33 of the Best Online Community Software for Your Audience

Serious about growing your audience? Online community software is a must-have. Find out everything about online community software in this blockbuster guide.
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If you’re serious about growing your audience, you cannot afford to do without online community software. Online community software, otherwise called “social software” are tools to help you create virtual communities where consumers can come together to share ideas, feedback, and engage with each other and your business.

Online communities help you tune into what your customers are saying – both the good and the bad. They help you figure out what you need to create better products and services your customers will love and refer to others.

Ultimately, creating online communities is about growing your business. Online community software helps you do this in a smarter and more efficient manner.

In this article we cover what to expect from online community software, how to determine if it’s right for you, and a quick overview of the top 33 online community software available.

(Or skip straight to the online community software below.)

What is online community software?

If you go online, you will find communities for each and every topic under the sun. It’s human nature to want to connect and exchange ideas. These communities can be set up by any business or individual with zero-to-minimal tech skills.

Online community software takes this one step further by providing features that make it easier to manage communities, get feedback, and monetize the platform at the same time.

Understanding online community software

Online community software are tools you can use to create, manage, and monetize online communities much more efficiently by leveraging automation and technology.

With online communities, businesses can engage with customers and glean insights on behaviors, patterns, trends, and preferences. These insights can then be used to create more targeted, more successful advertising messages.

Products and services can be tested ahead of time within the member community before an official release. Businesses can also use these platforms to answer questions, showcase their expertise, and build trust with their audience.

3 examples of successful online communities

  1. Apple’s Support Communities are simply fun places to hang out. Users can ask questions, find answers, and be a part of specific product communities (iPad, Apple Watch, Apple Music, etc.). Active participants get points, which increases their status level and access to privileges, as well as fuels ongoing engagement and loyalty.
  2. Virgin Mobile Australia implemented a wildly successful community platform to manage Virgin’s growing social media presence and the increasing customer inquiries.
  3. TripAdvisor self-hosts a community forum on their website. It brings their core audience of travelers together in one place to share knowledge and experiences. Discussion topics are categorized by destinations and travel themes. The forum enables the business to build long-term engagement with consumers, as well as identify the latest travel trends.

Key features of online community software

There are many features of online community software that provide value for businesses. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Member data management: As a business grows, it becomes more difficult to manually manage all customers and relationships. Community software invites customers (or members) to create their own profiles and even customize their individual spaces. Then, an administrator or moderator can filter, sort, and segment different levels or types of members.
  • Content management: Online community software enables you to set up content creation and content sharing features. Your business can share content and measure how well it’s received, and members can also share useful content themselves and with each other.
  • Engagement tools: Engagement is necessary for a community to thrive, and these are various tools to facilitate increased engagement among members. The most popular engagement tools are discussion boards, polls, surveys, and chats.
  • An omnichannel experience: With online community software, businesses can connect with members through any number of their preferred channels – member forums, social media, emails, chats, and more. Some software offers in-app formats which means members and administrators can stay up-to-date even on the go.
  • Notifications: Send out notifications of the most important updates, upcoming events, and promotions through multiple channels in an automated manner to all your members.
  • Reporting and analytics: Most community software provides a centralized dashboard with access to advanced reporting and analytics. Get insight into the most popular types of content, the most popular discussion topics or areas for improvement, and how engaged users are in your community
  • Event management: You can notify members of upcoming events, sell tickets and souvenirs, and send them ongoing updates.
  • Donations management: Nonprofits and charitable organizations particularly benefit from this feature, which provides end-to-end automation for all your fundraising needs.
  • Media library: Media libraries allow you to organize content in a centralized location and grant controlled access to members depending on their categories or types
  • Security and safety: Online community software makes it easier for you to ensure the safety and security of your members. A lot of tools have automated moderators to scan content for spam, hate speech, or trolling and flag them. This ensures your members feel supported in your community.

Benefits of online community software

Why should you use online community software? Here are some of the top benefits that come from using a tool to create or manage your community:

  • Attract and engage customers: Quite simply, a well-designed community platform will help attract new customers and retain existing ones in the long run. This is done through the software’s interactive messaging, automated responses, and engagement tools.
  • Solidify your brand reputation: Online communities can encourage trust and credibility among members. In turn, customers are more loyal to brands they see as trustworthy and concerned about their needs. A recent survey revealed that 50% of respondents believe online communities inspire trust in the company.
  • Validate products and services: Online communities are a great way to test and validate products and services with a dedicated sample size of your market. The feedback can help you develop a more solid offering and increase overall sales.
  • Minimize costs: Automated online community tools are capable of performing a large chunk of customer service and support tasks, reducing costs to a great extent. Marketing can also be made more cost-effective, thanks to the reliable, real-time customer data you get from the software.

