Building an online community for your service or business is important to keep your audience engaged and informed about the latest developments happening. The best community platforms allow you to have a customizable solution that accommodates aspects such as ease of use, moderation, gamification capabilities, and more.
Moreover, they provide all the necessary tools to scale your platform members by offering a seamless experience to the users. Additionally, they take care of all the backend work such as security, maintenance, and web hosting problems.
However, choosing a good community platform that addresses all your business requirements needs a lot of time and research.
Therefore, In this guide, I have ranked and reviewed the best community platforms you can choose based on their design, support, integrations, usability, pricing, and more.
So let’s get started.
What is the best Community Platform?
Here is my list of the best community platforms you can use for your business this year.
1. Mighty Networks
Community Platforms can be a game-changer for you wherein you can manage your product, community, online courses, events, and much more under one roof. Mighty Networks is one such community platform with features like lifestream, building online courses, running events, and creating a community all in one place under your own brand.
Mighty Networks focuses on building a powerful community for your business. You can find people or networks and join them or simply obtain inspiration. However, they also provide advanced analytics to make data-driven decisions.
Mighty Network is a good fit for everyone including content creators to entrepreneurs who wants to bring together their product, online courses, events, community, and more all in one place. Furthermore, Mighty Networks also helps you set your custom subscription plans for your users.
- Website Builder: Build your own website quickly from scratch and fully customized it as per your requirements with Mighty Networks.
- App Builder: This feature is exclusively available in Mighty Pro wherein they’ll help you to create your own mobile application as per your requirements. Furthermore, your app will also be listed on the Apple store and Google Play store.
- Online Courses: You can build your online courses with all the lectures, tests, and discussion communities.
- Advanced Analytics: With this pre-build data dashboard you can get visibility into your revenues and other numbers through which you need to make data-driven decisions. Moreover, you can even export this data in various formats anytime as per your requirements.
- Events: You can organize events for your community members and others as well. You get to schedule the event in advance with the zoom integration.
- It can help you create both, a website and a mobile application.
- Can build your own customized app and even list them in the Apple store and Google play store.
- Create your own subscription models.
There are a couple of subscription models available starting at $39/month. You get 2 months free with the annual subscription on all the plans.
- Business plan: $119 per month
- Community plan: $39 per month
- Mighty Pro: Custom pricing
Discourse is yet another community platform that can help you and your community to thrive. It is more of a modern internet discussion forum, is very flexible, and can even be used as a mailing list, chat room, discussion forum, and more. Plus, Discourse is 100% open source.
There is no hidden paid version of Discourse apart from the available open-source version. It is forever open-source forum software with all the required plugins. Furthermore, no extra plugin installation is required for a great experience.
You can build a friendly environment for your users to interact with each other. Discourse makes it extremely seamless with all its features to communicate and discuss your ideas with your entire community. Additionally, they also provide a safe and trusted environment for all of their users.
- Integrations: You can integrate your favorite application to Discourse for a smooth work experience. GitHub, Slack, Google analytics, and WordPress are some of the frequently used integrations.
- Conversations: Discourse keeps the entire conversation on one page with just-in-time loading. There is no pagination.
- Notifications: They’ll notify you when someone mentions you, quotes your post, replies to your post, or does any other activity. Moreover, they won’t let you miss any event and will even email you if you are not around.
- Spam blocking: It has built-in Akismet spam detection for blocking unwanted comments including new user sandboxing.
- Admin Dashboard: You get all the metrics displayed in a neat dashboard for a quick understanding of your community.
- Two-factor authentication: You can improve your account security with free authenticator applications.
- Works best on any size of device including your mobile and tablets.
- Being open-source software, it is easy and quick to use without spending a penny.
- Automatically expanded links to provide additional context.
- You can easily integrate Discourse with your existing website.
- It can summarise any topic for you within one click.
- If you are not active on the website, you’ll receive all the notifications over mail through which you can even reply.
Discourse is open-source software. Therefore, it has no subscriptions or paid plans. You can use it for free forever. Additionally, they can even help you migrate from your existing forum software.
3. Tribe Platform
Tribe Platform is one of the community platforms which is fully customizable as per your requirements. They understand that it is very much essential to engage and delight your customers. Furthermore, you can even extend your capabilities by building your own application.
