Dornubari Vizor February 22, 2024

Skool Community Platform Review 2024 – Features, Pricing, Pros, & Cons

A featured blog image for a post about the detailed review of the community building platform "Skool" It includes the text "Skool Review 2024"

Skool has been on a hype ride ever since Alex Hormonzi became an investor. Alex’s “$10K monthly with Skool” challenge has fueled the hype. Thanks to him, Skool’s everywhere. 

But how does Skool actually work as an online learning community platform? Is it a solid online learning community platform? These are the big questions this review answers. 

My detailed Skool review uncovers the ins and outs of the Skool platform. I’ll discuss its features, pros, cons, pricing, and user experience. By the end, you’ll be able to make an informed decision. 

TL;DR – Skool Review

Features

Skool offers four primary features: community space, classroom (course creator), calendar, and gamification.

Customer Support

Skool users have access to email support. There is no live chat feature to provide prompt customer support. Users have to use the Skool Community for peer-to-peer support.

Pricing

Skool only offers one pricing plan, which is $99 per month to access all features and create one community. To create another community, the user has to pay another $99/m.

User Experience

Skool comes with a clean and straightforward user interface. There’s no learning curve. Anyone can adapt to Skool in no time.

What is Skool?

Skool is an online community platform. 

With Skool, you can build your online communities and host online courses. You can build an online learning ecosystem for your community members. Skool also lets you monetize online courses with membership subscriptions.

Back in 2019, Sam Owens launched Skool in close beta. Sam Owens is a popular name for course creators and consultants. He made his fortune by selling online courses through Facebook and founded Consultant.com. Sam aimed to create a no-nonsense platform that is better than Facebook groups for monetizing online courses. 

Skool was made publicly available in 2022. Skool got off to a slow start. It started gaining traction in 2023 due to the rise of the creator economy, community-led growth, and online micro-education. 

Alex Hormozi & Skool

Skool’s popularity shot up when Alex Hormonzi invested and referred to it as “the largest investment of his life.” This investment is a big win for Sam and Skool. No one saw it coming. One can think of this investment as a floater for a basic platform like Skool. 

Alex is a big name in the entrepreneurial world. He presented his investment as an opportunity for creators to make money. Alex also introduced a $10k per month challenge. This investment has caused a ripple effect, and creators are now flocking to Skool with aspirations to make money off their audience.

But is Skool ready for it? 

Who is Skool for?

Skool is well-suited for:

  • Beginner Online Course Creator
  • Online Coach
  • Consultant
  • Small-scale Influencer
  • Mastermind Groups

Who is Skool not for?

Skool is NOT a good choice if:

  • You run paid membership communities
  • You are an online course creator.
  • You run cohort-based coaching programs.
  • You want to create a collaborative learning experience.
  • You want to conduct employee training or upskilling programs.
  • You run certification programs
  • You are a professional association

Skool Use Cases

Skool helps creators to run:

1 – Mastermind Groups: Skool offers all the basic tools for mastermind groups to function. 

2 – Online Courses: Creators create and monetize online courses with Skool. Students can access courses with a monthly subscription.

3 – Saas Community: Product developers use Skool to get user feedback, test products, and announce updates.

4 – Coaching Programs: Online coaches use Skool to connect with clients and create a community for joint sessions.

5 – Support Forums: Businesses use Skool to provide customer support and to educate about their brand. 

Here’s a solid Guide to Building Masterminds by GroupApp.

Skool Feature Review

Skool has a limited feature set. You will find some basic features required to create an online community and offer online courses. 

It gives you barely enough features to get started. But as you scale, the less-is-more approach in the case of features won’t suffice.

Let’s round off and review all Skool features.

1 – Skool Community 

Community is the central feature of the platform. Yet, it is a primary feature similar to a Facebook group feed.

Think of it as an exclusive online hang-out place for your community members. Your members can interact through posts.

Here's a screenshot of a community space in the community platform named "Skool"

Posts

Community members can post multimedia files, embed links, attach PDFs, add polls, and use gifs and emojis. Plus, members can share posts to specific categories within the community. It helps in creating an organized feed with a complete experience. You can also pin your posts to appear at the top. 

A screenshot of a community member going to make a post in the platform named "Skool". It shows how the post feature looks like and different options it offers.

