Top Free Online Community Management Software

Check out our list of free Online Community Management Software. Products featured on this list are the ones that offer a free trial version. As with most free versions, there are limitations, typically time or features.

If you'd like to see more products and to evaluate additional feature options, compare all Online Community Management Software to ensure you get the right product.

(54)4.7 out of 5
Optimized for quick response

Mobilize gives corporations a new place to engage prospects, partners, and customers by providing a private place to build a professional network. This untapped channel appeals to their need for development, learning, opportunities, networking and collaboration. Mobilize uses member motivations, focused workflows and intelligent data to achieve 7X the engagement levels, which in turn drives sales, LTV, innovation and becomes a competitive moat for the company.

AM
Very intuitive platform. Easy to use and we are able to quickly communicate with our members. Read review
Sana S.
SS
The easy ability to 'announce' a post & text. Read review
(55)4.8 out of 5
Optimized for quick response
Entry Level Price:$0

Customizable online community platform to connect, engage, and retain users. Tribe is a cloud-based online community software empowering the new generation of branded communities. Enable your users to discuss, build valuable networks and connect under your brand. Users can write articles, ask questions, submit answers, create polls, upvote, comment and share multiple types of content. Tribe offers unique value to the clients via the following key elements: - A fully customizable community pla

UE
I’m using the free version of Tribe right now while establishing it as a platform with my users. It was really easy to set up and great quality... Read review
AL
The features and apps within the service. That they have a free plan that works for most organizations and businesses seeking to foster a better... Read review
(51)4.5 out of 5
Optimized for quick response

inSided is the only Customer Success Community Platform built to help SaaS companies improve customer success and retention. A unique combination of online community and robust self-service knowledge base, the platform measurably increases engagement, while giving Customer Success teams more time for high-value contributions to the business.

Christine W.
CW
Love how easy it is to use. While there are a lot of features and a lot to set up, they really help break down all of the setup tips and make sure... Read review
Luc H.
LH
The InSided platform was easy to implement from a technical standpoint and their team of experts walked us through all the actions needed to have a... Read review
(24)4.6 out of 5

Rungway is the comms and engagement platform helping companies to embed connected and inclusive cultures. By transforming how employees share advice and engage with management, staff perform at their best because they feel heard, understood and valued. Accessed via the app or web, individuals on every rung of the ladder can share concerns, thoughts or seek advice with controlled anonymity, enabling them to access the experience and support of the whole organisation - no matter who or where t

Annie C.
AC
Allows employees to get the help they need when they need it. Its not confined to the advice of one line manager but provides access to the wisdom... Read review
(14)4.4 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$39 Month

The easiest way to create your community forum in the cloud. No coding, software, or servers required. Fully customizable, single sign on, embedded into your website, robust security controls, and monetization via fees or ads. Typical forum systems have hundreds of settings that take a lifetime to understand and manage. Great software should be intuitive. It shouldn't take days of your life to set up and manage. We make forums simple, easy, and user-friendly. Find out more by taking the featur

ML
The cost of the forum software and the ease of adding the software to our website were key features for us. We reviewed several forum platforms and... Read review
AH
Simple to use and quick service if we encounter a problem Read review
(22)3.9 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$40 per month

Wild Apricot helps thousands of organizations spend less time on administrative tasks, like processing payments and updating Excel files, and more time on growing their membership. Its designed for volunteer run and small staff organizations with a user-friendly back end so that you don't have to be a technical genius to take your organization to the next level. In addition, you'll have access to a community of peers and experts that share knowledge and best practices. We've got your back!

UL
The emails look beautiful and professional and are easy to create and send. Read review
Steve B.
SB
It's easy and all-in-one. I use this with a completely volunteer run organization that I'm a part of outside of my day job, and by using something... Read review
(12)3.5 out of 5

Ning is a solution that gives you tools and expertise to engage your own community in a scalable integrated social platform that allows you to build and launch your own social network.