Is online community software right for you?

Online community software is a great choice for any type of business or organization looking to scale. No matter what industry or market you’re in, there are different types of software available for different needs.

Some are all-in-one solutions with everything you need for community management in one place. Others offer bespoke options that offer end-to-end customization. There are even software options designed for specific niches, like SaaS, course creators, teacher communities, church communities, and more.

The options can seem overwhelming if you’re new to the world of online community software. We’ve put together a checklist on what points to cover when you’re deciding which software will work best:

  • Feature list: Explore the full list of features provided by the online community software and identify your must-haves. Does the software enable customizations based on your needs, or do you have to use a specific suite? Are there add-ons? Can you access the software desktop, tablet, and mobile?
  • Ease of setup: How easy is the software to set up and integrate into your team? Does the company help you with set up or offer training?
  • Customer support: What type of customer support and material does the company provide? How quickly can they deal with your inquiries or concerns?
  • Security: How secure is the platform and the messages sent through online communities? What is the level of moderation available?
  • Costs: Finally, is the cost of the product something you can bear? Are there monthly payment options? Do you get a discount if you pay annually?

Alternatives to online community software

If your business isn’t quite ready to create an online community, there are still a lot of ways to engage with your customers. Here are a few other types of software to consider:

The evaluation criteria

Our team has researched and compiled the top online community software tools. Read how we evaluated our list, and then browse through the reviews below:

Evaluation criteria Description
Pricing How much does the software cost? What different plans are available? Are you required to commit for an entire year, or are monthly plans available?
Free plan or trial Does the company offer a free plan or trial period for you to try out the software before purchase?
Customer service and support How does the company help assist you when using the software? What are the ways you can contact them for questions or issues?
Review score How do existing users rate the online community software? Based on an aggregate score from top review sites, our rating is out of 5 stars and indicates how many people reviewed the software tool.
Notable features What makes this online community platform stand out? We’ve broken down the top features of each, such as moderation tools, plugin integration, and data analytics.

Top 33 online community software tools

Using our evaluation criteria, we put together a list of the top online community software. The table below lists down all the software we cover in this article. Click the tool to read more about the company and its most popular features below.

Note: The software is not listed in any order of rank or recommendation. Our aim is to put together a selected source of online community solutions, and give a clear picture of all the available options.

