User Onboarding

6 Candu Alternatives and Competitors to Onboard and Engage Users

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    Home / User Onboarding / 6 Candu Alternatives and Competitors to Onboard and Engage Users

    A well-designed website can contribute to your purchase decisions more than you think.

    It's especially true when you are looking for a SaaS product, specifically a UX-focused one. After all, that website is a part of your customer experience too.

    In the case of Candu, this phenomenon is all too familiar.

    A fun website with bright colors and a modern design like Candu's is enough to make one think, "they must know what they are doing."

    But how good is the actual product really?

    Well, some research and half an hour on their demo say not so good.

    Whether you are a Candu user having problems with it or a potential customer considering buying the product, today let's go through:

    • What Candu is, how much it is, and reviews,
    • Why you need a Candu alternative,
    • 6 cool alternatives to Candu and our experiences with them, and
    • Use cases and reviews for each alternative

    Let's get right into it.

    What is Candu?

    Candu is a drag and drop no-code user interface editor that helps designers create user experiences easily.

    what is Candu

    With the product's own interface with a sleek Canva-ish look, users get to work on a dashboard where they can pick UX patterns to add to their products and play around with it.

    Users can also view settings for the design they made and see related analytics on a different section of the tool.

    When the design is ready, there is a preview option using the Candu chrome extension where users can put in their website URL to see their design come to life. Though this option is only possible for websites users can access the code for.

    Candu Pricing

    Candu offers a free trial and a free version that is quite similar to their paid option.

    • Personal - free (maximum 1,000 MAUs)
    • Start - $49/month/1,000 MAUs (maximum 10,000 MAUs)
    • Enterprise - custom (unlimited MAUs)

    Candu Reviews

    👍 Pros:

    "I bought their product on Appsumo where they offered all future updates, but now that I can't refund, they mentioned that they won't be including future updates. Therefore I am not sure if this company can be trusted since they change their conditions from one day to another and basically used us"

    👎 Cons:

    “Customer support is very responsive and the product seems promising and easy to use.”

    Why you need a Candu Alternative

    1- Steep learning curve

    Though the main promise Candu makes is the ease of use with its hands-on design experience and modern dashboard, things can get hard to grasp as many reviewers pointed out.

    And from my personal experience, I can confirm that.

    Though Candu seems extremely easy to use, it takes a long time to figure out what does what and what goes where. Moreover, the lack of an in-app toolbar where users can work directly inside their website adds up to this steepness in the learning curve.

    2- Drag and drop is a drag

    We all know that drag and drop is a fun way of doing things, and it helps greatly in speed.

    Then why doesn't every SaaS company use that?

    Because it gets clunky.

    In fact, a couple of users have reported that the tool gets glitchy from time to time and I can say so myself; the drag and drop was really a drag at the end.

    3- Very limited features

    One thing is clear, Candu presents itself as a user experience tool and is categorized as a digital adoption tool. However, it doesn't have a dedicated onboarding or digital adoption undertaking.

    But they are among the use case. And they barely count.

    For onboarding, Candu has checklist, card, and announcement UX elements. And that's about it.

    These components are of course customizable, but when the use case is so limited, there's not much for customization to do.

    4- Unpleasent customer experience

    Back when Candu was campaigning on Appsumo June 2021, some drama sparked up with some customers 🤭

    What happened was, the tool's Appsumo page promised the lifetime deal buyers to access to all the new features they will be releasing.

    But when the time came and some features were released, Candu said no can do.

    Needless to say, this drove people to doubt whether they can trust the platform or not, and also to leave some really bad reviews.

    Top Candu Alternatives

    Now, if you think you can still give Candu a chance that's totally fine, they actually received some really good reviews on Appsumo when they were released.

    But if you think it's too limited a tool for your use case, I've gathered some alternatives to Candu that might be a better solution for different use cases.

    Here are the top 6 alternatives to Candu:

    1. UserGuiding
    2. Pendo
    3.  Appcues
    4. Product Fruits
    5. Intro.js
    6.  Helppier

    I'll go over each tool, compare it to Candu, and talk about which cases they should be preferred. So, without further ado, let’s start with our first product:

    1- UserGuiding – No-code Interactive User Onboarding

    UserGuiding is a leading no-code user onboarding solution that helps you design comprehensive user, customer, and employee onboarding flows with ease.

    UserGuiding alternative to Candu

    UserGuiding is a dedicated tool in digital adoption for all use cases and for all users. Just like Candu, it requires no coding skills.

    And contrary to Candu, its setup and use are actually easy.

    In fact, it takes about 5 minutes to set it and get the gist of it. This is because the onboarding to the tool is also quite well done and explanatory.

    Among UserGuiding's best features are:

    • Interactive guides and product tours,
    • Checklists and user personalization,
    • Hotspots and tooltips, and other UX patterns,
    • Resource centers and feedback collection,
    • Powerful analytics,
    • Segmentation and targeting,
    • Custom triggers, scheduling, advanced settings, and more.

