Who Uses This Software?

We are perfect for anyone looking for a robust community experience to engage with their customers, fans and enthusiasts, without worrying about hosting and updating software.


Average Ratings

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

Product Details

  • Free Version
    Yes
  • Free Trial
  • Deployment
    Cloud, SaaS, Web
  • Training
    Documentation
    Webinars
    Live Online
  • Support
    Online
    Business Hours

Vendor Details

  • Vanilla
  • vanillaforums.com
  • Founded 2009
  • Canada

About Vanilla

More than ever consumers of content, goods and services want a voice within a community of others who all share a common interest. Vanilla was founded in December 2009 as an open source project powering over 50,000 online communities. Today, Vanilla's cloud service powers thousands of businesses and is the enterprise standard for gaming, retail and high-tech organizations.


Vanilla Features

  • Activity / News Feed
  • Advertising Management
  • Blogs
  • Event Calendar
  • Group Management
  • Messaging
  • Photo Management
  • Privacy Options
  • Tagging
  • User Profiles
  • Video Management

Vanilla Reviews

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.

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!

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.

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.

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

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.