About Vanilla

Vanilla offers a one-stop-shop solution that combines the power of customer communities, Q&A, knowledge base and ideation. With us, you can build an engaged customer community around your brand, your product or your publication. We believe that your community should uniquely reflect your brand and culture too while also rewarding your members for positive participation.

Vanilla's gamification and moderation features work seamlessly to increase participation and discourage abusive behaviour.

Vanilla also allows you to create a fully customized community forum:

- Customized look and feel
- Integrated into your website using widgets, plugins and APIs
- Custom roles and permissions
- Dozens of powerful addons

Key benefits of Vanilla

  • A modern, intuitive forum will increase participation rates from your customers or users.

  • Fully customizable to your brand

  • Manage multiple communities, product lines, regions and languages all in one place

  • Single-Sign On (SSO) capabilities, to fit into your existing website

  • Enterprise-level connections to Oracle CX, Salesforce, Zendesk, Hootsuite, Github and many more

  • Powerful knowledge base capabilities for community and staff driven article creation

  • Real time feedback through our ideation module with suggestion and voting features

  • Q&A addon to curate the best answers to questions inside of your online community
  • Devices

    Business size

    S M L

    Markets

    Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany and 5 others, United Kingdom, India, Japan, Mexico, United States

    Supported Languages

    Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch and 21 others, English, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Ukrainian

    Images

    New Dashboard
    Plugins
    Themes
    Customize Themes
    Analytics
    View 6 more
    Vanilla video Vanilla screenshot: New Dashboard Vanilla screenshot: Plugins Vanilla screenshot: Themes Vanilla screenshot: Customize Themes Vanilla screenshot: Analytics

    Features

    Total features of Vanilla: 56

    • API
    • Access Controls/Permissions
    • Activity Dashboard
    • Activity/News Feed
    • Alerts/Notifications
    • Approval Workflow
    • Archiving & Retention
    • Automatic Backup
    • Brainstorming
    • Cataloging/Categorization
    • Collaboration Tools
    • Commenting / Notes
    • Content Management
    • Custom Development
    • Customer Segmentation
    • Customizable Branding
    • Customizable Fields
    • Customizable Questions
    • Customizable Templates
    • Data Connectors
    • Data Extraction
    • Data Import/Export
    • Data Security
    • Decision Support Software
    • Discussions / Forums
    • Email Management
    • Event Management
    • File Transfer
    • Forum / Discussion Board
    • Full Text Search
    • Gamification
    • Group Management
    • Idea Ranking
    • Ideation / Crowdsourcing
    • Knowledge Base Management
    • Labeling
    • Member Directory
    • Membership Management
    • Mind Maps
    • Moderation
    • Monitoring
    • Multi-Language
    • Online Forums
    • Personalization
    • Question Library
    • Reporting & Statistics
    • Role-Based Permissions
    • Search/Filter
    • Self Service Portal
    • Single Sign On
    • Social Media Integration
    • Status Tracking
    • Text Editing
    • Third Party Integrations
    • URL Customization
    • Visual Analytics

    Alternatives

    monday.com

    4,6
    #1 Alternative to Vanilla
    monday.com is a cloud-based Work OS, where teams create workflow apps in minutes to run their processes, projects, and...

    Bitrix24

    4
    #2 Alternative to Vanilla
    Bitrix24 is a free cloud & open source collaboration platform providing CRM, document management, tasking, time...

    Tribe

    4,7
    #3 Alternative to Vanilla
    Tribe is a community software that helps businesses build white label online communities where members can discuss &...

    UseResponse

    4,7
    #4 Alternative to Vanilla
    Organize online documentation, customer self-service and provide customer support with UseResponse's customer feedback...

    Reviews

    Overall rating

    4,4 /5
    (62)
    Value for Money
    4,5/5
    Features
    4,2/5
    Ease of Use
    4,3/5
    Customer Support
    4,8/5

    Already have Vanilla?

    Software buyers need your help! Product reviews help the rest of us make great decisions.

    Write a Review!
    Showing 5 reviews of 62
    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...

    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.

    Chris V.
    Overall rating
    • Industry: Design
    • Used Daily for 2+ years
    • Review Source

    Overall rating

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

    An excellent base forum platform for online communities

    Reviewed on 2018/03/07

    It has made it easy for us to create beautiful, effective forums with awesome community management...

    It has made it easy for us to create beautiful, effective forums with awesome community management features to boot.

    Pros

    Our agency helps other companies manage and build online communities so we've encountered a lot of community platforms. Vanilla is by far our favourite though, for a few reasons. First, it's incredibly customisable. The theming architecture in particular is incredible and allows us to create beautiful forums that integrate with seamlessly with our branding. Second, it's actively developed and open source. You can watch its development openly, suggest ideas for features, etc. Third, it has a killer API which allows you to make cool app integrations, software extensions, etc. Finally, the company's support is incredibles. The support team and customer success managers are amazing at answering questions and will help you implement all kinds of awesome ideas. Vanilla rocks!

