Searching for an alternative to Hivebrite’s community platform? Let’s take a look at the 10 best alternatives while comparing the use cases, features, and pricing models of each software.
But before we dive in — what exactly is a community platform and why do you need one?
What is an online community platform?
A community platform helps you build an online social space for your customers, partners, and employees depending on the business need. Members can share ideas and experiences, spark discussions, and interact with community founders. These spaces are used by creators, brands, businesses, and organizations to engage and grow their customer communities.
Aside from keeping customers engaged, an online community makes it easy to educate customers about your products while collecting their feedback on ways to adapt and improve your services. Another key benefit is the opportunity to provide self-service support, so you can offer customers 24/7 assistance without investing in a support team around the clock.
Choosing the right community software for your business
There are a number of community platforms to choose from, and a wrong choice can cost you. Migrating from one platform to another is a struggle, and launching a community that isn’t the right fit can leave a bad impression on your customers.
To find a community platform that fits your exact needs, check out this free tool. In the meantime, let’s consider Hivebrite alongside 10 alternatives.
So, what is Hivebrite?
Hivebrite is a community management platform that helps organizations build and engage a vibrant network of supporters. Portals can be open to the public or invite-only. Some of Hivebrite’s notable clients are the University of Notre Dame, Insight Partners, and the World Wildlife Fund.
Hivebrite’s ideal use case
Hivebrite is best suited for professional and educational institutions. For example, organizations use Hivebrite to manage communities of university alumni, non-profit volunteers, or corporate alumni. However, Hivebrite isn’t the best option for building open customer communities.
Hivebrite’s top features
Customization—With a building-block approach, you’re in control of the features, branding, access rights, and more.
Event management—Create detailed events and share them with your community.
Job board—Offer members access to employment and volunteer opportunities.
Social networking—Members can network through forums, instant messaging, and an elaborate member directory.
Reachability—Reach customers through email invites, automated newsletters, and a mobile app for iOs and Android.
Online payments—Membership and event fees are easily paid through the platform.
Hivebrite’s pricing and plans
Hivebrite’s pricing plans are tailored to each client’s needs.
10 alternatives to Hivebrite — starting with Bettermode
Bettermode is a comprehensive community software for businesses, known for its intuitive block-based builder and handy app ecosystem. Community managers can add functionality through the App store and embed the community into existing apps or websites for a dynamic social experience.
Bettermode is a popular choice for businesses in the SaaS space who use the platform to obtain customer feedback while educating customers on how to make the most of their products. Businesses in the e-commerce and education sector also use Bettermode to build brand communities and engage and retain their audiences. Notable clients who use Bettermode are ConvertKit, ASUS, IBM, Linktree, and Ford.
Bettermode's ideal use case
Bettermode is a business and enterprise platform that’s an ideal fit for community-led brands that want to engage, educate, and support their customers while building brand leadership. For coaches or creators looking to monetize their communities, Bettermode isn’t the best fit.
Bettermode's top features
Pre-built templates—Bettermode offers a host of pre-built Space templates that were modeled off successful communities. This allows you to quickly launch popular use cases like customer support and product updates, and then customize them according to your needs.
Design Studio—Customize your community from top to bottom, with flexible layouts, header and footer options, navigation options, and a theme to suit your brand. Zero coding needed! Simply select, arrange, and configure Blocks to create a unique community that’s all yours.
Post types—This feature allows community managers to create unique post types for different use cases. For example, you can enable event posts that showcase location and time or Q&A posts that let members upvote or follow their favorite questions.
Integrations—Bettermode seamlessly integrates with software you’re already using, like Slack, HubSpot, and Intercom s. This list of third-party integrations is always growing, ensuring your business workflow stays uninterrupted.
An App store—Pick and choose apps from Bettermode's App Store for added functionality and an enhanced user experience.
Embedding—Embed your community into your existing mobile app or website to create a social experience along every step of the customer journey. You’ll also improve community adoption by ensuring customers come across your community while using your website or product.
Developer portal—A dev portal lets you build custom apps and integrations using API and Webhooks. This means you can fully customize your community on top of Bettermode, for a feel and functionality that’s your own.
