Top 20 Online Community Software of 2023

Choosing the right community software can make all the difference in creating a thriving environment that fosters meaningful relationships and drives success.
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In a world where digital connections are more important than ever, online communities have become vital spaces for individuals and businesses alike to engage, collaborate, and learn. Choosing the right community software can make all the difference in creating a thriving environment that fosters meaningful relationships and drives success. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the top 20 online community platforms of 2023, along with the essential features, advantages, and strategies to help you build an engaging and effective online community.

Short Summary

  • Online communities are powerful tools to foster connections, collaboration and engagement.
  • Community software provides an intuitive platform with essential features such as content & communication tools, user profiles, integrations etc.
  • Strategies for building thriving online communities include selecting the right platform, establishing objectives & fostering commitment from members.

The Power of Online Communities

An image of a group of people discussing in an online community

Online communities play a crucial role in today’s digitally connected world by fostering connections, collaboration, and engagement among members. These platforms not only serve to engage potential readers, draw on subject matter expertise, and offer additional benefits to the audience through networking, but they also hold immense significance for businesses. By cultivating brand loyalty, generating revenue, and engaging new prospects, online communities can become invaluable assets to any organization.

A branded online community, where individuals who share an affinity for a particular brand can interact with one another and the brand itself, can greatly enhance online community engagement. In fact, 78% of individuals join online communities to share their ideas and experiences, while 66% join to stay connected to their peers and colleagues, making them an ideal place to gather feedback and foster meaningful connections.

Connecting a course to your community is another powerful option, which can result in additional revenue for the course leader and replace the need for multiple legacy engagement tools. Ultimately, the power of online communities lies in the potential they hold to create an environment where members can engage, collaborate, and grow together, leading to increased brand loyalty and customer satisfaction through online and offline engagement.

Advantages of Community Software

An image of a computer screen with a community software interface

Utilizing the best community software can greatly enhance the experience of building and managing an online community. By providing an intuitive and user-friendly platform, online community software allows members to easily connect, share ideas, and collaborate on projects. Additionally, the software facilitates the monitoring of conversations and progress, ensuring a smooth and efficient community management experience.

Platforms like Slack, for example, offer users the ability to upload files, record video or audio clips, add emoji reactions, and tag other community members, providing a comprehensive experience. With the right community software, businesses and individuals alike can harness the power of online communities to foster engagement, drive growth, and achieve their goals.

Key Features to Look for in Community Software

An image of a computer screen with a list of features for community software

When selecting community software, it’s essential to consider the features that will best serve your specific needs and goals. Some key features to look for include content and communication tools, a flexible community structure, user profiles, mobile responsiveness, moderation and analytics tools, and integrations with other tools. Customization features, such as the ability to customize the look and feel of the platform, create custom user profiles, and generate custom content, are also important to consider.

Integration capabilities are another crucial aspect to consider when selecting community software. The ability to integrate with other tools, such as social media platforms, email marketing tools, and analytics tools, can greatly enhance the functionality and efficiency of your online community. Ultimately, the key features you choose should align with your specific objectives and the needs of your community members, ensuring a seamless and engaging experience for all.

Top 20 Online Community Platforms of 2023

An image of a computer screen with a list of top 20 online community platforms

In this section, we’ll present a comprehensive list of the top 20 best community platforms of 2023, each with a brief description of their features, pros, and cons. These online community platforms have been carefully selected based on their functionality, user experience, and the unique value they bring to community builders and members alike.

Let’s dive into the details and discover which platform is the perfect fit for your community.


Disco is a user-friendly community platform with a focus on engagement and collaboration, offering customizable features and seamless integration with other tools. Its core features include in-time loading, dynamic notifications, and the ability to block spam with one click.

Disco equips you with the necessary resources to construct, preserve, and expand an online community. While its base plan may be on the pricier side, its ease of use and comprehensive features make it a strong contender for those looking to create a thriving online community.

Mighty Networks

Mighty Networks is a versatile community platform with advanced features for customization, monetization, and member management, making it suitable for various types of communities. It provides an activity feed, sub-groups, member categories, chat messages, and a content management system for creating articles, embedding images, videos, and sound files.

With its user-friendly setup, excellent personalization options, and integrated monetization features, Mighty Networks is a powerful choice for building a successful online community. Posting engaging questions and polls is also easy to do, allowing members to interact and engage with each other.

Vanilla Forums

Vanilla Forums is a corporate forum platform with high customization options and integration capabilities, but lacks certain community features like direct messaging and online courses. Designed for large companies, Vanilla Forums offers robust gaming and moderation features, a user-friendly interface, and the ability to fit a corporate brand.

While it may not cover all aspects of community building, it serves as a solid choice for organizations seeking a dedicated forum solution.


Hivebrite is a community platform specifically tailored for alumni networks, offering subgroups, job boards, event management, and data analytics. Although the initial user experience may be perceived as cold and uninformative, Hivebrite provides extensive customizability, monetization capabilities, and integration with social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

For organizations looking to manage alumni networks, Hivebrite is a powerful and feature-rich solution.


Tribe is a white-label community platform designed for corporations to integrate a community space into their existing website. Offering extensive formatting options for content, the ability to embed media, and smooth integration with third-party tools, Tribe is a powerful community builder.

However, it is geared towards companies with existing websites and native apps, and does not provide standard community features such as direct messaging, connecting members by location or interest, and creating and hosting online courses or live events.

Despite these limitations, Tribe is a user-friendly and cost-effective option for businesses looking to add a community aspect to their existing online presence.


Podia is an all-in-one online community platform with intuitive tools for marketing, sales, and community management. Offering strong security features and easy migration from other platforms at no additional cost, Podia is a user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing solution for community building.

