Stonly is a decent platform for user and employee education and/or creating knowledge bases that users can engage with.
But is it really a user onboarding solution with interactive elements?
From my point of view, it’s not.
Compared to the mainstream 3rd-party user onboarding platforms such as WalkMe, Appcues, and UserGuiding offers, modals and guides Stonly provide users with are not enough for a complete user onboarding.
I’ll talk about this in a bit.
In this article, I go over why Stonly is not the perfect user onboarding solution for you and 10 alternatives that might be a better fit.
👉 Stonly is an alternative to mainstream product adoption platforms that prioritizes help centers and knowledge bases to enhance user adoption.
👉 Stonly guides are designed to be easier to follow and create than typical knowledge base articles to solve common customer inquiries concerning onboarding flows and in-app experiences.
👉 While the solution sounds helpful and unique, in reality, it is just a fancy name for a digital adoption platform with a puffed-up pricing model that doesn’t even have a full set of advanced features for an onboarding process.
👉 The best alternative to Stonly is UserGuiding because it provides everything that Stonly does along with more features for user onboarding, such as in-app messages, announcement banners, in-app surveys, and more.
👉 The best thing about UserGuiding is that it costs less than Stonly even though it is capable of more. And to use UserGuiding, you don’t have to deal with a single line of code, unlike Stonly, where you have to spend hours developing and customizing the elements, which requires technical knowledge.
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:
👉 Other alternatives to Stonly include Appcues, Pendo, Intercom Product Tours, Intro.js, and Shepherd.js.
Why you need an alternative to Stonly
Because you can start for free, and if your focus is more on finding a cost-effective solution for customer support/knowledge base functions, it’s a great solution for you.
You can create sort of rich tutorials that can be engaging and can even be used for user onboarding experiences if needed.
Why not Stonly?
Because, well, here are a few reasons:
1- It requires technical knowledge/coding 🔧
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.
This can be especially challenging for businesses that are actually used to the no-code approach and don’t have much developer time.
2- Limited Customization 🎨
If you want your onboarding to blend in with your product, Stonly isn’t the one for you.
Essentially being a customer service solution, it lacks important advanced customization options, and creating a personalized experience is not very likely.
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 like you can in other user onboarding products like UserGuiding.
3- Not an actual user onboarding solution 🤔
User onboarding can’t be turned into an effective UX flow without in-app messages, in-app assistance, and user onboarding checklists.
Unfortunately, Stonly lacks all of these. 😥
This is mainly because it is a tool focused more on knowledge management.
It can very well help in creating a comprehensive knowledge base, and do so with a user-friendly interface, but it doesn’t necessarily play toward customer success or customer satisfaction when it comes to onboarding.
Therefore, from my perspective, Stonly lacks the key features of almost every other user onboarding solution.
You can’t gamify the user onboarding experience, which will then flow less engaging than those you can create with other tools.
4- No real interactive elements 👆
Before giving Stonly a try, I was hyped about the idea of “Interactive Knowledge Bases”.
However, it looks like most of the interactivity, in this case, is pressing the “Next” button on the guide steps after reading a bunch of text and looking at a screenshot.
The real interactivity, to me, is the one you can get with other user onboarding products (scroll a bit down to the UserGuiding section to see one in action).
Is Stonly a better alternative to traditional boring resource centers and knowledge bases?
Could it be even better and more engaging?
Let’s take a look at the top alternatives to Stonly:
Top Alternatives and Competitors to Stonly
- Intercom Product Tours
Let’s take a look at the top 6 paid and free Stonly alternatives that can help make your user onboarding much more engaging, starting with the simplest and the best for value one:
#1 Stonly vs UserGuiding – an All-in-one Digital Product Adoption Solution for User Onboarding
UserGuiding is a no-code digital adoption solution that helps you provide better in-app experiences.
👉 Compared to its alternatives, UserGuiding is much simpler to use since it is a no-code platform. It doesn’t require a single line of code to work.
It works with a Chrome browser extension that lets you create various user onboarding elements directly on your website.
