Online course creation isn’t something that comes naturally to everyone. Are you looking to create an online course? If yes, then you will want to enlist the help of one of the best online community platforms that can make your life easier.
As a person running an online course, you know the importance of having an audience to teach. Therefore, without the audience (students), you will never reach your goals. As a result, I’ve put together a list of the top-rated platforms for community building.
You’ll get to see what advantages and disadvantages each has and how they work. So you can pick one that suits your needs and helps you grow your online course business.
What Are The Best Online Community Platforms?
- Mighty Networks
- Tribe Platform
- Vanilla Forums
- Khoros Communities
- Brilliant Directories
- Facebook Groups
1. Mighty Networks
Have you ever wanted to create a community on the Internet? Have you ever wanted to live stream your favorite sport? Or have you ever wanted to teach others and make money while doing it? If yes, then Mighty Networks is the platform for you.
Mighty Networks is the ideal online community platform for businesses serious about growing their audience. It helps in adding real value to your business and provides a platform for customers to share reviews, photos, tips, and experiences.
This online community platform combines all the tools you need to create your membership platform. It includes a powerful video streaming service, private social network, live chat, messaging, community builder, live events, event calendar, and more
In short, this is one of the best online community platforms to help make you profitable by leveraging tools that have already been provided for you.
- All-in-one platform for online courses
- Offers an unlimited number of community members
- It also has built-in monetization tools
- Offer iOS and Android mobile apps
- You can also find community members by categories and location
- You will further get access to unlimited content storage
- Lack of support for SSO integrations
- Also has limited community gamification
Looking for an excellent online community platform with all the tools you need to build, manage, and engage your community? Then, Hivebrite is one of the top-rated platforms you can count on.
Hivebrite can help you manage membership and event management, and provide live chat support. It also integrates social media so people can connect with others around your cause.
As a result, this creates meaningful relationships that result in impact and drive fundraising results.
Offering everything you need to promote brand loyalty across multiple channels and devices, indeed, Hivebrite is a proven leader in today’s online community platform industry for online course creators.
Furthermore, Hivebrite gives you the power to extend your interactive reach at an affordable cost and enables you to organize your communities through its suite of powerful tools.
- Offers professional tools for online community building
- Members can also share opportunities
- Comes also with an integrated email marketing tool
- You can further get access to engagement analytic tools
- It also provides built-in monetization tools
- Lack of established LMS integrations
3. Tribe Platform
Award-winning Tribe Platform provides exceptional tools to build, grow and manage a community of active members who contribute to meaningful conversations and ideas.
This powerful forum software helps community managers engage members in all the key discussions they need. It also lets you instantly see what is working and what is not.
With Tribe Platform you can create forums for your audience with specific permissions and access privileges, as well as question/answer support forums for user suggestions, requests, and help.
You may also turn components like activity feeds, groups, and articles into widgets that you can simply integrate on your membership site or in your online course portal.
Furthermore, its Social Login system, which supports Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, and Twitter, allows your community members to effortlessly join your group.
- Easy to use
- Extensive branding
- It offers multiple community gamification options
- Also has a permanently free package
- You further create white-labeled communities
- It also supports custom domains
- Has no mobile app
- Also lacks inbuilt monetization tools
SocioHub offers businesses a new way to tap into the power of their most important asset—their customers. This interactive, real-time online community platform allows you to engage, grow and monetize your community.
With SocioHub, you’re the boss. You can further enable your audience to search and discover others, message each other, conduct polls, comment, ask questions, like, and share content.
In addition, the platform gives you the ability to display content that targets specific customers. You can also generate socially-optimized leads and deliver personalized services for your most valued clientele.
Overall, SocioHub is a user-friendly online community platform that allows you to easily help users solve a variety of issues. It is also the best place to connect with people and promote your online course business.
- Members can run polls
- Android and iOS apps are available
- Offer browsable directories with powerful filters
- You can also create groups based on your community preferences
- It offers excellent blog and article tools
- You can further message and engage members privately
- Runs quote-based pricing which is not transparent
Are you struggling to build your online presence? If yes, then BuddyBoss is a fully-featured online community platform for your online course business. It’s one of the most robust, scalable, well-supported options available.