Jorge G.
JG
Ning has provided a safe-haven for communities since its inception. At first they had a free tier, which was nice and sprouted many communities.... Read review
UH
I first used Ning when they had their Free platform because my company wanted to test out the different platforms for building content management... Read review
(100)4.9 out of 5
Optimized for quick response

Socio's end-to-end event platform powers virtual, hybrid, and in-person events for clients like Microsoft, Google, Nike, Comcast, Questex, Pinterest, Lessonly, Harvard University, and more in 70+ countries. Built for events - not webinars, Socio uses drag-and-drop technology and pairs registration, streaming, engagement, sponsorship, and networking for a seamless event experience.

AL
Socio has allowed our conference to move into the 21st century. The Socio app is easy to navigate and allows us to give our conference attendees up... Read review
Arianna B.
AB
A+ support & flexible platform, utterly FUNctional Read review
(10)4.8 out of 5
Entry Level Price:Starting at US$1499 Org

Deliver content and share information with your customers with a Salesforce connected Customer Portal. Customize the look and feel with your own brand. Control access to standard and custom objects, files and document sharing and eLearning. Remove barriers to your clients by automating anything related to how they interact with the business using a modern web portal. Social features let users collaborate on files and documents. Fully brand-able and configurable to meet customer portal needs. B

WC
Besides being a flexible and customizable system, their customer service is top-notch. It's always a pleasure to interact with their sales,... Read review
UI
Magentrix Customer Community was really built to meet the needs of enterprises and large businesses, with a self-service to help customers get... Read review
(5)4.5 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$297 per year

Brilliant Directories is online directory software for any industry.

PureLocal M.
PM
Out of the box BrilliantDirectories has everything you need and if you know a little HTML/CSS you can customise your directory however you like as... Read review
UM
With Brilliant Directories, it's very easy to get a directory business up running very quickly. It has so many templates to choose from to suit... Read review
(5)3.3 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$49 per month

PlushForums builds beautiful, modern discussion forums, for everyone.

Andrius L.
AL
One of the biggest advantages thease days is good support team. And this application has one of them, and I am personally can tell that was perfect... Read review
UM
I like that you get instant updates and the website is user friendly Read review
(3)4.8 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$39 per month

The easier it is for teachers and parents to communicate the more involved everyone becomes. We keep MemberHub simple and give schools just the tools they need to communicate effectively.

AE
Ease of use. Great software for childcare companies, as well as parents. Great way to get information out to a group of people. Read review
AE
Great way to get information out to multiple people at once. Great way to keep parents informed and communicate effectively. Read review
(2)2.3 out of 5

Crowdstack online community is the easiest and most flexible platform to communicate with your customers, fans, employees, franchise owners, influencers, and partners. Use Crowdstack's blogging, forums, calendar, surveys, chat, member management, automated admin workflow, templates, and advanced reporting to centralize your conversations in a space that you control. As a SaaS, there's no coding, it just works. Bring everyone together in a public or private (or mixed) space. Our fully responsi

AO
We completed their 14 day free trial. We liked many aspects of the offering and felt it offered a lot of customization to meet our needs and it... Read review
(29)4.6 out of 5
Optimized for quick response

Glue Up (formerly EventBank) is an all-in-one CRM platform that helps you build and grow your community through events, memberships & other digital tools. Glue Up's all-in-one platform integrates CRM, event management, membership management, email marketing, project management, training management, surveys, finance and other productivity tools. Glue Up's cloud solutions come with two mobile apps - one for organizations and one for their communities. Here are just some of our numerous award

Sophie L.
SL
EventBank allows us to build great-looking event pages in few minutes. Platform is easy to use and offers everything that modern event organizers... Read review
Karri K.
KK
The system is taylor made for a chamber of commerce. Once mastered by the chamber staff this application saves lots of time in managing chamber day... Read review
(2)4.3 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$0 per month

Commenting and forums for your site.