Compared to other tools, UserGuiding’s user onboarding features are much more extensive and significantly more affordable, while its analytics functions are limited.
But, this lack of product analytics can easily be covered with product analytics software (that’s more capable than Pendo) such as Mixpanel or Amplitude, which are easily integrated with UserGuiding.
UserGuiding offers a wide range of features, including:
- Interactive Product Tours,
- Tooltips and Hotspots,
- User Onboarding Checklists,
- Resource Centers,
- NPS Surveys,
- Easy Localization,
- Advanced Analytics with User Activity Feed,
- Custom user segments,
- Material Tagging and Easy Targeting,
- No-code customization,
- Advanced integrations.
There are three main upsides of using UserGuiding for user onboarding instead of Pendo:
Interactive in-app guidance
UserGuiding is the easiest tool to use among digital adoption platforms that offer a full scope of onboarding features, with a 93% satisfaction rate regarding the ease of use on G2.
UserGuiding’s guides are not only easy to install, but also quick to create. It is possible to push your guides live in under 15 minutes, and see instant results on how much the customer journey has improved.
With tooltips, modals, hotspots, announcement banners, checklists, and resource centers; UserGuiding offers powerful features for all pricing tiers – meaning that you don’t have go out of budget to have a good quality customer retention strategy.
By using UserGuiding’s browser extension, you can start building and customizing your interactive guides directly on your web app.
Surveys and NPS
In July 2023, UserGuiding launched their new feature, “Surveys”, which now allows users to create multiple different types of questions and combine them within a single survey (or launch different surveys for different segments).
With this feature, you can get the most specific user feedback that you need, exactly when you need it. UserGuiding also offers NPS surveys for companies to measure their promoter score, and combines all survey results in the dashboard.
Also, thanks to their user details & activity log feature, you can dig deep into how each user journey comes together, and find what is it that makes the customers’ digital experience special for them.
UserGuiding’s easy-to-create intuitive resource centers have increased their users’ activation rates over 25%.
Resource centers allow you to create a self-paced learning environment right within your app without covering too much space.
You can trigger guides or surveys within UserGuiding’s resource center, insert external links, direct people to help center articles, or provide quick tips based on their usage – all from a single source
Analytics and Customization
UserGuiding brings analytics to a new level.
UserGuiding’s Analytics dashboard gives you actionable insight on the performance of your onboarding content. UserGuiding allows you to track view and completion data for each guide, tooltip, hotspot, checklist, and resource center – while also giving you information about daily active users, and satisfaction scores.
You can mix and match different survey responses and data on the analytics dashboard, and dig deep into each user’s activity using the user details page and activity log.
What is UserGuiding good for?
✅ The #1 strength of UserGuiding is the value it provides for the price it costs. UserGuiding offers a full set of no-code engagement and adoption elements for as little as $89/month.
✅ Unlike many other competitors, UserGuiding’s interface is very user-friendly so that even first-time users can set up and publish their own product engagement sequences.
✅ UserGuiding is also very customizable. You can play with your engagement elements’ shape, color, positioning, and much more.
✅ UserGuiding provides fast and solution-oriented customer support. This means that customers can get help quickly – no matter which time zone you are in – and solve their problems without friction.
What is UserGuiding bad for?
❌ Since UserGuiding’s main focus is onboarding, the analytics features it provides might not be enough for some companies. However, the tool provides various integration options with most analytics tools.
❌ Although you can use UserGuiding on mobile web browsers, it doesn’t work on mobile apps. If you need a solution to work on web and mobile, UserGuiding isn’t the one for you.
- 14-day free trial (no credit card required)
- Basic Plan: $89/month when billed annually for up to 2500 MAU. UserGuiding doesn’t limit the number of features available to the customers, and you can benefit from all features – with limitations on active campaigns. For instance, you can create as many surveys as you like, but set only one active at a time with the Basic plan.
- Professional Plan: $389/month when billed annually for up to 20.000 MAU with unlimited user guides. You get unlimited product engagement features, and you can have. 3 live surveys at a time with the professional plan. This plan also provides you with a dedicated customer success manager.
