Who Uses This Software?

Organizations in technology, gaming, non-profits, associations, consumer brands, that need a self-service support, collaboration and/or ideation option for their customers, partners and employees.


Average Ratings

53 Reviews
  • 4.5 / 5
    Overall
  • 4.5 / 5
    Ease of Use
  • 5 / 5
    Customer Service

Product Details

  • Starting Price
    $599.00/month
    See pricing details
  • Pricing Details
    Plans range from $599 to $10,000+ per month depending on your unique needs.
  • Free Version
    Yes
  • Free Trial
  • Deployment
    Cloud, SaaS, Web
  • Training
    Documentation
    Webinars
    Live Online
    In Person
  • Support
    Online
    Business Hours

Vendor Details

  • Vanilla
  • vanillaforums.com
  • Founded 2009
  • Canada

About Vanilla

Vanilla Forums is the top-rated cloud-based community forum software. With us, you can build loyalty, grow sales, and improve customer service with our easy to use and quick to get started online community software. Featuring a sleek user experience, deep integration to your existing tools, flexible customization to fit your branding, out of the box gamification, ideation, Q&A and much more. Request a demo and see why Vanilla powers over 3 billion discussions yearly.


Vanilla Features

  • Content Management
  • Content Moderation
  • Discussions / Forums
  • Event Management
  • Group Management
  • Ideation / Crowdsourcing
  • Member Directory
  • Membership Management
  • Social Media Management
  • Website Management

Vanilla Reviews Recently Reviewed!


Capterra-loader

An excellent base forum platform for online communities

Mar 07, 2018
5/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money
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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.

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

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

Jun 08, 2018
5/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money
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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.

A cute online community solution with amazing flexibility and scale

Jul 09, 2018
5/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money
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Pros: For our startup in online solution space, I was looking at a stable and easy to manage community solution and I found vanilla as the perfect solution to meet our requirements. It is pretty simple for Administration. We took a few hours to create and organize our online community. Building it up is easy. I found the solution, extremely flexible - a handful of options,and business rules. The design is cool and UX is perfect. The large pool of add-ons and themes are definitely advantages for customers. Coming to forum specific features, there are plenty of cool features like social login, polls, media management, ranking system, gamification, and the newly added business app integration. I recommend Vanilla forums to anybody who wish to launch an online community. Vanilla is simple, stable, and having excellent add-ons compatibility and this is going to exceed your expectations.

Cons: So far, our experience with Vanilla is perfect and hence no dislike. If get more deep in to functionalities, probably analytics portion is something which require further improvement.

Vanilla has been great from initial setup/launch to daily use & support. We're very happy.

Apr 20, 2018
5/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
4 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money
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Pros: Vanilla is easy to use and navigate, and the tools/options/add-ons are explained thoroughly in the dashboard. This was very helpful to me, especially in the beginning when I was fairly new to forum software. When we were just getting started, having several design options/layouts to choose from helped us get the look we wanted.
The webinars I've watched were very helpful, and I've downloaded and read just about every eBook Vanilla has published (from their resources) to get advice and roadmaps for different aspects of managing a forum.
Technical support has been outstanding throughout. Whenever we have an issue large or small, I can always count on a quick response and a solution or at least an explanation.

Cons: The only cons are that there are just a couple of specific features that we would like to have but they're not available for us:
When starting a New Poll, options are limited. For example, a "select all that apply" option would be beneficial to the types of polls we take.
In the theme we are using, we're unable to sort discussions based on number of views.

Capterra-loader

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

Jun 01, 2018
5/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money
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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.

Overall: 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.

Capterra-loader

Flexible platform that allowed us to quickly get a customized Community up and running

Apr 24, 2018
4/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
4 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money
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Pros: Vanilla has allowed us to customize almost every aspect of the Community experience: content organization, moderation, additions of new spaces when the need arises, gamification - all of these components can be built out and tweaked by a team without coding experience. The ability for our developers to own and push changes to the code allows the next level of customization we needed to get our community off the ground.

Cons: The analytics is one place that is lacking a bit. Their advanced analytics dashboard gives insights into some useful metrics but doesn't allow any form of filtering (except for the date) or examining side by side comparisons of different user groups / content sets. The analytics API gives a bit more useful information but it still takes a bit of work to really answer some of the more complicated aspects of the value the community is providing to the organization. Additionally, their documentation is significantly lacking - once you know how to do something in the platform, you find that it can probably do what you are looking for but many times you have to rely on your CSM to help get you that information (which they are normally great at!)