However, it only permits video uploads on one of their paid plans, which may be a limitation for some users. Overall, Podia is a powerful choice for those seeking a comprehensive and secure platform for their online community.

eXo Platform

eXo Platform is an open-source digital workplace solution that facilitates businesses in connecting, engaging, empowering, and rewarding teams. It offers features such as content management, customer engagement, chat, and video conferencing, alongside an attractive UI design and a variety of integrations with other tools.

eXo Platform is a versatile and feature-rich solution for organizations looking to enhance their internal communications and team collaboration.


Circle is a powerful community builder with customizable features and integration capabilities, making it ideal for small brands and creators. With extensive personalization options, monetization capabilities, and a smooth integration with third-party applications, Circle is both user-friendly and effective in creating a successful online community.

Offering a complimentary 14-day trial, Circle provides an excellent opportunity for businesses and individuals to explore its features and determine if it’s the right fit for their community.


An image showcasing the features of BuddyBoss, the leading community software for building online communities.

BuddyBoss is a WordPress-based solution for creating and managing online communities, offering features such as posts, online courses, forums, and member directories. While it provides an effective platform for community building, BuddyBoss requires technical expertise to configure and administer.

For those with the necessary skills, BuddyBoss can be a valuable tool in quickly establishing a vibrant online community with a wide range of features.


Khoros is a powerful community-building platform designed to meet the needs of large enterprises. Offering advanced tools for expert community management and seamless integration with popular communication tools such as Zoom and Slack, Khoros is a robust solution for organizations seeking a comprehensive and reliable online community platform.

While pricing information is available upon request, Khoros’ wide range of features and capabilities make it a strong contender for enterprise-level community building.

Strategies for Building a Thriving Online Community

An image of a group of people discussing in an online community with a laptop in the foreground

Building a thriving online community requires a thoughtful approach and a clear understanding of your goals and objectives. By selecting the right platform, establishing clear objectives, identifying key stakeholders, generating engaging content, and ensuring regular events, you can create a strong foundation for a successful community.

Fostering various levels of commitment from members is also essential for a thriving community. By implementing effective communication, training, and motivation strategies, community managers can activate and retain members, ensuring long-term engagement and growth.

By taking these steps, you can overcome common challenges and create a buzzing online community that delivers value to its members and achieves your desired outcomes.

Case Studies: Successful Online Communities

An image of a computer screen with a list of successful online communities

Real-life examples of successful online communities showcase the impact of effective community management and software selection. Among them, the best online community examples include alumni or university-related communities on platforms like Facebook, Reddit, and LinkedIn, as well as those created by course creators, professional networks, and global brands. These thriving communities foster engagement by empowering their most passionate members to become brand advocates and subject matter experts.

For instance, online course creators often utilize platforms like Thinkific to integrate their courses with online communities, encouraging participation, long-term motivation, and further education. By learning from these successful examples and applying the strategies and best practices discussed in this blog post, you too can create a thriving online community that drives growth and delivers value to its members.

Integrating Your Online Community with Other Tools

An image of a computer screen with a list of tools integrated with an online community

Integrating your community platform with other tools and software can significantly enhance management and user experience. By connecting your online community with tools such as social media platforms, email marketing software, and project management tools, you can offer users a seamless and comprehensive platform for communication, content sharing, and collaboration.

Platforms like Mighty Networks, Circle, Discourse, and Discord, among others, offer various integration capabilities that allow for easy connection with existing systems and tools. By choosing a platform that integrates well with your existing tools, you can streamline community management, simplify community building, and create a unified, engaging community experience for your members.

Common Challenges and Solutions in Community Management

An image of a computer screen with a list of challenges and solutions in community management

Community managers often face challenges such as activating and retaining members, gaining organizational support, addressing conflicts, sustaining engagement, and managing crises. To overcome these challenges, it’s essential to employ strategies like effective communication, training, and motivation to activate and retain members, gain organizational acceptance, address conflicts, ensure engagement, and manage crises.

By understanding and addressing these common challenges, community managers can create a thriving and engaged community that delivers value to its members and achieves its objectives. Through continuous learning and adaptation, community managers can overcome obstacles and ensure the long-term success of their online communities.

Supercharge Your Learning Community

A step-by-step guide to build and grow a thriving learning community.

The Learning Community Playbook by Disco


In conclusion, the power of online communities lies in their ability to connect, engage, and empower individuals and businesses. By selecting the right community software, implementing effective community management strategies, and learning from successful case studies, you can create a thriving online community that delivers value to its members and achieves your desired outcomes. Now is the time to harness the power of online communities and unlock their full potential for your brand or organization.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a community software?

Community software is a platform that enables members to share information, collaborate online, and access customer support from other community members. It provides an efficient way for customers to receive help.

With community software, customers can quickly find answers to their questions, get help from other members, and stay up-to-date on the latest product updates. It also allows customers to connect with each other.

What is the best platform to build community?

The best platform to build community in 2023 is 10 Best Community Platforms, which offers comprehensive features and pricing for review.

What is a community management app?

Community management software is a tool that helps create, host, and manage an online community for businesses. It enables brands to maintain an active and functioning community.

What are the key features to consider when selecting community software?

When selecting a community software, consider features like content and communication tools, user profiles, moderation and analytics tools, integrations with other tools, and flexible community structure. Ensure that it is mobile-responsive and includes useful features for moderation and analytics.

How can I ensure member engagement in my online community?

Ensure member engagement in your online community by providing effective communication, training, and motivation, as well as engaging content and regular events.

Organize regular events to keep members engaged and motivated. Provide training and resources to help members understand how to use the community and get the most out of it. Create content that is interesting and engaging to keep members coming back.

Published on
July 17, 2023
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The Learning Community Playbook by Disco

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