In today’s digital world, online community platforms play a crucial role in connecting business owners with their customers by fostering collaboration and nurturing relationships.

Today, we’ll be diving into the best online community platforms specifically for business owners who want to build a thriving community experience for their customers.

If you sell some kind of:

  • Online membership
  • Online course
  • Service
  • Product

Or anything that involves a community of like-minded individuals, you’ll need some kind of community platform to collaborate with everyone.

With that in mind, here are the top-rated community platforms – ranked and reviewed!

Best online community platform (summary)

In a nutshell, here’s a list of the top 6 online community platforms for your business:

If you’re looking to utilize an online community to get leads and appointments be sure to take a look at my Free Online Masterclass where I reveal how to get more predictable sales appointments each month.

What are the Best Online Community Platforms?

1. Skool 

Best Online Community Platform Overall

Skool community

Skool truly sets the bar for what an online community should be. It’s designed specifically for business owners who sell online courses with a community element being part of the curriculum. 

With Skool, your students can interact with each other, ask questions and share advice. Skool is specifically designed to get high engagement with your community. One of the features I enjoy about Skool is its email notifications.

Skool will send out emails with highlights of weekly discussions from members of your Skool community. This encourages people to go back to the platform regularly.

Unleash the full potential of Skool’s powerful features and watch your online community thrive.

With easy-to-use metrics, you’ll stay informed on your community’s growth and identify areas for improvement. Effortlessly organize and plan with the platform’s user-friendly calendar. Nurture a loyal following with targeted email broadcasts. 

With Skool, you’ll have everything you need to succeed, leaving you free to focus on what truly matters: growing your business.


Clearly, Skool really shines as an online community platform. It’s the most all encompassing online community platform on the market. Let’s go over all the features that make this tool so wonderful.

  • Community: Experience dynamic group discussions anytime, anywhere. Post, comment, categorize, like, mention, add photos, videos, GIFs, create polls and enjoy real-time interactions – all in one place. With its comprehensive features, your engagement levels will soar.

  • Classroom: Skool can really elevate your online learning experience. Integrating courses, modules, videos, and resources into your community creates a centralized hub for learning. With searchable transcripts and progress tracking, your customers will fly through your courses in no time.

  • Calendar: Skool makes it really simple to streamline your group event planning. Your audience will have access to all events in their local time zone and receive email reminders, making it easy to keep up with their schedule and consistently see what you offer. With the ability to schedule live streams and other events, you can expect a boost in attendance.

  • Gamification: You can bring excitement to your online community with Skool’s points, levels, and rewards system. Personalize your group with custom level names, and incentivize engagement by offering access to premier courses at higher levels. This feature enhances the experience for your members and keeps them engaged with this fun and interactive resource. 

  • Email Broadcasts: Easily reach all your members with Skool’s 1-click email broadcast feature. Writing a post is simple. With just one click you can send it to all your members via email. You never have to deal with the hassle of segmenting lists, tagging, and formatting – Skool makes it effortless to communicate with your community.

  • Chat, Notifications & Profiles: These allow you to stay connected with your online community with Skool’s all-in-one communication features. Chat with your audience, keep up to date with their posts, receive notifications both in-app and via email, customize your preferences, and receive email digests of popular posts. You can also use one profile for all the groups your apart of, making it very convenient to jump from one group to the next.

  • Search Function: Skool’s in-house search functionality works similarly to the Facebook search bar. Search through posts, comments, course content, even members; all with one unified search box. Whether your interested in yoga or any other topic, simply type it in and discover all relevant group discussions, course materials, and members with a single search.

  • Metrics: Efficiently monitor the performance of your online community with Skool’s comprehensive dashboard. Keep track of crucial metrics such as growth, engagement, and progress at the group and individual member level. Get a clear picture of the health of your community and see the impact of using Skool for yourself.

  • Auto Affiliate: You can maximize your earning potential with Skool’s referral program. When a member creates a Skool group and subscribes, you automatically receive a 40% commission on their monthly subscription. Earning a revenue is easy, and all you have to do is continue making content. 

With all the features mentioned above, it’s obvious why Skool is the number one platform for building online community platforms.

Click here to try Skool for FREE!