This platform offers everything needed to create and run a successful online community while driving site traffic through its powerful marketing automation tools.
It is packed with powerful features such as unlimited member plugins, white-label start pages, a custom-branded portal, private portal access, and much more.
You can also easily monetize your membership because it is WooCommerce-compatible. As a result, you can offer courses and other things. It’s easy to use and does the job well. It also contains features like push notifications and in-app purchases, among others.
- It is fully compatible with WordPress
- Seamless integration with the major LMS
- It also supports membership plugins
- Facilitates extensive customization
- It offers community gamification
- It doesn’t offer a free package
- Only also available for WordPress sites
Muut is a community platform that automatically creates forums and comments for your online community need. Its design is focused on the user experience. Therefore, it is extremely user-friendly and simple to use.
Furthermore, this is one of the best online community platforms with amazing features. Muut helps you create and grow your audience by encouraging member contributions.
You can also automatically categorize content, support discussion, and provide tools for collective action and decision-making.
Furthermore, the Muut platform is compatible with a wide range of platforms, including Blogger, Squarespace, Wix, WordPress, Shopify, Weebly, and others. So whatever platform you use for your online course business, Muut can be integrated seamlessly.
- Easy to use
- It is also a mobile-optimized platform
- Clean, uncluttered user interface
- One discussion system solution for all
- Offers seamless integration with your site
- Limit access to features unless you pay for higher plans
Discourse is another one of the best online community platforms on the Internet. The platform makes it easy to have better conversations: thoughtfully developed, beautifully designed, and relentlessly engineered to make your discussions come alive.
Furthermore, discourse is a complete open-source conversation platform designed to help business owners and organizations build online communities and engage with their audience.
The platform is specifically made for advanced discussion, with a full suite of commenting tools and real-time chat capabilities. Also, it’s a mailing list, a discussion forum, and a long-form chat room all rolled into one.
It further offers seamless integration with Slack, Patreon (see how to make money on Patreon), WordPress, Google Analytics, and Zendesk. You can create a self-service hub of common questions, interesting ideas, and useful discussion.
- It is a 100% open-source community platform
- You can also run polls
- It further supports anonymous posting
- It also translates into over 40 languages
- Offer SEO-optimized community
- Not easy to set up for users who are not technically skilled
- Lack of established LMS integrations
8. Vanilla Forums
From small independent forums to large enterprise-level communities, Vanilla Forums is trusted by some of the world’s largest companies looking to get the most out of online community platforms.
Vanilla Forums is one of the best online community platforms for businesses (especially online course businesses). Vanilla forums’ easy-to-use and quick-to-start online community software helps users establish loyalty, increase revenue, and enhance customer service.
Additionally, it has a beautiful user interface and seamless integration with third-party apps. Also, branding, scalable knowledge bases, out-of-the-box gamification, brainstorming, and questions and answers are just a few of the features Vanilla Forums offer.
- It offers extensive customization
- Comes also with numerous gamification features
- Seamless integration with multiple SSO protocols
- It also enhances customer support
- Allows up to 100 staff users at a time
- Has a little steep learning curve
- Also a bit pricey for small businesses
9. Khoros Communities
Khoros Communities makes managing and participating in communities effortless. You can manage everything from a single dashboard. As a result, you will spend less time building your community and more time fostering its growth.
Trusted also by over 2,000 of the world’s most well-known companies, Khoros is a partner that assures your community will decrease support costs, delight your members, and expand your online course business.
With a powerful collection of features, this is a platform built for corporate scalability and security and a dedicated services organization. In short, this platform has everything you need to create and manage a successful online community around your online course.
- It is AI-driven
- Robust content management
- It also seamlessly integrates into third-party
- Facilitates intelligent community moderation
- You can further keep tabs on your members’ community activities
- Has a slight learning curve
- A bit expensive for small businesses
10. Brilliant Directories
Brilliant Directories is a community platform for promoting or marketing your business/product. By uploading information about your business and then communicating in real-time with customers you can create a loyal customer base in just days.
