About Vanilla

Vanilla is a cloud-based community management solution for consumer goods, financial services, gaming, media and publishing and technology. The solution helps organizations engage members, create discussion forums and gather ideas through crowdsourcing.

Vanilla’s forums module enables users to start and moderate discussions. The module allows members to tag other members, add photos and videos to the discussion, create profiles, enable real-time edits and send private messages. Members can also create their online avatars using different icons.

The solution’s gamification functionality enables users to earn ranks, badges and followers. Also, the functionality enables users to remove spam and abusive content from the discu...


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Supported Operating System(s):

Mac OS, Web browser (OS agnostic), Windows 10

62 Reviews of Vanilla

Average User Ratings

Overall

4.4 / 5 stars

Ease-of-use

4.5

Value for money

4.5

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

Ratings Snapshot

5 stars

(32)

32

4 stars

(23)

23

3 stars

(7)

7

2 stars

(0)

0

1 stars

(0)

0

Likelihood to Recommend

Not likely

Very likely

Showing 1 - 5 of 62 results

October 2020

John from Contentsquare

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 501-1,000 employees

Industry: Computer Software

Time Used: Less than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

October 2020

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!

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.

March 2018

User Profile Picture

Chris from Tomodomo

Verified Reviewer

Industry: Design

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

March 2018

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.

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.

April 2018

Julian from Spotify

Time Used: Less than 6 months

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

3.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

3.0

April 2018

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

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)

August 2020

Kara from Foundant Technologies

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Industry: Information Technology and Services

Time Used: Less than 6 months

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

3.0

August 2020

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!

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.

Reasons for Choosing Vanilla

Company Values, Cost, Ease of Use

June 2018

User Profile Picture

Paul from PlayFusion

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Computer Games

Time Used: Less than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

June 2018

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

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.