You can also follow a specific post that you found helpful and get notifications.

A screenshot of a post by a community member using the platform Skool with a cursor pointing at an option.

Member Profiles

Each member has a detailed public profile with a unique ID. A member profile includes a profile picture, description, location, points, follow button, follower count, joining date, and contributions.

Skool also shows all the community activity of a member. Plus, you can see the groups created by that member and the groups they are a part of.

A screenshot shows the detailed profile of a community member with his picture at the platform named "Skool"

Direct Messaging

Members can interact through direct messaging. This feature lets two members have a 1:1 chat. Community members can choose whether they are available for a chat through the notification settings.

Community Detail Tab

You will find it on the right side of your community dashboard. This tab holds the community profile. It displays community details like description, member count, admins, and settings.

Verdict – Skool Community 

Skoo’s Community feature offers a good community experience. The community interface is easy to use and takes little time to learn.

However, it lacks a segmentation and group chat function, which is helpful for effective online community engagement and management. Plus, there is no option to assign community roles such as moderators.

2 – Skool Classroom

This is where all the learning happens! 

The Skool Classroom feature hosts your online courses for your members to access. Skool Classroom lets you put course content together into a progression with modules. There’s no limit to the number of courses you can add to the Skool Classroom.

Online Course Creator

You must add an online course to get your Skool Classroom up and running. Skool makes the process simple with a quick and easy back-end course creator. 

Screenshot of the course creator feature by the community platform named "Skool". It displays different options with an "Add" button

You can access the course creator through the Classroom Tab. Just click on “Add a course”. To start, enter a course name, write a course description, set the member access level, and add a cover image. 

Module Creator

When you click Add, you’ll be directed to a drag-and-drop editor to create course modules. You can add and format text for each module. 

Each module can include:

  • One Video
  • Resource Files
  • Links
  • Time Stamps
  • Transcripts

Drip Release

This sub-feature lets you set a module release mechanism. You can set when and how a module will be open. Plus, you can set the level your members must reach to unlock a specific module.

Verdict – Skool Classroom

Skool Classroom is a basic course creator with nothing exceptional to offer. Skool Course Builder lacks video-hosting capabilities as of this date. 

One needs to upload video content on an external platform like YouTube or Vimeo to embed videos in course lessons.

The course builder cannot store course resources as there’s no dedicated hosting spot. Skool courses builder also lacks quizzes and assignments.

3 – Skool Calendar 

Skool comes with an in-built calendar. You can use this feature to schedule events like webinars. This feature will also help you send event reminders to your community members. 

Add Event Feature

Scheduling events with Skool Calendar is easy to use and similar to Google Calendar. 

Screenshot of an event creator feature by the community platform named "Skool"

Skool Calendar lets you create and schedule an event in minutes. All you need to provide is an event title, duration, date, and time zone. You can also create recurring events using Skool Calendar. Lastly, you need a Zoom or Google Meet link for virtual events.

Your members can click and view the event details. Skool enables them to add the scheduled event to their external calendars. This calendar automatically converts the event time to each member’s time zone.

Members get email reminders about upcoming events and can see a clickable event highlight at the top of the community feed. Upon clicking, it automatically directs members to the event details.

Verdict – Skool Calendar

The Skool Calendar feature is a plus! Unlike other limited Skool features, the built-in calendar provides value. In addition to email reminders and automatic time zone conversion, Skool Calendar puts a clickable event highlight at the top of the community feed.

4 – Gamification

Here comes the star feature of Skool: gamification

Gamification helps to enhance the impact of your online courses and community. It creates healthy competition among members and boosts community engagement.

The Skool’s gamification functions on reward points, levels, and leaderboards. A member profile displays both their points and current level. Check out Sam Owens’ profile below. He’s at level 8 with 15,911 points in his own Skool Community.

A screenshot of a member profile at the community building platform named "Skool" It shows a headshot of the member with his name "Sam Owens"

Let’s understand how it works.

Reward Points

A member earns rewards/points when others like their posts or comments. They get one point for one like. It motivates members to post quality content and interact with other members. That ultimately leads to more engagement.

Levels

Levels are directly linked to the number of points. A member progresses to the next level as they gain more points. 

The best thing is that the levels are fully customizable. You can create custom names for levels to make it more fun. You can also connect each level to a specific number of points and achievements.

