Updated: December 19, 2022

21 Best Community Building Software for Business in 2023

You found our list of top community building software.

Community building software is a tool that allows companies to build an online community and foster connection and interaction among  its employees and fans. Also known as social software, collaboration software, or groupware, examples of community building software include PeerBoard, Tribe, and Mighty Networks. The community building software allows an organization to centralize the administration of all vital business documents and make them readily available to all employees.

You can learn more about collaboration at work and team building tools.

This article contains:

  • community management software
  • free community platforms
  • community building apps
  • community building tools

Let’s get started!

List of community building software

Brands may interact with their consumers and build more active human networks with community management software. Below are some of the options available.

1. PeerBoard

PeerBoard is code-free, plug-and-play software that lets you create a community forum with your own branding with many features on your website. For example, PeerBoard allows you to set up a subreddit-style forum directly on your domain, saving your community the trouble of going elsewhere to interact.

While conventional forum layouts might be confusing, PeerBoard’s single news feed with categories works much like Facebook’s feed but is easier to navigate.

Using the PeerBoard forum plugin for WordPress, you can have a fully functional forum up and running in your WordPress installation in about 20 minutes. The  platform is easy to set up, but fine-tuning the many group and category options takes time. WordPress plugins make it easy to link the software to a website, and setting up your site should be a breeze. Unlike most online community platforms, PeerBoard’s starting plan is free, so there is no risk in trying it out before committing to a paid plan.

Learn more about PeerBoard

2. Ning

Ning has been around since October 2005 and is the most popular SaaS platform for creating social networks. The platform is complete with community management tools and social media integration for businesses and brands. In addition, with the platform’s e-commerce tools, users may monetize their online groups.

Ning makes it easy for users to create their own social networks through simple steps along with customized branding elements like a name, color scheme, profile questions, and advertisements. Ning sites are optimized for speed and come loaded with cutting-edge tools and analytics.

Learn more about Ning.

3. Tribe

Tribe is a creator-focused platform that also works well for brand-driven communities. Tribe-run communities look and function superbly across desktop and mobile browsers. You can even turn the communities into applications. With Tribe Platform, you will have complete control over how your community looks and feels and how it connects with your business. Your site and the product itself may use widgetized versions of features like the activity feed, groups, and posts.

The design layout draws the concept of well-known social networking sites in mind, allowing you to launch your version  of Facebook, Quora, or LinkedIn. You can create GDPR-compliant communities with the help of this secure community tool. The platform offers a Social Login system that works with platforms like Facebook, Slack, LinkedIn, Google, and Twitter making it easy for new members to sign up and become active in your community.

Tribe is a cloud-based community building platform built for large businesses.

Major features include:

  • full personalization
  • embeddable widgets
  • a cutting-edge design
  • a rich API
  • gamification, analytics
  • robust moderation tools
  • a newsletter system

The platform also allows integration with popular tools like Google Analytics, Slack, Shopify, Telegram, Hotjar, and MailChimp.

Users may initiate a conversation for their community on Tribe and use the platform’s other features, which enable them to ask questions, create polls, plan events, follow other users, comment on posts, and share material. Moreover, admins of online communities may make the service their own by adding a logo to the top and footer of the site.

Using Tribe’s free lifetime plan, businesses may create communities with up to 500 users and unlimited content on a subdomain of their choice. The premium plan is available for a monthly fee.

Learn more about Tribe.

4. Mighty Networks

Mighty Networks helps business owners by unifying their online presence across the web and mobile platforms with branded communities. Members may stay in touch via the community’s activity feed, separate groups, member categories, and private communications.

Using a feature-packed content management system, you may write articles, add media such as photos, videos, and audio files, post polls and solicit feedback. This platform offers a simple system for boosting community engagement.

Learn more about Mighty Networks.

5. PlushForums

PlushForums is a cloud-based forum platform with several tools meant to improve the quality of discussion and facilitate more meaningful outcomes. PlushForums is a platform where companies and individuals can have meaningful, real-time conversations differently from what social media platforms offer.

PlushForums provides a place for all members of your team to stay in the loop and contribute ideas, tactics, and information while working on a project together. The intuitive interface combines many communication tools, such as blogs and private chat, into one convenient service for the user. Interface branding is also easy with the available customization options.

Learn more about PlushForums.

6. Wild Apricot

Wild Apricot is an all-inclusive membership management system customizable to your organization’s specific requirements. The platform allows you to:

  • manage your contacts
  • process payments
  • send emails
  • make event registrations
  • build websites

Thanks to the self-service layout and intuitive interface, you can easily modify any component of your membership management system. In addition, you may contact their helpful support staff and network of experts at any point for help.

Learn more about Wild Apricot.

