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Community

Mighty Networks vs. Circle: Which Is the Better Community Platform?

If you’ve been looking for a place to host your online community, we’re diving deep into two options.

By Mighty Team

January 16, 2024

14 min read

IN THIS ARTICLE

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    Right now is a great time to choose a software platform and build an online community. Thousands of thriving communities exist online, dedicated to everything from organic gardening to heavy metal to digital marketing.


    If you're looking for an online community platform, we're going to compare two in this post: Mighty Networks vs. Circle. We'll show you how they line up on features, marketing, pricing, and more!


    If you want more support in building your online community, come join OUR Mighty Community for free and meet other new and established community owners! We’d love to meet you. Join for free!





    ((toc))


    What is an online community platform?


    An online community platform is a service that gives you robust tools to design and build a website for a group of people around a theme, topic, or idea.


    Online communities are just like physical ones in that they are a group of like-minded people who have come together to achieve a common goal.


    But online communities have a number of benefits that physical ones don’t. They’re more accessible to a wider range of people. And they are much easier to grow since the digital element lets you bring more people in and deliver value at scale – you can leverage the technology to serve more people.


    If you're launching a community, try our AI-powered community name generator! Mighty Co-Host™ runs on Chat GPT and can create a Big Purpose, community name, brand, landing and sales pages, and more. Try it!





    Try Our Community Name Generator

    Our AI engine is here to help you create a community name that feels like magic. Just share a few words about who your community is for and we’ll get to work.

    Examples: coaching clients, meditation novices, vegan chefs, dog lovers, aspiring entrepreneurs, etc.

    The names generated by Mighty Co-Host™ are examples only and may be used by other businesses or subject to third-party rights. For more information, check our Terms.





    Mighty Networks vs. Circle: Who are they?


    Mighty Networks


    Mighty Networks is a community platform and online course builder that's ranked the #1 community management platform by G2. Mighty lets you bring your community, courses, commerce, and content together, under your own brand and domain name, instantly available both on the web and on elegant iOS and Android apps. You can also get your community on branded apps.


    Mighty Networks - Graphics - Discovery - VC NEws


    Mighty lets you divide your content into relevant Spaces, easily customizing the options for each space to add discussions, courses, events, live streaming, and more.


    Start Your Free Trial


    Circle


    Circle is a community platform that was designed to add a community component to your existing tech stack. It includes the option to create spaces for discussions, courses, events, or content. You can add text and video content to spaces.


    While Circle was created as a way to add community to Teachable, they've been adding features like a course-builder, launched in the fall of 2022. This new feature makes Circle a potential standalone course and community platform.


    Mighty Networks vs. Circle: Comparison chart





    Features Included

    Mighty Networks

    Circle

    AI Community Building

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    Livestreaming Included

    Every Plan

    Premium Only

    Email Marketing

    ConvertKit Integration

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    Chat & Messaging

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    1-Click Zoom Integration

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    Number of Currencies Supported

    135

    6

    Token-Gating

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    Built in Polls & Questions

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    White-Label Apps

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    Icon checked

    Courses

    Icon checked
    Icon checked

    Starting From

    $33/mo

    $49/mo





    Mighty Networks vs. Circle: Judgment criteria



    • Customization and a robust feature set. What each platform gives you to run your community. We'll look at things like online course creation, paid memberships, discussion boards, polls, Q&As, member profiles, live streaming, video uploads, and more.

    • Monetization options. Community is more than just engagement features. Many Hosts are looking to build businesses with a community, either by adding it to courses or by monetizing the community itself. We’ll compare what these platforms give you for running your business.

    • Marketing and branding tools. How can you get your courses and community in front of people? Email? Notifications? Landing pages? We'll compare.

    • Mobile Apps. Accessibility is vital. If your members can access the community or course from a variety of places they will be more invested. Online community platforms that can be built for and across the web, iOS, and Android are a must.

    • Price. Make sure you’re thinking about future-proofing a growing community. Does the platform allow for unlimited members, moderators, and courses? A good community platform should grow with you for a reasonable price.