Online community softwarePricing Free demo or trialCustomer supportReview score
AnswerbaseStarting at $19/monthFree demo and trial availableEmail, knowledge base4.8 stars (15 reviews)
CircleStarting at $39/monthFree demo and trial availableEmail, knowledge baseN/A
ComraderyStarting at $0/monthFree plan and demo availableEmailN/A
CrowdstackStarting at $49/monthFree trial availableDocumentation, knowledge base, tickets4.3 stars (13 reviews)
DiscourseStarting at $100/monthFree demo and trial availableEmail3.9 stars (54 reviews)
FlockStarting at $0/monthFree plan, demo, and trial availableHelp center, guides, videos, chat, tickets4.5 stars (437 review)
Higher LogicContact for pricingFree demo availableEmail, phone, help center, community, training, support resources, tickets4.4 stars (222 reviews)
Hivebrite
Contact for pricingFree demo availableHelp center4.4 (122 reviews)
HoneycommbStarting at $300/month (+ launch fee)Free demo availableFAQ, help center, community resources, success manager, tickets4.8 stars (22 reviews)
InfluitiveContact for pricingFree demo and trial availableKnowledge base, videos, webinars, tickets, Influitive Institute4.5 stars (512 reviews)
inSidedContact for pricingFree demo availableEmail, help center, ebooks, webinars4.5 stars (58 reviews)
KhorosContact for pricingFree demo availableResource center, webinars, ebooks4.2 stars (57 reviews)
OnSembleContact for pricingFree demo availableSupport center, community, customer conference, tickets4.6 stars (174 reviews)
ProBoardsStarting at $49.99/monthFree plan and demo availableEmail, phone, FAQ, support forum, help guide4 stars (15 reviews)
QuipStarting at $10/user/monthFree trial availablePhone, knowledge base, community, training, webinars, videos, ebooks4.2 (970 reviews)
TapatalkStarting at $0/monthFree plan availableSupport forum, tickets3.7 (13 reviews)
TribeStarting at $0/monthFree plan and trial availableEmail, chat, knowledge base, community, ebooks, guides4.7 (121 reviews)
VanilaContact for pricingFree demo and trial availableKnowledge base, training, FAQ, webinars, ebooks, dedicated customer success manager4.4 (133 reviews)
vBulletinStarting at $249/monthFree demo and trial availableKnowledge base, FAQ, support forums, videos4 (14 reviews)
VeryConnectContact for pricingFree demo availableN/A4.5 (1 review)
Website ToolboxStarting at $39/monthFree trial availableEmail, chat, FAQ, support forums, chat rooms4.5 (118 reviews)
ZapnitoContact for pricingFree demo availableEmail, chat, training4.8 (42 reviews)
DiscordStarting at $0/monthFree plan availableChat, help center, FAQ, guides, ticket, Mod AcademyN/A
Mighty NetworksStarting at $0/monthFree plan, demo, and trial availableHelp center, online courses4.5 (37 reviews)
MobilizeStarting at $49/monthFree demo and trial availableChat, support center, community4.7 (99 reviews)
IcebreakerStarting at $0/monthFree plan and demo availableFAQ, help centerN/A
NingStarting at $25/monthFree trial availableEmail, chat, 24/7 phone, community and forum, help center3.3 (24 reviews)
RungwayContact for pricingFree demo availableEmail, webinars4.6 (24 reviews)
Wild ApricotStarting at $0/monthFree plan and trial availableHelp center, forums, tickets4.5 (534 reviews)
ViafouraStarting at $0/monthFree plan and demo availableDocumentation hub, customer portal, guides, webinars, tickets4.7 (15 reviews)
GlueUpContact for pricingFree demo availableEmail, FAQ, ebooks, guides, academy4.6 (75 reviews)
GroupFireStarting at $750/monthFree demo availableChat5 (12 reviews)
MemberhubStarting at $399/yearN/AEmail, chat, help center, initial setup/onboarding, live workshops, community4.7 (10 reviews)

Answerbase

answerbaseAnswerbase is a Q&A platform you can attach to your site to answer visitor questions. Common questions are answered automatically by the platform, which saves you additional time and resources. And because answers are readily available to customers, the platform helps increase conversions and engagement.

Key features

  • Multiple Q&A solutions: The platform is available for ecommerce, self-help, customer support, community support, private collaboration, or lead generation models.
  • Knowledge sharing and recognition: Content reviews, document sharing, and fun gamification features can be used to encourage community interaction.
  • Seamless third-party integration: Works together with commonly used platforms, including Bigcommerce, Shopify, MailChimp, Constant Contact, Zapier, Zendesk, and more.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
Basic ($19/month), Professional ($49/month), Growth ($129/month), and Business ($249/month) Free demo and trial available Email, knowledge base (phone support for Growth and Business) 4.8 (15 reviews)

Circle

circleCircle calls itself “the modern community platform for creators.” Its mix of interesting features make it a unique value-add for the creator-community. The software offers a range of options for different types of creators, such as course-creators, coaches, brands, and start-ups.

Key features

  • Flexible membership options:Create specific membership communities for students, coaching clients, product discussions, and more.
  • Easy integration: Integrate an online community anywhere you want: your website, online course page, product page, and even your creator stack workflows.
  • Premium white-labeling: Choose your own colors and logo, use a custom domain, and own 100% of your member data.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
Basic ($39/month), Professional ($79/month), and Enterprise ($199/month) Free demo and trial available Email, knowledge base (priority email support and dedicated account manager for Enterprise) N/A

Comradery

comraderyComradery is an online community software that places greater emphasis on the community experience rather than the software itself. With this in mind, its features are geared towards customer engagement and are customizable from the ground up to help your community thrive.

Key features

  • Easy engagement:Connect with members through their preferred channels, whether it’s a quick chat, a long discussion, threaded posts, or weekly email digests.
  • Focused on safety: Advanced moderation tools, permissions, blocking, and reporting functions help create a safe and secure environment for members.
  • Advanced customization: Use your own domain, fully customize the look and feel of your site, and use their API to have complete access to your data.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
Free, Standard ($100/month), and Premium (contact for pricing) Free plan and demo available Email (priority support for Premium) N/A

Crowdstack

crowdstackCrowdstack is a responsive, mobile-friendly online social community software that can extend your primary website. Aside from community management and engagement tools, the software also provides segmentation into sub-groups, customizable workflows, monetization tools, and enhanced privacy settings.

