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Vanilla Forums

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Vanilla Forums Coupons, Reviews, Comparisons and Alternatives

About Vanilla Forums

Vanilla is a really simplistic forum software based on queues of messages. New discussions appear on top, and stay there if they are popular, or can be manually sunk in the stack if its author wants to. This kind of forum software is usually always simple to use and understand: no sub-categories, no big bordered layout... only the content counts.

Vanilla Forums is used by more than 414,000 communities today, including the VanillaForums.com hosting.

Vanilla can be installed in two clicks (a bit more, but we are really optimistic), and, most of the time, the only important settings you have to define are the database login/password, and your own administrator account. If this still looks too complicated or you are too lazy, you can leave your forum in the cloud by asking to the dot com version of Vanilla Forums to get a free hosted forum.

Plugins are also very surprising: most of the important ones are bundled with the default Vanilla archive, and can be enabled in one click. Furthermore, this is not just simple useless plugins but must-have ones, like OpenId, smileys, Facebook Integration,...

  • 82


    22 Critic Reviews

  • Provided by
  • Platforms
    Web based
    Mac OSX
  • Mobile
  • API
  • Pricing
    View details
    Subscription Plans
    Free Plan

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Features & Specifications

Key Features

  • Gamification (Badges and Reactions)
  • Professional Services
  • Moderation
  • Single Sign On
  • Custom Theme (Skin)
  • Permission Management


Supported languages
English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Russian, Japanese, Arabic, Hebrew, Portuguese, Polish, Ukrainian, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish
Serviceable Area
Australia,  Brazil,  Canada,  China,  Germany,  India,  Japan,  Mexico,  United Kingdom,  United States
Supported Platforms
  • Web Based
  • Mobile Web
  • Desktop Windows
  • Desktop Mac OSX
  • Desktop Linux
  • Mobile App IOS
  • Mobile App Android
API availability
API is available. Protocol / Formats : JSON, XML, REST .
Access the API documentation
Vanilla Forums integrates with Zendesk and more than 4 other solutions. View details
Support Options
  • FAQs
  • Online Support
Security and privacy
  • Encryption of data at rest
  • SSL for all pages in application domain
  • Multiple Location Data backup

Ratings Summary

Metric Score Rank
cloudswave Score
Domain Authority 58
Alexa Rank 71202
Integration 61
Support options 61
Platforms 90
Show / Hide category leader in Radar

Vanilla Forums Demo Video

Vanilla Forums Screenshots

Plans & Pricing


for 1 Month / 1 user(s)


  • 250K monthly page views included
  • 3 staff users
  • Unlimited members
  • API
  • Full theme control
  • Localization
  • Single sign-on


for 1 Month / 1 user(s)


  • 1M monthly page views included
  • 5 staff users
  • Advanced plan features +
  • CRM integrations
  • Customer Success Manager
  • Staging account
  • Forum migration


for 1 Month / 1 user(s)


  • 3M monthly page views included
  • 10 staff users
  • Corporate plan features +
  • Sub-communities
  • Sentiment analytics
  • Live training
  • Dedicated success manager


for 1 Month / 1 user(s)


  • 20M monthly page views included
  • Unlimited staff users
  • Enterprise plan features +
  • Theme pull
  • Vanilla Hub
  • VIP support
  • Uptime SLA

Showing 5 out of 5 - View All

Vanilla Forums Integrations

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Help Desk and Ticket Management

Vanilla Forums integrates with Zendesk . Zendesk delivers the leading cloud-based customer service software. Loved by customers for its si...
Learn More

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Shopping Cart

Vanilla Forums integrates with Wordpress. WordPress is one of the best CMS platforms that helps you create a blog or a website started in n...
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SnapLogic Salesforce Integration

Cloud Integration

Vanilla Forums integrates with SnapLogic Salesforce Integration. SnapLogic delivers rapid Salesforce integration with back-office SAP or Oracle ERP applications t...
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Social Media Management

Vanilla Forums integrates with LoginRadius. LoginRadius manages your website registration process, keep your customer data secure, and integr...
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Email Marketing

Vanilla Forums integrates with MailChimp. MailChimp is an email marketing service provider, founded in 2001.  It h...
Learn More

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Critic Reviews

  • 82

    Cloudswave Score for Vanilla Forums

    Rating based on 22 Critic Reviews

    11 Favorable reviews
    85 %
    1 Mixed reviews
    8 %
    1 unfavorable reviews
    8 %
  • 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!

  • What do you like best?

    It was easy to get up and running in a very basic sense. After that, it was hard to customize notifications and the documentation for making custom headers and things like that was incredibly technical and not at all geared toward their less technical userbase.

    What do you dislike?

    The salesperson was incredibly pushy and kept trying to upsell us on features and moderation. This is because the very basics were not suitable as-is, making it virtually impossible not to upgrade to a more expensive plan. Their salesperson would routinely call me (after I told him not to and to email me instead) and leave voicemails. He also refused to honor our ability to cancel the contract even after I explained to him that we were willing to pay everything in a lump sum and cancel it. As I was attempting to do this and close everything out, he escalated the issue and made me feel taken advantage of. I would never recommend Vanilla Forums to a fellow community professional.

  • As a whole, I think that the app has come a long way since version 1. It’s kept the majority of its interface that was praised for being incredibly simple to use and that’s what Vanilla is pretty much all about. Though the price has increased and they don’t appear to offer a free option any more, the app seems to make up for this and offers a solution for those wanting to take full advantage of the simplicity of Vanilla’s core open source software without having to worry about getting it set up with their web host.

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User Reviews

View All Alternatives

Alternatives to Vanilla Forums

Vanilla Forums

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