5 Best Alternatives To Mighty Networks For Online Communities

Team Disco
10 min read

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • Everything you should be considering before settling on the perfect learning community platform for you — and whether or not Mighty Networks should be that choice
  • Five alternatives to Mighty Networks worth considering, depending on what your learning community looks like and how you want your business to grow

There are a ton of community platforms available to founders and operators of HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF learning communities.

Navigating these options requires you to think about the short-term and long-term goals of your business, like:

  • What learning experiences can I offer now? What can I offer in the future?
  • Does this platform support those learning experiences?
  • How big is my community today?
  • How big do I hope my community will become tomorrow?
  • How can I facilitate conversation, collaboration, and inspiration amongst members?
  • What aspects of my business can I monetize?
  • When and how can I scale?

Every flourishing, prosperous learning community was once a humble group of members all looking to achieve some goal, learn some new skill, or network with kindred learners. The right community platform supports both ends of the spectrum and anything in between, including the learning experiences and member support you offer along the way.

A platform founders and operators often turn to is Mighty Networks. As far as an online community platform goes, Mighty Networks may have the best brand recognition and awareness in the game.

Started in 2017, Mighty Networks has allowed anyone to create a community, share content, sell courses, and market their offerings for over five years. With plans starting at $33 a month, it is also one of the more affordable options on the market.

Screenshot of the Mighty Networks platform

But affordability and name recognition can only take you so far.

Founders of learning communities and course creators alike who want to scale the number of community members and paid membership while creating life-changing learning experiences need more functionality.

They need an integrated platform that bridges learning and community in one place instead of putting them in silos. They need a platform that cuts down the number of other services necessary for building community, marketing tools, creating, hosting, and selling courses or other learning experiences, handling operational tasks, and generating revenue.

You may want to consider an alternative to Mighty Networks that will fit the bill for building the future of learning by curating thoughtful, powerful communities. Let’s discuss the pros, cons, and pricing of each to help make that decision easier.

5 Better Alternatives to Mighty Networks

Disco

Disco is an all in one platform that puts community at the heart of everything founders and operators do to build, operate, monetize, and scale learning experiences.

Any learning experience you’d like to host, including self-paced courses, cohort-based courses, or event series, can be powered on the Disco platform. You’ll have end-to-end control over your own environment and own brand plus a deep line of sight into the health of your community and the progress of your members.

The community features are what sets Disco apart from Mighty Networks and Mighty Networks alternatives:

  • Ability to create paid memberships with flexible pricing or even offer a free plan to create memberships at every price point
  • All types of collaboration spaces, like discussion groups, direct messaging, private messaging, and a personalized activity feed
  • Engagement analytics so you can track attendance to live events and other community experiences
Disco the all-in-one learning community platform
“Disco is the most thoughtful, creative, and well designed LMSs on the market. It is the only product we’ve found that tackles four use cases: one-off events, live cohorts, self-paced courses and community hot spot. If you need this kind of flexibility I suggest you hit the dance floor and Disco!” - Ryan Goble, Chief Learning Officer at Irrational Labs

Pros: Disco 
  • Disco allows users and members to seamlessly navigate between community and learning, where other platforms complicate that journey
  • Disco creates operational excellence for small businesses to organizations, allowing you to continue service and operations as normal after migrating onto the Disco platform
  • Disco creates efficient scalability, allowing you to integrate any features, user generated content, and other services needed while providing everything your members need on one easy-to-use platform (no hopping between tools here!) with a throng of customization options
  • Disco makes monetizing aspects of your business simple, plus, it allows you to collect payments through our payment processor to revenue can be tracked in one place

Cons: Disco
  • Disco offers a free 14-day trial, but no free access beyond that
  • Disco does not offer a mobile app, as some other community platforms and LMS do

Pricing for Disco

For growing communities and bustling enterprises alike, Disco offers every learning community a plan that fits their budget and unique needs.

Pro Plan - $75 a month

Our Pro Plan members receive one admin account, three instructor accounts, and total access to our platform to create a seamless, communal learning experience that’s easy to navigate for both founders and operators as well as students

Organization Plan - $399 a month

You’ve built the foundation and operate multiple learning experiences for your members — now, it’s time to scale. Disco’s Organization Plan lets you monetize more aspects of your learning community. The customizable environment lets you add your own branding, and learner progress reports allow you to track your member’s individual journeys to create a bespoke learning experience for everyone. You can also add more admins, instructors, and learning experiences.

