The Community Club


Posted on

What community platform should I choose?

I'm looking to create an online community for a group of people but am struggling to find an online platform that would suit my needs best. Some of my important criteria are:

  • Able to run in the browser
  • Allow participants to DM each other
  • Easily create subgroups
  • Reasonable cost
  • Search for members based on specific criteria (city for example)
  • Has functionality to gate entrants with a questionnaire and make the answers available to other members of the community

Mainly struggling with the last two points. Any recommendations or suggestions? Thanks in advance!

Discussion (5)

bt_cdetzel profile image
Chris Detzel


I know you won't like this answer, but it all depends. What are your goals (Case deflection, hanging out, peer to peer, etc..) , what are you trying to accomplish (SEO strategy, connection to business systems within an organization)? What type of community is it B2B, B2C, something else? When you say not to expensive, what does that even mean? 100k? $100 monthly?

I do talk about online community vendor selection in my blog (

laurenfaye512 profile image
Lauren Clevenger✨

I agree with Chris, we need more information about who your audience is and what the purpose of the Community would be. A community platform for your neighborhood association would have much different needs than a SaaS enterprise business looking to reduce support costs, etc.

yarobagriy profile image
Yaro Bagriy • Edited on

There are so many amazing choices. Discourse has been my default for a very long time and meetings a lot of the criteria. Have you thought about Slack or Discourse? Both can be run in the browser. Or are you looking to have this on your own domain/subdomain?

Many people these days go with Circle, which is a solid choice but there are also a lot of modern options too. One modern option you might be interested in is It has most of everything you need except for the questionnaire.

Honestly, I'm not too sure if there are any community platforms that allow a questionnaire on entrance like this. Sanket had a great idea to use Airtable to gate it. I'll need to think more about this, but I think using Zapier or Integromat could work here.

sanketchauhan profile image
Sanket Chauhan • Edited on

Hey! For the last part, you could maybe gate it with airtable form, and based on responses, add a member to the platform you choose. And in team wiki, have a link to the airtable form with the responses for team access. Circle probably is a good one for the other usecases.

jcountyprodigy profile image

Hi Akshat! there are a ton of options but ive seen a number of communities approach this particular problem using a multi-platform approach. the first options that come to mind are Circle or Discourse with some modifications.

Regarding the creation of subgroups - would you want every one to be able to create those?

shameless plug to check us out @ if you are at all interested in working together to make this happen!