Digital badges are a great way to recognize and showcase your skills, achievements, and credentials online. They are visual symbols that contain verifiable information about your learning and accomplishments, and they can be shared on social media, websites, resumes, and portfolios.
But how do you create and issue digital badges? One of the most popular platforms for doing so is Credly, a company that claims to be the world’s leading digital credentialing platform. Credly says it helps organizations of all sizes create, manage, and distribute digital badges to their learners, employees, customers, and partners.
However, Credly is not as easy and convenient as it sounds. In fact, it has many disadvantages that make it a costly and complicated way to issue digital badges. In this article, we will explain what Credly is, how it works, and why you should avoid it. We will also introduce you to Certopus, a more advanced, transparent, and affordable alternative to Credly that lets you create and issue digital badges in minutes.
Credly is a platform that allows you to create and issue digital badges, which are also known as open badges or ebadges. According to their website, Credly helps you “design secure, data-rich credentials that provide context and meaning for the achievements they represent”.
Credly was founded in 2012 by Jonathan Finkelstein, who is also the CEO of the company. Credly, a digital credential creation and management company, acquired Pearson’s Acclaim badging business in 2018 to establish a “comprehensive solution suite for skill recognition, credential verification and talent management.” In return, Pearson gained a minority equity stake in Credly and a Pearson vice president joined the company’s board of directors. In 2022, Pearson announce that it would acquire Credly in a reverse takeover, the market leader in digital workforce credentialing. The acquisition of Credly, in which Pearson already had a nearly 20% stake, expanded the company’s presence in the workforce skills sector, adding a robust credentialing service to its workforce analysis, learning and assessment capabilities. Now, in 2023, the badging product of Credly is known as Credly Acclaim.
Credly has a suite of products related to workforce development but it’s known for its digital badging service Acclaim.
Credly is a platform that claims to provide a simple and powerful way to create and issue digital badges, but is it really worth your time and money? As a digital credentialing expert with years of experience in the field, we have done extensive research on Credly and its features, and we have some insights to share with you.
First of all, Credly does not offer a trial or self-trying option or any public documentation for the issuer side, which makes it hard for potential users to trust its quality and reliability. You have to sign up for a paid plan before you can access its features, and you have no way of knowing if they will meet your needs and expectations.
Secondly, Credly has a very basic and complicated process of badges designing, metadata mapping and issuing. Let us break it down for you:
- Badge designer: Credly’s badge designer has a few limited shapes and icons to choose from, and does not offer much customization or flexibility. You can only select a shape, an icon, a color, and a text for your badge design. You cannot upload your own images, use different fonts, or adjust the size and position of the elements. This means that your badges will look generic and boring, and will not stand out from the crowd. It will only leave you the option of spending some extra bucks for designing badges with help of a professional designer.
- Metadata mapping: Credly’s metadata mapping is the process of adding information to the badge design, such as the name, description, criteria, alignment, tags, and expiration date of the badge. This process is complicated and tedious, as you have to manually enter each field and ensure that you follow the standards and best practices of digital credentialing. You also have to map skills and other details with the badge design, which can be challenging and time-consuming.
- Issuing badges: Credly’s issuing process is also basic and cumbersome, as you can issue badges one by one to each recipient. You have to enter the email address, name, and message for each recipient, and then click on the send button. There are limited options to issue badges in bulk or automate the process. Also the recipient must have to sign up for Credly to be able to claim the issued badge to access and share it which is also unsympathetic.
Once you issue badges, your recipients will receive an email from Credly with a link to claim their badge. They have to create an account on Credly or use an existing one to accept and display their badge. They can also share their badge on social media, websites, resumes, and portfolios.
While Credly may seem like a convenient and reliable platform for creating and issuing digital badges, it has many drawbacks that make it a poor choice for your badge needs. Here are some of the main disadvantages of using Credly:
One of the biggest drawbacks of Credly is its high cost.
Credly’s pricing has been a well known secret but it can be found out from this blog.
This means that Credly is not affordable for small businesses, nonprofits, educators, or individuals who want to create and issue digital badges and also not a good fit for companies and institutes who issues digital badges at a scale. It also means that you are locked into a long-term contract with Credly, which may not suit your changing needs and preferences.
Another drawback of Credly is its lack of transparency. Credly does not disclose its pricing or features clearly on its website. You have to contact them and request a demo or a quote to find out how much it will cost you to use their platform.
This makes it hard for you to compare Credly with other platforms and make an informed decision. It also makes it hard for you to know what you are getting for your money and whether it is worth it.
Moreover, Credly does not provide any information about how they verify the validity and quality of the badges they issue. You have to only trust them that they have rigorous standards and processes in place to ensure that your badges are credible and meaningful.
Credly limits your options to customize your badges and emails. You can only use their email templates and their email sender identity, which may not suit your brand identity or style. You can only use their predefined fields and categories, which may not capture the full scope and value of your achievements. This limits your ability to create badges that are relevant, meaningful, and engaging for your recipients and viewers. It also limits your ability to showcase your branding on your badges web pages or emails. You have to use their domain and logo, which may not reflect your image or reputation. You have to use their generic and impersonal email template, which may not communicate or connect with your badge holders. Even after paying hefty fees for annual contract with Credly, you miss out on essential & valuable features like white-labelling.
