5 FREE Platforms to Host Your Online Community That Aren’t Facebook

If you’re in the process of building your own community, you may be tempted to follow the herd and set up your community on Facebook. Before you do that, it’s important to know there are other options out there that might be a better fit for you.

Here are 5 free platforms to host your online community that aren’t Facebook.

1- Slack

Slack is a messaging collaborative hub that allows you to sort conversations according to topics. It was originally designed for internal business communication, but people quickly realized that it works great for all sorts of communities.

If your community is all about knitting, you could have a channel for the best types of yarn and a different channel for knitting patterns. The app is available for both desktop and mobile, making it much easier to access without having users set up an entire profile.

2- Flarum

Flarum is all about creating a great user experience. The interface is organized, clean, and easy to use, so members spend less time clicking around and more time participating in conversations and discussions. 

Their mobile app is touch-optimized and uses swipe gestures, making it easier for members to hop between discussions and forums. 

Additionally, Flarum’s tag options make it easier to organize discussions by topic through color-coding. The best part? Flarum is SEO friendly, making your community more searchable.

3- MyBB

One of the great things about MyBB is the countless options for plugins and customization. You can choose from many themes and built-in-templates to make your community look and feel unique, without being limited by Facebook’s generic look or having to pay an expensive designer to create a custom design. 

MyBB keeps your members engaged and active by offering cool features like community-maintained translation. This feature makes your community multilingual and accessible. 

MyBB also allows customized tools such as the ability to close threads on a scheduled date to minimize the amount of time-consuming, hands-on work for your community moderator.

4- Codoforum

If you’re looking for a platform that is modern, clean, and organized, Codoforum might be the best option for you. Codoforum is mobile optimized, making your community extremely accessible on the go. 

Where Codoforum really shines is through their daily and weekly digest. If some of your members do not check in daily, you have the option of sending a daily or weekly email that catches those members up to speed.

5- BuddyPress

Have an existing WordPress website that you love? BuddyPress is a free and flexible plugin that allows you to build your online community right on WordPress

It’s highly customizable and offers features like real-time notifications, user-created groups, even options for direct group chats.


So, if you’re looking for free options to host your online community, these 5 platforms are great choices. Not only do they offer better user experiences for your members, but each one of them is designed specifically for hosting and building your online community.