Key features

  • Engagement on multiple levels:Connect with members through blog posts, discussion topics, calendar events, resources, and status updates.
  • Customizable workflows: Create rules that enable you to set specific conditions, triggers, and actions that fire automatically.
  • Monetization tools: A built-in premium membership system allows you to generate revenue from premium features and content.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
Basestack ($49/month), Midstack ($149/month), Fullstack ($399/month), and Fullstack Enterprise (contact for pricing), Free trial available Documentation, knowledge base, tickets 4.3 (13 reviews)

Discourse

discourseDiscourse is a 100% forever free reimagined, open-source discussion platform designed for the next decade. It prides itself on being a “civilized” space, free from trolls, spammers, and other bad actors. Members themselves assist with moderation and the tool is packed with features that make it highly appealing for both members and administrators.

Key features

  • Scrollable conversations:As opposed to clicking through multiple pages, discussions are scrollable, offer just-in-time loading, and can expand content at the top or bottom of each post.
  • Dynamic notifications: Get notified whenever someone mentions your @name or replies to your post. You can also receive notifications through email if you’re not currently logged on.
  • SEO optimized: All the public topics and chats support Google indexing and searching.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
Standard ($100/month), Business ($300/month), and Enterprise (contact for pricing), Free demo and trial available (with open source software to host on your own server) Email (migration for Business, and priority support for Enterprise) 3.9 (54 reviews)

Flock

flock logoFlock is a collaboration tool that helps businesses create a shared space for cross-functional tasks. The tool aims to break down silos and build stronger working relationships. Its features are divided into three core functionalities: communication, productivity, and security.

Key features

  • Communicate in channels: Create private and public channels, so you can organize your conversations and streamline discussions.
  • Productivity tools: Create shared to-dos, send live updates, and hold polls for team consensus – all in one platform!
  • Secure communications: Rest assured knowing that all team communications are encrypted and protected against breaches.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
Free, Pro ($6/user/month), and Enterprise (contact for pricing) Free plan, demo, and trial available Help center, guides, videos, chat, tickets (priority support for Pro and dedicated support for Enterprise) 4.5 (437 reviews)

Higher Logic

higher-logicHigher Logic places a lot of emphasis on the human element of online membership platforms. It’s designed to bring “everyone all together, connecting and communicating across every stage of their journey.” The company focuses on two community levels: associations and corporations.

Key features

  • Powerful engagement solution: Appeal to members through a combination of peer-to-peer connections, resources, networking, events, support, and best practices – all from one place.
  • Community frameworks: Engage everyone in your community with subgroups and microsites, personalized to your community’s interests, roles, and more.
  • Tailored email communications: Create personalized content based on the 360-degree data insights available from the platform.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
Contact for plans and pricing Free demo available Email, phone, help center, community, training, support resources, tickets 4.4 (222 reviews)

Hivebrite

hivebriteHivebrite is an all-in-one community management platform suited for professional networks, nonprofits, corporate alumni, and the education sector. It’s packed with features, from member data and content management to collaborative opportunities and networking.

Key features

  • Data management: Import member data, use search and targeting filters, and perform mass updates across the entire database.
  • Collaboration opportunities: Find opportunities and request for help, with posts and file sharing that help you find what you’re looking for.
  • Group sub-communities: Let your members find and engage with other like-minded people, adding group admins, categories, and more.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
Contact for plans and pricing Free demo available Help center 4.4 (122 reviews)

Honeycommb

honeycommbHoneycommb is an online community solution that allows you to launch beautiful social networks with minimal effort, cost, and time. It packs with 60 individual features (in their latest update), including custom onboarding, app store listings, search tracking, production broadcasting, and more.

Key features

  • Web and mobile apps: Work across multiple platforms, including mobile apps (iOS and Android) and web applications.
  • Powerful control center: Manage all aspects of your community, with an analytics platform, a CMS, a user roles system, and more.
  • Multiple translations: All consumer applications are multilingual. And if your language isn’t currently supported, the team will work with you to provide it!
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
Launch fee: Standard is $499 / Branded is $749, with recurring costs starting at $300/month Free demo available FAQ, help center, community resources, success manager, tickets 4.8 (22 reviews)

Influitive

influitiveInfluitive is a platform with a mission to make “customer engagement fun and rewarding for everyone.” Its SaaS product and services are aimed at building communities of engaged brand advocates through content-targeting and gamification.