7. Discord

Discord is a popular instant messaging platform that allows users to have phone calls, video calls, and text conversations with other users in the same group. Discord is comparable to Slack, except it emphasizes the user’s experience. If your intended demographic is already using Discord, then launching a new online community is as simple as having a single user account participate in several servers or communities.

Each Discord user decides whether they want to pay to become a “pro” member and have access to Discord’s premium features. However, if your primary requirement is for chat-based functionality in your online community, then Discord is a viable option.

Learn more about Discord.

8. Facebook Groups

Facebook Groups is a global platform for establishing online communities. Regardless of age, race, gender, or socioeconomic status, almost every internet user has a Facebook account. Therefore, Facebook Groups is one of the top options for community building apps.

Although personalization options are limited, you may add a banner, establish community rules, enable posting, upload material, and monitor the forum as needed. Joining a Facebook group does not cost a dime. The negative is that unless members specifically visit the group, they will not see every post made to it in the activity stream. Therefore, participation in Facebook Groups is often low.

Learn more about Facebook Groups.

9. AnswerCart

AnswerCart is a cloud-based community and forum management system designed for small and medium-sized organizations in various sectors, including education, finance, and technology.

The platform’s most prominent features  include:

  • Forums for user-to-user communication
  • media creation and editing tools
  • one-on-one chat
  • an integrated advertising panel
  • gamification

Users may share their articles, conduct surveys, provide comments, and respond to questions on the platform’s discussion boards. In addition to text, users may also upload files, embed media, communicate privately with other members, and distribute forum material through social media.

AnswerCart also offers features such as:

  • word suppression
  • access roles
  • peer moderation,
  • flood control,
  • administrative control panel

You can also access APIs for callbacks, automated distribution, and automated responses. In addition, the platform offers integrations with third-party apps like Zendesk, Salesforce, Facebook, and Twitter. Users may contact support via phone or email.

Learn more about AnswerCart.

10. Mobilize

Non-profits, businesses, organizations, and resellers may all benefit from Mobilize, a cloud-based event and community management platform. Mobilize is an optimal choice for groups, regardless of size. Mobilize allows users to set up and control events using features like shared calendars, email invites, and local timezone support. Members may respond via email, calendar, or Mobilize to confirm attendance. You can also send regular emails and SMS messages with custom CTA buttons, embedded URLs and photos, and customized reply permissions.

Mobilize offers group discussion forums, document storage, and networking features. Users can manage privacy and member permissions. Community participation can occur through different content options like discussions, events, recommendations, and private chats.

Learn more about Mobilize.

11. Vanilla Forums

If you are looking for a reliable enterprise-grade online community solution, then you can consider Vanilla Forums. Online community software like Vanilla Forums makes it simple to increase client retention, boost revenue, and enhance support for existing customers. Some of the features available include:

  • an intuitive interface
  • seamless interaction with your current tools
  • adaptability in branding
  • scalable knowledge bases
  • pre-built gamification
  • brainstorming
  • question and answer functionality

The platform’s online community and extensive self-service knowledge base are a winning mix that boosts engagement and frees up Customer Success teams’ time to focus on strategic initiatives that directly benefit the company.

Learn more about Vanilla Forums.

12. Khoros Communities

With Khoros Communities, businesses can provide their members with a thriving online community where they can ask questions, get answers, gain knowledge from others, and promote their products and services. As the market leader in brand communities, Khoros is responsible for 400 of the most well-known brands in the world. Khoros is a partner that guarantees your community will cut support costs, satisfy customers, and expand your business. With over 15 years of experience, the platform has the most robust features, a platform built for enterprise scale and security, and a dedicated services organization.

Learn more about Khoros Communities.

13. Forumbee

Forumbee is a cloud-based community and discussion forum provider with features like knowledge bases, mobile moderation, and social sharing. You can create private communities, a feedback forum, and a Q&A section. You also have access to customization options.

With Forumbee, you may personalize your forum with your colors and logos or use one of the many pre-made themes. Members may ask and answer questions in Q&A forums, to gain and share information. With Forumbee’s knowledge library, users may quickly find answers to common questions and guides on the platform. The website allows users to form private groups on the platform, ensuring confidentiality.

To help administrators keep the community safe and orderly, Forumbee provides several moderation options for removing, banning, and managing users who violate the rules. The “activity wall” displays events from around the network in real time. Participants can post images, videos, questions, and comments and initiate discussions. Forumbee’s mobile-friendly discussion boards are compatible with all major mobile platforms.

Learn more about Forumbee.

14. Jive

When it comes to getting work done, Jive’s interactive intranet and collaboration center offer all the required resources. Jive is a central hub for all company-related activities, including internal messaging, group work, employee portals, internal social networking, document sharing, information retrieval, and analytics. Jive works with other business systems and is accessible from any web browser or mobile intranet app. The platform allows you to unify previously siloed data and facilitate hitch-free collaboration across your programs.