- Custom Quotation, Available for Larger Companies, removes all limitations and provides you the smoothest UserGuiding experience.
UserGuiding also provides add-ons, so if there is a specific feature that you need while you are on the basic plan, you can have it as an add-on without having to upgrade your package.
“We were on the brink of building an in-house solution for onboarding when we met UserGuiding. It allowed us to design a beautiful product walkthrough within minutes, without a single line of code. “
“Mobile SDK was definitely one of the things that I was searching for, hopefully, it becomes available soon.“
UserGuiding vs Stonly
|In-App Resource Centers||✅||✅|
|Knowledge Base Feature Integration||✅||✅|
|Avg. Deployment Time||≈ 2-3 Days||15 Minutes|
|Learning Curve||😟 Steep||🙂 Smooth|
#2 Stonly vs Appcues – Capable User Onboarding Solution with Powerful Features
Appcues, as one of the first user onboarding tools on the market, offers much more comprehensive user onboarding features compared to most onboarding tools.
The tool is beautifully designed for non-technical people to create and track in-app elements they use for their onboarding flows. With various features and in-depth customization complemented with ready-to-use templates, the tool has everything you need to create power users.
- Interactive Product Tours,
- Tooltips and Hotspots,
- User Onboarding Checklists,
- Resource Centers,
- NPS Surveys,
- Easy Localization,
- Advanced Analytics with User Activity Feed,
- Custom user segments,
- Advanced integrations.
Although the pricing of Appcues matches the price of Pendo’s “only product tours” plans, if you have to choose between the two for user onboarding features, Appcues wins by a landslide.
Here are the main features and reasons why:
Although Appcues is not the easiest tool to set-up, or the most affordable one, it is definitely a strong tool in terms of technical capabilities. Depending on your pricing package, Appcues gives you the liberty of coding and editing your guides to your ideal.
Once you get used to the UI and functionalities of Appcues, the tool becomes relatively easier to use, and maintaining your guides won’t be an issue. Of course, this is only applicable if you get past the steep learning curve with your technical capabilities or with the help of someone knowledgeable.
Experiments and A/B testing
You can choose to experiments with new flows or UI elements using Appcues’s new feature, experiments.
Using Appcues, you can create multiple different kinds of UI elements and show them to some. of your end-users while others don’t see it and compare the results. This way you can see which of you ideas reach the users more easily, and act accordingly.
Analytics & Data
Appcues’s analytics isn’t much different from it’s close competitors, such as UserGuiding or Pendo. You can see al the data of your guides, surveys, checklists, and so on. What makes Appcues’s analytics strong are the “journeys” and “experiments” features, which allow you to play with custom parameters and dive deep into details.
What is Appcues good for?
✅ Appcues can help you create beautiful and interactive product walkthroughs to provide your customers with 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.
What is Appcues bad 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 must 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.
- 14-day free trial (no credit card required)
- Essentials Plan: $249/month when billed annually for up to 2500 MAU. This plan has lots of limitations, such as not being able to get localization features or any kind of account security possibilities. And if you are looking for custom CSS customization, you will have to make a huge price jump and pay for the Growth plan.
- Growth Plan: $879/month when billed annually for up to 2500 MAU. This plan removes most of the barriers, while some limitations persist. You still don’t get a dedicated customer success manager or security options, and you still don’t get localization support. Also, you cannot sign-up for the Growth plan without signing an annual contract, which can be a big burden for a lot. of companies.
- Custom Quotation Available for Enterprises
“The main benefit of Appcues is its flexibility. You can embed custom code into tooltips to change their appearance, run scripts, embed an iframe, or insert buttons that do custom actions.”
“Beware of pricing hikes. They sent an email announcement an almost 300% increase from $129/mo to $299/mo. I get pricing adjustments but this is not a reasonable pricing and just seems plain shady.”
#3 Stonly vs Pendo – User Behavior and Analytics + User Onboarding
Pendo is a robust product analytics, and user engagement platform businesses use to build better products.
Founded by the software entrepreneur Todd Olson, Pendo is based in North Carolina, US.
