Vanilla Forums

Engage with Community

4,4 /5 (62 reviews) Write a Review!

Vanilla Forums Overview

What is Vanilla Forums?

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

Vanilla Forums Overview

Pricing

Starting from
N/A

Pricing options

Free Trial
Subscription
Value for money

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.


Vanilla Forums Features

Devices
Business size
S M L
Markets
United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, China and 5 others, India, Japan, Germany, Brazil, Mexico
Supported Languages
Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Czech, Danish and 22 others, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Taiwanese, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian

Media

New Dashboard
Plugins
Themes
Customize Themes
Analytics
Vanilla Forums screenshot: New Dashboard Vanilla Forums screenshot: Plugins Vanilla Forums screenshot: Themes Vanilla Forums screenshot: Customize Themes Vanilla Forums screenshot: Analytics

Vanilla Forums Reviews

Vanilla Forums Reviews

Overall rating
4,4
/
5
Excellent
32

Very good
23

Average
7

Poor
0

Terrible
0

Value for Money
4,5
Features
4,2
Ease of Use
4,3
Customer Support
4,8
89% recommended this app
John M.

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

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!


Patrick D.

Best Forum Software

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.


Julian P.

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


Kara A.

Vanilla is a great choice for your new community!

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!


Chris V.

An excellent base forum platform for online communities

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


John M.
Industry: Computer Software
Company size: 501-1 000 Employees

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

Used Daily for 1+ year
Reviewed on 2020/10/27
Review Source: Capterra

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.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend: 10.0/10

Patrick D.
Industry: Writing & Editing
Company size: Self Employed

Best Forum Software

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2020/03/15
Review Source: Capterra

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.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend: 10.0/10

Julian P.

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

Used Daily for 1-5 months
Reviewed on 2018/04/23
Review Source: Capterra

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)

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend: 8.0/10

Kara A.
Industry: Information Technology & Services
Company size: 51-200 Employees

Vanilla is a great choice for your new community!

Used Daily for 1-5 months
Reviewed on 2020/08/14
Review Source: Capterra

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.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend: 10.0/10

Chris V.
Industry: Design

An excellent base forum platform for online communities

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2018/03/07
Review Source: Capterra

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.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend: 10.0/10

User recommendation
8,6/10
Based on 62 user ratings
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Vanilla Forums Pricing

Vanilla Forums Pricing

Starting from
N/A
Free Trial
Subscription
Value for money

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.

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.

Value for Money
4,5/5
Based on 62 user ratings
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Vanilla Forums Features

Vanilla Forums Features

API
Access Control
Activity Dashboard
Automatic Notifications
Content Management
Customizable Branding
Customizable Templates
Data Import/Export
Drag & Drop Interface
Electronic Payments
Order Management
Product Catalog
Reporting & Statistics
SEO Management
Search Functionality
Social Media Integration
Template Management
Third Party Integration
Website Management
eCommerce Management
Features
4,2/5
Based on 62 user ratings
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Categories

Additional information for Vanilla Forums

Additional information for Vanilla Forums

Key features of Vanilla Forums

  • API
  • Blog Commenting System
  • Custom Domain
  • Custom Theme (Skin)
  • Gamification (Badges and Reactions)
  • Localization
  • Moderation
  • Permission Management
  • Professional Services
  • SPAM Filtering
  • Single Sign On
  • Social Connect

Benefits

  • 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
  • Vanilla Forums FAQs

    Vanilla Forums FAQs

    Below are some frequently asked questions for Vanilla Forums.

    Q. What type of pricing plans does Vanilla Forums offer?

    Vanilla Forums offers the following pricing plans:

    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.

    Q. What are the main features of Vanilla Forums?

    Vanilla Forums offers the following features:

    • API
    • Blog Commenting System
    • Custom Domain
    • Custom Theme (Skin)
    • Gamification (Badges and Reactions)
    • Localization
    • Moderation
    • Permission Management
    • Professional Services
    • SPAM Filtering
    • Single Sign On
    • Social Connect

    Q. Who are the typical users of Vanilla Forums?

    Vanilla Forums has the following typical customers:

    Small Business, Large Enterprises, Public Administrations, Non Profit, Freelancers, Mid Size Business

    Q. What languages does Vanilla Forums support?

    Vanilla Forums supports the following languages:

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

    Q. What type of pricing plans does Vanilla Forums offer?

    Vanilla Forums has the following pricing plans:

    Subscription

    Q. Does Vanilla Forums support mobile devices?

    We do not have any information about what devices Vanilla Forums supports

    Q. What other apps does Vanilla Forums integrate with?

    Vanilla Forums integrates with the following applications:

    CometChat, Hootsuite, Hootsuite, LoginRadius, Mailchimp, Salesforce Sales Cloud, Wordpress, Zapier, Zendesk, Zendesk

    Q. What level of support does Vanilla Forums offer?

    Vanilla Forums offers the following support options:

    FAQs, Forum, Online Support, Phone Support, Video Tutorials, Knowledge Base