Experience has been largely positive, though we have encountered some technical challenges.

Jun 01, 2018
4/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
3 / 5
Value for Money
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Pros: The product is fully featured and relatively straightforward to configure and set up. Integration with SSO has been very easy and appears to work well and there are a number of plug-ins available which enable further customisation. Our forum moderators and the majority of users have found it simple and pleasant to use. Account management has been very good and fairly responsive to issues.

Cons: As a managed service there are a few hidden costs (migrations in particular). Some of the technology seems a little outdated and a bit inflexible - changing simple headings etc should be fairly straightforward but is in fact a manual task by the account manager, who has to root about in the code for the relevant strings. Also, the migration from staging to live is manual and open to user error. Image compression (or the lack of) has been a big issue for us as our sites are very visual and performance has suffered. I am hoping that some of the infrastructure changes they are making will improve this though.

Overall: We replaced user forums successfully and configured them to easily. Overall users were pleased and felt it was an upgrade on the previous forums.

Capterra-loader

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

Apr 19, 2018
5/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
4 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money
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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.

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

Good forum software with great customer service

Dec 11, 2015
5/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Customer Support
4 / 5
Value for Money

Comments: 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.

Excellent Staff and Software

Dec 11, 2015
5/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money

Comments: After many years of using vbBulletin, our site switch to Vanilla Software in 2011. The problem with vbBulletin was one of stability: we were having frequent outages in one incident we had to close the forum for about a month to deal with issues. The software was also not very flexbility, with each custom feature we added increasing vbBulletin's instability. With so many users, however, we need software that would cater to our needs and provide the features our users had become accustomed to over the years. Vanilla solved these problems wonderfully. While Vanilla's primary service is simple, straight-forward forum software, they were incredibly accommodating to needs. Many features were tailor-made for us, and forum stability has been excellent. Their staff has always been patient and friendly, taking our requests for new features without any problems.

Pros: The staff is excellent. They are in constant contact, and are very easy to contact in a moment's notice should something go wrong. In many cases they go above and beyond what we request, adding useful new features for us to test before deciding to fully implemented on our own forums.

Cons: Vanilla's strength is very strong and basic forums, and as a result it can take time for them roll out requested feature. This is typically not a problem, as the extra time is generally spent ensuring that the feature will satisfy our needs.

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

Apr 23, 2018
3/5
Overall
3 / 5
Ease of Use
3 / 5
Features & Functionality
4 / 5
Customer Support
4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 8.0/10 Not
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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)

Great transition team, awesome support, easy to use product

May 08, 2018
4/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
3 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 8.0/10 Not
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Pros: After completing our transition to Vanilla and getting the community in place, the thing that makes Vanilla really stand out is how easy it is to use day to day. Tracking new threads, seeing new comments quickly, and being able to respond to our customers promptly make the product a great fit for our support forums.
We also use Vanilla to host some locked knowledge content, a function beyond the scope of the product, but one Vanilla adapted to very nicely.

Cons: Some of the limitations in the text box can be frustrating. Our users often post written content and edit each other - previously we used a product with the option to change text color, something Vanilla lacks (outside of BBcode). A few other small functionalities of this sort are lacking, but on the whole nothing that has reduced the number of posts we get daily.

Overall: Simple support forum solution, cloud hosting, and easy posting for our users.

We've been using Vanilla Forums software since 2014 and have been extremely pleased and impressed.

Jun 01, 2018
5/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money

Pros: Vanilla Forums software is very user friendly for forum members and administrators. Our community has grown considerably since we adopted this software because it fosters a fantastic online environment. We love the functionality. Our forum is at the heart of our business and we wouldn't trust it to just anyone. Vanilla Forums' customer support is responsive and reliable. You'll love Vanilla Forums!

Cons: There isn't anything that we don't like about this software. We love that Vanilla Forums continues to add new functionality and raises the bar each time.

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

Jun 14, 2018
4/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
4 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 8.0/10 Not
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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.

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

Apr 26, 2018
4/5
Overall
3 / 5
Ease of Use
3 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 8.0/10 Not
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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.

Platform for online communities

Apr 27, 2018
5/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money
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Pros: There is so much flexibility in terms of design and plug-ins. On each page it is easy to find different topics with different menus. We can quickly create new forums when publishing new games. The support team at the forums of this platform is very responsive and ready to work with us. We use the platform as a channel to help our users quickly find answers to questions that may have already been answered in the forum. In general, we are very satisfied with the product and our contacts. A big advantage for us is the presence in our company of several copies and champions. It was interesting to see different uses, and these general knowledge have greatly helped our channel.

