Video Monetization

15 Best Online Community Platforms: Build Thriving Communities

By Aarushi Singh
15 Min Read

Learn More About Community

An image of a man browsing the internet in search for the best online community platforms for his membership business.

Did you think your online audience is starting to feel like real friends — or better — a community?

As a content creator, building a loyal online community can help you create a stronger bond with your audience. In turn, that can help you boost your business by increasing engagement, retention, and sales. 

But for your community to thrive, you have to pick the right online community platform.

Whether you’ve only started to consider using an online community platform, or you’re trying to find ways to better engage with your online audience, we’ve got you covered. 

Today we’ll go over the 15 best online community platforms:

  1. Uscreen
  2. Mighty Networks
  3. Tribe
  4. Circle
  5. Hivebrite
  6. Disciple
  7. Discourse
  8. Vanilla Forums
  9. Podia
  10. Facebook Groups
  11. BuddyBoss
  12. Khoros
  13. Higher Logic
  14. PeerBoard
  15. PlushForums

What Is a Community Platform?

Community platforms allow content creators to create a safe space for members to interact with each other. They’ll usually have engagement opportunities, moderators, and perks. 

Online community platforms can also make it easier to start engaging with your audience, thanks to tools like: 

  • Personalized feeds
  • Group chats
  • Live streams
  • Member profiles
  • Event management
  • Customizable themes

When searching for the best online community platform, it’s important to keep in mind:

  • What features will be most helpful for your members
  • How customizable do you want it to be 
  • Whether you need tools other than the community features
  • How much you’re willing to invest in a platform

That way, you’ll make sure you’re creating the best place to engage with your audience and grow your business.

Importance of Online Communities

There are many benefits to creating your own online community. 

Humans are social creatures, and it’s part of human nature to come together with others with similar interests. 

So if you’re a content creator and have an audience that supports you, they would likely be thrilled to interact with you more often and get exclusive content — plus they’ll get a chance to meet like-minded individuals. 

And that’s where online community platforms come in to help you:

  • Build customer relationships
  • Provide support and help
  • Increase engagement
  • Grow your audience

Here are some hard facts you should know:

Benefits of Online Communities
  • 67% of customers are loyal to a brand because of its community.
  • 27% of customers said online communities influence their purchase of a product or service.
  • 66% of businesses owners believe that their community significantly helped them retain customers.

What Are The Best Online Community Platforms?

Now let’s take a look at the best online community platforms. 

We’ll go over…

  • each platform
  • their key features
  • pricing options

…and then you’ll be ready to decide which one to go for.

1. Uscreen 

One of the best online community platforms, Uscreen.

Uscreen — that’s us! — is a video-focused community platform for content creators and businesses to launch their own membership site, with the possibility of having their own branded apps.

We have plans that allow you to create your own community platform, on top of getting branded websites and apps to host your videos to share with your members and monetize your content.   

The good thing about Uscreen is that you get it all in one place. That means we have all the tools you’ll need to create a thriving community. 

Now let’s talk features.

Key Features

Features of one of the best online community platforms, Uscreen 

At Uscreen, we know the importance of online communities, so we wanted to let creators have the best membership platform that allows them to engage with their audience to the fullest. 

We encourage users to optimize their profiles with unique profile pages, allow users to engage with creators in real-time using live chats and streaming, and let you customize your page according to your brand.

Here’s what you can have with Uscreen: 

  • Free and subscriber-only communities
  • Timeline videos
  • Rich member profiles
  • Push notifications managements
  • Pinned posts
  • Shareable community
  • Native commenting feature on your dashboard.
  • Smooth and secure live streaming
  • Advanced live chats
  • Branded OTT apps
  • Marketing and analytics tools
  • Customizable themes
  • Monetization capabilities
  • Fast video playback in Full HD

Uscreen is also easy to use, and we do all the heavy lifting for you, which means there’s no coding required in our ready-to-customize platform. 

We also offer 24/7 support and onboarding if you ever run into issues. 

Free trial: 14 days

Pricing: $

Ready to start growing your online community?  

It’s simple with Uscreen.

Build, launch and manage your membership, all in one place.

2. Mighty Networks 

One of the best online community platforms, Mighty Networks.

Mighty Networks is an easy-to-use community platform. With this online community platform, you can build websites, charge for membership subscriptions, and create online courses, all in one place. 

Let’s go over their community features.

Key Features

With Mighty Networks, you can create a community under your own brand even if you’re just starting out. 

