Here is the consensus...
tldr; skool dominates.
Context: I'm a developer, a huge tech nerd. Have a YouTube channel with 1m+ subs and 5,000+ paying customers. Done well over 7+ figures in revenue. I have used Teachable, Kajabi, Podia, Heartbeat, Facebook Groups, Discord, Slack, and probably few others I can't think of lol. And spent 100's of hours in the last few weeks trying to pick a solid platform that meets my needs.
Yesterday I got on free trials for circle & skool. I spent hours and hours talking to my good friend about the pros and cons. I wanted to join circle so bad because the UI/UX seems SOOO much better on Circle.
But skool had simplicty. I couldn't make up my mind.
So here's what I decided to do.
A live user test.
I went to my girlfriend.
Opened up a Circle community on the 1st tab.
Opened up a Skool community on the 2nd tab.
Asked her to use them.
I just sat back and watched.
Holy mother of hell.
She kept clicking on random things in Circle and kept getting confused in terms of how to navigate.
She didn't know exactly where the course material was vs. community. vs. members.
I then watched her use Skool.
She knew EXACTLY where the community was, members, and the course.
Here are her exact words...
"I don't know how to put it... But Skool just feels familiar."
And in my head I was like
"Yes it does lol. Because it's Facebook".
I then asked my girlfriend to rate her experience on both platforms.
She said 6/10 on Circle.
She said 9/10 on Skool.
I then sat down and started building my course modules on Skool.
The experience was better than ANY course builders experience than I've ever had.
It's fast. It's simple AF. and it genuinely inspired me to build.
It was a similar experience i've had when I used beehiiv for emails. It blew Convertkit and everything else out of the water for me.
So... I think I'm going to be going with Skool.
I'm still in the 14 day trial. Haven't started paying just yet. But I think very soon I will be.
Currently building my community / course on there.
One con though that I will mention with Skool... You also need to pay for a video platform to host all your video course material. That is annoying.
So I'll also have to get loom membership.
But... With the speed / creativity boost that I get personally
And the simplicity & community engagement that it brings for my customers...
I think the tradeoff is worth it in the end.