Check out the screenshot below from Skool’s Community on the platform. You can see unique level names and specific tasks associated as well. The percentage displayed with each level indicates the number of members at that particular level.

For instance, when a member reaches level 7 in the community, they will get an invitation to visit the Skool HQ.

A screenshot taken from the community platform named "Skool" and it lists different gamification levels of the community for members.

Please note that you can also unlock your course content with each level. 

Leaderboards

Finally, we have Skool leaderboards. Leaderboards help to create a healthy competitive environment and encourage members to perform better. 

Members who earn the most points are listed on community leaderboards. The top 3 members also win position badges that are displayed with their names.

A screenshot of a leaderboard, which is a gamification feature present at the community platfrom named "Skool"

Verdict – Skool Gamification

Skool’s gamification feature undoubtedly stands out. It lets you create a reasonably good gamified learning and community experience. 

5 – Skool Mobile App

Skool offers Android and iOS mobile apps. The apps are still new on the block. One good thing about Skool’s mobile apps is that you and your members can use all the basic features anytime, anywhere.

6 – Email Broadcast

Skool enables you to send out email broadcasts to your members about your posts once every 72 hours. This feature is only for admins. Admins can also use this feature to send emails about upcoming events, promotions, or updates.

The feature gets the job done. However, it lacks functions like email analytics that help us analyze and monitor metrics like open rate.  

Email Settings

Skool lets your members make the call when it comes to email settings. Members can choose the frequency and time of the email notifications. 

7 – Unified Search 

A screenshot of a comunity feed from the online community platform named "Skool". It shows member posts.

The Unified search feature makes navigation and search effortless. Members can look for posts, members, course content, and comments using keywords through a single search box.

Consider the picture above. As we search for “marketing job,” we get quick access to the posts, comments, and content related to the keyword. The particular keyword is highlighted. You can switch to the classroom and members tabs for different results. 

8 – Analytics

A screeshot of the analytics feature that shows a graph of daily member activity on a community platform named "Skool"

Like any other community platform, Skool has built-in analytics for admins. Community admins can monitor critical metrics. These include total members, active members, and daily activity.

9 – Memberships

A screenshot of the subscription feature of a community platform named "skool".

Skool lets you create and run paid membership subscriptions, too. However, the feature could be more extensive. 

It lacks the option to introduce a one-time upfront payment. Members cannot create multiple pricing tiers. That ultimately stops them from creating weekly, quarterly, bi-annually, or yearly plans. Moreover, there is no option to create landing pages.  

10 – Auto Affiliate Program

A screenshot of a referrals feature available in the communiy platform named "Skool" with a little picture of coins in the center.

Skool comes with an auto affiliate feature. When any member purchases the Skool plan to build a community through your referral link, you earn a 40% recurring commission for life from their monthly subscription. You can also monitor your sales through the referrals tab in settings.

Skool Customer Support

For customer support, Skool offers three classic help channels you can find on any other community platform, i.e., email support, a help center, and a community. Overall, Skool’s customer support is limited. There’s no live chat feature.

The three Skool support channels are:

  • Email Support: You can contact Skool support team for resolutions through email. It requires a problem description. You can add screenshots as well. 
  • Skool Community: You can use the Skool community for guidance and peer-to-peer support.
  • Help Center: Skool offers a small help center based on articles and guides.

Skool Branding & Customization

Unfortunately, there are no branding and customization features at Skool. With Skool, you can only add an icon and cover image to your community. That’s it! 

If you know the difference branding makes, there are more suitable options than Skool.   

Skool Pricing

Verdict: Skool’s transparent plan might seem like a fair deal, but it’s not. When compared with competitors, Skool is expensive and does not offer real value for money. 

The features you get for $99/m are basic. It lacks several valuable features that other platforms offer at a lower price. Furthermore, there are no price tiers to cater to different budgets and user needs.

Skool has a non-complex yet non-flexible pricing structure with only one plan. There are no pricing tiers that facilitate users with different requirements.

A screenshot of the pricing plan of a community platform named "Skool" and it shows a price of "$99/month" with a yellow button that says "start 14-day free trial" at the bottom

You can get a Skool subscription for $99 per month to create one community. You get access to all Skool features. Plus, you can host unlimited courses for just one community with unlimited members. That means to create another community, you have to pay another $99 per month.