2. Thinkific

Good Runner Up


Thinkific is an online platform for creating and selling courses and building and managing online communities.

Some of Thinkific’s Key Features Are:

  • Course creation: Thinkific provides tools to create and manage online courses, including video hosting, course content management, and quizzes.

  • Student engagement: Thinkific provides features to engage and interact with students, such as discussions, community forums, and student profiles.

  • Membership site builder: Thinkific offers a membership site builder, allowing educators to create and manage membership sites for their courses and communities.

  • Marketing and sales tools: Thinkific provides a range of marketing and sales tools to help educators reach and enroll students, including integrations with popular payment gateways, email marketing, and affiliate management.

  • Reporting and analytics: Thinkific offers analytics tools to help educators track student progress and engagement, and make data-driven decisions.

Thinkific is a comprehensive solution for anyone creating and managing online courses and communities. Its combination of community building and course creation features makes it a unique and valuable tool for educators, trainers, and course creators. Whether you’re looking to teach a single course or build a large community, Thinkific can help you reach and engage with your students.

Thinkific main page

Thinkific is renowned for creating and managing online courses and communities. However, it might not be the best option for you. Here’s why Thinkific is in second place for this article:

  • Competition: There are other platforms that offer more comprehensive or specialized features, making them a better fit for specific use cases. It’s is one of the reasons why Skool is such a standout platform. 

  • User preferences: You may have different requirements, such as ease of use, cost, or integrations, that make other platforms a better fit for your needs.

  • Market niche: Thinkific is still considered a small community platform and doesn’t have as much recognition as other platforms. 

It’s worth looking at what Thinkific can offer its customers, but there’s still something left to desire. Its limitations are evident when you look at how many things you can easily use and integrate on the same platform with Skool. 

Click here to try Thinkific!

3. Reddit

Largest online community platform

Reddit is a massive online community platform where users can post and discuss content on various topics.

About Reddit

Reddit is a social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website. It was launched in 2005 and has since grown into one of the largest online communities in the world. Reddit is known as the “front page of the internet” and is a platform where users can submit and vote on content such as links, images, and text posts. The most popular and upvoted content rises to the top of the front page.

How Reddit works

Reddit has thousands of communities known as “subreddits,” each focusing on a specific topic or interest. These subreddits range from popular topics like news and politics to niche communities like video games and photography.

One of the unique features of Reddit is its voting system, which allows users to upvote or downvote content, determining its popularity and relevance. The voting system helps by promoting popular and relevant posts and suppressing spam and low-quality content.

Reddit also has a messaging system that allows users to privately communicate. This messaging system and the comment section beneath each post allow for open discussions and debates on various topics.

In recent years, Reddit has become a valuable source of news and information for many people and a platform for activism and social justice movements. The site’s size and reach have also made it a valuable marketing tool for businesses and organizations.

Potential reasons Reddit isn’t a good fit for your online community platform:

  • Censorship concerns: Reddit has a reputation for censoring certain content, which could lead to community members feeling frustrated or suppressed.

  • Algorithm-based sorting: Reddit’s algorithms determine the visibility and ranking of posts, which can lead to biases and limitations on the content.

  • Limited customization options: Reddit’s layout and features can be limiting for communities looking to tailor their platform to their specific needs.

  • Ad-driven revenue model: Reddit relies on ads to generate revenue, which can be a turn-off for some communities who may not want their content interrupted by ads.

  • Lack of privacy: Reddit is a public platform, which means that community members’ information and posts are accessible to anyone who visits the site.

  • Toxicity and harassment: Despite Reddit’s efforts to curb toxic behavior, some communities are still have harassment, hate speech, and bullying.

  • User engagement: Reddit’s low user engagement can be a barrier to building a thriving online community, as members may not actively participate or engage with others.

While Reddit has many notable features, there are also some challenges to consider when hosting an online community. These downsides may impact the user experience, or limit the functionality or reach of the community. It’s important to weigh the benefits and drawbacks before building an online community on this platform.

4. Facebook Groups 

Best Community Platform

Example of a Facebook group for AdEspresso business

Facebook groups offer business owners features such as live videos, polls, and events to foster engagement and increase group activity. You can also set privacy settings to control who can join and what content is visible to members, providing a sense of exclusivity and community.