The platform provides a cost-effective, all-in-one online community solution to help you streamline all areas of your membership website or online course.
A full, turn-key solution that is simple to set up and comes with free, limitless assistance from actual people. Website design, online payment processing, multi-level memberships, past due monitoring, premium member-only material, and more are available.
- Portals to finding professionals
- Local directories and guides
- Auto-recurring subscriptions
- You can also offer premium member content
- Powerful monetization tools
- Also has excellent email marketing list tools
- The learning curve can be a little steep for beginners
Meet Forumbee, the easy-to-use online community platform for small business owners.
Forumbee improves direction by creating a space for business owners to not just talk with each other but do it in the context of solving problems, increasing revenue, and growing their businesses. It’s all designed around the concept of a business-supporting network. And it works.
With Forumbee, you can effortlessly engage with your branded social community while collecting feedback, providing help, and increasing happiness and loyalty.
For increased participation, the community platform includes discussion forums, feedback forums, Q&A forums, and article forums.
- Knowledge base for your customers
- Automatic spam detection
- It offers advanced reporting and analytics
- Can make your team members admins
- Private categories and exclusive access to groups
- Expensive pricing plans
- Lack of customization features
Slack is a popular messaging and collaboration application for businesses. Many people, however, are utilizing it to create professional communities. The free plan, excellent usability, and widespread distribution of the Slack app are the key reasons behind this.
It seamlessly connects with the tools you use every day—like Google Docs, Twitter, Zendesk, Dropbox, Stripe, and more. Each works the way you’re already accustomed to. Plus, slack allows for private group messaging for your team or workspace.
Even though it is free to begin started, the free plan has a lot of limitations. For example, only the first 10,000 messages are searchable under the free plan. Apart from that, there is no customization, moderation, or analytics functionality.
However, overall, it is one of the best online community platforms, especially for business owners that are on a tight budget.
- You can create channels within the company
- It’s easy to share something funny or off-topic
- Your data within the platform is always protected
- It makes it easy to share and collaborate with members in real-time
- Your conversations get deleted after 14 days
- It offers limited file storage
Disciple makes it simple to start an online community since all platform features are available to use right away. Without utilizing Zoom or any other third-party software, you may broadcast in your community using the ‘Disciple’ inbuilt live streaming functionality.
This means that your viewers may interact with you directly alongside your video, making for a more engaging and encouraging environment. Members can communicate and assist one another with common concerns by chatting.
Disciple offers a variety of attractive monetization options, including memberships and charging for access to the full community or certain portions within it.
- Offer numerous community monetization options
- Comes also with built-in live-streaming tools
- You can personalized messages and notifications
- It offers branded Android and iOS apps
- Limited number of community members
14. Facebook Groups
Facebook is one of the biggest social media platforms in the world, with more than two billion monthly active users. However, some bigger brands and businesses do not want their posts to appear on Facebook.
One approach is to create a Facebook group. It is a place where fans of the brand can share their ideas, photos, and experiences in an exclusive way that does not show up anywhere else online.
Facebook Groups are used to form specialized groups for people who share a common interest so that they may discuss a variety of issues relevant to it. And with that, it can be used to create a community around your online course business and raise brand recognition.
- Members can posts, likes, and comments
- Questionnaire setup for member approval
- Ability to assign mentor privilege to your most loyal members
- Create learning modules (similar to courses) to educate your members
- You can also connect your Facebook Group with your Facebook Page
- Offers limited features
- You cannot monetize your community
This is a one-of-a-kind online community platform designed specifically for businesses to create, grow, and manage online communities.
The user interface is straightforward and intuitive, and the Circle team has created a social network platform that allows users to share articles, videos, and photographs.
It is easy for members to find and join in on relevant discussions. It’s also available on the move, with its mobile app for iOS and Android.
As a result, your member will be able to carry it with them wherever they go. Simply defined, this is the next-generation social network.
Circle offers simple integration of payment processing and membership tools into your WordPress site. It also integrates with major membership management systems such as Memberful and MemberSpace.