Key features

  • Virtual EventHub™: A turnkey managed service gets your live digital event up and running for an unlimited number of attendees.
  • Advanced reporting: Customize a dashboard to feature up to six custom queries you can track, measure, and gain insights on important metrics to your business.
  • Professional services team: Work directly with experts to launch, manage, and grow a successful advocate community.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
Professional, Corporate, and Enterprise (contact for pricing) Free demo and trial available Knowledge base, videos, webinars, tickets, Influitive Institute 4.5 (512 reviews)

inSided

insidedinSided is an online community software tool dedicated to driving customer engagement, growth, retention, and advocacy for the SaaS vertical, including B2B software, telecom, and consumer products. It offers one central community platform for engaging customers with events, news promotion, and advanced gamification.

Key features

  • All-in-one customer growth and retention: Build a strong online community with advanced Q&A and discussions, events, user groups, and community-driven capabilities.
  • In-app embeddables: Provide an open platform and contextual content within the product, enabling customers to share feedback and stay up-to-date with the latest news.
  • Product feedback and ideation: Involve members in product ideation, beta-testing, and relevant discussions revolving around product development.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
Professional, Business, and Enterprise (contact for pricing) Free demo available Email, help center, ebooks, webinars 4.5 (58 reviews)

Khoros

khorosKhoros Communities offers a robust digital community software that provides an exciting space for members to share knowledge and best practices. The company offers you a branded platform that can transform search and purchases into connected learning experiences.

Key features

  • A scalable platform: Choose from 100+ configurable permissions and support multiple communities from one platform.
  • Enhanced moderation tools: Go beyond basic approvals, with automatic tagging, routing, and prioritizing individual messages.
  • Robust privacy and security: Maintain a healthy community with configurable spam management, profanity and abuse detection, and industry-leading security measures.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
Contact for pricing Free demo available Resource center, webinars, ebooks 4.2 (57 reviews)

OnSemble

onsembleOnSemble (by Passageways) is an online community software made for the workplace. It provides an alternative for organizations looking for a company intranet that brings all the employees together in one place and inspires them to do their best work.

Key features

  • Solid communication features: Disseminate any information, from announcements, alerts, and open forums, so your team can stay up-to-date with the latest news.
  • Alignment and engagement tools: Helps employees stay aligned to business goals and the internal culture with dashboards, polls, recognition tools, and visualizations.
  • Collaborative documents: Enable employees to share and manage documents, create lists, manage forms, and search for anything in an instant.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
Contact for pricing Free demo available Support center, community, customer conference, tickets 4.6 (174 reviews)

ProBoards

proboardsProBoards is a cloud-based community forum creation tool. The company hosted its first free form 12 years ago, and has since focused on putting members first and providing the best forum experience possible.

Key features

  • Unlimited sizing and scalability: Despite being free, there is no limit to how many posts or members you want to add to the scalable platform.
  • Robust posting features: Post a variety of content easily, with automatic image prvies, video embedding, quick replies, flood control, polls, and more.
  • Moderation tools: Moderators can move, remove, or lock topics and posts, store user notes on individual profiles, and access per-board moderation features.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
Classic (free) and Business (starts at $49.99/month) Free plan and demo available Email, phone, FAQ, support forum, help guide 4 (15 reviews)

Quip

quipQuip (a Salesforce company) provides project and task management from one centralized, cloud-based platform. It removes the need to send multiple emails, instead enabling you to share, review, and communicate through real-time chat and create various documents, spreadsheets, checklists, and project milestones.

Key features

  • Multiple communication formats: Choose the best way to convey your message, whether it’s through a document, spreadsheet, slide, or live 1:1 chat.
  • Template library: Speed up the creation process by using ready-made templates, including ones for account plans, case studies, campaigns, meeting notes, and more.
  • Productivity tools: Modernize the way you work on a platform that offers intuitive applications, powerful admin controls, and mobile and desktop access.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
Starter ($10/user/month), Plus ($25/user/month), and Salesforce Anywhere Advanced ($100/user/month) Free trial available Phone, knowledge base, community, training, webinars, videos, ebooks 4.2 (970 reviews)

Tapatalk

tapatalk-logoTapatalk is a mobile-first community platform that you can use to create your own platform. The platform works by aggregating discussions from forums all over the internet, enabling advocates to interact with others who share their interests and passions.