UF
I like the simplicity of the software and the capabilities of the software as well. This is very good software for a community or forum and could... Read review
(2)5.0 out of 5

PeerBoard is an online community software that can be easily embedded into any website. Key points that make PeerBoard a leader among comparable products: - No coding required installation. PeerBoard can be installed into any website with the help of our custom domain support and CMS plugins. - Deep integration. Integrate PearBoard within a few minutes by using our open-source components and SDKs. - Complete white-label environment. Customize PeerBoard under your branded requirements.

Daniil K.
DK
Peerboard is easy-to-plug and easy-to-use. I liked that there is no need for coding to integrate it into the website. It has a clear structure and... Read review
Agnieszka K.
AK
PeerBoard is a great Whitelabel community platform. It is easy to set up (no coding required), has all the necessary features, and intuitive... Read review
(1)4.5 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$389 per month

We help people build independent, valuable and trusted communities in a safe space that they own and control. With Disciple community platform, you can create multiple groups to segment your audience, post content and videos, Livestream, sell online courses and subscriptions and use analytics to understand your community better. Your members can create their own profiles and then use that information to find, friend and message each other. Get your own community platform on Web, iOS and Android.

RO
I loved how easy the onboarding process was and that we were essentially receiving a turn-key app that would allow us to build/strengthen community... Read review
(13)4.9 out of 5

Graduway is your all-inclusive 4-in-1 network solution for enrollment, career guidance and mentoring, engagement, and fundraising. It offers one dedicated space for all needs of the education life cycle allowing you to break departmental silos to improve campus partnerships, reduce your overall cost base and enable your community to engage with a wide and varied network of prospects, students, alumni, donors and more.

Kaleb K.
KK
Graduway delivers and is honest. Everything they sold us on has been realized. At first, the product seems overwhelming and we were concerned about... Read review
MH
Graduway has created and cultivated an Alumni Relations Industry. Demonstrating through their product, the value and power alumni have in their... Read review
0 ratings
Entry Level Price:$69 / month

Instant messaging app facilitating real-time interaction between members of online communities via private, public, and group chats.

0 ratings

CleanSpeak offers content filtering and community moderation tools to existing applications and media such as real-time chat, online forums, games, social media, images, and videos. Additionally, CleanSpeak can be used for data scrubbing and mining. The CleanSpeak REST API is a customizable profanity and offensive content filter with features such as alerts, approvals, behavior tracking, user scoring, and content analysis. CleanSpeak is trusted by respected companies ranging from startups to

0 ratings
Entry Level Price:$30 per month

Build your community the right way. A Groupsite enables your group to communicate, collaborate and network to drive your mission, organization, cause or company. Groupsites are modular, customizable, mobile and engaging. Groupsites include: - Discussions - communicate with listserv-like functionality - Calendars - collect RSVPs or share important dates - File Storage - store and comment on files and documents - Media Sharing - share photos and videos in galleries - Blogs - author articles th

ResLife Portal is a residential life management system which helps to connect residents with residential life staff for colleges. You make a difference, we help you track it. Built from first-hand experience in residential life at a Division I university campus, ResLife Portal serves as a residential life management solution, focused on the engagement of your residents with your residential life staff members. This first-hand knowledge has proven valuable to provide a robust solution to increas

0 ratings

SelfCommunity is a versatile and intuitive SaaS cloud platform that enables brands and organizations to create their own Social Network. SelfCommunity target companies that want to strengthen brand awareness, user base, product feedback and customer retention and needs tools to engage customers and employees around products and brands. It enables to create and grow a community with all the features of a Social Network. It comes with a unique and complete set of features and powerful in-platf

Sociohub is a SaaS community management platform that helps you manage, engage and monetize your private community hasslefree. Enable members to search & discover each other, message, ask questions, conduct polls, like, comment and share the content. Create groups for like-minded people. From community membership payments to online & offline event ticketing, enable community members to transact hasslefree on the platform. Powerful admin and moderation tools on the platform give you compl

Top 10 Free Online Community Management Software in 2021

  • Mobilize
  • Tribe Community Platform
  • inSided Online Community Platform
  • Rungway
  • Website Toolbox Forums

Learn More About Online Community Management Software

What is Online Community Management Software?

