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Higher Logic Vanilla Logo

Higher Logic Vanilla

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Higher Logic Vanilla Features

Features Summary

Functionality

4.2

/5

63

Total features

71

8 categories

Higher Logic Vanilla features

@mentions
API
Access Controls/Permissions
Activity Dashboard
Activity Tracking
Activity/News Feed
Alerts/Notifications
Approval Workflow

Common features of Membership Management software

API
Access Controls/Permissions
Activity Dashboard
Alerts/Notifications
Application Management
Attendance Tracking
Committee Management
Communication Management

Price starts from

24000

Per year

Flat Rate

Pricing options
Free plan
Subscription
Free trial

Screenshots

Contenders comparison

Functionality

4.2

/5

63

Price starts from

24000

Per year

learn more

Total Features

71

Unique features

  • Contact Database

  • Document Storage

  • Feedback Management

  • Filtering

Functionality

4.6

/5

4.8K

Price starts from

0

learn more

Total Features

41

Features in Common

18

Unique features

  • Content Sharing

  • Live Chat

  • Post Scheduling

  • Real Time Editing

Functionality

4.3

/5

2.9K

Price starts from

16

Per month

learn more

Total Features

117

Features in Common

35

Unique features

  • Conversion Tracking

  • Visitor Tracking

  • Website Publishing Options

  • Workflow Management

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Higher Logic VanillavsHigher Logic Thrive
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Higher Logic VanillavsHivebrite

Reviewers who mentioned features said:

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John M.

Computer Software, 501-1,000 employees

Used daily for 1-2 years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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For building a strong and engaging community, Vanilla has THE platform!

Reviewed 4 years ago

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...

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.

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Chris V.

Design,

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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An excellent base forum platform for online communities

Reviewed 6 years ago

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.

JP
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Julian P.

Used daily for less than 6 months

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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

Reviewed 6 years ago
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...

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Tyler K.

Computer Software, 1,001-5,000 employees

Used daily for 6-12 months

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend9/10

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Flexible platform that allowed us to quickly get a customized Community up and running

Reviewed 6 years ago
Pros

Vanilla has allowed us to customize almost every aspect of the Community experience: content organization, moderation, additions of new spaces when the need arises, gamification - all of these components can be built out and tweaked by a team without coding experience. The ability for our developers to own and push changes to the code allows the next level of customization we needed to get our community off the ground.

Cons

The analytics is one place that is lacking a bit. Their advanced analytics dashboard gives insights into some useful metrics but doesn't allow any form of filtering (except for the date) or examining side by side comparisons of different user groups / content sets. The analytics API gives a bit more useful information but it still takes a bit of work to really answer some of the more complicated aspects of the value the community is providing to the organization. Additionally, their documentation is significantly lacking - once you know how to do something in the platform, you find that it can probably do what you are looking for but many times you have to rely on your CSM to help get you that information (which they are normally great at!)

AR
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Verified reviewer

Publishing, 1,001-5,000 employees

Used daily for 6-12 months

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Experience has been largely positive, though we have encountered some technical challenges.

Reviewed 6 years ago

We replaced user forums successfully and configured them to easily. Overall users were pleased and felt it was an upgrade on the previous forums.

Pros

The product is fully featured and relatively straightforward to configure and set up. Integration with SSO has been very easy and appears to work well and there are a number of plug-ins available which enable further customisation. Our forum moderators and the majority of users have found it simple and pleasant to use. Account management has been very good and fairly responsive to issues.

Cons

As a managed service there are a few hidden costs (migrations in particular). Some of the technology seems a little outdated and a bit inflexible - changing simple headings etc should be fairly straightforward but is in fact a manual task by the account manager, who has to root about in the code for the relevant strings. Also, the migration from staging to live is manual and open to user error. Image compression (or the lack of) has been a big issue for us as our sites are very visual and performance has suffered. I am hoping that some of the infrastructure changes they are making will improve this though.

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Jorge M.