Enterprise Plan - Custom

Large communities or corporate partners will enjoy a tailor-made plan fit to help their learning communities and supplemental offerings thrive. Our expert team will support your onboarding and ongoing community maintenance.

Want to learn more about our pricing tiers and which plan makes sense for your community? Click here.

Disco isn’t just a community platform. It’s a robust learning management system that puts community at the heart of the experience for your members and for your business. Disco walks you through meeting your short-term goals and helps you scale to achieve your long-term goals. For founders and operators who are serious about growing a learning community and generating a steady stream of revenue, Disco is the best choice.

Circle

Circle is a community platform best suited for creators of online courses and brands who want to create discourse with customers. Users can upload courses, digital products, content, events, and other experiences onto the platform to facilitate discussion amongst members. 

Screenshot of the Circle platform

Like Mighty Networks, Circle supports a number of use cases outside of learning like coaching, clubs, organizations, and other communities.

But, with that in mind, Circle (nor Mighty Networks) may not be the best choice for founders and operators of learning communities specifically. Disco has created the end-to-end tool learning communities need to thrive, and that niche focus has allowed us to create the best possible tool on the market for weaving the thread between learning and community.

Pricing for Circle

Basic - $39 a month

Circle itself describes their Basic plan as “the bare essentials,” allowing you to create your community platform and invite members on board to start discussion. You’re also able to link out to as many events as you want. 

Professional - $99 a month

At this price point, Circle users can white-label their environment to create a branded experience. They can also host online courses and access live streaming capabilities.

Enterprise - $399 a month

Enjoy dedicated customer success and priority email support, in addition to the other Circle features, at their highest price point.

Pros: Circle
  • Circle offers any use cases for creators, teachers, founders, and operators to create a community and scale their business
  • Circle’s clean UX/UI make navigating the tool, as a member, easy
  • Different spaces like threads, channels, and messages to make collaboration and communication more intimate
  • Circle creates multiple monetization opportunities for founders and operators to generate revenue from their business

Cons: Circle
  • Reviewers note that, on Circle’s back-end, it requires a lot of user configuration to upload content or create new features that can feel tedious without built-in widgets, presets, or blocks
  • Circle doesn’t specify for one particular use case, which can make it difficult for founders and operators to determine if the tool is right for them

Circle and Mighty Networks share strong community aspects and focus their product on cultivating that community. But where they both seem to lack is in the building, operating, and scaling of learning experiences. Creating an environment where learning and community go hand-in-hand, rather than as separate offerings, is our priority at Disco.

Read more tips, tricks, and guides on our blog if you’re a founder or operator of a learning community, bootcamp, micro school, or academy.

Tribe

Tribe is a community platform but designed more for businesses and brands to have a space for customers to engage and communicate. It’s customizable with apps, blocks, branding, colors, and logos, but is really designed to power customer-brand relationships and is not at all relevant for learning communities and their goals.

Screenshot of the Tribe platform

Pricing for Tribe

Advanced - Starts at $599 a month

Tribe is not designed for budding learning communities getting off the ground on a budget. Their base functionality costs $600 a month, adding on more features and expenses as needed for more costs.

Enterprise - Custom

For a custom price, Tribe will build the community you need or integrate into your existing app or website with all the features and functions you need to customize your platform. You’ll also have access to built-in legal review to keep watch over your community.

Pros: Tribe
  • Customizable to fit your brand’s needs
  • Zero transaction fees
  • Gives your customers a place to communicate and collaborate

Cons: Tribe
  • Too expensive for most growing  online communities, especially learning communities, and other businesses just trying to get off the ground
  • Not built to host, grow, or scale learning experiences like cohort-based courses, self-paced courses, or event series, among others

Tribe is not a learning platform nor a learning management system. Mighty Networks and Disco, for example, are designed for people who run virtual courses and create content for members in their community.

Tribe is similar to our following two competitors, Slack or Discord, as an integrated community platform rather than a solution that supports community as well as learning.

If it’s in your near or distant business plan to offer a selection of learning experiences in the form of courses, events, or masterminds, Tribe would not be able to support those efforts within their own platform. Then, you’d be forced to purchase a separate platform to host your learning experiences, and you’d create a divide between these two important aspects of your business.