Bettermode's pricing and plans
Bettermode offers two subscription plans, starting at $599 USD for the Advanced plan and Enterprise plan is customized based on business needs.
Owing to its course-builder and paid membership option, thousands of influencers, coaches, entrepreneurs, and content creators use Mighty Networks.
Mighty Networks’ ideal use case
Mighty Networks is ideal for solopreneurs and creators who plan to host a large number of events for their communities. With limited integrations, Mighty Networks isn’t the top choice for business use cases.
Mighty Networks’ top features
Welcome section—Design a custom landing page and guide members through their first steps.
Virtual events—Live streaming, group chat events, and an event calendar help members connect virtually in real time.
Unlimited hosts, members, and moderators—Scale your community.
Monetization—Monetize your memberships by selling courses and subscriptions.
iOs and Android capabilities—Members can access the community from anywhere via mobile apps.
Mighty Networks’ pricing and plans
Mighty Network offers three different plans with annual purchase — the Community Plan at $33 USD/mo, the Business Plan at $99 USD/mo, and the Mighty Pro Plan with custom pricing. All plans include a free trial.
Brands and creators use Circle communities to host live events and monetize their content with paid subscriptions and memberships. Clients include Adobe and Makerpad.
Circle’s ideal use case
Circle is a great Hivebrite alternative for brands and content creators whose communities involve training or learning. Circle lacks some of the features required by larger brands and is more suitable for small or medium-sized businesses.
Circle’s top features
Teachable integration—Online course creators using Teachable can easily create an e-learning community with Circle.
Events feature—Connect members through group chats and in-person or virtual events. Select plans also include live streaming for coaching calls, online classes, or broadcasts.
Gated access—Choose to lock certain spaces and monetize them with one-time payments or subscription fees.
Member directory—Rich member profiles and direct messaging help members build meaningful relationships.
Circle’s pricing and plans
Circle lets you choose between three monthly payment plans: Basic at $39 USD/mo, Professional at $99 USD/mo, and Enterprise at $399 USD/mo. Each one comes with a 14-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Vanilla Forums helps brands build communities focused on improving customer support, brand advocacy, and retention. This platform is often used by customer experience executives, product managers, or marketing champions.
Vanilla Forums’ ideal use case
Vanilla Forums is a solid choice for customer-centric companies that want to build a community of loyal advocates. With no option to monetize memberships, Vanilla isn’t ideal for those hoping to monetize their community.
Vanilla Forum’s top features
Ideation—Members can submit or vote on product suggestions, helping brands with product creation.
Self-service help center—Users have access to a knowledge base that includes product-related user guides and help docs.
Q&A functionality—Encourage open discussion between members with question and answer tools.
Customizable themes—Match your community to your branding by customizing your theme and even adding your own CSS.
Vanilla Forums’ pricing and plans
Vanilla offers flexible pricing according to three plans: Essential, Corporate, and Enterprise. There’s also a free open-source version of Vanilla — a simpler version of the cloud-based product — which is best suited for small businesses.
With a focus on empowering your community, Graduway helps educational institutions inspire their students, alumni, and donors to be proactive. More than 400 colleges and universities use Graduway, including UCLA and the University of Arizona.
Graduway’s ideal use case
Graduway is a top choice for professional organizations like educational institutions, healthcare organizations, and nonprofits. It’s not the best solution for small businesses.
Graduway’s top features
Recruitment—Integrate prospective students and their parents into the community, and send them personalized greetings through video, calls, or emails.
A video-first platform—A virtual network connects members around the world through video.
Mentor matching tools—Encourage members to share advice and mentorship with automated mentor matching.
Fundraising software—In 2021, Graduway merged with Gravyty, a leading software that uses AI and machine learning to help teams scale their fundraising.
Graduway’s pricing and plans
Graduway offers custom pricing based on their clients’ needs.
Popular with school clubs and gaming groups, Discord is known for its user-friendly voice and text chat functionality. Friends and enthusiasts get together on Discord to chat about common interests or just hang out.
Discord’s ideal use case
Discord is user-driven and most useful for non-commercial communities. Most Discord servers are private, and members are in control of the conversation.
Discord’s top features
Topic-based channels—Discussions can be organized under specific topics separate from the group chat.
