Best Discord Alternatives, Competitors & Similar Software (2023)
Discord is a community platform that allows users to maintain public or private communities where they engage using live audio, video and text.
Creating a community can be extremely difficult, and finding the right platform that fits your needs can be even more challenging. For example, let's say you are using Discord to host your community members. In that case, you might have had issues finding a specific text message to reply to from the sea of texts or not being able to have complete member data to drive your business forward.
Although Discord is a free platform, it doesn't provide many community features to build a fantastic community. You cannot truly OWN your community on Discord.
Since you're reading this article and have gotten this far in, we're assuming you are looking to either move out of Discord or find a community software that gives you similar features. The best Discord alternatives below are ideal for community building, selling courses, and bringing people together to form a healthy online community.
However, let's look at why Discord alternatives are worth considering first.
Reasons to look for Discord Alternatives
While Discord has all the communication tools you need, it is still not the best option for you to start your community on this platform. And here's why you should look for an alternative for Discord.
Discord has a limited group video-calling capacity that can do only with 25 members in a group. This may lead to a problem for a large community gathering. People want a better experience, and experience is what sells. So, make sure that your users are getting what they want.
Discord does not have design and branding features. If you want your community to look a lot like your landing pages (colors, fonts, themes), you cannot achieve these on Discord. You need to look for Whitelabel community platforms that offer custom CSS solutions.
Discord does not provide reporting and analytics to check your community performance, usage, or member activity. To maintain a community, in the long-term perspective, you might want to know how your community members are doing. Who are the most active members so that you can reward them? Keeping your community vibrant is why you can't overlook this significant point.
Moreover, you do not own any of the data in your community. You cannot get their email addresses, phone numbers, none of that data which can later be used for a variety of purposes such as targeted audience building on social media platforms, an emailer list, etc.
Best Alternatives to Discord you can try
Scenes is an ultimate community platform that helps you build a robust community where you can sell your courses and host live events, webinars, and live streams. Scenes offers the best community features through which you can moderate, manage, and monetize your community all in one place - with your brand appearance, under your custom domain. Scenes can also generate a whitelabelled mobile app and list it on the Play Store/App Store.
- High level of customization: You can plug in your domain, add your branding, maintain the brand's colours, and even copy/paste your exact UI (via custom CSS). Scenes is an absolute "brand-consistent" platform.
- Built-in store: A built-in store allows you to sell courses, information products, digital goods, merchandise and even membership tiers. Plus, you pay the lowest transaction fees compared to all other similar platforms.
- Push notifications on mobile: When more than 60% of global internet users are on mobile devices, your members must have access to the community on the go. Push notifications via a mobile app ensures that your users are engaged regardless of where they are.
- Available across in multiple formats & avatars; be it a web app under your domain, a native whitelabeled app on Android and iOS, integrations within your existing app or API-based integrations.
- Auto Scaling across platforms - Scenes uses powerful auto-scaling technology to keep your community blazing fast no matter how many visitors you have across all devices. They scale as you scale.
- The only platform that enables custom CSS for top to bottom granular-level user interface customization. You can make your community look close to your app/website's UI.
- A built-in coin system lets you incentivize your community members to engage more.
- Live audio-video features for your events, webinars and live classes where all your members can get notified and RSVP.
- You will lose some members during the platform migration process.
- Scale a community without chaos or complexity
- Gather your community under your own brand
- Build a business, without the burnout
- Only Mighty has data from hundreds of thousands of thriving communities cultivated over the past five years.
- That’s how we know things like the optimal price to charge for a monthly membership, or how much content you really need to build your first online course.
- We share these learnings with you and more through Mighty Community and Mighty Insights™, the deep analytics and benchmarking you get with Mighty.
- Slower to reach ROI
- More Expensive
- Dangerous for public communities
- Adding live streams to your community can make it more alive. You get access to audio rooms where you can keep track of your community member’s interests and involve them in discussions.
Mighty Networks allows businesses of any size to create online courses, mobile apps, and communities. In addition, one can create membership sites to offer paid courses, paid groups, or bundles of courses and groups.
Mighty Networks Features
- It offers platform capabilities that scale as your community scales, allowing a seamless experience for you and your community members.
- White-label and customize your community under your domain and replicate your brand aesthetics.
- It has many LMS features that let educators and course-creators manage and run their online courses in one place.
Mighty Networks Pricing
- Starts at $39/mo.
- A 14-day free trial is available.
- It offers good social engagement features like live audio/video and chat that lets your members engage with each other.
- It comes with a native mobile app that is fully Whitelabeled (available when you buy the Mighty Pro plan)
- It has a very user-friendly UI on the web that replicates Facebook groups on some level.
- Not very customizable when it comes to their user-interface. Community owners have to work within a relatively rigid set of constraints.
- At $30,000, the native mobile app is the most expensive compared to other alternatives.
- The course creation experience has been said to be 'cumbersome' by many of their paid customers.
Slack is where workplace communication happens. As a tool designed for collaborative workflow, Slack allows team members to put forward their ideas or concerns and get them heard whenever they want. It's a one-stop shop for work-chat that integrates with typical web applications like Google Drive and Dropbox.
- The thread features allow effective communication between team members by tracking every new conversation.
- Create public and private channels to allow for team-based collaboration and communication.
- Supports all kinds of rich-text formats and media, including images, GIFS, file uploads, bulletin and numbering and more.
