like how to convert speech to text or improve the design of my site.

In short, it doesn't help me write directly. However, I learnt how to manage WordPress and create images for Become a Writer Today by taking their online WordPress and Photoshop courses. I also picked up some pointers about designing for the web.

These skills are useful for anyone who writes a blog because you can't create digital content without considering how it looks. Prior to self-publishing my book, I also watched a number of courses about self-publishing.

These gave me the basic skills I needed to create a digital version of The Savvy Writer's Guide to Productivity. I also picked up some tips for marketing and distributing an eBook online.

More recently, I watched a number of Google analytics online learning courses on Lynda.com. I love analytics because it helps me understand what is going on behind the scenes of my website. This information also helps me write better content for readers of Become a Writer Today because I can see what performs and what tanks.

Is Lynda.com Worth it?

Lynda.com's turnaround of a Bootstrap 3.0 video shows how quickly they update their materials. For this reason alone, it's worth the price of admission. They also regularly email to say when they've released new courses of interest. I've have taken a number of other online learning courses that are far more expensive than this site.

The materials and Lynda.com are first-rate and affordable (in comparison). If you have time to learn and you put the work in, it's money well-spent. I'd still like a way of asking questions via a forum or a comments section at the end of the videos. Most other online learning sites have these resources and these changes would make learning with Lynda.com more interactive.

Watching video is a passive form of learning, no matter how good the video. Since I first wrote this review, Lynda.com has released many more business videos, but there's still an emphasis on digital apps and tools. If you don't use digital apps regularly, you could investigate a free service like Alison.com or try a local night class.

10-day free trial My recommendation is to take out a 10 day free trial of Lynda.com. and try online learning for yourself. Alternatively, if you take out their annual plan, Lynda.com will give you 60 days free membership. Do you have questions about my review of Lynda.com or online learning services like this?

Please let me know in the comments section below.

Like this review? Check out my review of the best grammar checker software today.

Pros

– High-quality digestible materials

– Engaging industry experts

– Frequently updated content

Cons

– Expensive

– You can learn for free if you put the work in

– Emphasis on digital apps may put off some

This is an updated version of a Lynda.com review that I published in 2013.

Want to read more reviews like this? Find out is Grammarly worth it.

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57 thoughts on “30 Days With Lynda.com – Why It’s Still Worth it”

  1. Hi, Bryan,

    Thank you for an informative and balanced review. I’m happy to know that this is a good place to learn WordPress in particular. As a tech writer/editor, I’d like to point out a minor typo in your post: “When I first wrote this review, I criticised the price of Lynda.com. I’ve since taking a number of…” I’m guessing you can spot the error. Wishing you all the best for a productive and happy new year.

  2. Two things you don’t mention in your updated review are that they have now updated the free trial from 7 to 10 days. Not sure if that’s only through certain affiliate advertising, such at TWiT, or over all. Also, the Android app has support for casting programs to your television via the Google Chromecast dongle! Pretty cool to be able to bring up the program on your big screen TV, and then have your computer free to run the program during the learning.

    1. Hi Robert,

      Being able to watch videos on a TV using an Android phone and the Chromecast is a fantastic addition.

      Also thanks for pointing out about the new free trial, I’ll update the review shortly.

  3. Not worth it really. You can get this, that and more for completely free if you know where to look for it. Plus Lynda seems really slow at loading video’s. I lost patience with it in the end.

    1. Hi Yoyo,
      Yes you can find a lot of useful info for free online, but Lynda.com do a great job of condensing and organising it. I didn’t have problems with slow videos, but I’m sorry to hear you did.

  4. Igor Soudakevitch

    Thank you for this review, Bryan. Looks like you sold me on it; Lynda should pay you some finder’s fee, I guess. Or better yet, talk them into giving you a discount for your next course. 🙂

  5. Useful review! Is it easy to cancel membership? I want to try a free trial and I’m a student so not got much money.. Would I have to pay for 1 month in order to get the free trial? Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi Jem,
      You can cancel anytime during or after your free trial. Also no, you don’t have to pay for the free trial. I used Lynda.com when I was a student to learn more about WordPress and blogging.

  6. Bryan,

    I sure appreciate your post! I just learned of Lynda.com from an email I received from LinkedIn announcing their purchase of Lynda.com … I had literally never heard of it before this morning! In the email, LinkedIn is offering a 21 day free trial of Lynda.com, so that caught my attention, and I decided to search online for more information before giving it a try. Your blog is the BEST information I have run across, so thanks again! I am licensed real estate agent in Texas, and I have big plans for my website plus a of couple of app ideas. I need to become educated on both, and it looks as though Lynda.com could be the ticket. I also wanted to let you know that I appreciate your mentioning Alison.com, as that is generous of you and so helpful!