The omnipresence of social media has forever changed the way we interact—with each other and with the world. For better and for worse, online communities are overflowing with activity from people of all ages. Brands are following the lead of major social networks, creating and moderating community platforms for their customers, in addition to the interactions on social profiles. These communities allow members to find, provide, and discuss information related to the products and services at hand, with access from mobile devices or personal computers.

Brands can communicate directly with their most important customers using this technology. This can mean assigning employees as community managers, offering exclusive content to members, and linking directly to support channels on discussion forums. Users can also connect with like-minded people and form genuine bonds from within these digital communities. A custom community platform can elevate your existing website or be deployed separately, and in some cases can integrate directly with your company’s social media pages or users’ social accounts. Whether serving as resources for complex product knowledge or friendly communities where customers can meet and chat on related topics, the tools in this category can add value for users and improve your brand’s reputation and bottom line.

Key Benefits of Online Community Management Software

  • Designing and hosting a community platform where customers and others in your network can interact and contribute
  • Improving product awareness and mastery through active discussion and privileged content
  • Forming a direct line of communication between company administrators and loyal users of your product or service
  • Collecting valuable data by observing community platform interactions, fostering conversations on specific topics, or sending polls and other questionnaires to community members

What You Should Know About Online Community Management Software

Community engagement is a virtue among the world’s most successful companies. Thanks to modern social tools, you can foster an online meeting place that matches your aesthetic, voice, and values and turn it into a successful community in its own right. Everyone from your core members to brand-new customers can unite with help from these software platforms, allowing for around-the-clock engagement and access to information.

Your in-house team can assume roles as online community managers and moderators, with the marketing or social media team contributing content and interacting where needed. Additionally, your customers themselves can become unofficial brand ambassadors by answering product questions and sharing personal experiences within your hosted communities. Over time, users can collectively contribute to a vibrant, self-sustaining social hub, with simultaneous discussion threads and a strong sense of community.

Picking up where social media platforms leave off, your company can create a beloved customer community that serves as an interactive extension of your brand. By registering as community members, users can solve problems, share solutions, and become friends, regardless of where they are in the world. In the short term, online community engagement can improve the customer experience with your products and reduce the demand for in-house support staff. Over the long term, these communities can become indispensable features of your brand, with users feeling more connected with your product and each other than ever before.

Who Uses Online Community Management Software?

A thriving community platform can benefit your business from all angles, from the sales pipeline to product development. With that said, below are a few specific departments most likely to use this technology firsthand and be involved with your community management strategy.

Community managers — This may seem self-explanatory. The role of community manager is becoming more common and vital to business strategy in tandem with online customer communities. These roles may involve a degree of social media management, but they can extend to other avenues such as in-person group facilitation and direct oversight of exclusive online communities. Community managers are hired for their communication and moderation skills, as well as their ability to keep a company’s best interests in mind while providing a platform to users.

Once your brand’s unique social hub is up and running, designated community managers can ensure they remain on topic and provide the most useful information while welcoming a steady stream of new users. Depending on the product and the community strategy, community managers may be responsible for the initial creation of communities, or they will work alongside members of the product and development team to get things up and running.

Customer support — Your customer support team is the first point of contact for resolving most customer issues. If you open up an online space for your users, it is likely to become a hotbed for product feedback and conflict resolution. Your support team should be administrators of these communities at the very least, able to intervene with comments or direct messages to members when complaints or negative experiences arise. Community managers and moderators can filter discussions and send notifications to the support staff when they observe relevant discussions. In other situations, customer support members may prefer to be active and engaged members of the community, chiming in as an official voice of the company within certain threads or groups. Online communities can not only help resolve issues in a timely manner, but they can generate in-house awareness of customer issues and general feedback that otherwise may have flown under the radar.