Skool also offers a free 14-day trial period. To do so, you must sign up with your credit card information. That’s not good, as it adds to the hassle.

15 Skool Cons – What’s Not Good About Skool?

On the flip side, Skool lags a lot in many areas. The platform has several drawbacks that make Skool a not-so-viable option compared to its competitors.

Let’s round off the cons of Skool.

  • Limited Monetization: Skool isn’t flexible when it comes to monetization. You cannot sell online courses, community memberships, and events as separate products.
  • No Native Video Hosting: Users use external platforms like YouTube, Loom, and Vimeo for videos, which leads to additional cost and effort. Without native video hosting, there’s no content protection.
  • No Community Library: Skool lacks a central community library to host course resources like PDFs and media. Users cannot access course files directly. Community builders have to rely on third-party tools like Google Drive to host resources and share links with members. 
  • No Assessment Tools: Skool is missing an integral part of online learning. There are no assessment tools like quizzes and assignments. Such tools are necessary to assess performance and learning impact.
  • No Segmentation & Group Chats: These useful features enable community builders to enhance learning impact and foster peer-to-peer learning. Lack of it makes that impossible. Segmentation helps with member classification. You can create groups according to their progress stage. 
  • No Automation: There is no feature to create automated workflows in Skool like other community-building platforms. You need to rely on Zapier for automation. 
  • No Progress Reports: Skool’s built-in analytics system is limited. Creators cannot monitor student progress and course performance.
  • No Member Roles: Member roles like moderator and support manager are vital for effective community management. At Skool, there’s no feature to assign member roles.
  • No Live Stream Feature: Online learning communities majorly function on live streaming for cohort-based courses and webinars. Skool does not offer any built-in live stream feature. Users have to rely on platforms like Zoom and Google Meet.
  • No Branding & Customization Options: Skool lacks features for branding and customization of the community. 
  • Lack of Integrations: Skool only lets you integrate with Zapier. It limits the community’s function and adds to the cost.
  • Transaction fee: Skool charges a transaction fee of $2.9% + 3c per transaction on top of you paying $99 per month. 
  • Expensive & Limited Plan: Skool offers only one pricing plan of $99 per month, which is costly considering the limited and basic features. Several platforms offer additional features at a lower price. Plus, the limited pricing model is not flexible.
  • Limited Subscription Feature: Skool only lets you create monthly subscription plans. You cannot create multiple pricing tiers for different billing cycles and charge one-time upfront payments.
  • No Landing Page Feature: you cannot create landing pages for your courses and community with Skool. That hinders the process of sales and promotions.

6 Skool Pros – What’s Good About Skool?

Skool has become the ultimate community-building platform in a short time. But what makes Skool suitable for community builders and course creators? 

Let’s discuss the pros of Skool.

  • Gamification: The gamification feature is a solid reason users opt for Skool. Users don’t have to rely on third-party apps. The feature enables you to create a complete gamified learning experience.
  • Unlimited Courses: Skools lets you host unlimited courses with unlimited members. It’s a plus point, as other platforms charge if the member count exceeds the set limit.
  • Great User Experience: Skool is effortless when it comes to user experience. There’s no learning curve. New users can adapt to it in no time. The user interface is clean and straightforward. 
  • Simple Pricing: Skool’s pricing is transparent and straightforward for users who have the budget.
  • Built-in Calendar: Skool’s built-in calendar feature is a plus. The calendar lets you create and schedule community events with reminders. Plus, it syncs with external calendars like Outlook and Google Calendar.
  • Custom Notification Setting: Members can configure notification and email settings according to their preferences. 

Final Verdict – Skool Review

That was quite a dive into Skool! We reviewed Skool inside out. 

Here are my final thoughts.

Right now, making money with Skool is a buzz topic. Several YouTube videos, social media posts, and articles about Skool are popping up. It makes Skool seem like the only platform for money-making in 2024. Thanks to Alex, the hype is solid. Wishing nothing but the best to everyone hopping on the challenges.

But is Skool the right platform?

Overall, Skool is a platform with fundamental features. None of the Skool features are unique. In fact, the Skool feature set offers what’s considered the bare minimum in the online course platform market.