    With kind regards,

    Trish

    P.S. I am looking forward to digging deeper into your blog … want to check out the Free Guide to Twitter, as I have a couple of accounts but do NOT know what I am doing so I very rarely tweet!!

    1. Glad I could help Trish. LinkedIn recently bought Lynda.com for a tidy sum, which is why you probably received that cross-promotion. I didn’t know about the 21 day trial. That’s a good deal.

  7. Thank you

    I have always seen lynda.com and was on their site a couple of times but there price always made me just skip joining.Lately i have started playing around with after effects and want quality tutorials to learn.I have been on youtube and there is some great ones and then some horible ones.After reading your review it has tempted me again.I will try there 7 day free trial and i think i will joing them.

    Thank you for your review

    1. There are some good videos on YouTube but it’s really just a question of how much time you want to spend looking for them and how quickly you need quality materials. Plus Lynda offer downloadable coursework alongside some videos.

  8. Hey esto es un gran poste. Puedo utilizar una porcin en ella en mi sitio? Por supuesto ligara a su sitio as que la gente podra leer el artculo completo si ella quiso a. Agradece cualquier manera. fafkddfaefaddacd

  9. Maria Cruz Guimaraes

    I didn’t try in the past Lynda.com due to I had to enter payment info. Thanks for your amazing page here about Lynda.com. I will give it a try at the free trial and probably I will pay a year subscription. I have a paid version of WordPress that I would like to improve, and I also have a personal project of writing my family history only to leave it for my children (and grand-children, one day). I hope this time I can get the needed knowledge to advance with my website project. Did you took the PhP course also? Do you do the plug-ins yourself? This was my problem, in the past.

    1. I took the WordPress course and I learnt how various parts of WordPress work. Actually, I looked at the first part of the PHP course but then I realised that I was getting into a technical side of WordPress that I’ve less interest in. Lynda.com will definitely teach you all you need to know about WordPress, but there comes a time when you must write!

  10. Thank you for the informative review, you need to supply credit card or paypal to avail of the free trial, this deterred me from signing up. I think relative to other services that Lynda is very expensive. $10 a month would be reasonable, its just too expensive given the quality and quantity of information that is available for free particularly in the technology space.

    1. Hi John,
      I agree, you can certainly learn all this for free using YouTube. However, I prefer paying for information occasionally, as the teachers do the hard-work of gathering quality materials in one place and keeping it all up to date.

      Personally, I don’t think USD10 a month is much to pay, as I’ve saved a lot of time from the lessons by the teachers at Lynda.com, particularly when I was new to blogging and didn’t know how to use WordPress.

  11. I’ve been a premium member of Lynda.com since 2009. I’ve finished over 50 courses. When I learn something, I want to learn it in an organized, thorough manner. Lynda.com does that. Sometimes I do have to go on YouTube for items that aren’t covered on Lynda.com, but by and large, I find what I need to know on Lynda. And it’s getting better: Interactive Transcripts. Tests. Playlists. App. All that on top of (generally) good tech support when something isn’t quite covered in the course.

    It’s well worth the money, and get the premium membership with access to files if you’re studying web design or coding. You really don’t want to be assembling these files yourself.

  12. JunePhilippines

    I’m currently viewing the Illustrator Essentials 2015 and I’m on Chapter 9 already. It’s really a big help. Better than attending expensive classes and physical seminars. I’m really learning stuff from it. I already downloaded some of their video instructions to watch in the future:
    – WordPress Essential Training
    – WordPress Plugins: SEO
    – Adobe After Effects Essentials
    – UX Design Techniques Implementation
    – Object Oriented Programming with PHP
    – Adobe InDesign Typography
    – SolidWorks 2016 Essential Training
    – Building Mobile App with Angular JS and Ionic
    – iOS App Development Essential Training
    – Creating a Responsive Web Design with Chris Converse
    – Creating a Responsive Web Design: Advanced Techniques
    – HTML5 Structure, Syntax and Semantics
    – Introduction to PHP
    – Maya 2016 Essential Training
    – Cinema 4D
    – Photoshop for Web Design

    1. I learnt the basics of WordPress and blogging from Lynda.com. I also enjoyed some of their design courses and used what I learn to create images for this site.

    2. Hypothetically if one downloads course onto computer , will he be able to see them even after the membership is not renewed ?

  13. Hi, thanks for the post. Very helpful for me to know more about Lynda.com. I have been a subscriber of Udemy.com for the past 2 years. Udemy.com make me learn a lot of new stuff. But some of the courses are really a bit of disappointment to me. Some are really good. But I want a better quality platform. I am planning to learn about creative design for my business. Is Lynda.com suitable for me? Any better options?