Marketing — Social media specialists are a modern breed of marketers that came about in the last decade or so. If you have a designated social media team, their expertise surrounding social channels can make them natural contributors or moderators of your unique social community. Even without a designated social team, your marketing department could benefit from getting involved with your community platform. Active online communities are an ideal location to measure a brand’s reputation among users and transmit brand messaging to the most valued customers. Your marketing team can choose to leverage these platforms for a number of reasons, from testing out different ad strategies to shaping campaigns based on specific conversations or feedback. By closely following these discussions (and in some cases, directing the conversation), marketing experts can keep their fingers on the pulse of an organization and understand the target audience inside and out.

Online Community Management Software Features

The products in this category offer diverse sets of tools for creating and moderating online forums and other social communities. Below are some of the common features you will encounter in these solutions and descriptions of their functionality.

Discussion forums — Another way to think of online communities is to picture them as large rooms where your customers can discuss your brand. Organized online forums are the centerpiece of online community management. With forum software, you can create a structured system for online conversation. If your customers are interested in joining the community, they can register new accounts to receive access to forums and post queries or comments. Conversations on these forums can be organized by subject matter, and members can sort themselves into different groups that focus on specific topics.

A moderated forum can quickly become a wealth of information with a personalized touch. As customers help one another with troubleshooting or discuss different use cases and personal experiences, conversation threads can become walkthroughs and guides of their own. This content can not only be useful for members but can provide invaluable data to community managers and companies as a whole. A hosted forum can provide businesses with an exclusive form of market research as they observe their real customers talk about the product, the industry, and their own relationships with the company.

Access to content — When discussing your product or service in the discussion forums, your customers may potentially resolve issues or improve their experience based on the input of others. With a number of products in this category, you can go the extra mile with members-only content repositories. You can offer exclusive guides, tutorials, blogs, podcasts, and videos to community members, sending them alerts when new content is available. This community can also be the ideal audience for the initial run of company news and product updates. Because of the lengths that users go through to register and contribute to an online community, they may be the most enthusiastic audience for new content or other updates.

Collecting feedback — You can leverage your brand’s community to solicit feedback on marketing campaigns, new features, or the product in general. Community managers or forum administrators can ask questions to specific forum groups or the community as a whole and quickly receive trustworthy input from your base. Depending on the product, you may be able to collect reviews and ratings of products that can be made visible on product pages or e-commerce sites.

Products in this category may also offer features of or integrate with audience response software or survey software and allow you to distribute polls or other questionnaires to select groups or the community as a whole. In this way, your online community can be a reliable market research panel and offer a diverse set of opinions that can benefit your organization. Any data that is collected through these platforms can be immediately communicated to the most relevant people in your organization or uploaded into an analytics software platform or other storage platform.

User-generated content — One of the many byproducts of social media is the resharing of customer posts as marketing materials. This process, known as user-generated content (UGC), is a way for brands to showcase their products during organic use cases, with the added value of relatability thanks to the personal touches of users. Online community management applications may offer features of or integrate with user-generated content software. These features may allow admins to group member media uploads or social mentions by keywords, hashtags, location, or other details and request permission from the respective members to reshare as UGC. Depending on your product or audience, your online communities may be swarming with quality content thanks to the unique contributions of your members.

Gamification — It never hurts to reward your users. Gamification features of certain tools in this category allow you to enhance forums with badges, points, or other bonuses for active discussion and popular responses. As users receive more accolades, you can choose to offer them increased permissions or privileges within the forums. Certain products may allow you to create contests and integrate them into your online discussion forums. These features can be an effective way to engage your audience and build excitement for your brand while inspiring a slew of new content on your forums.