    Start Your Free Trial


    Mighty Networks vs. Circle


    Customization and features


    One of the first things you’re looking for if you’re building a community is the features. That is to say, what can you do with this thing? And with so many community platforms out there vying for your attention, it’s hard to know what to look for. Let’s talk about some of the most important things.


    Mighty Networks


    Mighty Networks has a set of features and customization options that earned it G2’s coveted #1 spot. It blends an all-in-one, easy-to-use interface with a powerful content engine that lets you create just about anything you could imagine, short posts, video, long-form blogs, questions and polls, live streaming, courses, and events.


    Mighty Networks - Graphics - Live streaming


    Mighty’s member interface also lets you see who’s in your community, including who’s near you, and members can customize their profiles. It also makes chat ridiculously easy, from chatting 1:1 to group chats.


    Mighty offers you a big-tent community platform, but you can also divide your content up into Spaces. Each Space works like a container where you can custom-build experiences using any of the features above. The Space can be built around a course, an event, or a topic or subset of your wider community – and yes, you get unlimited spaces with every Mighty Network (for a limited time).


    Basically, you can customize the features you want to include for each space.


    Mighty Networks - Graphics - Discovery - VC NEws



    • For a course space, you can start with a pre-recorded course and build around it or teach a live course.

    • For a discussion space, you can lead with conversation tools.

    • For an event space, you can create an event space.


    Mighty has been integrating AI into community building in a way that NO OTHER COMMUNITY has. With Mighty Co-Host™ you get AI prompts and discussions inside the community, and the community generating feature, Co-Host™, will also instantly generate an entire brand identity for you.


    With the power of ChatGPT-4, it will build you:



    • A Landing Page

    • A Tagline

    • Social Announcements

    • Invitations

    • A Welcome Post

    • Starting Community Questions


    In short, Mighty is making it RADICALLY EASIER to build pretty much any type of community you can imagine.


    Start Your Free Trial


    Mighty's best features



    • Live, robust, and branded mobile app and web access (iOS & Android)

    • Live streaming capabilities. Go live directly across web and mobile apps & download the recording after.

    • Engaging and exciting discussion boards that bring members together. Create polls, quizzes, and surveys.

    • Spaces that let you sell content, courses, or events separately from your main group, each with its own Discovery section and chat.

    • Upload directly and post pre-recorded videos, images, and audio clips within your Mighty Network.

    • Direct & group messages between community & subgroup members.

    • Intuitive online course creation for engaging teaching that includes video lessons, engagement tools, Q&A forum functionality, and more!

    • An “activity feed” feature makes it easy for members to keep track of all the awesome content you’re providing.

    • Add paywalls and different membership tiers that are either community-wide or dedicated to a specific group or course.





    Circle


    Circle lets you create spaces that work to divide your conversation up, although they recently added a feature that lets you create an event space and a course-building space (beta, at the time of publication). This means the first step with Circle is usually to choose what kind of space you want to build.


    Circle - Spaces


    When you integrate your online community with Circle, you get a clean-looking community space that will be familiar to people who’ve used popular social media sites. While it’s simple and has fewer features than Mighty Networks, it was designed this way. That’s because Circle was initially created to add a community option for creators and entrepreneurs who host their courses and content elsewhere, and its simplicity and minimal features still reflect that original vision.


    Here are some of Circle's best features



    • You can create private spaces within the community made for either a post, an event, a chat, or a course & sell or bundle access to these.

    • Members can create their own profiles & browse a directory of other members.

    • You can integrate existing content easily into your community space.

    • Members can access the community through an app (iOS only).

    • Integrates with other online course platforms like Teachable.


    What's the difference?


    Both Mighty and Circle have good community-building features. But one major difference is the approach to spaces. Circle makes it complicated to bring things together in the same space. It can be hard to connect a course and community, or an event and discussion, since they are different types of spaces.


    Mighty gives you a much simpler UX with dynamic spaces that let you turn features on or off as you need them.


    Here's what a dynamic Space looks like in Mighty.


