Webinar alert: Crafting exceptional community experience - from structuring to launching!
 min read

Top 7 Khoros Competitors to Build a Thriving Online Community

Discover the top 7 Khoros competitors based on features, customization options, pricing, pros, and cons. Select the right platform to build a thriving online community.
Written by
Kerry Leech
Last updated
October 23, 2023

For an enterprise company, customization and scalability becomes crucial when building an online community. And the platforms you pick for the job need to be up-to-date, offering advanced functionality and support, especially when your community is growing. 

Khoros Communities is one such example. Khoros is an online community platform with customer community capabilities and user-generated support functionality. While this platform has been out there for quite some time, many users have come across certain issues regarding its resource-intensive customization options and pricing.

With that in mind, we've built this guide specifically to show you the best Khoros competitors you need to consider so you can find a better solution in terms of functionality, integration, support, and pricing. 

Whether you're looking for better integration options, powerful customization, advanced analytics capabilities or simply a more cost-effective solution, we'll now take you through the Khoros competitors available – all based on our knowledge and research, and backed by credible resources such as G2 and Capterra.

Let’s take a look.👇

What is Khoros? (And why look for alternatives?)

In short, Khoros helps businesses build customer loyalty by hosting a vibrant space where customers and community members can ask questions, generate knowledge, share experiences, and contribute ideas.

While Khoros has proven to be a useful solution for many companies, there are a few reasons why someone might look for alternatives. Perhaps you need:

  • More customization without investing in engineering resources
  • More features
  • Better user interface designs
  • More cost efficiency

Or maybe you just need a solution that focuses on specific aspects like social measurement, sentiment analysis, and influencer identification as mentioned in G2.

The bottom line: It’s essential to make a well-informed decision when choosing an online community platform, as it directly impacts customer interaction, brand image, and overall growth. 

So which factors do you need to consider when choosing a Khoros competitor?

Key factors to consider when evaluating Khoros competitors

When evaluating Khoros competitors, there are several important factors to ensure the chosen platform meets your specific needs. To begin with, look at the range of features and functionalities offered by the competing platforms. Some essential features include:

  • Customization capabilities
  • Community moderation and management tools
  • User interface, branding, and personalization options
  • Analytics and reporting tools – and ease of access to data
  • Integration with other software and tools

In addition to features, focus on the level of customer support provided by each of the competitors. For instance, it's crucial to have access to a responsive and helpful support team who can assist if you encounter any issues or need guidance. Including 24/7 support, live chat, phone, or email support.

Likewise, take the time to analyze the pricing structure of each competitor. The goal is to find a platform that offers the desired features and quality support at a cost-effective price. Some competitors also offer trial periods or freemium plans, which can be helpful to test out their platform before committing to a long-term plan.

Lastly, pay attention to the reputation and user reviews of each platform. A solid track record and positive feedback from Gartner or G2 can help assure that you are choosing a reliable and high-quality platform for building your online community.

With all this in mind, let’s get into the top 7 Khoros platform alternatives. 

Top 7 competitors of Khoros to build a thriving online community

From content moderation to social sharing, there are many core competencies your chosen online community platform needs to have. 

So how do each of the providers stack up? Here’s a quick snapshot table before we get into the details for each platform. 

Platform Price (based on 1,000 users/month) Free Plan/Trial Unique Feature
Bettermode $599/month Yes  Premium all-in-one platform
Salesforce Experience Cloud Starts at around $5000/month  No Integrate with the Salesforce ecosystem
Vanilla Higher Logic No pricing information available No Customer discussion board
Zendesk Gather Starts at around $9,000 a month Yes Easy ticketing system
inSided Starts at around $8,000 per month Yes Self-service knowledge base
Hivebrite Starts at around $500 a month Yes Non-profits all-in-one platform
Discourse Starts at $50 a month Yes Member-driven moderation
Khoros Starts at around $8,000 per month No Outsourced customer care

1. Bettermode

community discussions
Demo community built with Bettermode

Bettermode is a fully customizable community platform. It provides an all-in-one platform solution with an intuitive and user-friendly interface. 

Unique feature: Flexible customization allows you to customize and change every part of your community in real-time. 

Discover more about the Bettermode platform by watching this explainer video 👇

What Bettermode users say

customer review
Customer review


  • Professional-looking templates to get started easily for all the common use cases; forums, ideation, events, Q&A, etc. 
  • Customization using Design Studio gives different blocks that admins can select and arrange to create custom layouts. 
  • App Store allows complete integration with your tech stack (HubSpot, Salesforce, Zendesk etc.), plus the ability to build custom apps on top of the Bettermode platform. 
  • Embedding options – integrating the complete community, individual spaces, and individual posts into websites and apps using different layout options. 


