Intuitive and easy to use
A super enjoyable user experience
No matter your objective, your success depends on a great user experience. Vanilla is built like no other forum platform, and every design choice has a philosophical reason to support it. Vanilla is a re-imagining of how community engagement should be done, and users love it.
In addition to standard discussions, Vanilla allows users to post questions and polls. Like most of Vanilla's features, these discussion types can be turned on or off in the Admin Dashboard.
One of our most popular discussion types is "Questions". As others answer the question, the asker is prompted to either accept or reject the answers they receive. This feature forces the asker to decide what was the correct answer, ensuring that questions get answered quickly and correctly.
Users format posts with html, markdown or bbcode. Images are automatically resized and YouTube and Vimeo videos are automatically embedded. Tweets, Vines and Pins are also automatically recognized when pasted into a comment.
User can mention each other in discussions by writing an "@" before a username. Mentioned users are notified so they can quickly jump into the discussion.
The Best of page helps users find your community's best content by browsing a fun, infinite-scrolling page. Content shows up on this page if it receives positive reactions or if promoted by a moderator.
We have an unequaled notification system that keeps users abreast of anything that they care about happening in the community. Even if they haven't left the community, we have in-page notifications to keep them informed about what matters to them.
Powerful user profiles
Every member gets a profile that they can customize with their personal information. It serves as a place where they can catch up on their discussions, comments, reputation, reactions, badges, abilities, and much more.
Vanilla auto-saves your content as you are entering it so that you can close the window on purpose or by accident, and your hard work will not be lost.
Vanilla hosts a free service called Vanillicon.com that generates cool looking, totally unique icons for users who have not uploaded profile pictures. Vanillicon's help a dreary, image-less community come to life! Vanilla also integrates with Gravatar.
Real-time previews & edits
Users can preview their comments in real time right in the page, and they can edit their existing comments right in the page as well.
Users can have private one-on-one discussions, or they can bring multiple people into the conversation.
Autocomplete helps users find what they are looking for quickly. Search results include images and videos added to posts. Relevance is based on keywords, word order and post quality.
Vanilla remembers everything you've seen, always keeping you up to date with which discussions have new content. Forget about remembering which page you were on, Vanilla puts you right where you stopped reading the last time you were in a discussion.
Our Advanced Editor recognizes HTML, BBCode and Markdown. Images, videos and other rich content are easily embedded, files can be attached and code blocks can be prettified. If WYSIWYG is what you need, Vanilla has that too.