Voice chat—Members can easily see who’s online in different voice channels and jump in the chat to contribute.
Video streaming and screen-sharing—Members can watch each other share their screens or stream games.
Discord’s pricing and plans
Most users enjoy Discord’s free version. The platform also offers an enhanced version, Discord Nitro, at $9.99 USD/mo or $99 USD/year.
Discourse calls itself a “100% open source discussion platform built for the next decade of the Internet.” The platform can be used as a forum or a long-form chat room.
Discourse’s ideal use case
Discourse is typically used by organizations looking for a forum software. This message board configuration makes it less suited to smaller communities with fewer members.
Discourse’s top features
A user trust system—Members can flag inappropriate content and boost positive posts with likes and badges. There’s also built-in spam blocking.
Just-in-time loading—A one-page format allows members to scroll continuously with newest content at the top.
Social media functionality—Discourse offers all the modern functionalities of social media, such as dynamic notifications, quoting of replies, and the ability to paste images in posts.
Discourse’s pricing and plans
Discourse offers three types of plans: Standard at $100 USD/mo, Business at $300 USD/mo, and Enterprise with custom pricing. They also offer discounts for educational and non-profit organizations.
Though originally built to enable workforce communication, Slack also offers community-building functionalities. For example, Slack is often used to build closed communities of professionals, such as marketers, who can discuss their work and ask for advice from their peers.
Slack’s ideal use case
Slack is well-suited for companies that prioritize instant communication among community members. Users share information on an ongoing basis and engage in meaningful discussions. However, due to an inability to customize the community and a lack of specialized community features, Slack isn’t the best choice for advanced community building.
Slack’s top features
Instant messaging—Contribute to organized topics or direct message individual members in real time.
Audio/video capabilities—Share audio and video clips that can be played back at any time.
Integrations—Easily integrates with thousands of other business tools.
Slack’s pricing and plans
Slack offers a free version with limited features. Paid plans are the better choice for community building, but keep in mind that plans are priced according to the number of active users. This means you’ll pay more as your community grows. Options are the Pro plan at $7.25 USD/mo per user, the Business+ plan at $12.50 USD/mo per user, and the Enterprise Grid plan with custom pricing. Prices are valid when paying yearly.
Reddit is a social forum where members curate the content (links, text posts, images, and videos). Users discuss news and share passions by joining specific communities under a massive network.
Reddit’s ideal use case
Reddit is mainly used by niche communities and is popular among Millennials and Gen Zers. Businesses and brands can find success on Reddit but will need to be well-versed in the platform’s culture and rules.
Reddit’s top features
Rankings—Users upvote content to move it up the rankings, increasing the number of people who’ll see it. Rankings tell you which content is most engaging to group members.
Follow function—Members can subscribe to subreddits, posts, and user profiles.
Community creation—Members who have been around for at least 30 days can create their own communities (subreddits).
Reddit’s pricing and plans
Reddit is free but offers paid advertising and partnerships.
Creators, solopreneurs, and organizations use Facebook groups to build and interact with their followings. Facebook groups are easy to set up but lack customization and aren’t great for building brand loyalty.
Facebook groups' ideal use case
A Facebook group can be a good place to start when first venturing into community building. A downside is that there are many outside distractions from different content feeds. Facebook groups are often used alongside other community engagement platforms.
Facebook groups' top features
Communication—Connect with members one-on-one through private messaging, or engage with members through polls, Q&As, and discussions.
Admin control—Groups can be made public or private and admins can be appointed to monitor group settings.
Event hosting—Easily host live events to engage members.
Facebook groups' pricing and plans
Facebook groups are free to create and only require a Facebook account. However, advertising your group and events will cost you.
What to consider when picking a community platform
There are a ton of fantastic Hivebrite alternatives on the market. When weighing your options, be mindful of your main motivation for building a community. Consider the type of support you want to offer your customers and the features and functionality you can’t do without.
Check out CommunityScout, a free tool that helps you find a community platform that fits your exact needs based on 60+ factors. Check it out and then get in touch with the teams behind your favorite community solutions to learn more.
Articles on community building, customer engagement, customer success, and more