Using this can lead to a more tight-knit and active community when compared to open forums or pages.

Business owners use Facebook groups for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Existing site users: There’s already a host of people on the platform who engage with it on a regular basis. Making it easier to discover your target audience. 

  • Customer engagement: Facebook groups allow you to directly engage with your customers and build relationships.

  • Marketing and promotion: Business owners can use Facebook groups to promote their products or services, reach new customers, and increase brand awareness.

  • Customer support: Facebook groups can serve as a platform for business owners to provide customer support, answer questions, and resolve issues.

  • Product feedback: You can get product feedback and insights from your customers through Facebook groups.

  • Lead generation: Facebook groups can generate leads by sharing valuable content and building relationships with potential customers.

  • Community building: Facebook groups provide an opportunity for you to build and engage with a community of loyal customers and fans.

Overall, Facebook groups can be an effective tool for business owners to connect with their target audience, increase brand exposure, and drive growth.

But Facebook groups do come with some drawbacks. 

While Facebook groups can offer many benefits to business owners, there are also several reasons why they may not want to use them, including:

  • Overabundance of ads: The number and frequency of ads on the platform making it increasingly difficult and distracting for users and business owners to navigate. 

  • Lack of control over user-generated content: Facebook groups are platforms open to the public. Meaning you sometimes have less control over the content posted by members. Occasionally, this can lead to negative comments or spam posts that harm the brand’s reputation if you don’t catch it right away. 

  • Limited reach: Your target demographic may not even have a Facebook account to begin with. Even if they do, the reach of posts in Facebook groups has fallen over the years as Facebook prioritizes content from friends and family in users’ news feeds. You might not see the level of engagement you expect from your target audience.

  • Resource-intensive: Managing a Facebook group can be time-consuming and require dedicated resources to monitor, moderate, and respond to group activity. Especially if your planning on posting daily. 

  • Competition: There may already be established Facebook groups in your same niche or industry, making it difficult to stand out and attract members. So you’ll have to be more creative in your approach.

  • Privacy concerns: Facebook has faced criticism over privacy concerns in the past. You may be hesitant to use the platform for fear of data breaches or misuse of personal information.

There’s a lot of opportunity for your business to flourish using Facebook groups. But the platform has a very limited capability when it comes to organizing and hosting your platform. You may want to consider using other platforms that have a broader range of tools that make your hosting experience a lot easier. 

5. Discord

Best Online Community for Real-time Conversations

Discord example

Discord is a communication platform primarily designed for discussions in real-time. But it can also be used as you would generally for any online community. 

Let’s Elaborate…

Discord is a communication platform designed for real-time conversations but has since evolved into a popular tool for online communities and organizations to communicate and collaborate. It offers voice and text chat, file sharing, and server customization.

It’s user-friendly, allowing for easy navigation and organization of channels within a server. Additionally, Discord provides a robust API that enables developers to build and integrate various applications and bots with the platform. 

This API further enhances the functionality and efficiency of Discord, making it a versatile tool for a wide range of use cases. Discord is a popular choice for hosting online communities because of its versatility, ease of use, and security features.

However, there are a few reasons why hosting an online community on Discord may not be ideal for everyone:

  • Difficulty of moderation: Discord has features and tools for moderation, but it can be difficult for some people to navigate and use effectively.

  • Lack of customization: While Discord has many features and tools, some users may find that it lacks the level of customization they need for their community.

  • Cost: Some advanced features and tools on Discord are only available with a paid subscription, which may not be affordable for everyone.

Overall, Discord is a solid choice for a business community platform if your goal is to have fast real-time conversations with people.

6. Slack

Best For Team Collaboration


Slack is a workplace collaboration tool and instant messaging platform that allows team members to communicate in real-time. It offers a range of features including direct messaging, group chat rooms, file sharing, and integration with other business tools.

Example of a business using Slack to communicate

Slack was originally developed to help teams improve communication and collaboration, but its user-friendly interface and range of features has made it a popular choice for hosting online business communities as well.

However, there are some reasons why Slack might not be the ideal platform for hosting an online community.