Take a look at what they offer:

  • Personalized activity feed for members
  • Option of public, private, or paid communities
  • Workflow automation with integrations
  • Analytics dashboard
  • Custom domain

Mighty Networks is also a great option if you’re looking to start an online course, as they offer a native course builder within their platform. 

But how much will that cost?


Pricing information for Mighty Networks, one of the best online community platforms.

With Mighty Networks you can choose between 3 pricing options. Here’s what they are:

  • The Community Plan: Allows you to build a website and community that you can charge for. You also get live streaming and video, messaging, events, and paid memberships capabilities. Price: $33 per month.
  • The Business Plan: You’ll get the same features as the community plan, and the ability to grow your business with online courses, analytics, APIs, and workflows. Price: $99 per month.
  • Mighty Pro: In addition to the Business Plan, you get your own with branded app with notifications, as well as account management and strategy support. Price upon contacting the Mighty Networks team.

3. Tribe 

One of the best online community platforms, Tribe.

Tribe is a customizable community platform for businesses so companies can engage with their audience. You will get plenty of tools to build a modern online community. 

Look at some of their features. 

Key Features

If you choose to go with Tribe, you’ll be able to customize everything and change every part of the platform to match your brand.  

Here’s what else they offer: 

  • Activity feed with personalized content
  • Embeddable widgets
  • Customizable themes
  • Workflow automation integrations
  • Custom apps
  • Thread-based communication

And here’s how much that will cost. 


Pricing information for Tribe, one of the best online community platforms.

Tribe also has three tiers of pricing, each based on the size of your business or content creation endeavor. They offer Plus, Premium, and Enterprise plans.

  • Plus: Great for small businesses and startups, this plan gives you a custom domain and apps. It includes analytics, Zapier integration, and it’s free for up to 100 members. Price: $49 per month.
  • Premium: This plan is geared toward brands and companies. It includes all of the features from the Plus plan, gives you premium apps, API, and webhooks, and allows you to have up to 100,000 members. Price: $199 per month.
  • Enterprise: A plan for large businesses, the Enterprise plan offers the same features as the Premium plan, in addition to enterprise-grade security, data residency, and provides you with a customer success manager and custom billing. Price upon contacting the Tribe team.

But if you’re not ready to commit yet, you can set up your community for free for up to 100 members. 

4. Circle 

One of the best online community platforms, Circle.

Circle is another all-in-one community platform, that brings together engaging discussions, chats, live streams, events, and even memberships. They’ll provide you with many features so you can create, engage, monetize, and manage your online community. 

But what are these features?

Key Features

With Circle, you can organize your community with spaces that help members share ideas, host discussions, and request feedback. 

They also offer:

  • Group chats
  • Livestream events
  • Rich profiles
  • Monetizing capabilities
  • App integrations
  • Advanced analytics
  • Custom domain
  • Platform customization

Wanna know how much that will cost? Let’s talk pricing.


Pricing information for Circle, one of the best online community platforms.

Circle gives three pricing options, and all of them with a 14-day free trial with no credit card required. Let’s take a look at their plans. 

  • Basic: This is the basic plan that gives you a custom domain, moderation, private messaging, events, and group chats. Price: $39 per month.
  • Professional: The Professional plan gives you everything from the Basic plan and includes live streams, advanced analytics, API access, and CSS customization. Price: $99 per month.  
  • Enterprise: This plan includes everything from the Professional plan and gives you concierge onboarding, priority email support, email white-labeling, and a dedicated customer success manager. Price: $399 per month.

5. Hivebrite 

One of the best online community platforms, Hivebrite

Hivebrite is a highly customizable online community platform that gives organizations the tools they need to create, manage, and engage their members. 

They also offer a large set of engagement features so members can access it anywhere and at any time. 

We’ll take a look at what other features they offer now.

Key Features

Hivebrite offers plenty of features to help community members engage with their members and make it easier by having it all in one platform. 

Here’s what you can expect from their online community platform:

  • Powerful search and targeting filters
  • Import and export member data
  • Perform mass updates
  • Profile update tracker and campaign
  • Full moderation
  • Integrated CMS
  • Manage events and payments
  • Email campaigns
  • Membership plans


Unfortunately, Hivebrite doesn’t disclose their pricing. Contact their sales team for pricing information.

6. Disciple 

One of the best online community platforms, Disciple

Disciple takes social media limitations off your plate. Their online community platform offers features for you to create your own online community, including selling courses, charging for subscriptions, and live streams. 

