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Finding Your Community's Home
Building an Online Course

The 7 Best Alternatives to

If you're thinking about trying, or already use it and are ready for a change, here are 7 of the best alternatives + the pros and cons of each one.

If you’re trying to build an online community, you might have come across It was launched by three former Teachable employees who wanted to create a product to host online communities to supplement Teachable courses. The Circle platform lets you build a community with forums, subgroups, and events.

If you’ve been thinking about trying Circle or are currently using it and have outgrown it, this post will talk through 7 alternatives to and walk you through some pros and cons of each one.

Ready? Let’s go!

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In this article...

1. Mighty Networks

The Best Circle Alternative

Mighty Networks is a powerful cultural software platform that brings together community, courses, content, and commerce. And it beats Circle on pretty much every metric. Mighty gives you flexible Spaces -- each one works like a container that can hold community discussions, live streaming, virtual events, courses, and more. Unlike Circle, Mighty lets you do all these things in the same space and choose which features to turn on or off.

Mighty Networks - Graphics - Courses and live streaming - Galaxy DAO

On the monetization front, Mighty lets you charge in 129 more currencies than Circle and even use token-gating. And it's WAY more affordable than Circle -- while Circle charges you extra to add more Hosts, members, moderators, and spaces, on Mighty ALL of these are unlimited.

Finally, Mighty Networks has an app for EVERY device (Circle is currently limited to iOS).

Mighty Networks - Graphics - Body Soul Livestream Paired Light

Since you get all the same features and a ton more for the same cost or less, Mighty Networks is an amazing alternative to (If you want to go deeper, we have a full side-by-side comparison of Mighty Networks vs. Circle.)


  • More engagement features than Circle (i.e. live streaming, polls, Q&A, group chat)

  • More flexible Spaces, with EVERYTHING in one place

  • Powerful, yet easy to use

  • Apps for every device type (Circle only has iOS)

  • Charge for courses and subscriptions in 135 currencies or token-gating

  • Unlimited members, Hosts, and moderators

  • More monetization options


  • Doesn’t integrate directly with Teachable (because you can host your course on your Mighty Network without paying for another platform)

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Here's a breakdown of Mighty Networks next to Circle's features:

Features Included

Mighty Networks


Livestreaming Included

Every Plan

Premium Only

Branded Live Streaming

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Chat & Messaging

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1-Click Zoom Integration

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Number of Currencies Supported




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Built in Polls & Questions

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MN- iOS & Android

Circle - iOS Only

White-Label Apps

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Starting From



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2. Slack

Slack is another alternative to With Slack, you can create specific channels for dedicated conversations, which replicates one of the main features of Circle.

Slack is common, and a ton of companies use it. So, there’s a good chance some of your members will know Slack already.

Slack also has a dedicated app that works well and is available across all devices (unlike


  • Intuitive and familiar to users

  • Available on mobile and web

  • Works well for groups that already know each other


  • No custom branding

  • No direct monetization options

  • No options to create online courses (although doesn’t have this either)

  • Charges per member

  • No subgroups

3. reddit

reddit is a popular social network that is dedicated to discussions, and millions of people are already there. Like, reddit allows users to create “communities”—formerly known as “subreddits.”

Functionally, a reddit community has many of the same features as, including an interactive discussion forum. Users can create posts, comment, and get notifications. They can also upvote their favorite posts or comments.

Like the other options on this list, reddit has a solid app for every device—which Circle doesn’t.

One major drawback of reddit is that you need to have been a user for a while with enough “karma” to get approved to start a community. This means that, if you create a reddit account today in the hopes of starting a community there, you’d need to wait for at least a month and work hard at engaging with other posts before you even have a chance of starting a community—and it’s no guarantee. Plus, you’re bound by a set of rules created by reddit, so you don’t have a lot of freedom to just build whatever you want.


  • It’s free & widely used


  • Must be a reddit user for 30 days and need “positive karma”

  • Not much more than a forum

  • No ability to monetize

  • reddit owns and controls everything

4. Kajabi Community

Just as was created to complement Teachable courses, Kajabi is another course product that has a separate community option—Kajabi Community. Kajabi Community is a product you create within the Kajabi Dashboard, and it gives you a basic forum function that can be divided into topics.

While it gives you access to your members and lets you start conversations, the Kajabi Community option has fairly limited functionality. However, like it lets you create a simple discussion forum to supplement your products.


  • Can be customized and branded

  • Lets you create discussion posts and comments


  • The community itself has very limited functionality

  • Kajabi is extremely expensive—almost 2x as much as Circle or Mighty Networks

5. Discourse

Another alternative to is Discourse. Discourse lets you create a simple discussion board and organize conversations. It also has basic engagement tools that you can use to respond or react to posts.

Discourse can be expensive, plans on the website start from $100/mo. Although the code itself is marketed as “free,” and you could theoretically use it to build a community, you need to pay for hosting somewhere. You would also need coding knowledge to set up the free code from Github if you chose that route. In fact, you might even have to hire a developer to help you set it up. It’s definitely not a simple option. This means that Discourse will either be expensive or extremely complicated.


  • Easy moderation & flagging inappropriate content

  • Clean, simple design

  • Good notification system & discussion organization


  • Expensive and complicated to set up

  • No chat functionality

6. Facebook Groups

A Facebook group is a well-known and free alternative to, and works to connect people. People with existing Facebook accounts can join in and take part in a conversation.

While you’d think that Facebook would be a solid alternative to a product like, it’s actually a terrible place to host a community.

Engagement is limited. Features are limited.

You’ve probably joined Facebook groups that had thousands of members and never thought about it again. Facebook often won’t notify you when there’s activity in the group. And the fact that the group may be free to join—unless it’s monetized through another platform—probably means that people don’t actually care about taking part.

Add to this the way that Facebook is making money off of your community—by collecting and selling your users’ data—and you’ve got a recipe for a group that probably won’t go very far. As more and more people boycott Facebook, you don’t want to start a community on a platform that potential members will refuse to use.


  • Widely accessible & easy to use

  • World-class products, apps, etc.

  • Many people are already on Facebook


  • Limited engagement features

  • You’re competing for attention with every other group, post, and cat video

  • Monetization is complicated

  • Some members may refuse to use it

7. Discord

Discord is another popular team chat platform. It’s similar to Slack in that it creates a text-based communication solution that helps community members have conversations. Also, like Slack, Discord allows you to create dedicated channels for discussion topics. It also has easy options for voice chatting since it was created for gamers to collaborate.

As an alternative to, Discord is comparable to Slack. It’s a good option to create channels for discussions and has the added bonus of easy live calling between members—which could be helpful in some situations. But it’s not really a good platform to build an engaged community on, and doesn’t have nearly the capability of an alternative like Mighty Networks.


  • Free & easy to use

  • Add voice and video chats

  • Has many of the same conversation functions as


  • Limited tools for growing a community, and would be almost useless for growing a business

  • No options to host virtual events

  • Not functional for organizing a large community


Mighty Networks - Graphics - Live streaming

There are a lot of great options on this list. But none of them do what Mighty Networks does, allowing you to create a vibrant community, host discussions, sell memberships, go live, build dedicated subgroups, and create elegant courses. All for a price that’s cheaper than many of these other options.

Yup, we’re super proud of what we’ve built and we care deeply about helping you build a powerful community that your members will love.

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