12 Community Building Tools for all Your Needs

Hi all,

I spent much of last week researching, testing out and speaking with the creators of some of the community tools listed below. I thought it would be good to share this list for anyone who is looking to create a community for their business.

If I have missed any others please drop them in the comments below.

  1. YEN - Built by our very own @8bit, "YEN helps founders launch a branded community platform in just a few clicks." @8bit is the king of community building and is building some really cool things with YEN.

  2. Discourse - Is an open source community discussion platform. Probably best suited to medium sized and fast growing communities.

  3. Disciple - A fully-branded, independent and profitable community platform that works on Web, iOS and Android. Disciple is a media rich platform suited for small and growing communities.

  4. Mighty Networks - A comprehensive community tool that also has online courses, and memberships together in one place.

  5. Playgroup - Is a modern community platform that are mixing old style forums in a modern app to bring people together. Looks like a good option for those just starting out.

  6. Tribe - Tribe is an integrated community platform that you can bolt on to your existing website. It allows you to create a stand-alone or integrated community website. Another good option for those starting out.

  7. Circle - "A modern community platform for creators". Circle gives small creators the ability to create their own integrated community platform.

  8. Flarum Pro - Flarum Pro enables premium hosting for beautiful forums. Ideal for online brands, professional software and video games.

  9. Hivebrite - Is an all in one community platform. They seem to be geared more towards enterprise clients and larger organizations.

  10. Habitate - Being built by our Indie Hacker @deepak09. Habitate is a community platform that integrates with your existing website and gives customers a space to engage in discussions, polls, AMA's and much more.

  11. Spectrum - Making it easy to grow safe, successful online communities that are built to last.

  12. Honeycomb - A full-featured community software solution that allows you to create your own social network. Honeycomb caters more towards larger brands and organizations.

Honorable Mentions

  1. Slack - Great for creators or entrepreneurs who want to kick start their community ASAP. Many are already familiar with Slack and its a great way to foster conversation. @schoon is doing this well with Caster Community

  2. Discord - Another good option for getting your Minimum Viable Community set up and running.

Did I miss any? Let me know below.

  1. 7

    @rosiesherry has a fantastic list here and there's also one growing on commsor!

    and, also, commsor itself too, but, it's not released yet.

    1. 2

      This is a great list from @rosiesherry. Very comprehensive! Thanks for sharing @8bit

  2. 4

    Thanks for the mention @gordon, good to be in the space. Feel free to write me any suggestions, questions, recommendations - I will be happy to work on them. And Gordon, the Instant Messaging you asked for is something I gave it a thought and came up with an idea. The platform will give you the flexibility to choose how you want each community channel to be like ( Structured like Discourse or Instant message like Slack). Working on it will be cooked in two weeks time 😅

    1. 1

      You are very welcome @Deepak09. That all sounds great. Glad to hear you are making great progress. I look forward to seeing your newest developments soon :) !

  3. 3

    I would also mention Comradery.io and Forem by Dev.To which is an open source community tool they are working on right now.

    1. 1

      Is Comradery open source too?

    2. 1

      Thanks very much for this @kirso. I completely forgot about Comradery. I came across this last week too. Thanks for the reminder. I will also check out Dev.To. Appreciate your input my man!

  4. 3

    I already planned on using tribe. Any tips pros or cons anyone would like to share?

    1. 1

      Thanks for this @Gshock. I feel like Tribe, Circle, Playgroup and Habitate are all similar in what they offer. Obviously each has their own nuances, but it could be worth checking each of them out to see which one best suits your own needs.

  5. 3

    thanks for the mention @ YEN!

    btw: you can use http://yensquad.com for the link... and it's currently broken:

    1. 3

      Sorry for the error @8bit. I've made the fix and updated it to http://yensquad.com now :)

  6. 3

    Link for yen is not properly put. I'm about to read the rest now 😅

    1. 3

      Apologies, I have fixed it now!

      1. 1

        np, I was just wondering where's that link that I've opened (it kept opening IH site)

  7. 3

    This is a great list. I always recommend people to use Flarum but have not seen Flarum Pro before.

    From the ones you researched, which ones are free/open-source? I'm about to start a community and wondering whether Flarum is the best choice to use again.

    1. 2

      +1 to flarum. neat looking stuff!

  8. 2

    I'm using a combination of Misago (open-source forum hosted on Digital Ocean) + Discord (for day to day chat). It's been working super well for the community :)

    1. 2

      Sounds like an interesting combo @yaroslawbagriy.

      1. 2

        Thanks! I love that I host it myself. A community built on something that could disappear is a bit scary for me haha.

        1. 2

          That is a very good point. Something all community hosts should consider too!

  9. 2

    Thank you, Gordon! Great insights!

    1. 1

      You're welcome @DimaD88. Glad you enjoyed!

  10. 2

    What about Telegram? Nobody mentioned it.

    1. 1

      This is a good point @binyatisa. I have seen some communities just use Telegram specifically for all communication. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. 1

      You are most welcome!

  11. 2

    very juicy. have u used spectrum before?

    1. 1

      I don't have much hands on experience with Spectrum @kanglelin. Admittedly, it was a late addition to this list after I remembered @8bit mentioning it. He might have more experience with setting it up and running it?

      1. 2

        it's decent... and a lot of developer communities start there.

        it was acquired by github some time ago... but is still an active project via their github repo.

        1. 2

          dude thx for the insight lol. funny we run into each other again. haha

        2. 2

          Thanks for the insight @8bit. It definitely felt like a more developer friendly tool when I looked at it.

  12. 2

    Love it! PeerBoard is missing as well.

    It's a fully embeddable forum/community solution that supports rich user profiles, no code integration, real-time threads, and much more.


    Thanks again!

    1. 1

      This is great @leokangin. Thanks for sharing. Peerboard looks very interesting. I'll definitely check it out in more detail soon. Just sent you an email too.

  13. 2

    https://kajabi.com/ was not mentioned
    and the simplest tool https://gumroad.com/ which can take care of payments and collecting emails

    1. 2

      Thanks for this @iamdi. Kajabi looks like a great all in one solution. I'd be interested to hear from some people who use it.

      Gumroad is another great way to get set up for taking payments and providing products and services fast!

      Thanks for sharing!

  14. 1

    @gordon nice listing, Countable, www.countable.com, is the next generation community platform and I would be honored to discuss adding our company to your highly curated listing. Countable’s powerful platform can empower transformative movements by enabling organizations to turn engagement into meaningful, measurable and scalable impact.

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