It is a very popular solution with thousands of customers, including big names such as Verizon, Zendesk, and Salesforce.
The platform has two core functions that users can benefit from: behavior analytics and user onboarding.
Pendo’s product analytics features can help businesses track user behavior, and product insights across the web and mobile devices.
Once integrated, you can see every user activity, which allows you to create different reports that can later be combined in custom dashboards that fuel your business decisions and help you find actionable insights.
Data-focused product managers use Pendo to understand what users are doing inside their product, what functions/features are being more utilized, how product changes affect business metrics, and more.
User/Employee Onboarding and Guidance
Additionally, Pendo has a “Guides” feature, using which you can create different in-app elements to pop up on the user interface to boost user experience and guide and engage with your users.
You can create interactive product tours, tooltips, announcement modals, and resource centers using Pendo; to set up a customer journey that sets users up for success.
Once combined with the analytics part of Pendo, in-app guides, and other elements can help your teams onboard users and employees with higher engagement.
Additionally, Pendo provides its users with a variety of in-app feedback collection elements that are extremely valuable when used correctly.
What is Pendo good for?
✅ The best feature Pendo provides is its in-depth analytics; meanwhile, its user segmentation truly makes a significant change in the way users consume onboarding material.
✅ Pendo puts together different solutions like user experience, user onboarding, and highly sophisticated data collection and analytics under one tool to guarantee customer success and easier customer engagement tracking for digital product teams.
✅ Founded in 2013, Pendo is among the first comers of digital adoption; it has a strong background and customer portfolio.
✅ Though Pendo is quite expensive, it offers a free trial and a freemium, something other platforms of its caliber rarely do.
What is Pendo bad for?
❌ Though Pendo represents itself as a digital adoption solution, its onboarding UX elements are pretty limited to the very basics, leaving out checklists, hotspots, and more.
❌ Being a highly sophisticated tool with a complex UI, it might be hard to set up and use if not used by an experienced user.
❌ Likewise, Pendo’s features tend to be complex and use case-specific, so it might be hard to leverage all features and possibilities without a fully established game plan dedicated to Pendo.
❌ Though Pendo does not publicly share its pricing, it is very well known that Pendo is more expensive than the market average.
❌ Yet another enterprise-level tool, Pendo’s customer service might not be as responsive as smaller products’ customer service teams.
Pendo has a free plan called “Pendo Free“. Pendo free allows up to 1,000 monthly active users for one web and one mobile app. Although Pendo claims it can be used to test the waters and see the software’s value, I’ll have to say you can only see if the platform works with your product or not with only a thousand users.
Also, Pendo recently released a fixed-pricing plan called the “starter plan,” which costs $7000/year but includes only a very limited set of features and no customer support.
For bigger plans, Pendo doesn’t have set pricing.
Instead, you can get a custom plan for your business by contacting their sales team.
However, there are various Pendo users that revealed the details of Pendo’s pricing. One user claimed that they are a medium-sized business that pays $12,000/year for the standard package of Pendo, while another user upped this number to $20,000. Additionally, there is a Pendo customer that claims to pay $2000/year just for the “Guides” feature of the product; so, you get the picture.
Pendo’s pricing is feature and usage-based, and it possibly scales with how many users you have, like other analytics tools.
“I like being able to add pop-up guides to our product with relative ease (compared to coding it into your product) to announce new features and prompt users for feedback.”
“I dislike many of the quirks encountered when setting up guides. Between the code editor and interface editor it got very frustrating at times trying to get a guide to appear and behave correctly.”
#4 Stonly vs Intercom – Email Onboarding & Support with Step-By-Step Tours
Intercom is known as one of the most popular customer messaging platforms, although the tool has many other features that are also helpful.
In April 2019, they launched their “Product Tours” feature that allows you to create step-by-step interactive onboarding guides. Intercom’s Product Tours helps you manage adoption and onboard new visitors by building product walkthroughs and tours within your product.
Using the add-on, you can:
- Create step-by-step product walkthroughs,
- Tooltips and hotspots,
- Announcement banners,
- And create basic user segments.