Another drawback of Credly is its complex onboarding. Credly does not allow you to sign up and start using their platform right away. You have to contact them and request a demo or a quote first. You can only try out Credly after signing an annual contract with them.
Then, you have to go through a lengthy and tedious process of setting up your account, creating your badges, importing your recipients, integrating your systems, and testing your workflows.
This can take weeks or even months before you can actually start issuing badges to your recipients. This can be frustrating and time-consuming for you and your recipients, who may lose interest or motivation in the meantime.
Credly does not provide adequate customer support for its customers. Credly only offers email support or help center articles, which are not very effective or helpful and lacks live chat support. According to one online review, Credly’s customer support is not very attentive or proactive. The reviewer said that they did not feel any guidance or assistance from Credly’s team, and that they had difficulty with their end users getting answers about their Credly accounts. The reviewer also said that they had to switch to a new badge vendor because of Credly’s shortcomings.
Certopus is a platform that allows you to create and issue digital credentials like digital badges and digital certificates in minutes. It is a better and affordable alternative to Credly, as it offers more advanced features, flexibility, and value for your badge needs.
Certopus was founded in 2021 by a team of experts in education, technology, and design. Certopus aims to make digital badge creation and issuance easy, fun, and affordable for everyone.
Certopus has over 1,000 users, including schools, universities, businesses, associations, nonprofits, and individuals from over 73 different countries. Certopus offers simple and transparent product compared to Credly. Certopus lets you create and issue beautiful digital badges and verifiable certificates at a very affordable pricing, with no hidden fees or contracts.
While Certopus may seem like a similar platform to Credly, it has many benefits that make it a superior choice for your digital credentials needs. Here are some of the main advantages of using Certopus:
One of the biggest benefits of Certopus is its low cost. Certopus is the most affordable digital credentials solution in the market even with way more features and limits.
This means that Certopus is affordable for anyone who wants to create and issue digital badges, whether you are a small business, a nonprofit, an educator, or an individual. It also means that you are not locked into a long-term contract with Certopus, as you can pause your subscription anytime.
Another benefit of Certopus is its full transparency. Certopus discloses its pricing and features clearly on its website. You can see exactly what you are getting for your money and whether it is worth it.
Certopus also provides information about how they verify the validity and quality of the badges they issue.
Certopus comes with a generous free plan which allows you to issue upto 50 badges / certificates for free of cost.
Moreover, Certopus uses advanced-to-blockchain technology to secure and store & verify the data for digital certificate and Open Badges v2.0 standard for digital badges by default, which ensures that your digital credentials are tamper-proof and immutable. You can trust that your badges are credible and meaningful.
Another benefit of Certopus is its unlimited customization. Certopus allows you to fully customize the look and feel of your badges and the email messages that accompany them. You can use your own images and designs, which match your brand identity or style.
Certopus also allows you to host your badges on your company’s web domain with your organization branding. This will help you build a solid brand value out of your digital badges.
This means that your badges can stand out from the crowd and convey the unique story behind your learning and accomplishments.
Another benefit of Certopus is its easy onboarding. Certopus allows you to sign up and start using their platform right away. You do not have to mandatorily contact or request a demo or a quote first but it’s just a good practice.
You can also go through a simple and quick process of setting up your account, creating your badges, importing your recipients, integrating your systems, and testing your workflows.
This can take minutes or hours before you can actually start issuing badges to your recipients. This can be satisfying and motivating for you and your recipients, who can enjoy the benefits of digital badges sooner.
Another benefit of Certopus is its excellent customer support. Certopus provides live chat support to all of its customers irrespective of subscription tiers. You can contact us anytime and get a fast, responsive, and helpful answer to any questions or issues you may have.
This means that Certopus cares about your satisfaction and success, and that you can rely on us for any assistance or guidance you may need with your digital credentials.
Credly is a platform that allows you to create and issue digital badges, but it has many drawbacks that make it a costly and complicated way to do so. Credly is expensive, opaque, limited, complex, and poor in customer service.
Certopus is a platform that allows you to create and issue digital badges as well as digital certificates in minutes. It is a better and affordable alternative to Credly, as it offers more features, flexibility, and value for your badge needs. Certopus is affordable, transparent, fully customizable, easy, and excellent in customer service.
If you want to create and issue digital badges that are credible, meaningful, and engaging, you should consider Certopus. Certopus will help you recognize and showcase your skills, achievements, and credentials online in a simple and fun way.
What is Credly badge?
Credly badges are digital credentials that recognize your skills and achievements. They are issued by various organizations and can be shared on your resume, social media, or online portfolio.
How Credly works?
Credly works by connecting badge issuers and earners through a secure and reliable network. Badge issuers are organizations that offer learning opportunities, assessments, or certifications that lead to earning a badge. Badge earners are individuals who demonstrate their skills and competencies by completing the requirements set by the issuers. Credly provides an end-to-end solution for issuing and managing digital badges.
Is Credly free?
No, it’s not free. Organizations must have to sign an expensive annual contract with Credly to issue digital badges.
Schedule a demo to learn more about Certopus for your business use-case, or if you have any questions, please contact us. We would be delighted to assist you. Finally, if you're on social media, follow us to remain informed about our latest developments and to learn more about digital credentials like digital certificates, digital badges and micro-credentials.
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