    What makes UserGuiding better than Candu?

    • User onboarding for Candu is only one of the use cases, while for UserGuiding it is the very goal and its many features and UX patterns are designed to match this specific goal.
    • When compared, Candu's tool interface is easy-on-the-eye and seems easy enough to navigate. However, UserGuiding keeps it simpler and manageable while still having more features.
    • UserGuiding has a very simple and fast setup process, and the tool's ease of use is one of the main selling points it has. Candu's setup, on the other hand, is reported to require some sort of technical knowledge by reviewers.

    UserGuiding is a great alternative to Candu if your use case is user onboarding and if you want to be able to create user flows fast without the help of a developer, designer, or any other tech support.

    UserGuiding Pricing

    • 14-day free trial (no credit card required)
    • Basic Plan: $89/month when billed annually for up to 2500 MAU
    • Professional Plan: $389/month when billed annually for up to 20000 MAU with unlimited guides
    • Custom Quotation Available for Larger Companies

    UserGuiding Reviews

    👍 Pros:

    “Userguiding provides an impressive feature set that can do more than it seems. From simple step-basis guided tours to almost seamless splash pages that look product branded. 10/10 customer support.”

    👎 Cons:

    “There is nothing that I find bad. However, the analysis options for the guides could be a bit better. However, the software is constantly growing and more and more functions are added.”

    UserGuiding vs. Candu

    UserGuiding Candu
    Well-designed user interface ✅
    Well-designed user interface ✅
    Advanced set of features ✅
    Small and primary set of features ❌
    Ease of use and setup ✅
    Hard to setup and time consuming to learn how use ❌
    Various UX patterns and templates ✅
    Only a number of UX patterns ❌
    Creating onboarding flows without a container code ✅
    Cannot create onboarding flows without container code ❌

    2- Pendo

    Among fan favourites when it comes to digital adoption tools, Pendo is a powerful user experience platform best known for its analytical solution.

    Pendo alternative to Candu

    Though Pendo also has many different use cases, being a well-established and popular tool, it has the ability to offer fully developed solutions like customer journey mapping and in-app training.

    Just like Candu, Pendo's onboarding elements can have shortcomings at times which is completely natural for an all-rounder tool like Pendo. However, what it lacks in the tiny details, it makes up for in the strength of other features like analytics, feedback collection, and mobile option.

    So if your use case requires powerful analytics for user experience and the ability to collect insightful feedback, and not necessarily a hands-on drag and drop tool for your user onboarding, you might as well go for Pendo.

    Pendo Pricing

    Pendo offers custom pricing for each customer and provides the information via contact with a sales rep.

    Pendo Reviews

    👍 Pros:

    “The best thing about Pendo is the ability to deploy in-app educational content and resources to customers, real-time. Pendo's tagging makes it quick and easy for us to create user walkthrough guides to get our customers educated on our product. Pendo's Resource Center allows us to deploy resources to our customers like our release notes and access to our support. Pendo also provides excellent insights into how our users interact with our product.”

    👎 Cons:

    “Pendo could be better in a few details, but I see the teams working on it. Overall speed could be enhanced, yet we make extensive use of many connectors and the partially low performance might be related to that (also, Pendo is such a mighty tool that in parts, speed is an option). ”

    3- Appcues

    Appcues is a decade-old onboarding market leader that came up with most of the onboarding UX patterns we are using today.

    Appcues alternative to Candu

    If the primary reason you want or use Candu is user onboarding and if you have the budget for it, it's time to switch to Appcues.

    The essential advantage of Appcues is what Candu lacks the most: a good set of onboarding features to be called an onboarding solution. Appcues, on the other hand, is the one that came up with innovative solutions for onboarding.

    Though compared to some other tools on the list, Appcues can be pricier and might require more technical knowledge, it is one of the best solutions for analytics, customization, and a variety of features. 

    Appcues Pricing

    If you want to use Appcues with Product Tours add-on:

    • 14-day free trial (no credit card required)
    • Essentials Plan: $249/month when billed annually for up to 2500 MAU
    • Growth Plan: $879/month when billed annually for up to 2500 MAU
    • Custom Quotation Available for Enterprises

    Appcues Reviews

    👍 Pros:

    “I like the flexibility of flows you can build in Appcues and the ways you can use it to engage with your users. I also really enjoy the analytics you get alongside the flows you build.”

    👎 Cons:

    “Frequent bugs when building flows requiring a refresh. Lots of cool stuff you can do but it often requires time from developers to implement properly. Anyone running ad blockers won't see Appcues flows at all. There seems to be a significant delay between steps, both when previewing flows and when seeing them as an end user.”

    4- Product Fruits

    Product Fruits is a developing digital adoption tool with a focus on getting users to love your website.

