A Quick Guide To Best Online Community Platforms
How a striving online community becomes a thriving one? It only happens when there is a community-focused platform in place. As communities grow, the need for viable dedicated community platforms grows too. Today, we have numerous options available. Remember, your choice of a dedicated community platform will determine the fate of your community. So, you need to be mindful when choosing.
To save you time, we have a round-off for the leading community platforms. This post will cover crucial aspects such as pricing, features, usability, and suitability.
In essence, it’s a community hosting online software.
A dedicated online community platform is equipped with mechanisms and features that cater to the specific needs of an online community. These platforms are exclusively designed for online communities.
Without further ado, let us jump right into the list of the best online community platforms.
Before we begin with online community platforms, you need to understand one thing.
Look for platforms offering the setup and tools that enable progression. No tool is perfect. Running an online community is an ongoing process. You will explore, grow, and experience gradually.
However, a viable and great community platform should grow and improve along with your community. That means it should correspond to the growing needs of the community through innovation and overall improvement.
With that in mind, let us begin.
It’s simple yet absolute in every aspect of the best online community platform!
GroupApp is a go-to customizable community platform. In a short period, GroupApp has become a leading community management platform. That is because GroupApp caters to all sorts of community needs in one place.
Basically, it’s a one-stop solution. GroupApp can be your community builder, builder for online courses, and membership site builder.
- GroupApp offers advanced data analytics tools for effective data-driven decision-making. In addition, users can benefit from API integrations such as Zapier to create workflows.
- Offers SSO (Single Sign-on). This enables you to sign in with one set of login credentials.
- Perfectly aligns with the requirements of a learning community. Offers an efficient course management system with a library. That makes it ideal for cohort-based learning as well.
- GroupApp has a free version that allows you to experience the platform in all its glory. If you aim to scale up, you can go for paid options.
- GroupApp is very affordable. This is great for beginners and young creators with a limited budget. In fact, it’s great for everyone. Everyone gets to save money and increase revenue.
- GroupApp allows you to customize your space for your community members. You can even set up a custom domain.
Check out the learning communities at GroupApp.
- In exceptional cases, GroupApp might not be a good choice to make a brand community. It is more inclined towards learning online communities. However, brand communities can still make big on GroupApp.
GroupApp offers a FREE account with all community platform perks. It has three paid plans too. Honestly, GroupApp is very reasonably priced and affordable as compared to other options. It allows you to make the most out of it by minimizing costs.
Check out the detailed GroupApp pricing here.
Anyone who aims to scale up their community while keeping the costs low and community engagement high. Primarily for learning communities.
This online community platform is a bit different.
Vanilla Forum is an online community platform primarily for brands. It allows companies to directly connect with their customers. That makes an interactive pool of the brand, employees, and customers. It houses over 350,000 communities.
- One of the leading community platforms solely for brand communities. Otherwise, most brands have to make their communities on open platforms such as Facebook, which is less efficient.
- This platform is highly customizable. All you need is the basic know-how of CSS and HTML.
- Vanilla Forums offers specific community analytics tools for brand-centric communities. This way, users can forecast growth well using KPIs.
- Vanilla Forum users can engage the audience using private messaging, polls, and product feedback forms.
- You can even create sub-communities using this community platform. That allows you to branch out and engage more community members.
- Users are expected to know HTML and CSS. This does not make it a user-friendly platform at all.
- Pricing plans are disclosed that leads to many ambiguities.
- Limited to brand communities. This also impacts the learning aspect of branding.
Users can get a custom quote for the community plan from the sales team. Pricing plans are not disclosed.
For companies aiming to build a solid brand community.
As the name sounds, this community platform is massive! With 50,000+ creators onboard, Mighty Networks stands as one of the most utilized community platforms. With names such as TED and Marisa Peer using it, Mighty Networks is a legit community building solution.
Mighty Networks markets itself as a cultural community platform. And, it lives up to its claims as it houses communities from several communities globally. It’s an all-in-one solution for building a thriving community. Its community engine is powerful with all community features in place.
- Mighty Networks offers user-friendly apps for iOS and Android. This is something many platforms lack.
- A customized dashboard for data management and is powered by an efficient data analytics system.
- It allows you to make payments in 135 currencies. Plus, you can earn by selling one-time products, memberships, and an integrated payment system.
- An interactive course management system is in place along with an LMS. You can build course communities, hold live discussions, and group discussions.
- You can have an unlimited no. of moderators, admins, and members on each plan. This is big.
- There is NO FREE plan at Mighty Networks. That’s a big turn-off for beginners or creators with limited budgets.
- It is shocking that a popular community platform such as Mighty Networks does not offer SSO.
- Mighty Networks charges a lot of transaction fees. This ultimately affects the creator with a financial crunch.
We think that Might Network is overpriced. There are many affordable solutions available with even better features. Plus, there is no basic or free plan in place. Only creators and companies with good budgets can afford it.
An online community platform like Mighty Networks is suitable for both learning and brand communities. This is a great thing!
Discord has been in the buzz for some years now!
