Basecamp vs. Trello: Comparing Features, Pricing and Customer Support

Basecamp and Trello are two cloud-based project management solutions designed to help teams have better project organization and collaboration. Although they target companies of all sizes, both solutions focus on smaller companies and teams that manage simple projects. 

In this post, we’ll compare each solution to help businesses make the right purchasing decision.  

Product Overviews 

Here are excerpts from the Basecamp and Trello reviews that summarize each solution: 

Basecamp: Basecamp is a project management tool that helps with team collaboration, file sharing and project organization. The project management solution serves as a single source of truth for everything your company could possibly need, from emails to to-do lists, and is accessible on Mac, PC, Android and iOS. This way, everyone can track their assignments, teams and deadlines, as well as any associated files.  

Trello: Trello is a project management app designed to help individuals and teams collaborate better and keep their projects organized. One unique feature of Trello is its Power-Ups. Power-Ups turn each board into what Trello calls “living applications” by adding different features and integrations. 

Trello is a free service that lets users work with an unlimited number of boards, lists and cards. Free users can add one Power-Up per board. There are no restrictions on the number of people users can collaborate with through the free version of Trello. Trello also offers Trello Business Class, a paid plan for companies. 

How They Stack Up 

Features   

Basecamp: Basecamp has six core tools for each project. First, there are the to-do lists for tracking tasks. Then, there’s a message board for announcements and updates. There’s also the Campfire chat tool so users can discuss a specific item within a project.  

There’s also a Schedule tool for tracking milestones and deadlines. In addition, there’s the Docs & Files tool so users can access the files they need rather than asking for them. Finally, there’s the Automatic Check-ins feature that automatically asks users for status updates either once a day, once a week or on a frequency set up by the project manager.  

Trello:  All the details of a project are saved in what Trello refers to as boards. Each board is categorized using lists, with each list including individual cards that have further details on a project, such as the team members involved, task checklists, discussions and comments. 

Trello Business Class includes several key features, such as integration with an unlimited number of apps, file attachments up to 250 MB, and the ability to add files, comments or emoji to a discussion, as well as tag specific members within a comment. Companies can also opt for custom branding with a board background and stickers. 

Bottom Line: Both solutions use visuals for managing projects. Trello uses boards, lists and cards, while Basecamp’s core tools are displayed as large icons within a single project. There are similar project management and collaboration features in both apps. But Trello has custom branding for its Business Class plan participants, while Basecamp doesn’t offer this feature at all. 

Pricing 

Basecamp: Basecamp has a flat rate of $99 a month. The price is all inclusive, which means it includes all features, support, training, security and 99% uptime. There’s a 30-day free trial that can be extended upon request. Basecamp offers free accounts for teachers and students, as well as discounts for nonprofits.  

Trello: In addition to the free version, Trello offers two paid options: Trello Business Class and Trello Enterprise.  

  • Trello Business Class – Trello Business Class costs $9.99 per user, per month (if paid annually). 
  • Trello Enterprise – In addition to the features in the Business Class plan, the Enterprise plan includes single sign-on access and additional security features, such as two-factor authentication, file encryption and intrusion detection. Costs for the Enterprise plan are tiered and vary based on the number of users. Contact the vendor for an exact quote. 

Bottom Line: The main distinction is that Trello provides a free plan for everyone, while Basecamp provides free accounts for just teachers and students (although there is a 30-day free trial). Basecamp’s all-inclusive pricing can be an attractive option for companies that don’t want the per-user, per-month pricing strategy that Trello has. 

Customer Support 

Basecamp: Basecamp provides short video tutorials of the solution, as well as live classes. It also offers how-to guides and other resources, such as FAQs. Finally, users can contact Basecamp by email and expect a response time of approximately seven minutes.  

Trello: Trello’s knowledge base includes articles categorized by topic. In addition, users can access the Getting Started guide and Trello’s training webinar to learn more about Trello. The Trello community is another resource where users can get advice and ideas from other Trello users. 

The Business Class plan includes priority email support with a response time of one business day. The Enterprise plan includes both priority email and priority phone support with a quicker response time (less than one business day). 

Bottom Line: Both vendors include a knowledge base for commonly-asked questions, as well as how-to guides and short tutorials. However, Trello provides a community forum for users, while Basecamp doesn’t. Finally, quicker priority support is available to everyone in Basecamp’s plan, but is only available in Trello’s Enterprise plan. 

Shortcomings 

Basecamp: Basecamp doesn’t offer Gantt charts or time tracking. Some users have said the layout and workflow can be confusing. Others have mentioned when someone sends a direct message, replying takes users to a different webpage, which can make users lose track of the project they were working on.  

Trello: Trello doesn’t support hierarchies that show relationships between tasks and projects. Users have also reported that Trello could add more flexibility and customization for arranging cards, instead of just arranging them in a linear fashion. In addition, Trello doesn’t support time tracking and isn’t for managing complex projects. 

Bottom Line: Both vendors have different shortcomings, but one common feature neither solution offers is built-in time tracking. However, users can integrate either solution to a time-tracking app.  

Takeaways 

Both Basecamp and Trello provide clients with simple, visual ways for users to manage their projects and collaborate with each other. Both vendors have transparent pricing plans, how-to guides and tutorials, and a knowledge base.  

Basecamp and Trello aren’t the only project management solutions out there. If you’re looking at other solutions, check out our detailed reviews page where we’ve reviewed over 30 vendors.     

If you need more information on project management solutions in general, our definitive guide can help. This guide discusses benefits, features and what to look for when purchasing a solution.     

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