Key features

  • Easily build a community: Create a brand new group, migrate your community to the platform, or connect an existing community to their mobile app.
  • Tapatalk mobile app: Provide a seamless online community experience by adding a mobile layer that’s compatible with all major community software.
  • Secure infrastructure built for communities: A combination of community software, cloud hosting, member subscriptions, and other community-driven tools to build a robust group online.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
Groups ($0–$10/month), Mobile ($0–$10/month), and VIP (+ $2.99/month) Free plan available Support forum, tickets 3.7 (13 reviews)

Tribe

tribeTribe is an online community platform that offers you the flexibility of creating a unique stand-alone website or plugging the software right into your product. Its powerful solution helps to build integrated communities and an immersive experience.

Key features

  • Complete customization: The white label platform adapts to your brand and integrates with your website, with a customizable header and footer that blends into your design.
  • Engaging gamification: Reward members with virtual currency, and incentivize your community advocates by awarding points and badges.
  • Smart activity feed and suggestions: A machine-learning activity feed delivers personalized content experiences and smart suggestions for a continuously improved experience.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
Free, Plus ($85/month), Premium ($249/month), and Enterprise (contact for pricing) Free plan and trial available Email, chat, knowledge base, community, ebooks, guides (dedicated account manager for Premium) 4.7 (121 reviews)

Vanilla

vanillaVanilla is a cloud-based customer community software. To the company, “your community is the place where you and your customers come together to collaborate, communicate, and share,” and provides a branded community software to help you create that space.

Key features

  • SuccessTeam™: A dedicated customer success manager comes with all plans, helping you implement, launch and grow your community.
  • Rich content types: Members can run polls, and post using code (HTML, BBCode, Markdown), images, or videos. Tweets, Pins, and Vines are even automatically recognized when pasted into a comment.
  • Intuitive communication: Autosave and preview what you’re about to post, while a smart save feature puts you exactly at the last point you were in a discussion.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
Essential, Corporate, Enterprise, and Enterprise Plus (contact for pricing) Free demo and trial available Knowledge base, training, FAQ, webinars, ebooks, dedicated customer success manager 4.4 (133 reviews)

vBulletin

vBulletinvBulletin is a cloud-based community publishing software with over 10 years of experience under its belt. It focuses on security, speed, and administration features, which it delivers for over 40,000 online communities.

Key features

  • Easy to set up: Launch your website in as little as 15 minutes, which includes a proprietary messenger chat app and built-in SEO.
  • Essential built-in applications: From installation, you can create groups, blogs, discussion forums, and polls.
  • Member management: A multi-user system comes with unlimited roles and permissions, granular privileges, and more tools to create a healthy environment.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
vBulletin 5 Connect ($249), vBulletin 5 Connect + Mobile Suite Bundle ($399), and vBulletin Cloud (starts at $179.95) Free demo and trial available Knowledge base, FAQ, support forums, videos 4 (14 reviews)

VeryConnect

veryconnectVeryConnect is an all-in-one platform which provides membership database, CRM, and community management. Helping to engage and manage your community, it gives you the advantages of a SaaS platform, with the additional tailored features.

Key features

  • Secure engineering: Reliable technology is developed with the highest engineering standards, and receives regular updates for added security.
  • User-friendly platform: A modern layout comes with intuitive navigation and features that enable your team and community to engage without a hitch.
  • Multiple ways to interact: Communicate with your community in the way that works best, whether it’s through a discussion board, sharing files, or managing events.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
Contact for pricing Free demo available N/A 4.5 (1 review)

Website Toolbox

website-toolboxWebsite Toolbox is an online tool that allows you to easily create community forums – without any coding, software, or servers. All you need is a simple three-step process to get up and running your own secure online community.

Key features

  • Minimal tech knowledge required: Launch your community in three steps, choosing from dozens of pre-built themes, integrating into your existing domain or site, and choosing an option to earn from your efforts.
  • Built-in SEO: SEO is built into the foundation of the forum to help you achieve the best visibility and ranking results.
  • Quality assurance measures:Assign members a reputation score to incentivize best practices, create chat rooms, send private messages, and share discussion topics to increase engagement.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
Starter ($39/month), Growth ($99/month), and Pro ($299/month) Free trial available Email, chat, FAQ, support forums, chat rooms (phone for Growth and priority for Pro) 4.5 (118 reviews)

Zapnito

zapnitoZapnito is a SaaS platform that helps you create branded online communities to showcase your expertise and help you engage with your core audience. The software consists of robust out-of-the-box features and custom integrations.