It is very different from usual community platforms. Discord is an instant messaging and connection app. It allows you to build several topic-based online communities.
For instance, Discord has become a hot spot for hosting NFT communities including sellers/creators and buyers globally. It remains one of the best community platforms out there.
- Discord serves communities that mostly run chat-based interactions. In that case, they do not need other community features. This makes them focused and saves unnecessary costs.
- Discord has a cool and highly appealing user interface. That enhances the experience. The mascots and animation give it a very lively vibe.
- Another great thing about Discord is that it allows you to run multiple communities using the same profile. This is something other platforms lack.
- There are features for video and voice chat as well. Plus, it offers a feature called StreamKit for live streams.
- Discord has an option for app integration as well. You can integrate software such as Twitch, Patreon, OBS, YouTube, and NightBot.
- The platform is less regulated.
- The opportunity to create multiple communities increase the risk of scam and fraud.
- Overall, Discord is still very limited in terms of usability.
Discord is an open-source community platform. However, there is a pro-paid version known as Discord Nitro. However, we think there is no need to pay for it. As it offers limited types of features.
Discord is better suited for making gaming, NFT, and crypto-focused online communities.
The name itself is so powerful and shows a community-centric vision.
Tribe powers online communities for names such as IBM, ASUS, and Leadsquared.
- One of the most notable things about Tribe is the Gamification tools. It comes with an efficient leaderboard and badge system to encourage engagement.
- With the no-code editor, you can customize your online community platform according to the varying needs of branding. You get a collection of themes and typography as well.
- It allows you to create a premium white-label experience with easy-to-use tools and a user-friendly interface.
- Tribe offers powerful metrics and analytics for KPIs, customer success, engagement rates, and growth.
- A customized experience can lead to long planning periods and mental blocks. This can slow down the whole process. Thus, it isn’t a go-to solution.
- Tribe does not cater to young businesses. It only works for established companies.
- There are no in-built monetization tools available at Tribe.
There are only two plans: Advanced priced at $599 a month and Enterprise, which has a custom pricing model. There is no FREE plan. This makes Tribe not so accessible for beginners. Plus, the advanced plan is very expensive.
Tribe is well-suited for established brands and businesses, especially SaaS companies.
The name speaks volumes about the platform’s priority for optimizing learning.
Thinkific is a leading name in the realm of learning communities. It caters to over 40,000+ creators. This intuitive community platform is customizable for versatile course management.
- Thinkific is focused on learning. It’s an exclusive course builder that helps you scale your community and ROI. This learning-focused approach enables it to serve better the educators and mentors.
- The Thinkific platform is free from any sort of ads and spam. It offers a secure and distraction-free experience.
- It has a built-in drag-and-drop editor that accelerates your work while keeping the quality.
- You have the choice of selling your community on a membership basis and as an independent product too.
Here is a detailed Thinkific Review.
- It’s limited in terms of scope and usability.
- The interface is not user-friendly and not so appealing.
A good thing is that Thinkific has a free version available. Rest, there are three paid plans as well. The basic version is priced at $49 per month. We think that is very reasonably priced for all, looking at the features.
Anyone who wishes to make a learning community can for Thinkific. Especially, the ones with a limited budget.
Uscreen is centered on video content and monetization for recurring revenue.
Uscreen allows you to harness the power of video content for earning. It is completely customizable and user-friendly. Uscreen is actively creating value for 25,000+ creators globally.
- Uscreen is a unique online community platform. Along with other apps, it offers a TV and branded OTT apps. This makes it perfectly engaging.
- Uscreen users have access to 24/7 customer support. This is something that provides real value even if you run into any crisis.
- At Uscreen, you will have a top-notch video CMS. This enables you to create, upload, catalog, and even distribute content effortlessly. Plus, it offers HD video streaming.
- Another good thing about Uscreen is that you can create a very personalized experience for your community. You can customize it in any way, and even create avatars.
- Uscreen can seem a bit complex to manage for beginners.
Unfortunately, Uscreen does not have a free version. It has three paid plans. We would say, the basic plan is good-to-go, looking at the perks included. You can scale up to the other two plans as you gradually grow.
Uscreen is well-suited for the ones who want to monetize their video content and audience using only one platform. To be specific, it is for online educators, TiokTokers, YouTubers, and fitness trainers.
That was a quick round-off for the best online community platforms. The ball is in your court now. As we mentioned earlier, look for a platform that values progression. Perfect platforms do not exist.
A quick tip: Go for the one which seems easily adaptable in all manners!
A community platform should not overwhelm you. It should offer ease in terms of costs, support, growth, and community management. GroupApp perfectly falls in this category!
It’s time for you to take a unique road. Anyone can go for a big highly-clustered platform and get over-shadowed. GroupApp assists you in creating your own community story. Team Group is very proactive. You will always find GroupApp by your side for any resolution and feedback.
Just like it has been for Michael Jones, who’s the founder of Marathon Investment and Trading, a community at GroupApp.
Why not start your online community right away! That too, with a free GroupApp account. You can experience it yourself and even interact with other creators and community members. Hear from them, how GrouoApp has been.