62 reviews

Overall rating

4,4 /5
  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Features
89%
recommended this app
62 reviews
Sheena T.
Overall rating
  • Used Daily for 6-12 months
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 8.0 /10

We have had a really good experience working with Vanilla. Our account manager has been...

Reviewed on 2018/06/14

Pros

It's pretty straightforward to use, but once you're comfortable with the basics there is a lot of room to customize the tool to fit your needs. We needed a solution with a robust API and Vanilla has done a really great job on that front.

Our account manager has been easy to work with and very responsive. She's knowledgeable in many aspects and not afraid to connect me with her team members if they have a deeper understanding to share.

I'd recommend Vanilla for managing a support community.

Cons

Some functionalities are a little unwieldy and certain workflows are cumbersome to maintain when we're seeing a lot of volume.

When moderating our Community as a team, we sometimes stumble over each other and do the same work twice because it's difficult to tell where your team members are working in the community when.

Patrick D.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Writing & Editing
  • Company size: Self Employed
  • Used Daily for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

Best Forum Software

Reviewed on 2020/03/15

I have nothing but good things and great times with Vanilla. Back in the day over 10 years ago i used Vanilla to learn more about integrating forums into my site and others and these guys were the #1 software to use. They didn't have everything they do now but i learned so much about forum, and Q&A based website software just using it. Today i became a PRO because of using the Vanilla software and i especially use it now for Gaming Websites where community interaction is a major part of the site. The software can also be tailored towards whatever your site is about. It has so many features that can be used for personal and business solutions.

Pros

I been integrating Vanilla forums into my site for years. I use Vanilla Forums as a Q & A for a lot of people that need help forums on their site so people can ask questions and get answers to anything related to their content and services and it works beaut full. You can also create your own custom Q & A so if someone is on your website and needs help the answers to their Question are already there and by chance they are not they can always ask. With the notification feature the admins get real time feedback as well as its members. The forums feature, the highlight of the software allows you to build a better community around your product and service to all everyone to be connected and have discussions on a beautiful and simple layout.

Cons

I miss the free version ..those were the times but the paid version puts together more enhance tools and added features that you always wished was around. They took all the feedback over the years all the features and fully went over them again and revamped it all. When you use Vanilla now its like a whole new brand of company with everything you need to put a community together on your website.

Alan B.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Information Services
  • Company size: 2-10 Employees
  • Used Daily for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

Plug and Play for Community Interaction

Reviewed on 2020/01/21

I have a large community and wanted to be able to allow them to communicate with each other and share information. Several years of use has left me a satisfied customer

Pros

Easy to deploy, effective tool for communication and sharing, continual updates from provider

Cons

There can be a learning curve for new users

Matt G.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Insurance
  • Company size: 51-200 Employees
  • Used Daily for 1-5 months
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 8.0 /10

Vanilla is easy, intuitive and full of useful features.

Reviewed on 2018/04/23

This software has allowed our members to engage with each other in ways other platforms don't support or offer. As a company we pride ourselves on customer engagement and to have a tool that supports us in this aim has been fantastic.

Pros

As we're very new to community management Vanilla has made it incredibly straight forward to setup, moderate and grow our online community. The post sale support they offer is fantastic. There hasn't been a question they haven't been able to answer in a timely manner. The software itself is very easy to use, and as someone who has never used community tools before that's saying something. It's packed full of all the features you need to make your community a success.

Cons

The lack of customisation without having technical knowledge has been a mild inconvenience. We'd like to stand out and be different, but if we're using the same format/layout as almost all other community sites it's hard to do that. So more support for customisation for newbies would be welcomed.

Mark S.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Health, Wellness & Fitness
  • Company size: 2-10 Employees
  • Used Daily for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 9.0 /10

Finally Amazing Service with a Great Product to go with it!

Reviewed on 2018/04/19

Gives us a support community within our budget.

Pros

Ability to Multi-Quote to respond with one post
Reply by email makes it easy
Badges: are fun
Signatures: Help give context

Cons

Looks somewhat outdated
Out of Box metrics are basic
Wall posts and status updates don't count in metrics
No Merge option

Catherine C.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Publishing
  • Used Daily for 1+ year
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

A+++ PaaS Community

Reviewed on 2018/05/14

Simple implementation, reliable performance, all the bells and whistles we need to support an audience of sports fans.

Pros

Ease of implementation, great support, feature-rich and simple for audience to use. Couldn't be happier with Vanilla Forums.

Cons

Although responsive, mobile is not a perfect experience but still a very efficient UI that provides the interactions we're looking for with a sports audience.

David B.
Overall rating
  • Company size: 11-50 Employees
  • Used Weekly for 1-5 months
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support

Overall the forum software has been easy to use to efficient for our business needs.

