Circle.so is a cloud-based solution and all-in-one platform that has gained a lot of traction in recent years as one of the best online community builders.
It lets you build and grow your online community through powerful tools such as organized discussions, private messaging, events, live streams, and online courses.
However, the features Circle offers vary significantly between pricing tiers, making it difficult to pick the best one for your needs.
This Circle.so pricing guide will give you a detailed breakdown of each of the tool’s pricing plans as well as an overview of Circle’s competitors and their correlating plans.
Let’s get started.
How Much Does Circle Cost?
Circle offers four pricing plans. Take a look at the table below to compare the monthly and yearly plans.
As is often the case, paying for an entire year upfront can save you a lot of money, but we always recommend trying a monthly plan first. This way, you can check out all the features and only commit once you feel comfortable.
Apart from the monthly cost, Circle also charges a transaction fee, ranging between 0.5% and 4%, depending on your plan. This applies only when you process payments through Circle.
All plans come with a 14-day free trial, so you can use this period to try Circle before making a decision.
Now, let’s take a closer look at each of these plans.
How Do the Circle.so Pricing Plans Compare?
Choosing the right plan almost always boils down to the features included in each one. In this section, we’ll cover each individual plan and explain its key features and costs.
Basic Plan: $49/month
The Basic plan costs $49 per month and covers the core features you need to build a community:
- Core community-building tools, including spaces and posts
- Group chats and private messaging
- Directory of active members
- Ability to use your own domain
- Free mobile apps for end users
- Customer support via email
It also includes single sign-on integration with platforms like Teachable and MemberSpace.
While the Basic plan offers a custom domain and enough features to let you launch your community platform, create spaces, and kickstart engagement, it also has some significant limitations:
- You can only have up to 100 members.
- You can have just one admin and one moderator.
- The storage is limited to 10 GB.
- Circle charges a transaction fee of 4% for this plan.
- You can’t create online courses.
So, the Basic plan will be the best option for creators who are in the process of launching a new community. It’s a good place to launch and test your community.
Professional Plan: $99/month
Circle’s Professional plan costs $99 per month and provides a significant upgrade over the Basic plan. In fact, it’s their most popular plan, and it does offer great value for money.
Apart from the features included in the Basic plan, such as group chat rooms and direct messaging, the Professional plan includes the following upgrades to optimize member engagement:
- Built-in online course builder
- Ability to live stream natively
- Advanced analytics
- SSO integration with more platforms (e.g., WordPress)
- Ability to completely white-label the platform
Additionally, the Professional plan differs significantly from the Basic plan regarding the service limits. For example, the Professional plan allows you to host a community with unlimited members.
Here are all the increased limits found in Circle’s Professional plan:
|Attachment storage||10 GB||100 GB|
The Professional plan will be the best plan for most creators. It offers all the tools creators need to build an engaged community and is reasonably priced as well. Plus, the limits are generous, so you can stay on this plan for a long time.
Business Plan: $249/month
The Business plan costs $249 per month and brings automations and other advanced community management tools.
Apart from all the features available with the Professional plan, such as the course builder and SSO integrations, the Business plan also includes:
- Bulk actions and automation workflows
- Customizable profile fields
- Public API access
- Email white-labeling
- Free course migration service (on annual plans)
The Business plan further increases the limits available in your account. The table below shows the features with increased limits.
|Attachment storage||100 GB||250 GB|
The Business plan is a good choice for creators (or brands) who need these advanced features or need increased feature limits.
Enterprise Plan: $399/month
Circle’s most expensive plan, the Enterprise plan, costs $399/month and targets creators and brands with bigger online communities.
Apart from everything in the Business plan, you also get:
- Custom single sign-on
- Ability to create a sandbox community
- Priority email support
- A dedicated customer service manager (if you choose the annual plan)
In addition to these new features, you also get the following limit increases:
|Attachment storage||250 GB||1 TB|
To sum up, no core community or course-related features are unique to this plan, so there is really no reason for individual creators to upgrade.
However, if you run a huge community, consider going with the Enterprise plan.
Circle’s Pricing Add-Ons
Apart from the regular pricing plans, Circle also offers some add-ons that allow you to increase the service limits without upgrading the plan.
For example, you can get an additional ten moderators for your community by paying $10 monthly. Similarly, you can get ten extra live-streaming hours for $50/month.
The add-ons are available on all pricing plans, except the Basic plan, and are charged on top of your monthly cost.
Is Circle Expensive?
While Circle is among the more popular community platforms, it’s not the only one. To put Circle’s capabilities and pricing in perspective, we should first take a look at one of its main competitors, Mighty Networks.
Mighty Networks’ pricing starts at $39/month for its Community plan, which is comparable with Circle’s Basic plan ($49/month). While the $10-cheaper price tag is nice, Mighty Networks has an even bigger advantage here: its cheapest plan allows for unlimited members.
When we get to compare the most popular plans, though, the advantage shifts in Circle’s favor. Mighty Networks offers the Business plan ($119/month + 2% transaction fee), which is considerably pricier than Circle’s Professional plan ($99/month + 2% transaction fee).
Here, Circle offers a much more affordable option with similar features: unlimited members, native live streaming, online courses, etc. Additionally, Circle supports white-labeling and SSO integrations, which aren’t available in Mighty Networks.
Circle has another competitor—BuddyBoss. While the BuddyBoss license for a single website costs $228/year and goes up to $388/year for ten websites, you need to understand that it isn’t a hosted platform but a WordPress plugin.
This means you also have to pay for hosting and other plugins, making the cost much higher. Plus, it has a much steeper learning curve than Circle or any other hosted platform.
Circle.so Pricing: Final Thoughts
In this guide, we went through Circle’s pricing plans in detail and covered the features included in each plan. We hope we could help you pick the right plan, but let’s summarize our recommendations.
If you’re just starting out and launching a new community, you can start with the Basic plan.
Otherwise, the Professional plan will be the best option for most creators as it supports unlimited members and includes all the important features, including a space to host courses and live streaming.
Lastly, if you’re an established brand with a big community management team or you need advanced community management tools, such as Workflows, you should be looking at the Business plan or the Enterprise plan.
Still, have more questions about Circle.so pricing? Drop us a comment below!