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.

Vanilla Forums User Experience

Discussion types

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.

Rich content

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.

Mentions

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.

Advanced Editor

Our Advanced Editor recognizes HTML, BBCode and Markdown. Images, videos and other rich content are easily embedded, files can be uploaded and code blocks can be prettified. If WYSIWYG is what you need, Vanilla has that too.

Best of

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.

Notifications

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.

vanilla forums user profile

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.

Auto-save

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.

Avatars

Vanilla hosts a free service called Vanillicon.com that generates cool looking 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.

Powerful search

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 Forums Search

Smart history

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.

Private messaging

Users can have private one-on-one discussions, or they can bring multiple people into the conversation.

Advanced Editor

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.

Vanilla Forums Groups

Groups

Suited for larger communities, this feature lets members form smaller groups where they can hold discussions and schedule events. Groups can be public or private and can be managed by moderators or by the members themselves.

Are you ready to get started?

We have plans & pricing that fit the size and shape of your ambitions.