- Modern, intuitive, and easy-to-use interface
- Also has a native iOS mobile app
- Supports SSO integrations
- It also automates community moderation
- White-labeled community
- Has no Android mobile app yet
- Only work with Teachable for online course businesses
inSided, which combines an online community and a sophisticated self-service knowledge base, boosts engagement while providing more time to focus on high-value contributions to the business.
This platform was built with the user in mind. The platform comes with all of the features, functionalities, and benefits you have come to expect from a platform like this and more.
Each aspect of inSided was created to work smoothly with your online course business and assist you in achieving your objectives, no matter how big or little.
Whether used by small businesses to promote their brand or even a large business looking to advance their customer service options, inSideD is one of the next best things since sliced bread.
- It is a reliable online community platform
- Excellent customer support
- The platform offers a great back-end system for moderators
- Integrate with the major CRM systems
- A bit expensive
- Limited analytics
Zapnito is a social community platform that offers user-friendly and innovative ways to describe and share products, services, and places.
With a rigorous focus on customer satisfaction and delivering useful features, Zapnito’s goal is to lead the way for the global digital content community.
The Zapnito platform provides brands with expert communities on demand and allows them to build sustainable communities.
By connecting event organizers, expert networks, membership, and subscription business to their audiences and driving revenue, the platform enable you to share knowledge and connect with your audiences.
- Excellent engagement tools
- Allows the launching of a sponsored community
- Seamless integration with Stripe
- Great features to build and enrich your community
- You can also create sponsored content
- Has no mobile app
By offering a private space to establish a professional network, Mobilize enables you a new way to connect with prospects, partners, and customers.
This online community platform appeals to your need for growth, education, opportunity, networking, and cooperation.
Mobilize achieves greater engagement levels by combining member motivations, targeted processes, and intelligent data, resulting in increased sales, and innovation, as well as a competitive moat for your online course business.
With a sleek, intuitive user experience and modern design made for any screen size and device, Mobilize gives you everything to build a social and mobile community platform.
- CRM and member management tools
- Offers a free-trial period so you can test it
- Members can also engage each other
- Seamless customization is also possible
- Allows file sharing
- Has no mobile app
What is an Online Community Platform?
An online community platform is a service that allows your business to create an online presence that hosts community discussions, content, and networking opportunities for people who share similar interests.
Online community platforms are especially popular among brands that want to connect with people on a more intimate level where they can talk about topics of interest, share ideas and connect with other members for support.
Is There a Difference Between a Community Platform and a Membership Platform?
Community platforms are usually ad-driven and available to the public, whereas membership platforms have a pre-screening process, require members to pay for premium features, and often have more robust features like networking opportunities and workflows.
What Are The Benefit of The Best Online Community Platforms?
- Provides transparency through the use of social media
- It improves brand awareness
- It also drives traffic to your business
- Beneficial information and guidance sharing possible
- They promote greater social interaction between people
- It also brings a huge return on investment
- These communities provide people with access to experts
- Also facilitates online discussion
- It helps brands build better relationships with customers
Best Online Community Platforms: FAQs
What is the best community platform for WordPress users?
BuddyBoss is the best community platform for WordPress users. You don’t need to write code or know how WordPress works to use it (but you can).
Building a community is a challenging endeavor. BuddyBoss is a solution that helps WordPress users create, grow, and monetize communities.
What is the best free community platform?
Facebook Groups is the best free community platform. It makes it easier for you to connect and share with others who share your interests, whether they live down the street or across the country.
Best Online Community Platforms: Conclusion
Overall, Mighty Networks is the best online community platform I will recommend for your online community needs, especially for growing your online course or membership business.
Mighty Networks is the award-winning online community platform that lets you build and run any kind of online community (social network, forum, knowledgebase, job board, Q&A site, or bulletin board system).
Furthermore, Mighty gives you the features, tools, privileges, and control you need to get the job done quickly. It’s the perfect solution for growing companies, non-profits, and individuals.
However, if you’re looking for a completely free online community platform to start with, Facebook Groups is a perfect solution for you.
Finally, here are the most effective ways to promote your online course and also how to drive traffic to your online courses. I’ll encourage you to check those two articles out.
I hope you found this article helpful. Thanks for reading.
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