Learn more about Jive.

15. Discourse

Discourse is an open-source forum and one of the free community platforms. In addition to serving as a mailing list and discussion forum, this platform allows extended chatrooms. Discourse is one of the most popular free online community platforms. The source is open, so you may change the codebase to provide the necessary functionality.

Discourse is a relatively robust system straight out of the box. You can form a community, create sub-sections and threads, and set moderators. Users may then interact with one another through posting, messaging, and content sharing. Discourse’s automated screening for spammers and trolls is a fantastic feature.

Learn more about Discourse.

16. Hivebright

Hivebrite is a community tool that allows for extensive personalization. Hivebrite is one of the majorThe platforms and is used by some of the top companies in the world. The software makes customization easy. Hivebrite is the go-to platform for launching, managing, and growing completely branded private communities that help businesses of all sizes and industries achieve their objectives. The platform is easy to use and adapt, and it has features designed to improve community participation.

Learn more about Hivebright.

17. Brilliant Directories

If you run a membership site or are a part of an organization, then you can save time and money by using Brilliant Directories for your online community. The platform offers a ready-to-use, all-inclusive service with quick setup time and no restriction on customer support. Features such as website creation, online payment processing, different membership tiers, overdue payments tracking, and exclusive material for premium customers are all part of the package.

Learn more about Brilliant Directories.

18. ToucanTech

ToucanTech develops and distributes free, open-source software for use by non-profits, government, and educational institutions. The app allows institutions to handle all community engagements in one spot in one easy, elegant system. ToucanTech is a comprehensive, low-cost solution that integrates customer relationship management, email, fundraising, news, events, and mentorship into a single platform. The platform can also sync with users’ social media accounts.

Learn more about ToucanTech.

19. Influitive

Influitive is one of the leading community building tools. Using Influitive, you can rally your customers, developers, partners, and even staff to participate in promotional activities, including contests, referrals, product reviews, and social media postings. Members can automatically earn points, badges, and levels as they accomplish these group or individually tailored tasks to unlock professional benefits and privileges. In addition, you can lead members through the customer journey by integrating your customer relationship management and marketing automation platforms. The software also provides a visual representation and report of all performed tasks and their ROI.

Learn more about Influitive.

20. Rungway

Rungway is an internal communication and engagement tool that promotes open and inclusive workplaces. Staff members perform optimally because they feel heard, understood, and respected. You can ensure this scenario at work by improving how managers provide advice and interact with employees. Every staff member in the company, no matter their position or location, has access to the collective wisdom of the group via a web-based or mobile app. Users can voice their opinions and get feedback in a safe and anonymous environment.

Learn more about Rungway.

21. Website Toolbox

Website Toolbox is a community management platform that allows organizations to set up discussion boards where consumers can ask questions, provide comments, and collaborate. In addition, users may make unique and professional forums by altering the look and feel with features like color schemes, corporate logos, and the organization of topics into subcategories.

Website Toolbox facilitates the collection of one-time and recurring membership dues, the placement of adverts, and the administration of contributions. Customers have a better overall experience with the company when members can interact with them via features like liking and disliking posts, chatting with other subscribers, and rating the overall quality of the service they get. The platform also offers automatic notifications, data import, newsletter management, @mentions, a calendar, and membership administration.

Using Website Toolbox, companies can connect their sites to various third-party apps, including WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Wix, and Shopify.

Learn more about Website Toolbox.


When it comes to platforms for building and maintaining online communities, users have a lot of wonderful choices. Knowing why you are building an online community before settling on a platform is important. Community building tools allow you to create brand-specific online communities. Therefore, your clients will have a more unified digital experience. You may improve sales, save expenses, and develop ground-breaking new ideas by harnessing the power of connection on an engaging social platform.

Next, check out our list of the best community building activities for work.

FAQ: Community building software

Here are frequently asked questions about community building software.

What is community building software?

Community building software, also known as social software, collaboration software, or groupware, facilitates the development of useful online communities on a virtual collaboration platform. The platform allows its members, including employees or customers, to connect and interact. Using community software solutions, organizations can construct, release, manage, and evaluate their online communities for maximum customer value creation and satisfaction.

What are the best platforms to build community?

Some of the best platforms to create your community include Discord, PlushForums, and Tribe. Many companies also find PeerBoard to be an excellent solution for their community needs.

What are some good community building tools and technology?

Some excellent community building tools and technology to consider include Mighty Networks, Wild Apricot, and AnswerCart. These tools offers good features that will make running your community seamless.

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People & Culture Director at teambuilding.com.
Grace is the Director of People & Culture at TeamBuilding. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.

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