    1. There are a lot of differences between Udemy and Lynda.com.

      Almost anyone can post a course on Udemy if they are approved, whereas Lynda.com hires professional instructors. Also, you subscribe to Lynda.com for a monthly free whereas you buy Udemy courses on a once-off basis. Lynda.com is geared towards programming, design, marketing, business etc. whereas Udemy includes courses on almost everything as it’s user-generated content.

      Both are good but they’re very different. I’d suggest considering what you want to learn first and then evaluate the course before you buy.

  14. Wow… I ‘tried’ a trial, but why do you have to put in your creditcard information if the trial is free? Because it ISN’T! That is: If YOU don’t cancel your account after thirty days YOURSELF, they just start billing your creditcard, which cost me $100,- total.

    1. Hi Simon,
      A lot of online subscription services request card details to get started. You can always cancel before the 30 days are up.

  15. Hi Bryan
    Thanks for the post. Im having trouble finding out the different options for buying acces to Lynda. Do you know if it is possible to share the profile with others? I want to be able to use the account on different devices and to share the account with others in my team at work. But the price is in a hole new ballpark, if I sign up as a team member in a business.
    Thanks 🙂

    1. Hi Maria,
      I’m afraid I only reviewed this from the point of view of a single person (blogger, writer etc) rather than business person managing a team.

      I don’t think you can share your profile with others, but you could always ask Lynda.com for demo.

      From what I can see it’s USD350 per seat per year for business users, with one free seat included.

  16. Hello Bryan,

    I´m tempted in trying it out. Do you know if the videos can be downloaded and saved ?. Im currently leaving in Mozambique and the internet here is very slow and not cheap…

    great work

  17. Awesome review, I had the same doubt like you on why not youtube. I am pretty convinced that you get what you pay for, to gain something useful lynda seems to be a better choice than youtube. Thanks for this post!

  18. Hi

    Came across your blog while figuring out any way to get cheaper access to Lynda.com. While I dont deny the quality of courses on the site , there are a few things which have got my goat

    1) Restriction on having multiple learning path open at one time – I may be in a position to say learn MS Excel and big data at same but Lynda doesn’t allow that
    2) Offline viewing only available on annual premium plan – This costs close to $360 which is way too high to be spent in one go.
    3) No community support or feature to ask questions to the faculty presenting the lectures – so the learning is basically a one way dialogue.Basic MOOCs like coursera address this for free.

  19. I appreciate your honest review about lynda. Good to see that the content is considered high quality. I’d advise people to check with their public libraries. There are some libraries that have subscriptions with lynda, allowing patrons free access to the courses with the use of their library cards. Thanks again for the post!

  20. I cannot believe you cannot write comments after the videos. The comment section is a huge part of the learning process where people can interact and ask questions!

  21. “The materials and Lynda.com are first-rate and affordable (in comparison). If you have time to learn and you put the work in, it’s money well-spent.”
    Are you paid to write this nonsense? Compared to what? If you spend some time even on YouTube you’ll find much better videos, of much more qualified people, much more substantial and concise.
    “First rate” only if you don’t know anything about the industry practice you are about to explore!
    I watched some videos on Maya 3D, and not only that narator was always in rush, like: “I don’t have time to show you all…”, “I’ll just give you a hint…”, “You’ll figure the rest by exploring…”!!!!! but also the videos are so superficial that any other help, including the one included with the program, is so much more helpful that Lynda should be considered as the greatest ripoff in the online learning industry!
    They are simply the worst!!! All their mechanisms are only set to take you the money, not any is set to teach you what you paid for!

  22. Be very wary of getting a years subscription with Lynda.com. In the terms and conditions when you to them you agree them, Lynda.com to automatically takes the money out of your account yearly there after. No recompense, you agreed to terms and conditions. The courses are often good but there are better on You tube.

    I would say they are underhand and scammers. I did not read the terms and conditions, I expected to get a reminder.

    Obviously I am pretty pissed off at having blown $427.00 AU on a courses I hardly use.

  23. I’ve come back to Lynda after discovering I have access to the site through my local library with my library card # for no additional cost. I’ve done extensive training on-line with different tech training sites. The one thing missing on Lynda is the ability to get questions answered about course content or leave comments on courses. This is a huge deficiency in my mind. For example, I’m working on a technical JavaScript course, and one of the examples does not produce the results the instructor predicted – even her example files did not work – so that lesson was a waste of time.

    Now that Lynda.com is owned by Microsoft (via their acquisition on LinkedIn) , there are definitely resources available to address this shortfall.