Let’s go over their features.

Key Features

With Disciple, you can generate income to power up your revenue, grow your online engagement and gain full control over your community platform. 

Here are some of their features:

  • App integrations
  • Livestream
  • Direct messaging
  • Analytics insights
  • Monetization tools
  • Online courses tool

Let’s check out how much it will cost you.


Pricing information for Disciple, one of the best online community platforms.

Disciple has 2 pricing package options for you to choose from. 

  • Web: Get branding and customization, unlimited groups and topics, events, subscriptions, and your own content library. Price: $55 per month.
  • Mobile App: You’ll get everything from the Web plan, plus in-app purchases, live streaming, push notifications, and a dedicated community success manager. Price: $549 per month.

Disciple also offers a customizable package that starts at $46 per month, which includes 100 members and one admin seat. You can customize your price to add up to 50,000 members, add-ons, and services.

7. Discourse 

One of the best online community platforms, Discourse

Discourse is a 100% open-source community platform — that means you can tweak its code to your liking. Even if you don’t know how to code, their platform is set so you can use it as a discussion forum, long-form chat room, mailing list, and more. 

Their community platform also offers an internal defense system that builds immunity against spammers, trolls, and bad actors. 

Key Features

Discourse considers itself a simple, modern, and fun online community platform, with just the essential stuff on the screen. 

Here’s what you get with their platform: 

  • Infinite scrolling for conversations
  • Dynamic notifications
  • Mobile friendly
  • Trust system to earn abilities
  • Community moderation


Pricing information for Discourse, one of the best online community platforms.

Discourse is — and claims it always will be — 100% free and open-source software if you would like to self-host. But if you want them to do the heavy lifting, they also offer 3 price tiers: 

  • Standard: This plan allows you to have unlimited members and five staff users. It also gives you standard authentication and plugins with 20GB of storage. Price: $100 per month.
  • Business: The business plan also gets you unlimited members and 15 staff users. It allows you to have business authentication and plugins with 100GB of storage. Price: $300 per month.
  • Enterprise: Their most complete plan comes with 200GB of storage and allows you to have unlimited members and staff users. It also gives you priority support and custom migration. Price is disclosed upon contacting the Discourse team.

Let’s check out the next platform.

8. Vanilla Forums 

One of the best online community platforms, Vanilla Forums.

Vanilla Forums is a community software platform that makes it easy for your brand to collaborate with their customers, build loyalty, boost engagement, and improve support. 

They have over 3,000 brands using their community platform with 350,000 communities. 

If you’re a product manager, customer support leader, customer experience executive, or looking to build brand awareness, Vanilla Forums might be the platform for you. 

Let’s see what they can help you with.

Key Features

Vanilla Forums is a community platform full of features that lets you start something plain and simple and turn it into the platform that fits you.

Here’s what you’ll get: 

  • Forum user experience
  • Rich post editor with HTML
  • Customizable themes
  • Q&A options
  • Crowdsource ideas from members
  • Mobile friendly
  • Integration with apps
  • Analytics insights
  • Moderation system

Now on to the pricing. 


Pricing information for Vanilla Forums, one of the best online community platforms.

Vanilla Forums pricing is not disclosed, so you’ll need to contact their sales team for details. But they do have four different plans to pick from:

  • Essential: This plan is for smaller communities and allows five staff users and 250,000 page views. You can also access analytics and the integration and development bundle.
  • Corporate: For businesses or content creators looking to scale up, this plan offers the same features as the Essential plan, but allows you to have 10 staff users, 1 million page views, and gives you access to the security bundle.
  • Enterprise: If you have a larger community that needs advanced support, the Enterprise plan gives you access to the same features as the Corporate plan and allows you to have 50 staff users, 10 million page views, and access to the performance bundle.
  • Enterprise Plus: For the most complex communities, the Enterprise Plus plan offers the same features as the Enterprise and allows you to have 100 staff users, 50 million page views, and a hosting location.

9. Podia 

One of the best online community platforms, Podia

Want to sell online courses, digital products, and webinars all while still engaging with the community you love? Podia might be just the place. 

Podia allows you to grow your business with its powerful marketing tools to boost sales. 

Let’s check out what their community feature offers. 