    Cons

    Most of my issues are with super technical details nested "Smarty" tags in Pockets would be nice to have, I wish "reactions" and other gamification features were available in the open source product, etc. Overall though those are nitpicky things the base platform itself is awesome even without them.

    Julian P.
    Overall rating
    • Used Daily for 1-5 months
    • Review Source

    Overall rating

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

    The support has been great, the implementation process was easy and simple.

    Reviewed on 2018/04/23

    Pros

    - The product is easy to use from a user perspective.
    - Requests are taken seriously and if it's something they can't currently do but recognize it's a good idea, they will add them to their Road Map.
    - Great comms from the person assiting the project, very responsive and on top of things

    Cons

    - It's hard to make changes sometimes. The HTML isn't accessible to forum owners so you'd have to write an entire section to make changes to anything other than the landing page. CSS is great to customize theming, but things have odd names so it's not as straightforward as it could be to make changes using it.
    - It could be clearer what VF will and won't help with from the very first moment
    - There are features missing, such as Tagging being in analytics
    - No self-service option for simple things such as pulling the user list, this will make admin experience way better
    - Services offered should better structured in the package sell, I.e: For some features requests, there were additional charges. This services should be somehow included in the terms of the service to enhance the admin experience
    - It was unclear what changes would happen with a recent update, it's been left down to the forum owner to find the weird behaviors (such as filters not working correctly)

    Kara A.
    Overall rating
    • Industry: Information Technology & Services
    • 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 is a great choice for your new community!

    Reviewed on 2020/08/14

    Amongst several other reasons, we chose Vanilla because of their company values, focus on customer...

    Amongst several other reasons, we chose Vanilla because of their company values, focus on customer success, sustainable growth and commitment to providing ongoing value. Vanilla offers a Success Community for community managers to connect and share best practices, presents great webinars and holds regular networking events. You can tell they really want to engage with their clients.

    I am a Community Manager of One and have no problem managing my daily admin checklist and community "maintenance" with Vanilla's platform. And anytime I need support, ideas or inspiration...I know Vanilla is there to help!

    Pros

    My favorite thing about the Vanilla platform is its simplicity and intuitiveness. It was my top choice after the first demo I did, after seeing the admin view. It is uncluttered and logical. The member-facing community is customizable by choosing a theme or doing some custom CSS work. We did both, and based our design off another Vanilla customer's community we admired. We also have subcommunities built into our agreement, allowing incredible flexibility for future growth with new audiences.

    Cons

    Vanilla has been very responsive to feedback and feature requests. The three things I'm most looking forward to are the development of a Member Directory (to more easily see who else is in the community), the refinement of search results, and additional notification preference options.

    Paul C.
    Overall rating
    • Industry: Computer Games
    • Company size: 11-50 Employees
    • Used Daily for 1+ year
    • Review Source

    Overall rating

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

    Vanilla is an excellent, easy to use but versatile forum software system

    Reviewed on 2018/06/01

    Incredibly quick set up which was absolutely vital with the development speed of our company. We've...

    Incredibly quick set up which was absolutely vital with the development speed of our company. We've been able to set up our new forum and get it fully customised within a very shot space of time.

    Pros

    Vanilla software is incredibly easy to use but with lots of customisation available. It also features a variety of handy plugins to expand your forum capability further including the 'Mark as Troll' plugin which is hands down the best feature of any forum I have used. Managing categories and forum groups is a straightforward task and the features can easily be explained to new staff members so they can get up and running with the software without any lengthy training period.

    Cons

    The only flaw I have experienced with Vanilla is in countering spam farms (Not bots). There is no option to enforce a captcha for posts which would help in some circumstances. However, Vanilla makes cleaning up spam very quick and easy and you can use user roles and forum settings to limit the impact spam can have on the forums, switching it from a problem to a mild inconvenience.

    Showing 5 reviews of 62 Read all reviews

    Vanilla FAQs

    Below are some frequently asked questions for Vanilla.

    Vanilla offers the following pricing plans:

    • Starting from:
    • Pricing model: Subscription
    • Free Trial: Not Available

    Not sure what plan to take? Speak to our team so we can find the plan that fits your needs. We offer non-profit pricing. Contact us to learn more.

    We do not have any information about Vanilla features

    Vanilla has the following typical customers:

    Self Employed, 2-10, 11-50, 51-200, 201-500, 501-1 000, 1 001+

    Vanilla supports the following languages:

    Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Ukrainian

    Vanilla supports the following devices:

    Vanilla integrates with the following applications:

    HootSuite, Mailchimp, Salesforce Sales Cloud, WordPress, Zapier, Zendesk

    Vanilla offers the following support options:

    Email/Help Desk, FAQs/Forum, Knowledge Base, Phone Support, 24/7 (Live rep), Chat

    Related categories

    See all software categories found for Vanilla.