Appcues vs. Stonly 2023 Comparison – Which tool better fits your needs?

Appcues is a great product with a strong base and many mid-market customers. But does being the first in the market mean being the best?

That is where Stonly comes in.

Stonly is a product adoption platform software that provides a variety of onboarding elements – and Stonly has a free-forever plan.

So which one is better for you?

Which one of these tools is the one that is the better fit for your needs and goals?

To help you find an answer to those questions, I will:

  • Introduce Appcues and talk about the tool’s cons and pros,
  • Introduce Stonly and talk about the tool’s cons and pros,
  • Compare those tools side-by-side for you to have a better overview.

And also, if you want to skip all those, you can benefit from this quick table:

TL;DR – Side-By-Side Comparison Table



Starting Price$61/month$249/month
G2 Rating4.5⭐4.7
On-Screen Slide Modals
In-App Resource Centers
Knowledge Base Feature Integration
Announcement Modals/Banners
Interactive* Walkthroughs
Tooltips
Hotspots
Onboarding Checklists
In-Product Surveys
Avg. Deployment Time≈ 2-3 Days2-3 Hours
User Segmentation
User Analytics
Learning Curve😐 Steep😟 Steeper
*Interactive – users can actually use the product as they go through the step-by-step instructions.

What is Appcues?

Appcues is a pioneer of “no-code” onboarding tools on the market.

They have introduced various onboarding elements for the first time while offering great fundamental solutions to their customers.

With a strong focus on user onboarding to web apps and digital products, Appcues can solve all your digital adoption needs regarding your customers and help you become a product-led business.

Pros 🤩 Appcues is good for:

✅ Appcues can help you create beautiful and interactive product walkthroughs so that you can provide your customers an engaging onboarding experience, and get them to like your product easily.

✅ Appcues provides exquisite customer support. They are great at coming up with quick and highly personalized solutions to all your problems whenever you have one.

✅ Founded in 2014, Appcues is among the firstcomers of no-code digital adoption; it has a strong background and customer portfolio.

Cons 😮‍💨 Appcues isn’t good for:

❌ Appcues isn’t the best when it comes to analytics features. If you would like to get the best out of your customers, you will have to use integrations.

❌ No matter how friendly the UI is, Appcues has a steep learning curve that you have to get past – which is only possible if you have enough technical knowledge.

❌ Appcues is also not affordable. Their starting price is not only above the market average, but they also don’t grant access to all features in the essentials package.

Appcues Pricing

  • The Essentials Package of Appcues starts at $249/month when billed annually with 2500 MAU.
  • The Growth Package of Appcues starts at $879/month when billed annually, again at 2500 MAU.
  • The Enterprise Package of Appcues doesn’t have public pricing, so you need to get a custom quotation.

What is Stonly?

Stonly is a self-serve support and user education platform that offers engaging and (not so) interactive guides for software products.

With Stonly, you can create Help Centers and Knowledge Bases that are much more engaging compared to the traditional ones.

Stonly onboarding offers step-by-step instructional guides that you can add images inside to illustrate your topic better, and the content of these step guides can be optimized based on end-user segments and preferences.

Of course, you can use these guides to create product tours, that show your users how different UI elements and core functions of your product work.

Although it doesn’t actually have the most interactive content, it can be a good choice for small to medium-sized businesses that would prefer affordable products.

But the rest of the users should be aware of the expensive plans and hidden costs within the product.

Pros 🤩 Stonly is good for:

✅ Stonly is relatively more affordable and has a free plan, which is something that most of its competitors don’t have.

✅ Stonly makes it easy to create product walkthroughs. Once you pass the integration step, the ease of use increases quickly.

Cons 😮‍💨 Stonly isn’t good for:

❌ If you want to integrate Stonly into your UI elements, and of course, implement Stonly’s knowledge base and help center into your platform, you’ll definitely need a bunch of developer hours to get it done.

❌ Your customization options are very limited with Stonly. After a while, a lot of the guides look very similar to each other, and since you’re limited to a single element, you can mix things up as you can in other user onboarding products like UserGuiding.

❌ It looks like most of the interactivity, in Stonly’s case, is pressing the “Next” button on the guide steps after reading a bunch of text and looking at a screenshot.

Stonly Pricing

Stonly has 3 pricing tiers at the moment, and a 14-day free trial:

  • Starter Plan: $99/month with 2500 monthly guide views, 30 guides, and access to core features.
  • Business Plan: $199/month with 4000 monthly guide views, $399 with 15000 monthly guide views, unlimited guides, and additional VIP features.
  • Custom Enterprise Plans: Additional Enterprise features with increased usage limits, but you need to contact Stonly’s sales team for a custom quote.

How about having the best of both? 😎

Way too many products have hidden costs that they don’t reveal until you get a demo like it’s a big secret nowadays, and honestly, even before.

What difference does doing that make? I couldn’t tell.

meme pendo vs walkme

🤨🤨🤨

But I know a different user onboarding tool that can make a huge difference in your onboarding flows – and budget.

UserGuiding is an (absolutely) no-code digital adoption tool that’s easy to use, geared up for effective onboarding for both customers and employees, and budget-friendly.

Some of UserGuiding’s features are:

✅ Interactive guides and product tours,

✅ Tooltips, checklists, hotspots, and other onboarding elements, 

✅ Powerful analytics,

✅ User segmentation and targeting,

✅ Resource centers, 

✅ NPS survey, and more!

Don’t want to pay thousands of dollars for a product you cannot use effectively? You know where to go.

UserGuiding also offers free migration services for your in-app content created using other software to minimize your switching costs.

Schedule a demo with one of our experts or start your free trial now:

Don’t Pay a Fortune for Other Tools!

UserGuiding starts from only $69/month.
Create tours, tooltips, and surveys without coding

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Appcues vs Stonly

Features
Although they are difficult to use, Appcues allows you to create beautiful product onboarding sequences with lots of elements and features.Onboarding
⬅️ 🤩
You can use Stonly for onboarding purposes, but if you want an actual interactive product walkthrough, Stonly isn’t the one for you.
Although Appcues does provide in-app analytics, since it is not the tool’s main focus, you might need an integration to handle the analytics.Analytics
⬅️ 🤩
Stonly doesn’t have an in-app analytics feature at all, but unlike Appcues, the tool doesn’t have many integration options either.
Appcues provides in-app NPS surveys and feedback collection modals.Surveying
⬅️ 🤩
Stonly doesn’t have a surveying feature.
Pricing
Appcues’s pricing starts from $249/month – which is above the market average.🤩 ➡️Stonly isn’t a cheap tool either, but the fact that they do provide a free plan makes it more affordable.
Ease Of Use
Appcues is the first no-code DAP tool, but their understanding of no-code still involves technical aspects. In other words, technical knowledge is required to be able to use the product fully.🤩 ➡️Stonly is not the easiest-to-use tool on the market, but compared to Appcues, it is a tad easier to set up and figure out how to use.
Customer Support
Appcues’s customer support isn’t bad, but not as good or fast as Stonly’s.🤩 ➡️Stonly clearly cares about their customers, and this is why they provide fast and personalized customer support – as per what actual users have said about them.

Simple, Affordable, and Powerful User Onboarding Software.

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Hilal Yıldırım

I’m UserGuiding’s growth-obsessed creative content writer and junior journalist. I like to research and write about growth, onboarding, and inbound marketing. If you feel like we could exchange ideas, feel free to reach out via LinkedIn or email! P.S. If I don’t respond, please know that I’m on a road trip with my camera and motorbike.