Community platforms, like Mighty Networks, have changed the game for creators and educators looking to build a community business around their ideas and expertise.
Platforms like Mighty Networks pioneered a space where ideas, learning, and connections thrive. However, every community’s needs are unique, leading many to explore alternatives. Whether due to pricing, specific features, or user experience, the search for the perfect community platform is more relevant than ever.
This guide delves deep into the world of online community platforms, offering insights into the top alternatives to Mighty Networks in 2024. So, whether you are just starting to look into community platforms or are looking to make the switch from Mighty Networks, join us in uncovering the platforms that can elevate your online community to new heights.
The benefits of community platforms
In an increasingly digital world, community platforms have become vital for fostering connections, engagement, and learning. Here are some key benefits they offer:
- Enhanced engagement: These platforms provide a space for like-minded individuals to interact, share ideas, and collaborate, leading to higher engagement levels.
- Knowledge sharing: They facilitate the exchange of information and experiences, making them ideal for learning and growth.
- Meaningful connections: Members can connect with peers, experts, and influencers, expanding their professional and personal networks based on mutual interests.
- Brand building: For businesses and creators, these platforms are instrumental in building brand loyalty and a dedicated follower base.
- Monetization avenues: Many community platforms offer features for monetization, such as subscriptions, exclusive content, and e-commerce integrations.
Understanding these benefits helps in appreciating the value these platforms add to both individuals and organizations, guiding the choice of the most suitable platform for your needs.
Mighty Networks: A comprehensive review
Mighty Networks has been a frontrunner in the community platform space, offering a combination of community building, course creation, and membership management tools. The platform is known for its ability to bring together people with shared interests in a structured and engaging way. Key features include:
- Community building: Mighty Networks excels at creating vibrant, interactive communities with features like discussion boards, event planning, and networking tools.
- Course creation: The platform allows for the creation of comprehensive online courses, complete with modules, lessons, and interactive elements.
- Membership management: Mighty Networks provides tools for managing memberships, including payment processing, member segmentation, and access control.
Pros and Cons of Mighty Networks
Mighty Networks, like any platform, has its strengths and limitations:
- Comprehensive toolset: Offers a wide array of features for community engagement, eLearning, and membership management.
- Scalability: Mighty Networks can support communities of various sizes, from small groups to large networks.
- Engagement features: Provides robust tools for member engagement and interaction.
- Complexity: The platform has an overwhelming user experience making it challenging to use for many hosts and their community members.
- Limited customization: While offering various features, customization options are limited compared to other platforms.
- Cost: The pricing structure may be prohibitive for many. While MIghty does offer budget plans, vital features are included in it’s Pro plan which starts at $30,000 per year.
Why seek alternatives to Mighty Networks?
Mighty Networks sets a high standard in community engagement and eLearning, but it’s not the one-size-fits-all solution. Several factors drive the search for alternatives:
- Customization needs: While Mighty Networks offers a range of features, its customization is quite limited. Other competitors allow for great customization of the user interface, for example tailoring the home screen, member profile fields and menu item names.
- Budget constraints: Mighty Networks bundles a lot of its essential features into the Pro plan, the cost of which will be prohibitive to many. Mighty also includes hidden costs such as charging transaction fees and ‘engagement boosts’.
- User-friendliness: Mighty Networks is structured around ‘spaces’ which can be overwhelming and confusing. The navigation is unfamiliar to many users and involves a learning curve.
- Different engagement styles: Depending on the community type, the style of engagement needed might differ from what Mighty Networks offers.
Understanding these reasons helps in identifying what to look for in a new platform, ensuring that it aligns perfectly with your community’s needs.
Alternatives to Mighty Networks
Features to look for in a community platform
When evaluating alternatives to Mighty Networks, prioritize the following features:
- Intuitive user interface: The ease of navigation is crucial. A platform that’s straightforward and user-friendly enhances the experience for both community managers and members.
- Customization: The ability to tailor the look, feel, and functionality to match your brand and community’s ethos is essential. This includes layout changes, branding elements, and personalized user experiences.
- Your own branded app: It is increasingly important to offer your community a strong mobile experience and your own branded app is just the way to achieve this, whilst supercharging your brand.
- Integration capabilities: A platform that seamlessly integrates with other tools (like CRM systems, marketing tools, and content management systems) provides a more cohesive experience and helps you streamline your business.
- Diverse engagement tools: Features like forums, polls, live streams, member directories, and interactive content keep members engaged and active.
- Analytical insights: In-depth analytics help understand member behavior and engagement levels, which is key for growing and adapting your community.
1. Disciple Media
As a versatile and user-centric community platform, Disciple Media stands out for prioritizing community engagement with an emphasis on branding and customization.
- Branding and identity: Disciple Media allows you to create your own fully branded mobile community app, available on iOS & Android app stores. This ensures that your community stands out and isn’t lost in the multitude of communities on a larger parent app, as is the case with Mighty Networks without an upgrade.