  • Slack has limited moderation tools, making it difficult for community managers to effectively manage and moderate large communities. It does not offer built-in mechanisms for enforcing community guidelines or preventing spam, which can be a challenge for online communities with a large number of users.

  • Slack is designed for workplace collaboration and has a business-oriented pricing model, with limited free plans and charges for larger teams. This can make it an expensive option for individuals and small communities that do not require all the features of a workplace collaboration tool.

  • Although Slack can be a useful tool for hosting smaller, more focused communities, it may not be the best choice for larger, more diverse communities that require more robust moderation tools and multimedia capabilities.


When it comes to choosing the best platform for hosting your online community, it ultimately comes down to personal preference. However, Skool sets itself apart with its all-encompassing features and functionalities. It has everything you need – as a business owner – to build and manage a thriving online community.

FAQs about community platforms

What Exactly Is A Community Platform?

Online communities are digital spaces where people can get together, exchange ideas, and collaborate with each other. The most common places to find these platforms are on websites, but you can also find them on applications. 

Community platforms can be utilized in a number of different ways – anything from social networking to discussion forums, online education, or even customer support. Online communities have provided an outlet for extroverts and introverts alike for decades, and with all the creative and innovative features such as direct messaging and user profiles, it’s never been easier or more fun to use one. 

Why Are Community Platforms Important?

Community Platforms are important for a number of reasons. 

  • Community platforms provide a great way to discuss shared interests with people who aren’t geographically close to you or have similar interests that are more niche and aren’t as widley discussed in your personal life. 

  • They can also be a great source of support for those going through a difficult time or a particularly troubling challenge. These platforms can help to provide some insight into the lives of people you may not have realized and are going through the same situation, providing a sense of solidarity of shared experiences. 

  • They can also be an excellent source of inspiration and motivation for individuals who want to try new things or live vicariously through others. 

  • You can also use online communities specifically for your business or organization. They can be helpful for building relationships with your customers and provide a way for your audience to share feedback and ideas. 

  • Online communities can also be a powerful tool for social change and advocacy by connecting like-minded individuals to support the cause. 

In a nutshell, utilizing community platforms can be effective for establishing a strong online community, nurturing a supportive network, and amplifying the voices and initiatives that matter.

But how you end up facilitating your online community is entirely up to you. Luckily, there are plenty of options and resources available for you to use. 

What To Look For in the Best Community Platform?

When looking for the best community platform, here are some key features and considerations to keep in mind:

  • Ease of use: The platform should be easy to navigate and understand, with a user-friendly interface.

  • Customization options: The platform should offer a range of customization options to allow you to tailor the look and feel of the community to match your brand or organization.

  • Scalability: The platform should be able to handle a growing number of users and handle high traffic.

  • Security: The platform should provide robust security features to protect the privacy and personal information of users.

  • Moderation tools: The platform should provide tools for managing and moderating content, such as the ability to flag or remove inappropriate content.

  • Analytics: The platform should provide analytics and metrics to track engagement and growth of the community.

  • Integration: The platform should integrate with other tools and platforms, such as social media, to help you reach more potential users.

  • Support: The platform should have a dedicated customer support team available to help you with any issues or questions.

  • Mobile Optimization: The platform should be optimized to support mobile devices as a lot of people access the internet via mobile.

  • Accessibility: The platform should be accessible to people with disabilities and meet accessibility standards.

Ultimately, the best community platform for your organization will depend on your specific needs and goals. It’s important to thoroughly research and test different platforms to find one that is the best fit for you.

How does video boost online community engagement?

Video can be a powerful tool for boosting engagement in an online community for several reasons:

  • Video content is more engaging: Videos are more engaging than text or images because they can convey emotion and personality, and they can be more easily consumed in a shorter amount of time.

  • Video is more shareable: Videos are more shareable than text or images because they are more likely to be shared on social media platforms, and they can be embedded in other websites and blogs.

  • Video is great for storytelling: Videos are a great way to tell stories and convey information in a more compelling and memorable way.

  • Video is versatile: Videos can be used for a wide range of purposes, such as product demos, tutorials, Q&A sessions, interviews, and more.

  • Video is great for building trust and authority: Videos can be used to showcase the expertise, personality and values of the community or the company, helping to build trust and authority with the audience.