Key Features

Although Podia has different features in their platform, we’ll focus on the community ones. Here’s what they let you do: 

  • Create topics to engage your community
  • Use moderation tools
  • Access to customer’s information
  • Make it your own with customizable themes
  • Use it on mobile with ease
  • Add affiliate marketing
  • Engage your audience with email marketing
  • Build a custom website

But how much will that cost you?


Pricing information for Podia, one of the best online community platforms.

Podia migrates your content and customers for free when you pick a yearly subscription. Let’s take a look at their packages:

  • Mover: The Mover plan gives you a custom website, email marketing, unlimited courses, webinars, and a free community. Price: $33 per month.
  • Shaker: This plan gives you everything from the Move plan and also lets you have lets you charge members for community access, unlimited coaching products, and affiliates. Price: $75 per month.
  • Earthquaker: The Earthquaker plan will give you everything from the Shaker plan plus priority support, onboarding calls, and a monthly creator call. Price: $166 per month.

You’re probably familiar with the next online community platform. Wanna bet?

10. Facebook Groups 

One of the best online community platforms, Facebook Groups.

You have probably used Facebook in the past and likely joined a couple of groups, too. But did you know a lot of content creators use it as their online community platform?

Facebook can be a great option for both beginners and experienced content creators starting to build a community and those who want to acquire new members. Plus, it’s free to use. 

Let’s check out the features.

Key Features

When using Facebook Groups, you’re tied to the Facebook platform and won’t have a lot of customization capabilities. However, Facebook is always adding new features to its platform. 

Here are a few features you can harness on a Facebook Group:

  • Customizable page
  • Different post formats
  • Greeting messages
  • Option for rules
  • Documents folder
  • Community real-time chats
  • Set up recurring events 

As you can see, Facebook can be a great way to start boosting brand awareness in the early stages. But you’ll likely want to move to an all-in-one platform in the future if you want to be able to monetize your online community better. 


As we mentioned, Facebook Groups are free for all users, and anyone can create a group by having an account with Facebook. 

11. BuddyBoss 

One of the best online community platforms, BuddyBoss.

If you like to have a bit of freedom and don’t want to build your online community on a SaaS platform, take a look at BuddyBoss

They are an open-source online community platform built on WordPress — that means you’ll have the flexibility to control and scale your online business. 

With their platform, you can create online courses and sell memberships. You can also extend your features with plugins or — if you’re well-versed with coding — even build your own. 

Let’s take a look at their features. 

Key Features

As we mentioned, BuddyBoss is an open-source platform, so you’ll have the freedom to add features, create your own plugins and host your community on WordPress. 

Here’s what their community platform is equipped with: 

  • Member profiles
  • Social groups
  • Branded and customized emails
  • Forum discussions
  • Zoom integrations
  • Manage virtual classes
  • Widgets
  • Fully customizable dashboard
  • Monetization integrations

BuddyBoss works great if you currently have a WordPress-based website and would like to add online communities to it. 

OK, but how much will that cost?


Pricing information for BuddyBoss, one of the best online community platforms.

BuddyBoss also has three different pricing tiers. What’s more, they have over a 100% risk-free money-back guarantee. 

Let’s take a look at the plans offered:

  • 1 Site: This plan lets you launch your online platform with a theme, pro features, one-year priority support, and one-year updates. Price: $228 per year.
  • 5 Sites: This plan is for business growth and allows you to license five sites. It gives you themes, pro features, one-year priority support, and one-year updates. Price: $288 per year.
  • 10 Sites: This plan is for growing your business and allows you to license 10 sites. It gives you themes, pro features, one-year priority support, and one-year updates. Price: $388 per year.

And on to the next one…

12. Khoros 

One of the best online community platforms, Khoros.

Khoros is a community platform for enterprises with a robust AI-driven analytics engine. You can create a brand community with Khoros, so customers can get answers, share ideas and connect with peers. 

Even better: Microsoft, Visa, and HP are a few of their most notable enterprise clients.

Let’s check out what Khoros can do for online communities. 

Key Features

One cool thing about Khoros is their self-service hub, where you can enable instant customer support. 

But check out what else they offer:

  • Branded interactive platform
  • Self-service knowledge hub 
  • Real-time analytics
  • Advanced moderation tools
  • App integrations
  • Slack and Zoom integrations

Khoros also offers a CX software to organize all of your customer’s interactions in one place. 


Unfortunately, Khoros pricing is not disclosed. Contact their sales team for pricing.

Our best online community platforms list is almost complete. Three more to go!

13. Higher Logic 

One of the best online community platforms, Higher Logic.