Reviewed on 2018/06/13

Pros

The forum is powerful and has lots of features that are very useful to my organization's members. The UX is fully customization and we were able to add our existing website skin to the forum so it matches the look and feel of our existing website exactly. Integration with our existing CRM (Salesforce) as well as Salesforce SSO login is also critical to the success of our forum and that all integrates very well. Also customer service has been outstanding. Our customer success manager is super friendly, accessible and always willing to answer silly questions.

Cons

I would love to see additional analytics features - I believe additional analytics is available at a higher price tier but I feel like existing analytics are bare bones at best. Would like some additional downloadable/more granular reporting for the price we pay.

Katie R.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Computer Games
  • Company size: 51-200 Employees
  • Used Daily for 1-5 months
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 5.0 /10

Vanilla and the community

Reviewed on 2020/01/24

I've always found Account Managers and the support team to be friendly and helpful - I think they make up for a number of pitfalls that the product has.
The vanilla product we have is basic - there are many other platforms we could use that can deliver the same, if not more at a lower cost. Other options may not have the same levels of support/account management though.

Pros

I like:

- It's customisable
- It's designed for desktop and mobile

Cons

- Features that would be very useful are locked behind additional monthly costs that don't justify the benefit. (Ideation as an example)
- Default themes haven't been thoroughly tested on different browsers and devices, resulting in complaints from our users.
- There's not enough customisable options for automatic moderation.
- Some functions aren't in intuitive places - e.g. editing the main home page banner is in the add-on and this is a completely different location to all other banners.
- Inability to schedule posts to go up out-of-hours.

Joel S.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Sporting Goods
  • Company size: 1 001-5 000 Employees
  • Used Daily for 6-12 months
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 8.0 /10

Overall a positive experience with the software and service.

Reviewed on 2018/06/07

Pros

Implementation of our new forum has been easier than originally expected due to working with Vanilla Forums. The support team has been very helpful in answer questions and troubleshooting issues. While I've only been using this platform for a short while, I find it easy to use and navigate.

Cons

- Customization of the appearance and layout is difficult unless you're fluent in HTML and CSS coding.

- Editing text within a new discussion or comment is more difficult and not as agile as desired.

Christine H.
Overall rating
  • Used Daily for 1-5 months
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support

Great costumer support, easy to costomize the forum to specific needs. Overall a great...

Reviewed on 2018/04/23

Pros

It's very easy to moderate the debate, help users out when they're having problems logging on etc., Great support from Vanilla - quick replies and competent people. Very flexible forums - we can costomize the forum to our specific needs.

Cons

The dashboard can be a bit overwhelming and difficult to navigate at first. It takes a little bit of getting used to, but after a while it becomes easier.

Blair W.
Overall rating
  • Used Weekly for 1-5 months
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support

Customer service very accommodating post launch and pre launch

Reviewed on 2018/04/24

Pros

Mirrors the functionality of your typical social media platform. Ease of posting mobile photos. The "gamification" feature.

Cons

It seemed there were a lot of add-on features that I thought would be standard. It was difficult from an admin perspective to determine what features were standard when trying to learn the system.

Ashley P.
Overall rating
  • Used Monthly for 6-12 months
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support

We love it

Reviewed on 2018/02/27

Pros

We all love it so much it's so easy to use and everyone I've spoken to really likes it a lot. Plan on using it for very long time

John M.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Computer Software
  • Company size: 501-1 000 Employees
  • Used Daily for 1+ year
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

For building a strong and engaging community, Vanilla has THE platform!

Reviewed on 2020/10/27

My experience with Vanilla is amazing! As market leaders in our field, we do want to provide the best Community experience for our users. We therefore are very demanding customers and always try to push Vanilla's platform to it's maximum!

Pros

In addition to the most basic features (discussions, comments...) that work perfectly, here are a few things that I love about Vanilla Forums:

We have been able to personalize our community platform with our own designed theme.
We are also using the SSO feature that allows users to jump from our main platform (Contentsquare) to the community. It helps us along with the custom theme to maintain a coherent experience for our users coming from our main platform.

My CSM, [SENSITIVE CONTENT HIDDEN] is always very reactive and helped me carefully plan a "way-to-success" community roadmap to attain my business objectives. She always collects the feedback that I have and pushes it to the Vanilla Product team. It is very nice to feel that our use of Vanilla's platform impacts the actual product vision.

One thing that makes the community so engaging is the gamification that is put in place by Vanilla and that can be adapted to our needs. By distributing badges, we reward our top users and most engaged people and makes the platform a little more fun!

The support team is super reactive as well, whenever there is an issue.