- Customization and familiarity: Disciple offers extensive customization of the user interface, navigation, and overall features, making the platform highly adaptable to specific community needs. The navigation tools have a familiar feel, similar to popular social media platforms, ensuring an easy transition and usability for members.
- Advanced features: Provides features like native live streaming, group messaging, and powerful member management tools, which are not as heavily emphasized on Mighty Networks. These features add significant value, especially for communities focusing on engagement and interactivity.
- Superb console for managing your community: With Disciple you get a more powerful console product, that will allow you to better manage, segment and monetize the members of your community.
- No free plan: Disciple is best suited for communities that are already established or have funding, as it does not offer a free plan. This aspect might be challenging for new or small-scale communities just starting out.
Kajabi is renowned for its excellence in online course creation and marketing, making it a favorite among educators and digital entrepreneurs.
- Superior course creation tools: Kajabi stands out for its diverse and flexible options for creating online courses. Its platform is tailored to provide educators with an array of tools for course development, surpassing Mighty Networks in terms of dedicated educational functionalities.
- Robust marketing capabilities: Kajabi excels in providing comprehensive marketing solutions. These include advanced email marketing, automated sales funnels, and detailed analytics, empowering creators to effectively promote and sell their courses.
- Limited community building features: While Kajabi is a leader in course creation and marketing, its community features are not as pronounced as Mighty Networks. For those prioritizing community engagement alongside course delivery, this might be a limitation. The platform’s structure leans more towards individual learning experiences rather than fostering interactive community spaces.
Podia presents itself as a versatile all-in-one platform, blending online course selling with community engagement, all within a notably user-friendly interface.
- Integrated platform for courses and community: Podia provides a balanced integration of online course selling and community engagement tools. This makes it a suitable choice for creators who want to manage both aspects seamlessly in one place.
- User-friendly design: Podia is acclaimed for its ease of use. Its straightforward, intuitive interface stands in contrast to the more complex layout of Mighty Networks, making it a better option for those who prioritize simplicity in user experience.
- Limited customization: While Mighty Networks offers a range of customization options for community spaces, Podia’s design flexibility is somewhat limited. For businesses or creators looking for extensive personalization in their community’s look and feel, this could be a drawback.
4. Higher Logic Vanilla
Catering to businesses, Higher Logic Vanilla excels in building customer-centric communities, a contrast to Mighty Networks, which offers a broader approach to community building.
- Enhanced branding: Offers more extensive branding and customization options than Mighty Networks, allowing for a closer alignment with corporate identity.
- Advanced member management: Its robust tools, including interactive polls, may surpass Mighty Networks in enhancing user engagement for business-oriented communities.
- Superior CRM integration: Seamless integration with CRM and support tools like Salesforce, providing a more cohesive experience than what might be available in Mighty Networks.
- Limited interaction diversity: Falls short in offering the diverse interaction types and advanced monetization options found in Mighty Networks.
- Some outdated features: Certain aspects, such as event booking, may not be as up-to-date as those in Mighty Networks, affecting the user experience.
- No mobile app: Unlike Mighty Networks, which offers a mobile app, Higher Logic Vanilla lacks mobile app support, limiting accessibility and brand reach.
Focused on organizational use, Hivebrite offers customizable community management with robust engagement features.
- Customization: Hivebrite’s building block approach allows for easy customization, enabling users to tailor their community experience.
- Membership and event monetization: The platform provides robust tools for generating revenue through membership and events.
- Jobs board: Hivebrite’s jobs board feature is a valuable addition, particularly for academic institutions.
- Ineffective Push Notifications: Lacks robust push notification functionality, a key feature for community engagement. In some cases, communities have seen a drastic drop in engagement when transitioning from platforms like Facebook to Hivebrite.
- No live-streaming: Unlike Mighty Networks and Disciple Media, Hivebrite does not offer live-streaming capabilities, limiting real-time interaction possibilities.
- Clunky backend interface: Feedback suggests that Hivebrite’s backend can feel clunky and less intuitive than other competitors, which can impact overall user experience and management efficiency.
Thinkific is renowned for its user-friendly approach to online course creation, coupled with features that facilitate community engagement. It positions itself differently from Mighty Networks by focusing more on the educational aspect while still incorporating some community elements.
- Intuitive course creation: Thinkific excels in offering an easy-to-use platform specifically designed for educators and trainers. Its streamlined process for creating and managing online courses is more specialized compared to the broader, less focused course tools on Mighty Networks.
- Engagement-oriented features: The platform provides a variety of tools designed to keep students engaged in the learning process, such as quizzes, interactive content, and discussion forums. These features are tailored to enhance the educational experience, offering a different approach to engagement compared to Mighty Networks’ broader community tools.