  • Doesn’t yet offer a white-label mobile app.

Pricing: Bettermode’s all-in-one customer engagement platform offers a free trial and pricing starts from $599 per month.  

2. Salesforce Experience Cloud

Salesforce Experience Cloud

Salesforce Experience Cloud is a powerful competitor that comes with a robust set of community-building tools. These include personalized content, multi-channel engagement, and in-depth analytics, which help drive meaningful connections and better understand community performance

Unique feature: Being a part of the Salesforce ecosystem makes integration with other Salesforce products a breeze.


  • Advanced security with flexible sharing settings. 
  • Good customer support.
  • Easy to connect with your internal CRM database.  


  • Can take a lot of practice to learn the main features. 
  • It’s one of the most expensive platforms on the market. 
  • Implementation can take weeks to get set-up. 

Pricing: The most basic package starts at $5 per community member per month, which would equate to around $5000 a month based on 1000 monthly users.

3. Vanilla Forums (Higher Logic)

Vanilla Forums

Vanilla Forums is another great option when it comes to Khoros competitors. Its platform focuses on creating engaging and customizable forums with functionalities like search, moderation, and gamification. It also offers integrations with other tools, making managing and nurturing your community easy.

Unique feature: Vanilla Forums lets you gather your customers for discussions and answer questions from them.


  • Good customization options. 
  • Post directly to a discussion board from an email.
  • Ability to add sub-groups and events with their Events Plus add-on. 


  • The main downside to the Vanilla Higher Logic platform is that the design is quite clunky. 
  • Users on G2 also noted some trickiness with getting notifications to work well (they have to be enabled on the back end to work at all).
  • Most branding changes require CSS changes, which means you need coding knowledge or help from Higher Logic staff to implement. 

Pricing: Higher Logic Vanilla doesn’t disclose pricing on its website.  

4. inSided

inSided community

inSided is a versatile and scalable community platform built to help SaaS companies improve customer success and retention. It offers a combination of online community features and self-service knowledge base functionality.

Unique feature: Sleek and user-friendly self-service knowledge base.


  • Easy to use and intuitive for end-users. 
  • Content is easy to find for members. 
  • Robust analytics and reporting tools.  


  • Customization is lacking, especially in the ‘Activity Stream’ news feed of the homepage.
  • Moderation lacks scalability and could become problematic as your community grows. 
  • You can’t do bulk actions for posts - e.g. you can’t bulk-move multiple threads into a new category.  

Pricing: According to Feverbee, minimum pricing starts at $100,000. 

5. Zendesk Gather

Zendesk Gather
Zendesk Gather

As a Khoros competitor, Zendesk Gather has strong comprehensive community building features. It enables you to develop robust, personalized community spaces that promote engagement and collaboration. Additionally, since it's part of the Zendesk suite, it integrates easily with other Zendesk products.

Unique feature: Zendesk Gather is best known for its ticketing functionality. 


  • Strong automation features such as Zendesk’s trigger options.  
  • The ability to create complex message templates with auto-filled information is a significant time saver.
  • Allows you to filter tickets in different statuses and create new tabs for each.


  • Lack of flexibility when making structural changes. 
  • When merging tickets the default behavior is to make them a public comment. This can create confusion with the customer. 
  • Hard to integrate, for example, when it comes to integrating into tools like HubSpot, Sprout Social, and Hootsuite, the platform only syncs one way.

Pricing: Zendesk pricing starts at $9 per user per month.  

6. Hivebrite


In your hunt for alternatives to Khoros, Hivebrite is another noteworthy platform. It offers all-in-one community management with event planning, membership management, and email marketing. Its visually appealing interface and advanced customization options allow you to create a unique and engaging online community.

Unique feature: All-in-one platform for non-profits and education sectors. 


  • Good membership management features and capabilities. 
  • Robust fundraising management. 
  • Easy social media marketing and social media management. 


  • Difficult to set-up. An IT professional may need to help you.
  • Limited third-party integrations. 

Pricing: Pricing starts from $5,000 per year.  

7. Discourse


Finally, Discourse is a good open-source Khoros competitor worth considering. It prioritizes simplicity and user-friendly design, which makes managing online communities enjoyable. Plus, being open-source provides you with the flexibility to customize and extend the platform to suit your specific needs and requirements.

Unique feature: Member-driven moderation.


  • Powerful member-driven moderation functionality. 
  • Configurable access control.
  • Basic insight into key metrics and customer health – great for small businesses.  


  • Hard to use. Discourse requires some sysadmin skills to host.
  • Data export can be clunky. 
  • Lack of integrations with third-party providers, like marketing software and LinkedIn.

Pricing: Discourse offers a free trial and after that, packages start at $50 per month. 