Cons

There are several pain points that I encounter however on Vanilla Forums.

The group feature has not been working well although a many improvements have been made in the past year. As groups are an important part of my adoption strategy in community building, I have been struggling to make the most of what we could expect from such a feature.

Also, Vanilla Forums sometimes have some technical instabilities - but they are resolved very quickly.

Last but not least, Vanilla isn't as flexible as we initially thought it would be. For any changes in the structure of the community, we have to use Vanilla's professional services.

Sarah G.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Telecommunications
  • Company size: 51-200 Employees
  • Used Daily for 6-12 months
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 9.0 /10

We have had a great experience so far with Vanilla. The customer service particularly is...

Reviewed on 2018/06/08

Pros

Moving to Vanilla was a great decision for us as we were provided with many more features, customization areas, and settings than we had with our previous forum software. We have been able to implement our own themes, enable plugins, add moderation rules and permissions and also apply stronger security than we had previously.

The migration process with Vanilla was very smooth and we have had contacts within Vanilla to ask questions throughout the process. Once we had migrated, it was relatively simple to get everything set up as most of the data which was set up on our staging site, was transferred over to the live site.

The users love our new forum, preferring the different options available to them such as private messaging, reporting posts and being able to edit their posts in more detail than before. They also find the usability of the new forum easier and clearer to use which is perfect for us as we get many new users on our forum.

Cons

Due to the high number of extra settings, plugins, and options available, it's a lot to take in and learn, especially if you're coming from another software where there was a limited amount of settings to use. We're grateful to have our wonderful Customer Success Manager on hand to guide us through these, send over the best guides to read and explain how it all works.

Eva K.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Computer Software
  • Company size: 51-200 Employees
  • Used Daily for 1-5 months
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

Vanilla Forums for the win!

Reviewed on 2019/06/11

The sales process was awesome. My CSM is awesome. Support is very impressive. I really love Vanilla as a company. They're tuned in and know the secret to their success is mine. It's evident in every interaction I've had with them.

Pros

It's easy. There are a few small areas that could use more robust documentation, but overall I feel like I could have launched this platform in my sleep. Which is a huge win for our org. We're fairly small, growing really fast, and we've all got to put on additional hats to keep getting stronger. Vanilla forums provided a tool that could be spun up quickly without sacrificing how powerful it is. Having complete control over the look and feel was also a big win. A little HTML and CSS know how really created a unique forum for our users.

The built in analytics are a great starting point. The granularity as it pertains to permissions is very impressive. And the Salesforce integration is so EASY.

This was a great solution for a small company, limited budget and hardly any know-how. Our forum looks and feels really professional, and it looks like it's going to scale with us as well.

Cons

Just that the permissions are so granular they can get a little cumbersome. It just required really taking our time and testing. Not such a bad thing when it comes to permissions.

Like I said, the current analytics built in are a great jumping off point. But we're leveraging google analytics as well to fill in the gaps. One "for instance" is what our customers are searching for. But this was easily solved leveraging the pockets and throwing in a GA tracker.

Jacob C.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Financial Services
  • Company size: 201-500 Employees
  • Review Source

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  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support

Good forum software with great customer service

Reviewed on 2015/12/11

I'm a moderator on a community that switched to Vanilla three years ago from a heavily hacked-together vBulletin. I was initially ambivalent about the switch - even though our old software had become hopelessly inadequate to our needs, it was super-tailored to the needs of our community - but Vanilla won me over, primarily on the strength of their support staff, who are not only pleasant and helpful, but are engaged in the community in a real way. As participants in our forum, they've come to know our needs as well as we do, and not only have all our old favorite features come back in newer, spiffier implementations, in a couple instances they have added entirely new features that addressed needs I didn't even know I had but now couldn't live without.

Pros

It's a slick, modern forum implementation that is heavily customizable (as a cursory flick through the diverse kinds of communities running the software can illustrate) with some features I really welcome in 2015, particularly the Minion, which automates a lot of tasks that used to require babysitting by moderators or community managers. This was something Vanilla provided us because they saw the kinds of things we were dealing with and they anticipated the need - that's service I appreciate.

Cons

The customer service is excellent and the team is eager to help find software solutions to community problems, but it can take a while for requested fixes to make their way through the pipeline.

David C.
Overall rating
  • Used Daily for 1+ year
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support

Overall positive experience after migrating from a different forum platform.

Reviewed on 2018/04/25

Pros

The software is very easy to manage and it gives our community managers and moderators the tools they need to work easily and efficiently. The plug-ins give a good level of customization and the software has been relatively easy to configure to meet our business needs.