Learning community platforms out there are way ahead of Skool. Those platforms have introduced advanced features to level up the experience at lower prices. Features like automation, multi-tiered pricing, white labeling, and customization have become the need of the hour. 

Community builders require platforms that grow with them as they scale. In the case of Skool, it seems fixated.

Considering all the factors, Skool is not the ultimate online learning community platform. However, it is ideal if you are a beginner or a small-scale online course creator to kick start.

So, what type of platform does one need to scale up?

You must look for a Skool alternative that offers all the features Skool lacks. An all-in-one learning community platform is a viable solution in that case. In fact, starting with an all-in-one platform will be even better as it will give you a solid start.

Let me save you time. Check out GroupApp.

GroupApp – More Than Just A Best Skool Alternative!

GroupApp is an all-in-one learning community platform.

A screenshot of an online community space on an all-in-one learning community platform named "GroupApp" with different features. The screenshot is laid on a grid background with the blue logo of "GroupApp"

With GroupApp, you can keep your online courses and communities in one place. This saves you and your members time, cost, and energy. GroupApp strikes the perfect balance between learning and community. For each facet, GroupApp offers solid features. 

GroupApp comes with a built-in advanced course creator and community builder. You can create a community around your course or the other way around. That means you can monetize both separately as well. That’s a plus!

GroupApp also lets create and monetize events. With its built-in event creator, you can set up an event in no time. It automatically syncs with your members’ external calendars when they RSVP.

More GroupApp Features include:

  • Direct Messaging
  • iOS & Android Mobile Apps
  • Community Feed and Advanced Post Editor
  • Third-party App integrations
  • Email Broadcast
  • Email Support
  • Drip Release 

17 Features that make GroupApp better than Skool!

GroupApp is more than just an alternative to Skool. It’s better than Skool in many ways and fills the gaps. 

Let’s round off the features that make GroupApp better than Skool.

  • Community Library: GroupApp has a built-in community library to host resources. That means no relying on Google Drive! You can also use this feature as a lead magnet and set multiple access levels.
  • Better Monetization Options: GroupApp makes monetization flexible for creators. Creators can sell courses, community memberships, resources, and events separately.
  • Native Video Hosting: GroupApp takes care of your video course content and ensures content protection. Users don’t have to rely on external platforms.
  • Quizzes & Assignments: With GroupApp, you can create quizzes and assignments to assess student performance and the learning impact of your course content.
  • Course Access Duration: GroupApp lets you set custom access duration for your online courses. You can choose how long learners will have access to your course content.
  • Member Segmentation: With GroupApp, you can use segmentation to create custom member groups with custom access. This feature is quite useful when it comes to cohort-based learning.
  • Live Chat: Users can get prompt support with GroupApp’s built-in live feature. 
  • Branding & Customization: Community Builders can customize their community with branding elements like logo, theme, favicon, and cover images.
  • Group Chat: GroupApp supports group chats. Members can collaborate on projects and interact with like-minded fellows.
  • Member Roles: You can assign multiple member roles to improve community management. For example, you can assign a moderator and support person.
  • Robust Analytics: Users can thoroughly monitor performance with GroupApp’s robust analytics. You can monitor metrics like DMs, posts, course progress, student performance, device visits, membership requests, and new members.
  • Custom Domain: You can get your custom domain at GroupApp.
  • Flexible Subscriptions: With GroupApp, you can customize subscriptions for your members, including multiple tiers or one-time payments. You can create multiple packages and include their benefits as well.
  • Automation: GroupApp lets you automate posts and email sequences without any third-party app.
  • Community Home Page: Get your community a custom home page with GroupApp. Add multimedia, upcoming events, and suggested content to your announcement cards.
  • Better Pricing: GroupApp offers three reasonably priced plans. That makes it easier for users to pick that corresponds well to their needs. Each plan comes with generous limits and a 0% transaction fee. 

Click here for detailed GroupApp Pricing.

  • White-Label Mobile Apps: With this upcoming advancement, GroupApp will take customization to the next level. You can create 100% white-labeled mobile apps for your courses and communities.

All these features make GroupApp a go-to solution! GroupApp fills all the gaps that Skool cannot. With all these robust features, you can create online courses and an exclusive community with GroupApp.

So, let’s start solid with GroupApp. 

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