Key features

  • Intuitive content management: Create the most engaging content, with video recording, WYSIWYG post editors, premium content, and newsletters.
  • Video panel discussions: Record videos directly on the platform, allowing real-time interviews, discussions, and mentoring opportunities.
  • Expert networking: Highlight your best community members by showcasing a dedicated page for their contributions, creating a subgroup, and connecting with them 1:1.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
Corporate and Enterprise (contact for pricing) Free demo available Email, chat, training (dedicated account manager for Enterprise) 4.8 (42 reviews)

Discord

discordDiscord enables you to create your own server that functions as your online space, where you can invite people to join. Discord is popular as a team messaging app, with its most popular features being its instant voice communication and the ability to collaborate real-time within the context of a fun and quirky gamer-style interface.

Key features

  • Easy to use: Discord can be downloaded on your PC, Mac, or phone and an account can be set up simply with just your name/nickname.
  • Nitro mobile app: Its mobile app offers enhanced features, such as upgraded emojis, bigger file uploads, HD video, and more.
  • Organized chats: Text channels are topic-based, which helps organize the way you talk about all the things you love.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
Discord servers are free. Nitro ($9.99/month) Free plan available Chat, help center, FAQ, guides, ticket, Mod Academy N/A

Mighty Networks

mighty networksMighty Networks empowers brands and business by building communities, memberships, events, online courses, and more. With the platform, every new member in your online communities adds more value without any additional work on your part.

Key features

  • Website builder: Build a complete brand, with a website, online courses, and private memberships that are easy to access all in one place.
  • Online courses: Courses can be built with custom topics, beautiful content, and special features, offering more to your students and building your digital business at scale.
  • Membership site: Create a complete community site, choosing from paid online memberships, courses, group bundles, and other features that help market to members.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
Free, Community ($28/month), and Business ($98/month) Free plan, demo, and trial available Help center, online courses (priority support for Business) 4.5 (37 reviews)

Mobilize

mobilizeMobilize is a feature-rich platform that aims to connect people and unlock the power of online communities for good. The platform provides exhaustive community management, smart networking, mobile, personalization, backend components, and more – all geared toward communities that get stuff done.

Key features

  • Easy-to-use solution: As “your organization’s own private LinkedIn,” you get a new approach to online communities that are proven to drive engagement.
  • Intuitive management tools: Enjoy intelligent workflows, templates, and customer analytics geared toward community growth.
  • Intuitive design: Allow your board members and community members to see results, with friction-free communications across all channels, easy mobile apps, and insightful data reports.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
Pro ($49/month), Premium ($800/month), and Enterprise (contact for pricing) Free demo and trial available Chat, support center, community (onboarding and dedicated support for Premium and Enterprise) 4.7 (99 reviews)

Icebreaker

icebreakerIcebreaker is an online event hosting software that creates a lively and engaging experience for people to come together. Simply plan the topic and time, and invite members. The entire platform is built around sparking new connections and having fun together – even when you’re apart.

Key features

  • Lively engagement options: Enjoy guided conversation games, including virtual meet and greet, WFH happy hour, self-care check in, and more. Group chats also have a video player you can use to get members excited about what’s in store.
  • Participant matching: Match participants with someone new for every game, event, or interaction, allowing you to foster new connections and community growth.
  • Communities that scale: Pay only for how many participants you have, with plans that accommodate online communities of any size.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
Personal (free), Pro ($95/month/group), Enterprise (contact for pricing), and Premium Event ($995/event) Free plan and demo available FAQ, help center N/A

Ning

ningNing was created to “make it easy to build social networks from scratch.” The SaaS platform provides customized community management – whether it’s public, private, or members-only – and social media integration for optimal engagement.

Key features

  • Advanced content management: Create blogs and articles, start discussions on forums, initiate polls, share music and podcasts, and more.
  • Integrated business tools: Monetize your online community with an ecommerce platform, launch email campaigns, send private broadcast messages, and track all activities and conversions.
  • Social networking: Spread the word by sharing your posts on social networks, allowing social log in, and sending user notifications about the latest community news.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
Basic ($25/month), Performance ($49/month), and Ultimate ($99/month) Free trial available Email, chat, 24/7 phone, community and forum, help center (personal manager for Ultimate) 3.3 (24 reviews)

Rungway

rungwayRungway is community software that focuses on building an inclusive and connected culture in the workplace. It’s mainly a peer-to-peer (P2P) platform, connecting employees through every rung of the ladder and facilitating honest conversations and interactions.

