The Community Glossary

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Gated community

Gated online communities are designed to have restricted access to those who want to be a part of the community. These can also be called private communities that typically have a screening process before allowing the general public to become members.

The whole point of gated communities is to offer an enriched experience to the members who can rest assured that every other member in the community has been given access based on their expertise, knowledge, or relevancy to a common subject of interest. Gated communities are also a great way to ensure that the discussions are always high-quality.

When should you have a gated community?

  • If you want more filtered discussions where moderations should not necessarily be needed.
  • If you have a very niche community where conversations need to be extremely specific to one subject matter.
  • If you want a private community where you or the members have to share sensitive information.
  • If your community has become very large and now you want to restrict access.

When should you not have a gated community?

  • If you have a brand community (or SaaS community) around your product.
  • If what you’re building a community around is rather a broad subject matter.
  • If you’re an initial stage startup and are trying to build a name for your brand.

Honestly, the decision has to do more with your understanding of what’s best for your community

A good example of a gated community is Demand Curve’s closed Slack community of Marketers. Check out their community-led success story.

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