Cons: The program does not have a special mobile application that allows you to receive notifications that can immediately alert users to actions on the forum without checking their email. It would be nice if our web developers could run instances of the program locally so that they can create themes faster.

Capterra-loader

Great Value for Money with all the bells and Whistles

May 08, 2018
5/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money
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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 :)

Simple, but effective.

Feb 02, 2018
5/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
3 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money
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Pros: Vanilla provides simple forum software, but they still possessed the know-how to incorporate features needed by our community. Staff is friendly and quick to handle major problems and crises that occur.

Cons: Over the years, staff has been slower to fix bugs, with some minor ones persisting for years at this point. Communication could be better.

Overall: Allows our users to engage and communicate in a fashion that was similar to previously used software, while simultaneously being a significantly more stable and less stressful product.

Great balance of features and ease of use.

May 30, 2018
4/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
4 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
4 / 5
Value for Money
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Pros: The ease of using it both as an administrator and a user. The control panel is very clear, and while some other forum software has far more features, most of those features are bloat that most forums never need. I currently have five active sets of forums with Vanilla, after having used everything from Invision to Drupal, and Vanilla remains my favorite.

Cons: Nothing in particular stands out.

Overall positive experience after migrating from a different forum platform.

Apr 25, 2018
5/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
3 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
4 / 5
Value for Money

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.

Overall, we have a good experience that can become perfect if few features will be added\fixed

Jun 07, 2018
4/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
4 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 8.0/10 Not
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Pros: Vanilla is very easy to use and manage, looks good, offer great gamification that make our community fun, great value for money, good training materials, easy solution to support multilingual.

Cons: Reporting & stats needs much improvement: At the moment you cannot download/export any report nor create one of your own. To receive a very simple report of members list I have to contact my CS. While Vanilla do their best to fix bugs, it sometimes takes a lot of time. To make a truly beautiful and customized community you'll either have to know coding (css & html), pay a freelance or pay for professional services that have long ques.

Overall: Better communication between clients and between clients to employees

Capterra-loader

Our experience with Vanilla overall has been excellent.

May 15, 2018
5/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
4 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
4 / 5
Value for Money
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Pros: It provided a solid platform to launch our member engagement initiatives, and provides valuable tools that work well for our needs.

Baked-in customer focused features such as the gamification engine and the availability of a customer analytics dashboard are great!

Software is iteratively tweaked and improved as time goes on.

Cons: Inability to fully customize the look and layout of our community/subcommunity pages.

The use of sub-communities to manage separate site forums that fall under one umbrella did not work as expected.

Small things like tailoring tags to display only on specific sub-communities was not possible.

You won't be disappointed

May 07, 2018
5/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money
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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.

Easily one of the best forum platforms

Mar 11, 2018
5/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money
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Pros: -Lost of modern functions including the ability to like posts and @mentions. -Open source -You can self-host it for free of charge or go for a paid version that provides support -Very flexible: Can even be customised to display web pages -Gamification: reward users for participating by earn badges and new abilities

Cons: The ability to add images is a little cumbersome. I wish it could be done with 1 click! But other than that, there is little to complain about.

Vanilla is the very first platform we have ever hosted our Community on!

May 10, 2018
3/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
3 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
4 / 5
Value for Money
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Pros: Our CSM is amazing and really goes the extra mile to make sure we have the resources we need and liase with internal stakeholders to speed up any roadblocks we may run into.

Cons: I do think it needs quite a bit of customization to look optimal. There is also limited Salesforce integration, the only options are to create a new lead or a support case which doesn't really work well if your community is geared toward existing customers. There are definitely some improvements that can be made with Vanilla but I do think the support you receive helps you come up with work arounds to these problems

Overall: Very first time launching a community

Vanilla is easy, intuitive and full of useful features.

Apr 23, 2018
4/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
3 / 5
Value for Money
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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.

Overall: 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.

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

Apr 19, 2018
4/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
4 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money
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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

Overall: Gives us a support community within our budget.

Good platform with a great customer experience

Jun 07, 2018
4/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
4 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money

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.

Fantastic customer service. Very responsive support team. Easy to implement.

May 31, 2018
5/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money
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Pros: The ability to customize the features to suit our needs. The ease of use. Easy to explain features to new customers visiting the site.