    Design courses like the Photoshop content maybe OK for this type of learning concept, but programming courses really do not work without an interactive aspect of the training. The instructors are very high quality, but if this training resource was not provided to me for free, I would not be a member.

  24. Hello,
    I am considering signing up for Linda.com but I am uncertain how the payment / cost works.
    Do you pay a monthly fee of $19.99(basic) or $29.99 (premium) just to be able to access the various courses? You then still pay the cost of the course (s) you decide to take?
    Thank you,
    Tanya

  25. Dr. George Rambacher

    I’ve tried 3 different (BRAND NEW) android phones, have spent over 30-33 hours and approximately 3 weeks of “trouble shooting” the OFFLINE ACCESS PROMISE directly with Lynda’s customer support, including LIVE GEOGRAPHICAL MOBILITY TESTING “out in the field”.
    The consistent denial of access OFFLINE, the consistent inability to access course material while not having an INTERNET ACCESS, even “after” having PRE – DOWNLOADED course material, is simply suspicious of potential FRAUD.
    A support tech even ran through a TROUBLESHOOTING process with me, LIVE, over my landline phone, WHILE USING AN ANDROID GALAXY 6.O SAMSUNG DEVICE, to try and solve the issue of “why” the Lynda.com app would randomly shut my android out of the PRE-DOWNLOADED course material, with NO ABILITY to access what “I’VE ALREADY PAID FOR” within a full year premium pre-paid subscription.
    The “only recourse” was to drive around, go all the way back to my office, or HOPE that i’d be approaching a hot spot to RE-ACTIVE the “lynda.com” application, that had been coded to become DORMANT, within my android device.

    Lynda.com support tech QUOTE : “it really shouldn’t be doing that, I can understand your problem, and there’s no reason this should be happening”.
    “I’m really not the guy that can help you, cause it simply doesn’t make sense, especially after what “I just ran through with you”.
    You’ll just have to call back cause I HAVE NO IDEA !

    My impression, after much consulting, and LIVE troubleshooting with “my own” tech support engineer, and geographically TEST MARKETING their claim of OFF-LINE VIEWING is this : Lynda.com advertises OFFLINE VIEWING, but has the APPLICATION “coded” such that there is a random check within their app (on YOUR DEVICE), THAT FORCES YOU to continually “check in” and source the material ON-LINE and further requires you to find a nearby INTERNET CONNECTION to “log in”, on an ONGOING BASIS, which is highly “dysfunctional and degrading”.
    Consider the following :
    Lynda.com FAQ: “HOW CAN I DOWNLOAD COURSES FOR OFFLINE VIEWING”?
    Answer : Annual Premium members can download courses on Lynda.com apps to watch offline where Internet connection is not available.

    I can not explain the dilemma, however, after VERIFYING with “their” customer support that
    it “just doesn’t make sense” as to the inability to have continued “uninterrupted access”, I’ve come to the conclusion that even if the service was FREE, and even if THEY PAID ME to use it, it would literally be WAY TO DYSFUNCTIONAL and COUNTERPRODUCTIVE to have to deal
    with,…………as I have now proven to myself through much diligence !

    1. Dr. George. Next time you TALK to TECH SUPPORT you should PROBABLY also ask them WHY your keyboard RANDOMLY types some WORDS in all CAPS.

  26. I would like to point out that some libraries (mine in particular) pay for a subscription to Lynda.com which is available at no additional charge to our patrons. Yet another advantage of your local library, and an example of how libraries are not obsolete.

  27. Lynda.com has a lot of great stuff and a bunch of garbage.

    The biggest problem is everything works perfectly, the first time in the lessons, but following along, you will find that your system has different settings than the presenter and there is no way to stop the lesson and say, why is my screen different?

    Sometimes they skip complete steps assuming the user knew about the steps and performed them without prompting. This is especially true when you are in a beginners course and they are talking about something that requires you to be intermediate at.

    Each course needs an FAQ and a comments stream so other users can help out other uses when the presenter fails. Nothing beats a live person who can help troubleshoot in real time.

    If you are going to get it, go in on a corporate license so a bunch of you can enjoy it. Its not worth it for the individual user considering YouTube exists as well as documentation for every product in the world is out there, for free.

  28. Darlene Nethery

    Check your local library. Many have subscriptions for their customers so all you would need is a library card to have Lynda.com (and other neat stuff) for FREE!

  29. I have free access to Lynda via work so I’m checking it out. It does seem to be just videos (e.g. no quizzes or other things to facilitate learning) unless I haven’t found them yet. It does seem have better curated videos than YouTube, but I’m not sure I’d pay out-of-pocket for it.

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