Cons

Coming from a different platform (Lithium) Vanilla is somewhat limited. There is no concept of custom HTML pages or custom navigation paths. As long as you can work within those constraints, this still delivers a very fluid and efficient forum experience for all of our users.

Justin S.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Consumer Goods
  • Company size: 501-1 000 Employees
  • Used Daily for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

You won't be disappointed

Reviewed on 2018/05/07

Pros

Easy moderation tools, FANTASTIC customer support/success team, and lots of great tools for the community such as badges and reactions.

Cons

Would like to see more reporting capabilities, an in-depth knowledge base for self-service so that we can learn about best practices. Would also like more advanced AI and Q&A functionalities.

Charlie H.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Information Technology & Services
  • Company size: 2-10 Employees
  • Used Daily for 1-5 months
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 9.0 /10

So far, everything is going smoothy.

Reviewed on 2018/06/07

A good support from their team even if we are based in a different country.

Pros

Its interface is very easy to understand. It can support a big community like ours. What I also like most about Vanilla Forums is its feature which help us improve our user activity.

Cons

The analytics part. I can be more detailed. More highlight to significant numbers would also be helpful like difference in mobile and desktop users, segment for newly registered users and such.

Jorge M.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Telecommunications
  • Company size: 51-200 Employees
  • Used Daily for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

Vanilla has satisfied all of our Community Forum needs for over 5 years and has yet to...

Reviewed on 2018/04/19

Experience in managing a Community with thousands of users and creating an engaging ecosystem for our customers to call home.

Pros

The simplicity of the overall functionality, as it is clear on how to navigate and manage all aspects of the software. I began managing our company's Community Forum without prior knowledge or experience. The ease that comes with Vanilla, has allowed me to gain the confidence in my ability to learn, grow, and excel as a Community Manager.

Cons

I believe that Vanilla can become even better if they improve their analytics system which at times does not reflect accurate data and appears to be buggy. Although, to be fair this feature is relatively new on their end so I'm sure this will become up to their overall standard of providing flawless service.

Joe B.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Computer Software
  • Company size: 51-200 Employees
  • Used Daily for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

Great Value for Money with all the bells and Whistles

Reviewed on 2018/05/08

Pros

- Easy to customize
- Dedicated Success manger that is very responsive and helpful!
- Cost effective with all the features that very high costing solutions have - we trialed 10 different solutions before selecting vanilla as they winner
- New features rolled in all the time
- Gamification between users have kept customers engaged and excited about what we do

Cons

I would have once sent integrations between other products, however the new API v2 solves this. So no cons :)

Erin H.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Internet
  • Company size: 2-10 Employees
  • Used Daily for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

Outstanding community software and service

Reviewed on 2020/02/25

We've been working with Vanilla Forums since 2014 and have had a wonderful experience. Their team is responsive and the software has helped us grow our community considerably. We also appreciate Vanilla Forums' knowledge base and resources for community managers.

Pros

We love Vanilla Forums' user-friendly features and our community does too.

Cons

We don't have any cons and have been very happy with this software.

Ian M.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Information Technology & Services
  • Company size: 10 000+ Employees
  • Used Daily for 1+ year
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 8.0 /10

Vanilla is an easy to use product and their staff want you to succeed

Reviewed on 2018/04/26

Pros

Vanilla is intuitive and very easy to use. The support staff at Vanilla are easy to work with. They want you to succeed with their product and are willing to help in any way possible to see that through. Their integration with GitHub is a nice way to control the custom theme without having to worry about all the details. No complaints on downtime. Working with Vanilla for migrations from multiple products has been a breeze.

Cons

Vanilla is not as fully featured as other forum/community products. If running the hosted option, some configuration options are not readily available to administrators. Some options are only controlled by the system administrators at Vanilla.

Jeffrey M.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Accounting
  • Company size: 51-200 Employees
  • Used Daily for 1+ year
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 9.0 /10

Learning More About What We Can Do

Reviewed on 2020/01/21

Pros

The system is designed to be ready to go out of the box. This allowed us to stand up V.1 while working towards a more robust interface and functional site for our users.

Cons

It would have been nice if I could figure out what the site is capable of without having to talk with my account manager. I enjoy our conversations but Vanilla should provide more "what you can do" on their site.

Verified Reviewer
Overall rating
  • Industry: Consumer Electronics
  • Company size: 201-500 Employees
  • Used Daily for 1+ year
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support

Good platform with a great customer experience

Reviewed on 2018/06/07

Pros

Backend is very flexible and easy to customize. Support is the best in the business and cannot be beat. Anytime we need something Vanilla is there to help us out and take on any task we ask of them.

Cons

There are some like to have features that are on most other platforms that have not been implemented yet with Vanilla, but their team has said most of our suggestions are already in the works.