Shepherd Alternatives and Competitors

You are at the right place if you are looking for an alternative to Shepherd!

You can find the most popular alternatives to Shepherd, including free(open source), low cost, and enterprise-ready tools in this article.

We’ve evaluated reviews from around the web, developer forums, Capterra, G2Crowd, Reddit, and utilized our experience with the mentioned tools to help you select the best onboarding solution for your business..

We also have prepared a comparison table of Shepherd and its competitors at the end of the article, to help you better compare.

Top Alternatives to Shepherd

  • Paid Tools
    • UserGuiding
    • WalkMe
    • Appcues
  • Open Source Alternatives
    • Intro.js
    • Crumble

Without further ado, let’s start with what Shepherd exactly does:

What does Shepherd do?

Shepherd Alternatives

Shepherd is a Javascript library that allows you to onboard your users to a product with product walkthroughs.

It claims to be highly customizable in its design, and easy to create and implement. Yet it requires a high amount of technical background and coding knowledge to maintain.

Shepherd also only has a single feature, which is a product tour. A decent onboarding needs much more elements than that. So if you are looking to create a full onboarding experience for your users, Shepherd might not be a good solution for you.

Main Issues with Shepherd

Shepherd’s makers are more responsive to issues than the makers of other open-source solutions. Yet its users have been regularly experiencing issues with the library that takes a week on average to get help from the makers. Here are the top 5 issues users keep having with Shepherd according to product’s GitHub page:

1- Shepherd elements doesn’t work as intended

Sometimes a step appears randomly on a page where it is not intended to appear or buttons are attached to the element. Users keep experiencing these problems and even though they are solved in a short time with some help, wouldn’t it be nice to not have them at all?

2- Nothing happens when a button is clicked in Shepherd

This is also a common problem with the product. The user cannot proceed to the next part of the tour because the button that is supposed to take them doesn’t work. This turns into a plain bad user experience that might hurt your business.

3- Shepherd isn’t scrolling

Navigation is also a wide-spread issue in open-source solutions, because the algorithms they use to detect elements are not always competent. There is a possibility that your users might get stuck on a specific part of your page during their onboarding.

4- Shepherd doesn’t support all browsers

This is the most common issue with Shepherd, most browsers are poorly supported. Your audience might use various browsers and your guides must support them all without any problem.

5- Maintaining Shepherd is a difficult task

Maintaining an open-source onboarding solution such as Shepherd is not at all easy. Whether the library will work without any of the problems above is a question of luck. Also, web products are updated and changed regularly, so the guides and the onboarding elements you have set up inside need to be updated aswell. With Shepherd, maintaining and updating guides require a developer to work at least a few hours to get everything up and running.

Our first alternative, UserGuiding, solves all the issues above with a customer support team always at ready, and a product that is constantly being improved. The development team runs multiple QA tests at every release to ensure that your users have the best experience possible, and the product has 8 different navigation algorithms to avoid any scrolling or navigation errors.

Let’s see what exactly UserGuiding can do for you:

UserGuiding

shepherd vs userguiding

UserGuiding is a no-code user onboarding tool in which you can onboard users and improve their overall digital experience with your product.

It doesn’t require any technical background, which means it can be used by anyone in your team. Also, it is highly customizable which is a feature not many open source libraries and paid tools offer.

Below is a list of UserGuiding’s features:

  • Interactive Product Tours,
  • User Guides,
  • Onboarding Checklists,
  • Analytics,
  • Segmentation/Targeting
  • Feature Highlights,
  • NPS Surveys,
  • In-App Messages,
  • Customer Feedback Gathering

UserGuiding’s many features and the fact that it is an extremely simple product to use make it one of the best alternatives to Shepherd.

UserGuiding vs Shepherd

UserGuiding:

  • Product Tours
  • Feature Highlights
  • Checklists
  • No-code, easy-to-use
  • Segmentation, targeting
  • Self-help Centers
  • Affordable Pricing
  • Dedicated support

Shepherd:

  • has Product Tours
  • No Analytics
  • Open-source, needs developers
  • No Segmentation
  • Free to use
  • No official support

UserGuiding Pricing

UserGuiding, compared to other paid products on the market, offers an affordable pricing for companies of any size.