However, I need to point out that Intercom Product Tours isn’t the most powerful and most developed tool on the market. It has limits in terms of functionality when it comes to product adoption and user onboarding.
Even though it is not Intercom’s main focus, there is a lack of UI elements in product tours. They do not give you many onboarding features, which means that you can’t use checklists, modals, or any other key UI elements for user onboarding.
Also, some features such as end-user surveying or advanced analytics are priced separately, causing the price of Intercom to become unreasonable.
But I have to point out that the features that Intercom does provide are very user-friendly and easy to use. If you are currently using Intercom’s messaging widget already, it is really easy to implement and use Product Tours and start decreasing churn rates.
Briefly, Intercom Product Tours is very simple and easy to use, but it lacks efficiency and is particularly pricey to early-stage startups.
Creating a product tour on Intercom is an easy process. It’s simple, and Intercom provides all the help that you might need – in case this is your first time creating a product tour.
Also, if you are already familiar with creating product tours with another tool, it is going to be easy to adapt to Intercom since the process is quite similar.
Let’s go over the steps of how to create a product tour on Intercom:
1- Get to the product tours page
To open product tours page, click on “Outbound” on the left-side slider within Intercom. Then, click on “Product Tours” from the menu that opens.
2- Click on the “New product tour” button
This will be a blue button on the top-right of your screen.
When you click on it, you will get 2 options to choose from:
- Start from scratch,
- Or choose a template.
If you choose to go with a template, the next screen asks me to select a template (although there is only 1 choice.)
I decided to create one from scratch since that is what the walkthrough asked me to do.
3- Install Intercom to your website and start editing
It is not possible to edit intercom product tours without code installation. If you just want to try the product without all the hassle, I’m sorry to say that you won’t get the chance.
If you have the code installed, a new window displays your website and the product tours editor.
You can edit and place the elements in the editor, and preview your product tour before publishing it.
To your walkthrough modals and tooltips, you can add:
- ✅ Texts,
- ✅ Images,
- ✅ Gifs,
- ✅ Videos with/without audio,
- ✅ Buttons,
- ✅ And directions about how to proceed to the next step.
And that’s it.
As simple as it is, it is also limited to this.
Intercom product tours definitely delivers what it promises, but it only promises walkthrough steps. Nothing else.
Intercom Product Tours Pricing
According to user comments on Reddit and HelpCrunch, Intercom’s pricing can range between $74/month (only for newly established companies with under 5 employees) and $999/month. Also, some features are billed separately, and cost an additional monthly fee.
For instance, if you have 5-9 employees, the starting price jumps up to $89/month.
If you want to use Intercom with Product Tours add-on:
- 14-day Free Trial requires credit card information.
- Start Plan: $74/month for Intercom subscription (2 seats) plus $199/month for Product Tours add-on = $273/month Total
- Support Package: Custom quote on request
“It solves a big problem for us! Super easy, intuitive setup. If you are using the Intercom’s main product then having the Product Tours would be complimentary.”
“Limited analytics and their onboarding features are for basic use ases. If you want something more detailed this product will not be for you.”
#5 Stonly vs Whatfix – Better Onboarding On an Enterprise Scale
Whatfix, similar to WalkMe, can be the solution you’re looking for if you’re more interested in organization-wide digital adoption rather than product analytics.
Its analytics side lacks a ton compared to Pendo, but Whatfix can be a powerful solution for employee onboarding and training. It has a variety of options for creating on-screen guidance for end-users.
Whatfix’s analytics features are focused on tracking the on-screen content you create with it and the effects of this content on core product metrics.
With a more affordable pricing range, Whatfix can be a better DAP solution for small-medium-sized companies than Pendo, maybe even WalkMe.
While Whatfix offers a wide variety of features, they categorize it under 2 different aspects:
Whatfix focuses on enterprise-level customers, that’s why they specialize in providing highly detailed and personalized experiences. Whatfix allows you to create in-app elements such as checklists, onboarding flows, hotspots, and so on.