    Mighty - Dynamic Spaces GIF


    Summary -- Customization and features



    • Both let you build community, courses, and events using Spaces. But Circle makes you choose what type of space you want, while Mighty's spaces are dynamic and flexible. This makes it easier to get members on the same page--because they're in the same place!

    • Mighty Networks has everything you need to maximize engagement, live streaming, apps for every phone, and beautiful and intuitive interfaces.

    • Circle is a great solution for those who only need to add a community function to a Teachable course.


    Monetization options


    Choosing a community platform isn’t just about the community features. It’s also about finding the place to launch and scale your business effectively. So it’s REALLY important to think about monetization options too.


    Mighty


    When you create an online community and Spaces with Mighty, you can make them free or charge a membership fee (either monthly, yearly, or one-time) – this means you can charge for community access, access to certain Spaces, or both. So, for example, you could charge for access to your Mighty Network, but also create a paid mastermind within your Mighty Network. It’s easy to create and modify plans, see which users are subscribed to which plan, and show/hide the options to purchase.


    Mighty Networks - Graphics - Optimistic - Payments


    You can offer the same plan in 135 local currencies so you can better reach a global audience. OR you can choose to charge with token-gating. Mighty lets you connect your digital wallet and charge that way. You’ve got a TON of flexibility in creating and charging for your community.


    But when it comes to monetization, you can charge for more than just community. You can build and sell online courses for members to purchase, either by selling a pre-made course or pre-selling a cohort course you’ll teach live. OR sell an event. OR – as always – you can bundle any or all of these things.


    Monetization on Mighty is super simple and flexible and you’ve got a ton of options to work with… enough said.


    Start Your Free Trial


    Mighty Networks - Graphics - Achievement Academy - Events


    Circle


    Circle has a similar paywalls feature for its communities, meaning that you can create plans and charge for access. This could include adding a paywall to the community itself, or else choosing specific spaces to add it to. They’ve also recently launched a beta version of courses, which lets you sell expertise too.


    Circle courses


    You have the option to create course content, build an outline, and drag-and-drop course blocks. So you can turn on gating for a course space and monetize a course this way. However, the course feature doesn’t yet have things like dripping course content or adding downloads – which Mighty does.


    Circle - Community - new image


    What's the difference?


    Both Mighty and Circle give you ways to monetize communities, courses, and events. Mighty let's you charge in 135 currencies (Circle only has 6). Mighty also has token-geting options.


    Marketing and branding


    Mighty (+ ConvertKit)


    When it comes to marketing, Mighty lets you build (or instantly generate) landing and sales pages. You can easily invite people to your community, manage plans and bundles, and grow your revenue.


    This year, Mighty and ConvertKit also announced a partnership to bring a top-ranked email and community platform together. Mighty's ConvertKit integration means you can seamlessly connect email and community (No Zapier needed). Set up your branding and visuals once, then use your ConvertKit editor to pull in content from your Mighty Network to your emails. And build community automations and sequences in a best-in-class email software.


    SEO Image - ConvertKit


    As far as building your brand, Mighty comes with a ton of customization tools, giving you control over the look and feel of your community at every level.

    And, for established brands and companies, Mighty Pro will build you an amazing branded app completely under your brand. We’ll talk more about this below.


    Circle


    Circle gives you access to some marketing features like building different plans and creating landing pages for them. Like Mighty, Circle will send notifications, digests, and keep people up-to-date on what's happening in a community.


    Circle doesn't have a built-in email tool, so you'd need to connect to an email software using Zapier.


    What's the difference?


    As far as branding goes, Circle and Mighty both let you customize your theme with light and dark mode, adding brand assets (e.g. logos) or your own color scheme. Also, Circle and Mighty both give you onboarding customization, let you connect to your own domain name, and more.


    Mighty's ConvertKit feature makes it much easier to connect your email and community, since ConvertKit has added Mighty Widgets into their email software. Here's an example of integrating an upcoming event on Mighty into a ConvertKit email!


    ConvertKit-Mighty Event


    Mobile app options


    The best online community platforms allow you to build a space that is available where your members are: apps.


    Mighty


    Mighty Networks has developed powerful tools to make your online community available whenever, wherever.