It starts from $99/month with the Basic package and has a $399/month Professional package for larger companies.

There is also a bootstrap plan for early-stage startups which you can apply via this form.

UserGuiding Reviews

Pros: 

“The simplicity of the tool and the way it enabled us to quickly add onboarding material in our platform was amazing. We could have easily spent our time and resources in re-inventing the wheel to have our own user onboarding module but we chose to save our time and efforts by going with Userguiding.”

Cons: 

“There is a need for other survey types and customizable surveys other than NPS. It can increase the value of the product so much.”

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WalkMe

shepherd vs walkme

WalkMe has been helping large companies onboard users and employees for over 10 years. Their experience in the market is unmatched.

Using WalkMe, you can create product walkthroughs and a few other onboarding elements to guide your users and employees to success. However, since the product is aimed for enterprises, smaller businesses might have a hard time adopting it.

This could have two reasons, first one is that you don’t have enough spare developer time to put into using and maintaining this product, and the second one is that you simply can’t afford such an expensive tool.

WalkMe Pricing

WalkMe’s exact pricing is unknown since they offer each customer a different customized plan based on the size of their business. Its overall pricing is well higher than its competitors’.

WalkMe Reviews

Pros: 

“Walkme is great at guiding users through simple processes, teaching them along the way. It also has a good popup system for getting the word out to many users.”

Cons: 

“At times out single page application causes issues with needs for refresh and updates to the smart-walkthroughs. This can get a user lost in the workflow and losing the support of the WalkMe.”

Appcues

shepherd vs appcues

Most no-code onboarding tools have not been around as long as Appcues, since Appcues is the pioneer of the industry. 

They have been helping companies create and improve their user onboarding with various features such as interactive product tours, checklists, and feature highlights.

Their prices are not the most expensive, yet tools like UserGuiding solve the same problem with more onboarding elements, and charge half the price.

Appcues Pricing

Essentials plan for Appcues starts from $249/month and the Growth package is priced at $879/month.

Appcues Reviews

Pros:

“I like the customization — I can match my site’s styles so the app looks native. Also, once you’ve built and deployed a flow, changes are quick to make.”

Cons: 

“It’s so robust that it’s hard to get momentum going; there’s a lot to learn before you can really build anything worth showing off. I had a few initial issues that eventually required a video call with an Appcues dev team member.”

Intro.js

shepherd vs intro.js

Intro.js is another open source library specifically designed for user onboarding.

It helps you create interactive product tours or feature highlights to show your users how your product works. The tool hasn’t been updated for a long time and there are unsolved problems with it, but it is still a solid solution to a certain degree.

It is free unless you use it for a commercial product, which then requires a license you can get for a price between $9.99-$99.99.

Crumble

shepherd vs crumble

If you are looking for a free open source tool that is simpler than any other and your product doesn’t need a big introduction, Crumble might be the wiser choice.

It only has a single feature, bubble tooltips that you can use to show your users around. It can be selected if an extremely simple onboarding will satisfy your audience.

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Top Shepherd Alternatives Comparison Chart

Top Shepherd Alternatives Comparison Chart

Frequently Asked Questions


Who should use Shepherd?

As Shepherd is an open-source tool for product tours, it is only suitable for developers and for product managers with coding knowledge.


How much does Shepherd cost?

Shepherd is completely free to download on GitHub.


What are the top alternatives to Shepherd?

The top 5 alternatives to Shepherd are UserGuiding, Appcues, WalkMe, Intro.js, and Crumble.

Selman Gokce

Selman Gokce is the Senior Inbound Marketer of UserGuiding. He is highly invested in user onboarding and digital adoption, especially for SaaS, and he writes on these topics for the UserGuiding blog. When he's not writing, you can find him either listening to LOTR soundtracks while cooking or getting angry because he lost in a video game.