Ning was launched in 2007 by Internet pioneer Marc Andreessen and Gina Bianchini.
As the world’s largest SaaS platform, they host over 2 million communities.
Think of Ning not as a blogging platform but as a community building platform, very similar to Facebook, but for niches.
Ning offers a 14-day trial to get you in and take a look around (credit card needed), but after that there is a monthly fee starting at $25 mo and increases from there.
THE GOOD /
THE BAD /
THE BOTTOMLINE /
A Facebook like niche community site with a wide variety of features.
Ning also offers off-the-shelf community features like Profiles, Photos, Forums, Liking, and Sharing to foster engagement.
They have created a system that supports your need to manage and grow your community.
They understand that you need to focus on your members, so they host your community and manage the technology.
Ning also grows with your community. With the base plan, you can have 2 moderators and up to 1000 members.
With the Performance plan, you can have 5 moderators and up to 10,000 members.
They offer expansive reporting options to gather data on your members which can be customized by creating profile questions.
Your community can be public, completely private, or a members-only club.
You can even set individual sections to be public or private.
AND, you can charge your members and/or set up premium sections of your site.
The only downside we found was from anecdotal reports of prices going up.
That was some years ago, however you don’t own the site and prices are subject to change.
Ning is a robust platform with lots of ability. To get started is easy, to make full use and customize, you may need a consultant.
Editor’s note: Parts of this information was taken directly from the company’s page
Ning is one of the world’s largest platforms for creating social websites.
Top organizers, marketers, influencers, and activists use Ning to create an online destination that weaves social conversations in content and inspire action.
Ning makes it easy for brands of all shapes and sizes to build custom and powerful social websites.
|1 Time or Monthly:||Pricing starts at $25/mo based on 1000 members and goes up to $99/mo for 100k members (annual billing)|
|Template Selection:||Templates available or design your own|
|Ease of Use:||Medium to Difficult|
Should you want a custom design for your site; Ning has a team of designers you can work with to create the exact look and feel you are trying to achieve.
Create powerful native apps for iPhone and Android.
Plus, manage your community on the go.