    When you use a Mighty Network, your users will be able to access your branded community wherever they are across the web and via the Mighty Network app available on Android and iOS. When you upgrade to Mighty Pro, you can even have your own branded app in the Apple app store and Google Play store!


    This includes:



    • G2’s top-rated community platform on your own apps.

    • Branded apps, splash screens, and push notifications.

    • Proactive updates and App Store & Google Play Store submissions.

    • VIP support from the Mighty Pro Team.

    • Access to the Mighty Pro community.


    The Mighty Pro teams have built hundreds of branded community apps. Book a call with us and we'll show you what yours could look like!


    Book a Call


    Circle


    Circle offers a clean and easy-to-navigate design for your online community website, and the web app works well. Circle’s mobile accessibility had been an issue, for a long time they had only an iOS app. But they also launched an Android app in fall 2022.


    Circle also has recently launched a branded app option with Circle Plus. Circle Plus puts your community on a branded app in the App Store and Google Play Store. Their team works to build and submit the app, similar to Mighty Pro.


    What's the difference?


    Both Mighty and Circle offer a branded app. But Circle Plus is just getting started. Mighty Pro has built for hundreds of customers, including many household names like Jim Qwik, Mel Robbins, TED, Fortune, Cambridge University, Sadie Robertson Huff, and Yoga with Adriene.


    Circle's apps are really focused on very basic content consumption and lag behind their desktop experience. Mighty's apps are more in line with their desktop features, so a member or Host switching between the app and desktop would be able to do all the same things.


    Mighty Pro vs Circle Plus - Branded App Comparison


    When it comes to comparing the branded app builders of Mighty and Circle, how do Mighty Pro and Circle Plus compare?


    Feature

    Mighty Networks

    Circle

    Branded Community App

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    Branded Notifications

    Icon checked
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    Members Can Sign Up From the App

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    Invite New Members From the App

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    Full App Search Functionality

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    Onboarding Checklist

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    Create Events From the App

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    Manage Settings from the App

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    Create Spaces From the App

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    Create Paywalls From the App

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    Use AI Features From the App

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    Price


    The biggest difference between Mighty Networks and Circle might be the price.
    Mighty starts from $41/mo on the community plan, while Circle starts from $49.


    Circle has a ton of limits and extra charges on things that are included with a Mighty Network. Here’s a quick summary chart to compare how much add-ons will cost you.





    Feature

    Mighty Networks

    Circle

    Members

    Unlimited on All Plans

    Limit of 100 (Basic Plan), 10,000 (Pro Plan) + $20/mo for extra

    Admins

    Unlimited on All Plans

    Limit of 1 (Basic Plan), 3 (Pro Plan) + $10/mo per extra

    Moderators

    Unlimited on All Plans

    Limit of 1 (Basic Plan), 10 (Pro Plan) + $20/mo per extra

    Spaces

    Unlimited on All Plans

    Limit of 10 (Basic Plan), 20 (Pro Plan) + $20/mo per extra





    Mighty Networks doesn’t charge more as you scale—you can add unlimited members and moderators and Hosts on even the basic plan. Circle charges you more to add extra members, moderators, or admin ($10-$20 extra monthly for each).


    These are the community basics you’ll need to pay extra for as you grow. But with no live streaming on Circle’s basic plan, which is already more expensive than Mighty Network’s, Mighty is a better deal pretty much any way you look at it.


    Want to try Mighty Networks... Free?


    Mighty Networks - Graphics - Live Streaming - Miami


    At the end of the day, Mighty gives you more features than Circle does, for less money. And everything that’s unlimited on Mighty – members, Hosts, moderators – costs more on Circle.


    That's why G2 ranks Mighty as the best community management software, and that makes Mighty an awesome choice for building a powerful community.


    Better yet, all of our features work across the web, iOS, and Android which gives your members more flexibility and accessibility to how they interact with each other and your content.


    And you can try Mighty absolutely free for 14 days, with no credit card required.


    Ready to start building your community?

    Start Your Own Mighty Network Today!No credit card required.

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