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.

Forum Polls
Questions and Answer Forum


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.

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.

Format posts with html, bbcode or markdown
@mention functionality


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.

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.

Best of Page: summary of best community content
Forum Notification System


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.

Forum User Profile
Forum auto-save drafts


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 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.

Vanillicon Avatars
Inline Editing your forum

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.

Private messaging

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

forum private message system
powerful advanced forum search

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.

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.

forum remebers where you are
forum WYSIWYG editor

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.

Are you ready to get started?

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