You can create Spaces in Tribe Platform which will act like flexible containers building a robust community structure. These spaces also have built-in posting permission. Basically, you can organize your content and member into specific categories and bring people with shared passion closer.
Being a community platform, they have a thread-based discussion forum between all the members for mutual conversations. Moreover, members can ask questions, post answers, upvote, and accept the right solution helping each other.
- Integrations: You can integrate all of your required applications into the Tribe Platform. Some of the integrations are Google Analytics, Zapier, and more.
- Analytics: You get a google analytics integration through which you can keep track of all the key metrics even at a granular level that can help you evaluate your community’s success.
- SEO-friendly: Their SEO tool provides built-in SEO meta tags, schema markups, and more to present your content in the most optimized form.
- Member access: You will have granular controls over the accessibility of all the members to keep the community private.
- Search: you get a reliable search option that can be used to search for anything across your entire community.
- Security: Stay safe and keep your community safe with Tribe Platform that follows all the industry guidelines. Furthermore, you can also assign roles to all the members and control their privileges.
- You can customize everything on Tribe Platform with all its hyper-intuitive customizable options including a custom domain, header options, color palettes, and more.
- Tribe Platform has a rich composer for a smooth posting experience wherein users can format posts, add links, images, tags, and much more as per their requirements.
- There are moderation tools also available that keep your community safe from spam, abuse, and harmful language.
- You and your members can use quick find to search for the required information.
- Tribe Platform has SSL encryption, data integrity, and systematic audits.
- You can join the discussions you want and get regular updates on them.
Tribe Platform has a basic free forever plan which is best suitable for individuals and small communities. Additionally, they also have monthly subscription plans suitable for mid-large communities. Below are the plan details:
- Plus: $59 USD/month
- Premium: $239 USD/month
- Enterprise: Custom pricing
There is a 14-day free trial for the premium subscription plan without any credit card requirement. Moreover, you can say more about the annual subscriptions.
Spectrum.chat is a community platform in its true sense. It is an intuitive platform wherein people can connect with each other and join discussions/communities as per their requirements. Moreover, if you have a community of yours then Spectrum.chat is a great place to manage your entire community.
You can chat in real time with people just like you do on other social media platforms. It has features like search, post, chat, and more to bond with other people in the community.
Spectrum.chat aim’s to grow safe, online communities that are built to last. However, it is suitable for everyone but it is the best place for design, web development, tech, and life-based communities.
Currently, It is in read-only mode. Learn more about the decision in their official announcement.
- Chat: It enables you to chat in real time with any of the members on Spectrum.chat.
- Navigation: It provides an easy navigation bar that can help you to explore any discussion smoothly. You can check out all the posts, people, chats, and other information about any discussion easily.
- Integrations: Spectrum.chat integrates with a lot of other applications like Franz, Media Monitors, and more. Therefore, you can sync all your communities information in one place without any information loss.
- All the conversations are threaded which makes it easy to catch up on the latest updates in that conversation.
- You can search between different threads and find out the exact piece of information that you were searching for.
- It works well on all types of devices.
Since Spectrum.chat is open-source software, it is free forever. There are no charges required to access Spectrum.chat and its services.
So now let’s cover some basics.
What is a Community Platform?
A community platform is an online secure space that you create for your members or subscribers to interact, share knowledge, and help each other understand problems and create a valuable professional network.
Moreover, the solution allows you to engage your members around your business and in turn helps you build customer loyalty and improve retention. Some prominent examples in this space our Quora, Medium, StackOverflow, and other support forums.
Additionally, it allows you to leverage this community base to further improve user experience, receive product feedback, and promote customer self-service. Finally, the way you execute this community management system will determine your success in building your brand story.
Best Community Platforms – Final Summary
This wraps up my list of the best community platforms to use this year. I will keep updating the list with other good community websites available in the market.
Choosing the best community platform for your business will completely depend on your specific needs and requirements. Therefore, I recommend you test the community platform that exactly matches your expectation.
More from Smashitbuck: Do check out my other articles on top VoIP service providers, subscription billing management software, and the best free WordPress themes to read this year.