Cons: I have no negative feedback. There were a couple of minor changes that were quickly implemented when requested.

Overall: My role as forum moderator has been improved through the use of this software. The added features and ability to customize to our needs makes this software a 10/10.

Capterra-loader

A+++ PaaS Community

May 14, 2018
5/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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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.

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

Capterra-loader

Great service and relationship, okay functionality

May 31, 2018
3/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
3 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 6.0/10 Not
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Pros: - Simple for users
- Great CSM
- Team is open to building new functionality with us strategically

Cons: - Felt like we needed to do a lot of custom work for features I felt should have existed
- Requires a bit of CSS knowledge on the admin side
- Bare bones onboarding/training program - we would've appreciated more walk-through sessions

Overall: Easy way to manage community inuitively

Solid features, very useable with good support.

Feb 04, 2018
5/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 9.0/10 Not
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Pros: Easy to get up and running, customize and make into your own community, with strong moderation tools.

Cons: A few long-standing bugs, but overall still solid. Support is decent, but could be more responsive I guess.

Overall a positive experience with the software and service.

Jun 07, 2018
3/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
3 / 5
Features & Functionality
4 / 5
Customer Support
3 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 8.0/10 Not
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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.

Capterra-loader

I've been at this for 28 years. This is the best platform in every way that I've ever worked with

Jun 01, 2018
5/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money

Pros: The flexibility, the wealth of moderation tools, the adaptability to maintain the visual identity of our community, and most of all, the stunningly fine, highly responsive, customer service.

Cons: That we did not discover it until last year. Seriously, I would be hard-pressed to identify anything about this platform that I disliked. I know there's no such thing as a perfect community software platform, but I have used a good many software packages, and this comes very close.

Adequate

Jun 20, 2018
4/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
3 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
3 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 3.0/10 Not
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Pros: The customer support I receive is excellent. Team does an amazing job of answering or finding the answers to my questions.

Cons: There are some features from competing platforms that are attractive and missing from Vanilla Forums. The API was historically weak as well, but I have not tried version 2.0 of it.

Overall: We have a community of users that really seem to enjoy the forums. They enjoy that there is some platform to communicate on, not necessarily enjoying the features and experience of Vanilla. I don't hear much about that, although I never ask.

Excellent onboarding & support, a great service

Apr 20, 2018
5/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
4 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 9.0/10 Not
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Pros: The onboarding process with Vanilla has been exemplary. Customer support has been supportive, helpful and friendly. No question is too small.
Vanilla has given us everything we needed to get our forums looking exactly how we wanted, with easy-to-understand tools that give us great control over the content in our community. We've been very specific about what we needed from Vanilla, and there's always been a way to deliver this. Overall, a good experience and we're very hopeful for the future of our community.

Cons: Occasionally, some of the more 'in-depth' tools have been tricky to use (for example the bulk user import function). However, Customer support has always been on hand to answer my questions and set things right.

Overall: Easily customisable, has everything we needed to create and oversee our growing community.

Quirky at times but gets the job done.

Jun 07, 2018
4/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
3 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 8.0/10 Not
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Pros: There is plenty of information for reporting on the backend which is very useful. Overall layout is simple and responsive.

Cons: There are a lot of features on the front end that I would like to see implemented for both admins and users.

Overall: Reporting information & direct contact with real time users.

Share and collect information without borders

May 20, 2018
5/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 9.0/10 Not
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Pros: This platform is great for distributing information and collecting knowledge among a large number of users. To create different topics, track comments, look for the right information - all this can be done very easily with this program. Furthermore, there are a lot of plug-ins at your disposal and tools for customizing the design to your needs. You can ask support team for any help and they will find the answers needed as soon as possible. After all, they have a lot of webinars and trainings on using the program.

Cons: There is no mobile application that would notify about updates on the forum and for now our users have to constantly check the email box. Also, sometimes it seems that live chat sometimes needs a web page refreshing to see current discussion.

Capterra-loader

Very robust and customizable for different needs.

May 31, 2018
4/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
4 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 8.0/10 Not
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Pros: They are always open to hearing customer feedback and making necessary updates to their product with it. Our Customer Success Manager was always available to help us with both our strategy and any tech issues or questions.

Cons: Some of the themes are a bit outdated and could use some more modern UX/UI. It also lacks integrations with CRM tools like Salesforce, but at least integrates with things like Zendesk, Hootsuite, etc.

Overall: I used it to manage three different Forums; our customer community, feedback/product ideas forum, and private ambassador forum (for customer advocates).