While Whatfix does offer a great range of features, I have to warn you that its elements are not the most pretty and pleasing to look at. So if you want your onboarding elements to look good on the screen, Whatfix probably shouldn’t be your first choice.
Whatfix doesn’t disclose what kind of features you can use within their product analytics plan, but here are the details that are listed on their pricing page:
What is Whatfix good for?
✅ Whatfix 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.
✅ Whatfix provides exquisite customer support. They are great at coming up with quick and highly personalized solutions to all your problems whenever you have one.
What is Whatfix bad for?
❌ Whatfix 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.
❌ But Whatfix doesn’t provide enough integration options either. Only if you only use Amplitude, Google Analytics, Salesforce, and Slack, well, then you won’t be disappointed.
❌ No matter how friendly the UI is, Whatfix has a steep learning curve that you must get past – which is only possible if you have enough technical knowledge.
❌ Whatfix is also not affordable. Even though they don’t share their pricing plan or provide a free trial, users on the internet say that Whatfix charges them much more than other similar tools.
Whatfix also doesn’t have public pricing that you can go through, but according to its users, it’s not as bad as Pendo.
According to reviews, plans for enterprise businesses can go as high as $1000/month with access to all features, and it won’t get to five figures unless you’re a really large corporation with a ton of users/employees.
“Best value I found when researching for a product like this. Also the service can not be beat.”
“Setting up analytics is a little difficult and an added step to check.”
#6 stonly vs WalkMe – More features, Higher pricing
WalkMe seems to be a product experience platform enterprise businesses can’t live without.
And they might be right.
Compared to Pendo, WalkMe is an enterprise-focused and expensive digital adoption platform for user analytics and product experience.
Although both products have very similar key features, the way these features (such as product tours, analytics, and event tracking) are set up in each product differs a ton.
Here are WalkMe’s two strongest features:
Analytics and Insights
WalkMe excells in enterprise level DAP oriented data management.
If you’re more interested in using a DAP for instilling the adoption of digital products through organizations and teams, WalkMe should be your go-to. The setup takes more time, and it’s not as easily operated as Pendo, but it gets the job done for those who need to get other people to get the job done.
If you need a tool for customer onboarding, WalkMe isn’t the one for you. If you need a solution for employee onboarding, tracking, and management, then WalkMe can offer you quite a variety fo features that will maximize the employee’s productivity and get them quickly up to speed.
What is WalkMe good for?
✅ WalkMe users get to enjoy an extensive set of high-value features and different onboarding UX patterns like tooltips, checklists, and progress tracking options with progress bars
✅ Although technical knowledge might be required, WalkMe offers a lot of customization options
✅ WalkMe is perfectly scalable for enterprises, especially if the use case is employee onboarding rather than customer education
What is WalkMe bad for?
❌ Among the WalkMe features, even core features might be too sophisticated for inexperienced users
❌ WalkMe’s feature amount/feature usage ratio is often low if there is no dedicated user or employee onboarding team
❌ WalkMe requires a technical skillset and occasionally coding knowledge; this makes setting up and using WalkMe harder than average
❌ Not so accessible pricing, WalkMe is not the best option for small or medium-sized businesses or enterprises with an immature budget structure
❌ WalkMe is enterprise software designed for enterprises, so feature updates following customer feedback might not be possible; likewise, customer service might be less accessible
WalkMe doesn’t have public pricing, but most of its users agree on pricing plans that vastly change in the 5-figure range. The average pricing for the small teams seems to be around $10,000/year, but since WalkMe is an enterprise solution that specializes as a DAP for large organizations, you might have to multiply the alleged numbers.
“WalkMe is a platform that empowers Users to get the most from their enterprise applications. Whether its step by step guide, link to frequently used resource, smarttips with GIFs, etc. WalkMe provides relevant guidance, at the right place and right time.”
“WalkMe can be challenging at times, mainly because its alive and living in the environment. With that being said, if any development or changes are made to the environment, WalkMe is at risk of no longer working. It requires a stable environment for optimal performance, working closely with the system’s dev team helps keep things in order.”