Why Bettermode is the best overall

When you have a reliable customer community platform to fall back on, you can shift your focus to the bigger picture: providing memorable customer experiences. And that’s where Bettermode can help.  

We believe Bettermode stands out as the best Khoros alternative for several reasons:

1. Templates for common use cases

Getting started with Bettermode is easy, thanks to the variety of pre-built templates it offers. These templates cover common use cases such as forums, ideation, events, and Q&A. This ensures a smooth and quick setup process for users looking to build an online community tailored to their specific needs.

2. Customization with a professional Design Studio

Customization is at the heart of Bettermode. Its intuitive Design Studio provides a range of different blocks that you can choose and arrange to create unique layouts for your online community. This flexibility ensures that your community not only serves its purpose but also reflects your brand identity.

3. App Store for tech stack integration and custom apps

The Bettermode App Store allows you to effortlessly integrate your online community with your existing tech stack, such as HubSpot, Salesforce, and Zendesk. Moreover, Bettermode enables you to build custom apps on top of its platform, further increasing the potential for expanding your community and enhancing its functionality.

4. Embedding options for seamless integration

With Bettermode's versatile embedding options, you can easily integrate your entire community, specific spaces, or individual posts into your website and apps. The different layout options allow you to choose the best configuration that aligns with your website design and user experience, ensuring a seamless and consistent appearance for visitors.

In summary, Bettermode stacks up as the best alternative when it comes to building online communities. The combination of pre-built templates, Design Studio customization, App Store integrations, and advanced embedding options, allows you to create and manage an online community with ease and flexibility, catering to your specific requirements, preferences, and workflows.

Narrowing down your shortlist of online community platforms

Finding the right competitor to Khoros that fits your specific needs can be a challenging task. To make it easier, we have compiled a list of seven notable Khoros alternatives, each offering unique features and benefits to help you choose the best platform for building your online community.

In summary, here are our top picks for Khoros competitors:

  1. Bettermode: Bettermode’s modern interface, professionally-made templates, and powerful Design Studio make it ideal if you want to create a visually appealing and fully customized online community that can adapt to your brand.
  2. Salesforce Experience Cloud: This platform is a good option for those who already use parts of the Salesforce ecosystem.  
  3. Vanilla Forums Higher Logic: Vanilla is known for engaging customer discussions and customizable forums. 
  4. inSided: inSided offers user-friendly self-service knowledge base and discussion forum, that’s great for customer care.
  5. Zendesk Gather: Zendesk Gather is known for its integration with Zendesk's ticketing system.
  6. Hivebrite: Hivebrite is a noteworthy platform for non-profits and organizations in the education sector that want to improve alumni relationships.
  7. Discourse: If you’re looking for a familiar and basic community forum that offers member-driven moderation, Discourse is a good solution.

To choose a platform best suited to your needs, consider factors such as the target audience, desired level of customization, ease of use, and any additional features specific to your community's purpose.

Ask yourself, what will move the needle? Your online community should be easy to use, highly customizable, and work alongside your existing tools. 

Carefully evaluate your goals and the unique offerings of each Khoros competitor and confidently select the right platform along with the best path to success for building and scaling your online community.

It’s also super important to keep your future requirements in mind. Take a moment and consider what you might need a year or two down the road. Again, it sounds obvious, but it’s easy to fall for something that fits into the present – but might not scale very well.

By this point, you’ll likely have a winner that everyone in your team agrees with. 

You can always sign up for a free trial or get a demo to see if Bettermode works for you all. 

Or, if you still have unanswered questions, take a look at the most frequently asked questions below. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some alternative platforms to Khoros Communities?

Some alternative platforms to Khoros Communities include Bettermode, Salesforce Experience Cloud, Discourse, Vanilla Higher Logic, and Hivebrite. These alternatives offer various features and tools to help you build and manage your online communities and connect your social networks.

Why should I consider alternatives to Khoros Communities?

Considering alternatives to Khoros Communities can help you find a platform that better suits your specific needs or budget. Each platform has its own unique features and pricing, so exploring different options can help you make an informed decision.

What features do Khoros Communities' alternatives offer?

Some common features offered by Khoros Communities' alternatives include professional design studios, community management, events management, content management, cloud-based access, and app stores for easy integrations. 

How do I choose the best Khoros Communities alternative for my needs?

To choose the best Khoros Communities' alternative for your needs, compare features, pricing, and customer reviews of each platform. Read the reviews and do some research on the platforms to ensure that it matches your specific requirements and budget.

Kerry Leech
Content Contributor

Level up your community game with our newsletter!

Get a regular dose of helpful tips, tricks, and tools for community management. Plus entertaining memes completely free!