  • Live video: Live video is a great way to interact with the community members in real-time, create a sense of exclusivity, and increase the sense of community.

  • Video can be used to create a sense of community: Videos can be used to create a sense of community by highlighting the people, stories, and experiences that are unique to the community.

Overall, video is a powerful tool for boosting engagement in an online community because it is more engaging, shareable, versatile, and interactive than other forms of content.

How to Create an Online Community on Social Media

Creating a community on social media involves several steps:

  • Define your community’s purpose and target audience: Determine the goal and focus of your community and the type of people you want to attract and engage with.

  • Choose the right social media platform: Choose the social media platform that best aligns with your community’s purpose and target audience.

  • Create a consistent brand identity: Develop a consistent brand identity for your community, including a name, logo, and visual elements that will help it stand out on social media.

  • Build a content strategy: Develop a content strategy that will help you engage and grow your community. This should include a mix of curated and original content, as well as a schedule for posting and sharing content.

  • Promote your community: Use your existing channels to promote your community and invite people to join. Leverage your email list, website, and other social media accounts to spread the word about your new community.

  • Engage with your community: Once your community is established, make sure to engage with your members by responding to comments, messages, and questions.

  • Encourage community members to share their content: Encourage community members to share their own content and experiences with the community.

  • Create a sense of belonging: Create opportunities for members to interact with each other, such as virtual events or challenges, to help foster a sense of belonging among community members.

  • Measure and adapt: Monitor the engagement and growth of your community and adjust your strategy accordingly.

  • Community management: Have a team or person in charge of managing and moderating the community to ensure it runs smoothly and to ensure that guidelines are followed.

Creating a community on social media requires a consistent effort and dedication to building relationships, fostering engagement, and promoting a sense of belonging among members.

How do I choose a platform for my online community?

Choosing the right platform for your online business community can be a challenging task, as there are many options available. Here are some key factors to consider when making your decision:

  • Audience: Consider which platform your target audience is most active on, and choose the platform that has the most users in your target demographic.

  • Features: Consider the features that are most important to your community, such as the ability to create groups, host live events, or monetize your community.

  • Customization: Consider the level of customization that is available on each platform, and choose the one that offers the most flexibility in terms of branding, design, and layout.

  • Engagement: Consider the level of engagement that is possible on each platform, and choose the one that allows for the most meaningful interactions between members.

  • Monetization: Consider if you want to monetize your community and if the platform allows you to make money from your community in some way.

  • Integration: Consider if the platform integrates with other tools and platforms you are already using, such as your website or email marketing software.

  • Analytics: Consider the analytics and metrics that are available on each platform, and choose the one that provides the most comprehensive data on community engagement and growth.

  • Support: Consider the level of support and resources that are available for each platform, and choose the one that offers the most help and resources to community creators.

  • Mobile optimization: Consider if the platform is optimized for mobile devices, as most people access the internet via mobile.

  • Accessibility: Consider if the platform meets accessibility standards and is accessible to people with disabilities.

Ultimately, the best platform for your community will depend on your specific needs and goals. It’s important to thoroughly research and test different platforms to find one that is the best fit for you.

What is the best community platform for wordpress users?

There are several community platforms that can be used with WordPress, each with their own set of features and capabilities. Some of the best options for WordPress users include:

  • bbPress: bbPress is a free, open-source forum plugin that can be easily integrated with WordPress. It offers a range of features including user registration, private messaging, and topic subscriptions.

  • BuddyPress: BuddyPress is a free, open-source plugin that allows you to build a social network on top of your WordPress site. It includes features such as user profiles, groups, and activity streams.

  • Muut: Muut is a paid community platform that can be integrated with WordPress using a plugin. It offers features such as live chat, discussion forums, and commenting.

  • Vanilla: Vanilla is another paid community platform that can be integrated with WordPress using a plugin. It includes features such as live chat, discussion forums, and commenting.

  • UserPro: UserPro is a paid community platform that can be integrated with WordPress. It offers features such as user profiles, user registration, and social login.

Ultimately, the best community platform for WordPress users will depend on how much customization you want and your budget for the community membership plugin you want to use. It’s important to thoroughly research and test different platforms to find one that is the best fit for your community.