#7 Stonly vs Userlane – More onboarding, No knowledge bases
Userlane is also one of the solid digital adoption platforms that are suitable for creating employee and user onboarding experiences.
With a focus on employee training, Userlane provides interactive UX elements that guide users through any web software.
Although the customization and the features are limited, Userlane has all the core elements of the average user onboarding experience:
User Onboarding Guides
Userlane offers interactive product guides that you can customize as you like. The targeting and segmentation for those guides are sufficient for most but if you have complicated segments or lots of different language requirements, Userlane might not be the one for you.
Setting up Userlane guides. is easy. You simply download the browser extension, edit and adjust your tooltips and modals, and you are ready to go.
Checklists and Knowledge Base
While most user onboarding tools offer separate user onboarding checklists and knowledge bases, USerlane brings those two elements together on one launcher.
Just like any other tool, you can use these features to launch product tours. The downside of USerlane’s launcher is the fact that you can’t insert surveys and sort in it.
Data & Analytics
Userlane allows you to track how your users are doing with the onboarding material, but it doesn’t provide any advanced analytics capabilities.
You can try the other tools on the list, like UserGuiding, if you’re looking for something more advanced than basic.
What is Userlane good for?
✅ Userlane is very user-friendly so that even first-time users can set up and publish their own product engagement sequences.
✅ The same goes with the integration, it is relatively easier than most competitors.
✅ Userlane provides good customer support. They are great at coming up with quick and highly personalized solutions to all your problems whenever you have one.
What is Userlane bad for?
❌ If you value the visuality of your product, then you will be disappointed to hear that Userlane doesn’t offer the best customization options. The elements are not really customizable, and they don’t offer many templates.
❌ Userlane 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.
❌ But Userlane doesn’t provide enough integration options either. However, if you only use Zendesk, Google Analytics, Hubspot, and Salesforce, well, then you won’t be disappointed.
Userlane offers custom pricing based on your needs and the size of your company, so you’ll need to get a demo to get a quote and give the product a try.
#8 Stonly vs Intro.js – Open-source User Onboarding
Intro.js is an open-source library for user onboarding that is used by big brands such as Nestle, Amazon, SAP, and more.
You can create product tours and feature introductions using the library.
The good thing about using an open source is that it is affordable, even free, if it is not for commercial use.
The bad thing is… actually, there are two bad things:
- The product requires a developer to function at all times, making it not such a viable option for businesses that need to keep updating their products.
- The onboarding elements are very limited, so any user onboarding designed with Intro.js will not be likely to satisfy every need of a user.
#9 Stonly vs Pageguide.js – Free & Open-source User Onboarding
How is this better than Stonly?
Do your website or product only consist of a few stand-alone pages or single-page features?
If so, pageguide.js is your jam.
It helps you create simple product tours, and you don’t have to pay anything at all; except for a few days of developer time.
#10 Stonly vs Shepherd.js – Another Free & Open-source User Onboarding
Compared to Pageguide.js, Shepherd is more customizable and has a few additional cool features that can drastically improve the UX.
If you’re looking for better-looking, a bit more capable, but still free product tours that you can use to onboard users to single-page applications, Shepherd.js should be your go-to.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should use Stonly?
Stonly is a great user onboarding software for HR and customer service departments of companies of any size, due to it’s convenient price and ease of use.
How much does Stonly cost?
Stonly has a free-forever plan for 5 guides and 1000 MAU, and their next plan starts at $199/month with unlimited guides and access to other features.
What are the top alternatives to Stonly?
There are 6 alternatives that can offer a similar or better experience and value to Stonly’s, which are: UserGuiding, Appcues, Pendo, Intercom, Pageguide.js, and Shepherd.js.
When was Stonly founded?
The customer education software Stonly was founded in 2018 in Paris, France, by Alexis Fogel and Krzysztof Dąbrowski. In early 2022, the recently-founded business received a $22M Series A investment.
What is an interactive guide?
An interactive guide is a type of product walkthrough that assists your users as they complete a task, like UserGuiding’s product tours. Stonly’s guides can’t be considered “interactive”, since the users’ options are very limited during the slides.