    Product Fruits alternative to Candu

    This fairly young tool has five main features, namely product tours, hints, in-app announcements, feedback and NPS surveys, and an in-app help center.

    While its UI is not nearly as sleek as Candu's, there is one factor that puts it on top in comparison: Product Fruits is an onboarding-focused tool that has a feature set fit for the task, though small.

    It is also more affordable than Candu, and does a good job at least being average on all its features and functionalities. 

    If you are looking for a more dedicated user onboarding tool that is also more affordable, Product Fruits can be what you're looking for.

    Product Fruits Pricing

    • Core Plan: $59/month for up to 1500 MAU, $259/month for 10000 MAU
    • Boost Plan: $109/month for up to 1500 MAU, $379/month for 10000 MAU
    • Enterprise Plan: Custom quote for more than 50,000 MAU

    Product Fruits Reviews

    👍 Pros:

    "Easy to set a simple product onboarding tour Easy integration No-code tours & hints builder Amazing support & help with custom use cases Customizability"

    👎 Cons:

    "The setup for us has taken a while due to the information that needs to be sent to Productfruits via the integration available to make the guided tours work in the way we expected."

    5- Intro.js

    Intro.js is a free, open-source library for all your user guiding needs.

    intro js alternative to candu

    The deal with Intro.js, is the fact that you need an actual developer to use it. Because, contrary to the other tools on this list, Intro.js is not a no-code tool. In fact, it can be even called a high-code one.

    However, one great advantage is the fact that you won't have to deal with numbered features, ugly UIs, or customization problems.

    You'll simply code it all.

    Plus, there is one other advantage to using Intro.js and not Candu or the other tools on the list. Because it is a library and not a third-party tool, you won't have to worry about security at all.

    Intro.js Pricing

    Intro.js is a free library for non-commercial use. If users wish to use it for commercial reasons, the one-time purchase costs:

    • Starter pack without any official support for $9.99,
    • Business pack with a month of official support and code review for $49.99,
    • Premium package with a year of official support, code review, and unlimited projects for $299.99.

    Intro.js Reviews

    👍 Pros:

    ““I really like the Intro.js plugin because documentation is straightforward and easy to understand. Very good onboarding tool for basic use cases requires no technical background thanks to its user-friendliness"

    👎 Cons:

    “It is a good tool if you are not looking for complex use cases. If you will be set with just 2-3 product tours then Intro.js will be enough but if you are looking to do 10 product tours then intro.js will not meet your demands.”

    6- Helppier

    Helppier is a customer experience tool that allows to create interactive user guides, on-page support content and onboarding messages.

    Helppier alternative to Candu

    Though Helppier is a dedicated user engagement and onboarding tool, it suffers the same lack of advanced onboarding patterns as Candu, for example checklists and resource centers.

    However, it makes up for this lack by offering high customization and various templates.

    While the dashboard doesn't look as promising as Candu's, Helppier offers more affordable customer plans.

    Helppier Pricing

    • Free Trial available for 14 days, no credit card information required.
    • Standard plan: $39/month for up to 1000 MAU$99/month for up to 10.000 MAU2 months for free if paid annually.
    • Tailor-made plan: custom-made plan, more info from the sales.

    Helppier Reviews

    👍 Pros:

    “I started using helppier and building a guided tour was super easy. It even let's you creat a tour from a chrome extension.”

    👎 Cons:

    “Slow loading time but they are releasing some improvements that will improve Helppier's global performance.”


    While being a pretty tool with what sounds like innovative solutions up its sleeve, Candu can be quite the opposite if it's not fit for your use case.

    That's why I've gathered up the best alternatives to Candu that can actually offer innovative solutions. The use cases for these alternatives are:

    • UserGuiding, for when you need a capable tool with a feature set fit for an actual user onboarding flow while also being very affordable for all company sizes.
    • Pendo, for when you need a tool with an analytical solution that can change your entire user experience.
    • Appcues, for when you want to deploy all kinds of onboarding UX elements and work with a digital adoption veteran.
    • Product Fruits, for when you want a less expensive, more focused onboarding solution for a simple yet effective user flow.
    • Intro.js, for when you are on a budget and can afford to have a developer work on your onboarding project.
    • Helppier, for when you want to pay less for the same performance, plus better templates.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Who should use Candu?

    Candu can be used by small businesses that can have not just anyone but a tech-savvy person working on the onboarding flow that will turn out rather simple yet pretty.

    How much does Candu cost?

    Candu has a free version for up to 1,000 MAUs, a Start plan that starts from $49/month for 1,000 MAUs and goes up with the number of MAUs, and an enterprise plan with custom pricing.

    What are the top alternatives to Candu?

    Among the top alternatives to Candu are Pendo with an analytical solution, Appcues with a great set of UX patterns, and UserGuiding, an affordable no-code tool with great features and ease of use.

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