Discord

Anyone with a particular affinity for something like gaming, podcasting, art, or other pop culture favorites likely has heard of or is a part of a community on Discord. Millions and millions of users use Discord every month.

Screenshot of the Discord platform

Discord is similar to Tribe and, as we’ll discuss, Slack: They’re not equipped to host learning communities and the supplemental content, courses, events, and other important features of a learning community. You could link out to another platform or service, but learning and community would not be integrated on one, easy-to-use platform.

Pricing for Discord

Anyone can create a Discord community for free. Nitro upgrades allow you to upload large files and content and personalize your community a bit more. For most locations, Nitro upgrades cost under $10.

Pros: Discord
  • A free platform (or very affordable to upgrade) for communities of all sizes can gather, allowing founders to invest money in other parts of their business
  • Strong live streaming capabilities to members for webinars, live events, and other content
  • Strong name recognition within the space, with some of your members potentially already active on the platform

Cons: Discord
  • Not customizable — the Discord platform looks the same from community to community, with minimal opportunities to brand
  • Not designed to power learning communities

Discord’s core offering centers around community, but learning is not a secondary priority. In fact, Discord isn’t built to power learning communities at all. Founders would need a new platform or a stack of tools to host learning experiences, track the health of their members, monetize offerings, and scale business.

Discord may be one of the most popular community platform options on the market, but it won’t hold a candle to other learning management systems as a valid tool in the learning industry. Learning thrives when it’s coupled with community, and a solution that enriches both is what founders and operators of learning communities need.

Save time, money, and resources (plus, your sanity) when you leverage the Disco platform and our easy-to-use features for bringing your learning community to life. Read how.

Slack

Slack is your digital HQ,” the website claims, as thousands and thousands of organizations across the world rely on Slack for communication. Like Tribe, Slack was designed for businesses rather than learning communities.

Screenshot of the Slack platform

Slack is a fabulous tool. We allow integrations with Slack on the Disco platform because it has cornered the market as a communication tool. But as a one-stop shop for members in your learning community, it falls short due to lack of integration with key learning experiences.

Pricing for Slack

Free - $0 a month

Access your free Slack channel at no cost, but you’ll lose messages after 90 days — so important notes and documents could be lost.

Pro - $7.25 a month

Maintain your entire channel history with Slack Pro, and enjoy tighter security within your community.

Business - $12.50 a month

Comprehensive, dedicated customer success and compliance reviews get unlocked at Slack’s Business level.

Enterprise - Custom

Support for Slack’s largest organizations — up to 500,000 users — comes at a custom price, but you’ll have concierge customer service and support from their compliance team.

Pros: Slack
  • Slack is very affordable, with even their most expensive base package costing under $13
  • Slack is a household name — likely the largest community tool on the market

Cons: Slack
  • Slack cannot stand on its own as a learning platform or management system. Founders and operators would be required to find additional tools to support the creation, execution, and optimization of learning experiences
  • Limited customization to make the platform your own

While Slack offers a host of powerful integrations for its platform, it does not have the power to manage a learning community and the offerings that come with it. In that case, Mighty Networks (or Disco!) is a better option for those who want to host learning experiences, empower members by understanding their unique needs with individual profiles, and monetize core aspects of the community like event series, gated content, or additional courses.

Bootcamps, micro schools, virtual academies, and learning communities of all sizes and scales need a robust solution that supports their business today, tomorrow, and years down the line.

If learning opportunities now, or in the future, have a place in your larger business, you’ll need a platform that can scale with you. While Mighty Networks is one of many options, it’s worth considering all the alternatives before landing on the perfect tool.

Choose Disco as the platform that will scale with you

To build, operate, monetize, and scale your learning community, you need a comprehensive tool that supports those efforts while maintaining the vitality of your members and their connection. Mighty Networks is a great tool, but there is a more powerful option on the market.

Disco can do it all: Help you start from scratch to build a learning community, market your offerings, and bring new members into the fold. From there, we help you maintain your community, address member needs, and create enriching learning experiences. Once you’re up and running, Disco can help you monetize more of your offerings, collect payments, offer discounts, and ultimately generate revenue that can become an additional or a solo means of income.

Don’t just hear it from us, though — book a live demo or watch one here. We’re also offering 14 days free to play around on our platform and learn about what Disco really has to offer.

Published
November 10, 2022
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