Higher Logic is another platform that offers a couple of different services, so you can have it all in one place. On top of offering an online community platform, they also provide email campaign software and an in-house team for strategic services.

Their online community is designed to keep users coming back. 

Ready to take a look at their features?

Key Features

In addition to the community platform, with Higher Logic, you can also have add-ons,  such as a purpose-built community structure and event management. 

Let’s take a look at their other features:

  • Branded virtual space
  • Microsites
  • Nesting structures
  • Targeted messages
  • Tailored content
  • Create and manage events
  • Resource library
  • Q&A capabilities
  • Add webinars and educational content

With these features and more, they support over 350,000 online communities. 


Higher Logic offers Essentials, Plus, and Enterprise plan options. However, they don’t disclose their pricing, and you would need to contact their sales team to find out more.  

14. PeerBoard 

One of the best online community platforms, PeerBoard.

PeerBoard offers a couple of options of how you can build your online community, from custom domains and deep embedding to WordPress and app plugins. This way you have the freedom to choose where to host your community.

Their platform is full of features designed to help members build relationships and interact with your brand. 

Here’s a little more about their community platform. 

Key Features

PeerBoard’s plug-and-play forum lets you add embeddable forums to your website, with no coding needed. 

Here’s what else they have:

  • Customizable themes
  • Rich post editor
  • No-code integration
  • Robust user profiles
  • Rich media uploads
  • Personalized news feed
  • WordPress, Shopify, and Thinkific plugins
  • Custom domains

They also have open-source components and SDKs so you can easily integrate their community platform into any environment.


Pricing information for PeerBoard, one of the best online community platforms.

PeerBoard has four different pricing tiers, including a free option if you want to test it out yourself. 

  • Free: The free plan lets you start a community with no usage limits, including privacy controls, widgets, custom domain, plugins, and Zapier support.
  • Starter: This plan gives you rich theme customization and three private spaces on top of what the free plan offers. Price: $29 per month.
  • Professional: The professional plan allows you to better manage and segment your community, with 30 private spaces, embedded code, and a moderator’s role. Price: $79 per month.
  • Growth: This plan includes all the Professional plan features and gets you unlimited segmentation, webhooks, batch API, and mobile app. Price: $299 per month. 

And, now onto our last — but not least — online community platform.

15. PlushForums 

One of the best online community platforms, Plush Forums.

PlushForums is a polished and user-friendly forum software so you can build your online community with built-in protection against bots, spammers, and hackers. 

With their platform, you can create events, polls, and Q&A’s to keep your audience engaged. 

Let’s take a look at their features. 

Key Features

PlushForums is great if you want to run subscription newsletters and online courses since they’re completely integrated with PayPal. 

Here’s what else their community platform offers:

  • A real-time feed with automatic updates
  • Integrated blog
  • Private conversations
  • Live notifications
  • Mobile friendly
  • Simple lightweight editor
  • Reputation system
  • Private forum
  • Event management system

And how will that cost you? Let’s take a look.


Plush Forums Pricing

PlushForums has three pricing tiers and lets you cancel any time. 

Take a look at their plans:

  • Small: This plan allows 100 members online at once, with unlimited page views, members, and staff. It also gives you SSL support and 15GB file storage. Price: $49 per month.
  • Medium: The Medium plan allows 250 members online at once and also includes unlimited page views, members, and staff. It also give you SSL and Single Sign On, and 30GB of file storage. Price: $75 per month.
  • Large: This plan allows 600 members online at once and also includes unlimited page views, members, and staff. It gives you SSL, Single Sign On, and 35Gb of file storage. Price: $120 per month.

And that’s a wrap on our list of the best online community platforms.

Wrapping It Up

If you’re still unsure which online community platforms to pick, remember some of them offer free trials so you can test them out before committing. 

And some parting advice: Evaluate your priorities in a community, so it can help you pick the best one for your needs. 

Are you just starting out and trying to build a bigger audience? Facebook Groups could be the best bang for your buck. After all, it’s free to use, and they have a large number of users. 

Would rather use an open-source platform? Then Discourse and BuddyBoss might be your choice.

And if you’re a video creator, we may be biased, but we highly recommend trying out Uscreen. It’s where you can combine video monetization with an online community, so you’re essentially getting the best of both worlds

Book a demo with us and we’ll show you all the capabilities we can offer.

It’s simple with Uscreen.

Build, launch and manage your membership, all in one place.