When it comes to community-building platforms, there are a lot of different options to choose from for the community-curious.
In this video and blog post, we compare Mighty Networks and Circle and outline the pros and cons of each platform, and hopefully, this comparison will help you decide on the best online community platform for you.
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What’s a community platform?
A community platform is a place where people can connect with other members and share their interests.
These online community platforms help you build an online home for your very own brand or business, where you can connect your customers or fans, offer courses and memberships, and sell products.
It’s a great way to build relationships and grow your business.
There are many different community platforms out there, but not all of them are created equal.
What’s Mighty Networks?
Mighty Networks is a modern community platform that allows you to create online courses and run memberships alongside a community. It also allows you to host your content and subscriptions all on one platform
Circle is an all-in-one online community platform that helps you bring people together. It offers a suite of tools to help you grow and manage your community.
Mighty Networks VS Circle
So, what’s the difference between Mighty Networks and Circle? Let’s take a look at a few features.
Mighty Networks and Circle are some of the best online community platforms on the market.
Add-ons versus all-in-one
If you already have an online course, it’s recommended to simply add on something that allows you to have a forum, discussion boards, or a community without moving your courses. Circle fits the bill when it comes to this.
On the contrary, if you want to have everything in one place, such as your courses, memberships, and community, then Mighty Networks is the winner here.
User experience and interface
Circle offers something that feels like a cross between Slack and a forum. It’s user-friendly with its organization and different channels. It’s a visual community platform with personalized activity feeds for each user, private messaging, and a community space. Members may view other member profiles.
For social media or social network users, it’s very intuitive with little to no learning curve.
It’s a breath of fresh air compared to other community platforms that are a little harder to pick up.
Mighty Networks is slightly more difficult to pick up than Circle because it is so feature-rich. With memberships, courses, online community space, chats, and more, Mighty Networks is a little overwhelming for new users.
There’s a pop-up style window that comes up when you click on things, which feels a little less sleek than Circle.
Mighty Networks brands itself as a community platform that lets you create your own social network. Thus, things can be customized to fit your branding, and there’s no worry about ads or competition from other communities.
There are many community features that allow for interactions, group chats, and the like.
Similar to other social media platforms like Facebook, one of the ways that audience engagement occurs is through interaction with posts in a user’s personalized activity feed.
Mighty Networks sites generally tend to be more active than online communities on Circle. It may depend on who is creating and leading these communities, so it does not mean that the platform dictates how active people are on it and how people use it.
High activity generally is associated with a thriving community. However, there are cons to this as well. For example, it may mean that you’re getting a lot of notifications—perhaps too many at times.
Receiving and accepting payments
Both online community platforms allow you to receive and accept payments through Stripe. This is great if you don’t want to have a different payment processor or checkout tool.
However, this means that you may not have as much flexibility in managing your payments or if you need to make a change.
For example, if you need to change a billing date, add a coupon, or pause someone’s membership, you may not be able to do that.
Multiple currencies are also something to consider; Mighty Networks accepts multiple currencies, but Circle does not.
It’s also important to note that Mighty Networks takes fees on top of the payments that they process, which may take away from the money that you make on paid memberships. There are options out there that use Stripe yet do not charge additional fees, such as AccessAlly.
For Circle, you may have to upgrade to certain plans and pay more if you have more members or want to have more admins. You might start off with the Basic plan but may have to eventually upgrade to the Professional plan or Enterprise plan.
For Mighty Networks, there are no limits to the number of spaces, or communities in one single Mighty Networks site. It also allows for unlimited members. There are multiple Mighty Networks plans available, from the Community plan to the Business plan, to their most premium plan: the Mighty Pro.
Plan upgrades are something to keep in mind for when your online community grows.
Both community platforms offer a free 14-day trial, so you can try them out before committing. Note that the pricing for Mighty Networks and Circle recur monthly or annually, and are not a one-time fee.
You Might Change Your Mind About What Features You Want, so You Need a Platform That’s Flexible.
Get your own free demo sandbox account so you can experience the flexibility AccessAlly has to offer.
Both Mighty Networks and Circle allow for content creation in the form of a livestream or live events for your community members to view and attend, which may give them an edge over other platforms.
Mighty Networks is available as both web and mobile apps. They have both iOS and Android apps available. On the other hand, Circle has a mobile app for iOS only. There isn’t an app for Android devices quite yet.
Mighty Networks allows you to handle administrative tasks on their mobile app, while Circle does not.
If you want a fully-branded app or site that does not mention the parent platform, Mighty Networks offers full customization but at a high cost. This platform offers customization to the point that there is no mention of Mighty Networks on your app or site.
But if having control over your community design, brand colors, logo, and other brand assets on your app is important to you, then that is something to consider.
Both Mighty Networks and Circle allow you to send direct messages.
However, in Mighty Networks, you can create private spaces or group chats for direct messaging, a feature that may make it more desirable than some other platforms. These groups can help connect members in your online community.
Both Mighty Networks and Circle are hosted platforms, which means that you don’t have to worry about hosting or maintaining your own website or server. This is a huge benefit, as it takes a lot of the technical work off of your plate.
However, it’s a bit like building on rented land, where the landlord might increase prices or make changes that you don’t necessarily agree with.
Some may prefer building on their own land or self-hosting.
AccessAlly + CommunityAlly
If you’re just starting or have the funds to build something custom, that’s where AccessAlly and CommunityAlly shine. You can build everything on your WordPress site and design it exactly the way that you want it.
With CommunityAlly (which is only available to early adopters at the moment), you can have that communication within your online communities alongside your membership and coaching programs.
Since it’s not available to everyone yet and more features are still being developed, it can’t compare with Circle or Mighty Networks quite yet.
But, if you already have a WordPress site or use AccessAlly and don’t want to be hit with yet another login…
AccessAlly and CommunityAlly together make a pretty nice solution.
Mighty Networks and Circle are some of the best online community platforms out there.
Mighty Networks is a bit more expensive than some of the other options, but this community platform gets you a lot for your money with its advanced features.
If you want an all-in-one solution that includes everything from membership sites to online courses to events and community building, Mighty Networks is definitely worth considering.
Circle is a great option if you already have a website on WordPress and want to add an online community without changing your current setup. Circle is also a good choice if you’re looking for a more affordable community platform with a clean and intuitive interface.
So, which community platform is better for you? Hopefully, this comparison helped you make a more informed decision as to which platform fits your needs. You’re one step closer to making an online community space that your members love!
What are your thoughts on Mighty Networks, Circle, or community platforms in general? Let us know in the comments below!