Overall a positive experience that I would certainly suggest to my colleagues.

May 31, 2018
3/5
Overall
3 / 5
Ease of Use
3 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 9.0/10 Not
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Pros: The customer service support has been stellar. Overall flexibility and design control is positive.

Cons: I would like to see continual improvement of sign-up features. Our members are slow to sign-up and having an easier way to force add individuals would be great.

Overall: One designated area for all member needs.

It was easy to stand up our community.

Apr 23, 2018
3/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
3 / 5
Features & Functionality
2 / 5
Customer Support
4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 5.0/10 Not
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Pros: Ease of use and set up. Having private groups and product ideas are very important features for us. Our contact, Brigitte, is very helpful and always responsive.

Cons: We experienced slight problems implementing SSO, but after a few calls, we solved the problem. Will need to learn how Vanilla can be used for document management.

Overall: We are still building our community numbers, but once rolling, it will be a great connection point between us and our customers. Still learning some of the finer points and I look forward to have more customer data and testing built-in analytics.

A review from a long time user.

Dec 11, 2015
5/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Customer Support
4 / 5
Value for Money

Comments: I work as a moderator for a large gaming-related community. We use Vanilla forum software as the backbone for everything we do, and the difference between it and our previous software is striking. It's reliable, easy to use, and Vanilla support has been very easy to work with

Pros: The communication with Vanilla has been above and beyond what I expected. Any issues we might have are addressed quickly and well.

Cons: There are some minor feature issues. The poll software isn't as comprehensive as I'd like

Capterra-loader

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

Jun 13, 2018
5/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
4 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
4 / 5
Value for Money

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.

A platform for everyone

Dec 11, 2015
4/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Customer Support
4 / 5
Value for Money

Comments: I'm a moderator for a fairly large online community. We've used various solutions in the past, but none have proven as versatile as Vanilla. It's clean, fast, and always improving to meet our needs.

Pros: Customization options, theming, responsiveness, clean and intuitive interface, excellent customer service.

Cons: Content search still needs work. New custom features understandably require more time to perfect.

So far, everything is going smoothy.

Jun 07, 2018
4/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
4 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 9.0/10 Not
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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.

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

Capterra-loader

My experience with Vanilla has been very positive in large part because of Valerie Robitaille

May 31, 2018
4/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 9.0/10 Not
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Pros: Very comprehensive with very few bugs from my perspective. The theme choices look clean and professional. Edits and changes to the content published work the first time.

Cons: Poor documentation on "how to's" The settings choices are vast and it isn't always intuitive on how changes made to settings will impact my site. Some desired look and feel or site behavior modifications becomes a hunt and peck exercise within the settings menu.

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

Apr 23, 2018
5/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money

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.

You Get What You Pay For

Dec 11, 2015
5/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money

Comments: Having outgrown free forum software, a paid solution was searched for. Vanilla provided an easy transition into something more robust and secure with the support to back it during the transitional period.

Pros: Great customer support and ease of use.

Cons: Search feature can require extra work to find what you're looking for. Results often buried in nested conversations.

Capterra-loader

Excellent solution for gaming forums

May 31, 2018
4/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: Dashboard is very intuitive, clean, and easy to use. We've experienced no down time with our forums, and the feature list is quite extensive. It's highly customizable and an excellent solution for our gaming community.

Cons: Some of the user permissions are a bit confusing, the UI could be improved slightly in the back-end to resolve this.

Overall: Easy to use software, phenomenal customer support

Great forum software!

Dec 11, 2015
5/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money

Comments: I'm a volunteer community manager for a sizable web-based community. We switched from a software that was unable to handle the size of our growing community, and it was causing issues with stability.

Pros: My favorite feature is the reaction system!

Very satisfied! Easy to use software and a very responsive Success Manager!

Jun 06, 2018
5/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
Likelihood to Recommend: 9.0/10 Not
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Pros: The Vanilla Forums software is intuitive and easy to use. Our Success Manager at vanilla has been very responsive to questions and has always tried to find an answer or solution to whatever our question or problem was.

Cons: We're still in process of setting up our community but so far we've not found any big ones. There have been a couple of specific customization requests that we've had that we've not been able take care of ourselves but our Success Manager has taken care of these requests for us with the team at Vanilla.

Customer service very accommodating post launch and pre launch

Apr 24, 2018
4/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
4 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money

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.

We love it

Feb 26, 2018
5/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money

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