- Paid Plans start at $8.75 per user/mo.
- The free Plan includes access to 10,000 recent messages, ten integrations with other apps, and 1:1 voice and video calls.
- Works best for improving workplace communication and efficiency between teams.
- Extremely intuitive interface, rich with features with plenty of integrations with other products.
- Works seamlessly for remote teams all around the world.
- Slack is a great workplace tool but nothing close to a community-building platform. The entire tool is optimized to improve collaboration over email.
- The paid Plan is expensive for community builders, starting at $8.75 per user monthly. That is ~$1000 if you have a community of 100 members.
- No gamification tools to incentivize your community and no ability to white-label your community in terms of domain, branding and appearance.
Tribe is a Whitelabell community platform for businesses. It is famous for its customizability and integration capabilities. Primarily, Tribe is built for text-based conversations using features like forums, polls, etc.
- The UI is easy-to-use and comprises customizable blocks called 'spaces'.
- It offers powerful rich-text features to format and deliver your content how you want to present it to your users.
- A moderation panel that lets you manage your community smoothly and efficiently.
- Paid Plan starts at $59/month.
- The free Plan includes 100 total members, essential apps, and a custom domain.
- Offers a white-label community with a good level of customizations that lets you match your community aesthetics to your brand aesthetics.
- Has widgets and APIs that let you integrate with several third-party applications.
- Has a generous free plan that lets you house 500 members (without the Paywall feature, however).
- More of an old-school forum-based tool rather than a full-fledged community platform with real time-communication features like live audio/video.
- It lacks an incentive system and gamification features necessary for community engagement. Your users need incentives to engage.
- No built-in shop/paywall system that lets your users buy products from you, such as premium memberships, courses, and the like.
Thinkific is a digital course creation platform where educators can curate online courses for their students. In addition, they offer competitive LMS features that let their customers run online courses effectively.
- Assessments & Certificates - Offers comprehensive quizzes, engagement surveys, assignments, exams and certificates.
- Progress Tracking - In-depth reporting to track student progress.
- Live Lessons - Deliver lessons via live audio/video and let your students engage with you in realtime (via Zoom integration).
- Paid plan starts at $39/month to $399/month.
- The free plan includes access to all the core features of the platform.
- Easy-to-use UI that makes running courses on Thinkific all the more seamless.
- A very prompt support system responds to customer queries and problems and comes with an active Facebook group filled with Thinkific customers.
- You can design the access portal, the courses, and the payment methods all in one interface without needing third-party integrations.
- Not built for community engagement - in 2023, an LMS is not enough to successfully run courses. Thinkific lacks critical community features like gamification and incentive systems.
- Cannot manage multiple cohorts under the same roof - this may constrain you as your courses start scaling and diversifying.
- The pricing is slightly more expensive than alternatives and confusing for some.
Vanilla Forum is a cloud-based community forum software that is also open source and community-supported. It offers features for community building, customer service, and sales engagement.
Vanilla Forums Features
- Vanilla Forum has a great communication management feature. It allows product manager to control discussion threads and offers the ability to merge or close thread as well.
- Vanilla has reinvented forums, and you would also expect a premium one at that. Vanilla was designed with a sleek and modern user experience that is easily comparable to any of the top content management systems on the market today.
- Vanilla can be set up so only registered members can log in, which makes the community private. You can decide if new registrants require approval before being awarded member status and you can delegate approval to moderators.
Vanilla Forums Pricing
- Starts from $689.
- Free version available.
- They have a great method for voting on the quality of posts.
- Very good gamification capabilities.
- It has a great API and we utilize this for badging our FREE, PRO and EDU users as well as providing access to our private EVP programs
- The API development has been slow but they have recently pushed out their new V2 but prior to V2, there were some inefficiencies in doing some automated user management.
- User management: pages often requires refreshing in the browser after changes have been made. It is not the most intuitive system although does the job.
- The editing functionality isn't in logical places for Admins.
Zenler is a web-based online course platform best suited for creators and educators to create and sell their online courses and memberships. Zenler also helps you design video-based courses and build your video library.
- Learning tools - Zenler offers tools like quizzes, exams, assignments, certificates, and more. Quizzes are its best feature, with plenty of available customization options. You can create quizzes with multiple-choice answers or single answers, images, and true or false questions.
- Page designer - Zenler allows you to create a page without any coding knowledge. You can use the Page Designer to customize your course website, with the home page, landing pages, funnels or even a blog with SEO settings.
- Community – Zenler lets you build an online community with your members. You can create different groups where you and your members can post anything.
- Paid plans start at $67/mo.
- No free plans are available.
- Zenler provides many easy-to-use features that save a lot of your time on learning complex things.
- Zenler Integrates well with email, funnels, payments and blogs that make you market your courses better.
- You can host live webinars and classes and stream live with your members, making your sessions more fun and interactive.
- Because Zenler does not offer mobile app features, users may not open your website regularly, reducing retention and losing interest.
- Zenler is not the place to go if you want to make unique newsletters. It has limited email design options making your newsletters look boring.
- There are no creative templates or designs in Zenler that match your brand. It significantly affects the user experience.
Disclaimer: To curate the pros, cons and reviews - we mine the internet for customer references regarding the said software. Some of our sources include Reddit, Product Hunt, Twitter & Quora (and sites like G2 & Capterra).
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