Key features

  • Rungway Advice: Members are given complete anonymity to share their perspectives or solicit advice within a safe and supportive environment, allowing all voices to be heard.
  • Richer team understanding: Get a picture of your team’s views in real time by posing a question and collecting honest, anonymous responses.
  • Sensitive moderation: Built-in safety nets scan for culture and conduct keywords, and discretely route sensitive material to the appropriate team member for moderation and support.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
Contact for pricing Free demo available Email, webinars 4.6 (24 reviews)

Wild Apricot

wildapricotWild Apricot (by Personify) is a membership management software that helps you automate and simplify membership tasks. The software is specially built for associations, non-profits, clubs, and other types of organizations.

Key features

  • Member application process: Cut out complicated paperwork and fully automate the application process with a web-based, mobile-friendly sign-up and renewal process.
  • Email and contact database: Easily upload and manage your contacts in a secure online database, and create and send unlimited emails to keep your community up-to-date.
  • Easy online payments: Whether it’s a membership fee, registration fee, or donation, you can integrate online payment processing and recurring payments to save you time.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
Regular (8 plans, from $0–$600/month) and Multi-Chapter (contact for pricing) Free plan and trial available Help center, forums, tickets 4.5 (534 reviews)

Viafoura

viafouraViafoura brings a natively integrated cloud solution to audience engagement and content moderation. Focused on the creation of “civil” communities, it prioritizes building a direct relationship with your community directly through your own websites and applications.

Key features

  • Moderation for civility: An intelligent automated moderation engine guarantees to accurately moderate up to 95% of posts and comments, and create a safe, non-toxic community space.
  • Immersive social experience: Engage more users by embedding social-rich features throughout the site, including personalized user profiles, browser-based push notifications, and push notifications.
  • Paywall and ad optimization: Get in-depth engagement metrics to facilitate smarter decisions when it comes to conversions and generating more ad revenue.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
Essentials (free), Pro, and Enterprise (contact for pricing) Free plan and demo available Documentation hub, customer portal, guides, webinars, tickets 4.7 (15 reviews)

GlueUp

glueupGlueUp is an all-in-one cloud-based software built to grow your community. The CRM platform provides a wide set of functions and flexibility for all types of teams, from conference organizers and nonprofits to training and development firms.

Key features

  • Online and offline events: Manage your whole event lifecycle at every stage, from idea generation to post-event follow-up.
  • Simplified community engagement A proven user experience that connects with people where they are, allowing them to share their ideas and comments no matter where they are.
  • Full-featured CRM: Manage all your contacts and relationships in one place, and get access to analytics that help you strengthen your community.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
6 Suite types: Event, Membership, Community, Virtual Event, Training, and Donations (contact for pricing) Free demo available Email, FAQ, ebooks, guides, academy 4.6 (75 reviews)

GroupFire

groupfireGroupFire is an online community solution that helps you “turn customers into members, and treat members like family.” Its applications span a number of different member categories, including coaches and mentors, trade shows and conferences, and any type of community with customers or partners.

Key features

  • Membership management tools: Run every aspect of your community member database from one dashboard, whether you’re on desktop or mobile.
  • Unlimited group spaces: Organize your entire community into groups based on function or interest, and fun each group with its own news feed, chat room, and other group-specific features.
  • Multimedia resources: Build a library of engaging content, including videos, files, website links, and other documentation useful to your community.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
Bonfire ($750/month), Wildfire ($1,500/month), Groupfire ($5,000/month), Groupfire Enterprise (contact for pricing) Free demo available Chat (dedicated account and publishing manager in Groupfire and Groupfire Enterprise) 5 (12 reviews)

Memberhub

memberhubMemberhub is a membership management software company that primarily serves parent groups, schools, churches, and other non-profit organizations. The platform aims to help with traditionally tedious tasks, like paper forms, data entry, and more.

Key features

  • Effortless setup: Get your online community up and running right away, with step-by-step guidance and seamless integrations at your fingertips.
  • Fundraising features Simplify your fundraising efforts by holding auctions, sweepstakes, raffles, crowdfunding, events, and a-thons for a virtual audience.
  • Membership management: Communicate across your community with a searchable directory and master view for all the people, processes, and tools you need.
Pricing Free demo or trial Customer support Review score
$399/year N/A Email, chat, help center, initial setup/onboarding, live workshops, community 4.7 (10 reviews)
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