- Less comprehensive community features: While Thinkific includes some community engagement tools, they are not as extensive or as deeply integrated as those found in Mighty Networks or an alternative like Disciple Media.
7. Learn Worlds
Learn Worlds is distinctively an educational platform, specializing in interactive and immersive online learning experiences. This focus contrasts with Mighty Networks, which offers a broader range of community engagement features alongside educational content.
- Interactive learning: Learn Worlds stands out with its tools for creating dynamic, engaging courses, offering what may be a more immersive educational experience than Mighty Networks. Its platform is tailored for in-depth course interactions, providing educators with tools like interactive videos and integrated assessments.
- Advanced teaching tools: The platform offers a wide range of features for educators, including advanced course design options and analytics.
- Analytics and reporting: Learn World’s analytics are still very basic so you may find it difficult to gain the insights you need to improve your community experience.
- Limited community engagement features: While Mighty Networks provides a balance between community building and educational content, Learn Worlds is primarily oriented towards educational content. This specialization might limit its appeal to communities looking for a more comprehensive set of general community engagement features.
Buddyboss is a plugin that transforms a standard WordPress site into an interactive online community. It’s celebrated for its versatility in creating community sections within WordPress websites.
- Monetization and customization: Provides tools for monetization and allows significant customization to appeal to specific demographics.
- Branded mobile app: Offers the option to create a branded native mobile app, though this is an add-on feature.
- Cost: Unlike many WordPress plugins, Buddyboss is not free, and costs can escalate with more advanced features.
- Technical expertise required: Setting up and customizing Buddyboss to its full potential can be challenging for those not well-versed in WordPress.
- Integration challenges: Dynamically served content integration is known to be problematic, potentially making it less user-friendly than more straightforward platforms like Mighty Networks.
Launched in 2020, Circle.so is designed as an all-in-one community platform for creators and brands, with a strong emphasis on e-learning communities and course creators, particularly those already using Teachable.
- Seamless Teachable integration: Excellent for users already using Teachable, providing smooth integration and enhanced e-learning community experiences.
- User interface and engagement: Offers a clear, minimalistic interface reminiscent of Slack, making it easy for members to navigate and interact.
- Exclusive membership features: Allows for creating exclusivity within the community by segregating non-paying and paying members.
- Lack of whitelabel app: Does not offer a white-labeled app, limiting brand exposure compared to platforms like Mighty Networks that offer this feature.
- Limited availability: Not available on Android, which could exclude a significant portion of potential community members.
- Not a complete solution: While Circle.so can host basic courses, it often requires integration with other platforms like Teachable for full functionality, which may not be as convenient as the more comprehensive solutions offered by Mighty Networks.
- Mobile app limitations: Community management via the mobile app is limited, making it less convenient for administrators who need to manage their community on the go.
Passion.io specializes in creating app-based communities, focusing on interactive and engaging mobile experiences.
- Mobile-first design: Well suited for communities where mobile engagement is a priority.
- Affordable pricing: Passion.io is a good budget option for communities who want a mobile app on a shoestring.
- Content limitations: You can only host content on Passion.io within the context of courses, meaning that it lacks the flexibility that competitors like Mighty Networks or Disciple offer for many types of communities.
- Limited functionality: Passion.io is a fairly basic product compared with some of its competitors. It does include essential features but some are presented in a rather misleading way on their site, for example livestreaming is actually conducted via YouTube rather than directly through the platform.
- Limited web presence: Less emphasis on web-based community features compared to other platforms.
When exploring alternatives to Mighty Networks, each platform brings its own set of strengths and features, tailored to diverse community needs. Platforms like Learn Worlds and Thinkific excel in educational content, while Disciple Media and Circle.so offer more comprehensive community engagement solutions. Your choice should be informed by factors such as ease of use, customization, integration capabilities, and the specific nature of your community engagement goals. Among these, Disciple Media stands out for its perfect blend of user-friendliness, extensive customization, robust engagement tools, and excellent value for money, making it an ideal choice for those looking to create vibrant, thriving online communities.
How easy is it to migrate from Mighty Networks to another platform?
The ease of migration depends on the platform chosen. Many platforms offer migration tools or support to facilitate the transfer of data, but it’s important to check compatibility and available features for a smooth transition.
Can I integrate existing tools like CRM or email marketing with these platforms?
Most modern community platforms offer integration capabilities with popular CRM and email marketing tools. However, the extent of integration varies, so it’s advisable to check with the platform provider for specific details.
Are there options for monetizing my community on these platforms?
Yes, many of these platforms offer monetization features such as subscription models, in-app purchases, and access to premium content. The monetization strategies available will depend on the platform’s specific features.
What level of technical expertise is required to manage these platforms?
This varies widely. Some platforms are designed for ease of use with minimal technical expertise, while others, like those built on WordPress, may require more technical know-how for customization and maintenance.
How do these platforms ensure the privacy and security of community members?