Telecommunications, 51-200 employees

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Vanilla has satisfied all of our Community Forum needs for over 5 years and has yet to disappoint.

Reviewed 6 years ago

Experience in managing a Community with thousands of users and creating an engaging ecosystem for our customers to call home.

Pros

The simplicity of the overall functionality, as it is clear on how to navigate and manage all aspects of the software. I began managing our company's Community Forum without prior knowledge or experience. The ease that comes with Vanilla, has allowed me to gain the confidence in my ability to learn, grow, and excel as a Community Manager.

Cons

I believe that Vanilla can become even better if they improve their analytics system which at times does not reflect accurate data and appears to be buggy. Although, to be fair this feature is relatively new on their end so I'm sure this will become up to their overall standard of providing flawless service.

ST
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Sheena T.

Used daily for 6-12 months

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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We have had a really good experience working with Vanilla. Our account manager has been invaluable.

Reviewed 6 years ago
Pros

It's pretty straightforward to use, but once you're comfortable with the basics there is a lot of room to customize the tool to fit your needs. We needed a solution with a robust API and Vanilla has done a really great job on that front. Our account manager has been easy to work with and very responsive. She's knowledgeable in many aspects and not afraid to connect me with her team members if they have a deeper understanding to share. I'd recommend Vanilla for managing a support community.

Cons

Some functionalities are a little unwieldy and certain workflows are cumbersome to maintain when we're seeing a lot of volume. When moderating our Community as a team, we sometimes stumble over each other and do the same work twice because it's difficult to tell where your team members are working in the community when.

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Joe B.

Computer Software, 51-200 employees

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Great Value for Money with all the bells and Whistles

Reviewed 6 years ago
Pros

- Easy to customize - Dedicated Success manger that is very responsive and helpful! - Cost effective with all the features that very high costing solutions have - we trialed 10 different solutions before selecting vanilla as they winner - New features rolled in all the time - Gamification between users have kept customers engaged and excited about what we do

Cons

I would have once sent integrations between other products, however the new API v2 solves this. So no cons :)

PD
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Patrick D.

Writing and Editing, self-employed

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Best Forum Software

Reviewed 4 years ago

I have nothing but good things and great times with Vanilla. Back in the day over 10 years ago i used Vanilla to learn more about integrating forums into my site and others and these guys were the #1 software to use. They didn't have everything they do now but i learned so much about forum, and Q&A based website software just using it. Today i became a PRO because of using the Vanilla software and i especially use it now for Gaming Websites where community interaction is a major part of the site. The software can also be tailored towards whatever your site is about. It has so many features that can be used for personal and business solutions.

Pros

I been integrating Vanilla forums into my site for years. I use Vanilla Forums as a Q & A for a lot of people that need help forums on their site so people can ask questions and get answers to anything related to their content and services and it works beaut full. You can also create your own custom Q & A so if someone is on your website and needs help the answers to their Question are already there and by chance they are not they can always ask. With the notification feature the admins get real time feedback as well as its members. The forums feature, the highlight of the software allows you to build a better community around your product and service to all everyone to be connected and have discussions on a beautiful and simple layout.

Cons

I miss the free version ..those were the times but the paid version puts together more enhance tools and added features that you always wished was around. They took all the feedback over the years all the features and fully went over them again and revamped it all. When you use Vanilla now its like a whole new brand of company with everything you need to put a community together on your website.

KA
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Kara A.

Information Technology and Services, 51-200 employees

Used daily for less than 6 months

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Vanilla is a great choice for your new community!

Reviewed 4 years ago

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.

SG
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Sarah G.

Telecommunications, 51-200 employees

Used daily for 6-12 months

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend9/10

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We have had a great experience so far with Vanilla. The customer service particularly is exceptional

Reviewed 6 years ago
Pros

Moving to Vanilla was a great decision for us as we were provided with many more features, customization areas, and settings than we had with our previous forum software. We have been able to implement our own themes, enable plugins, add moderation rules and permissions and also apply stronger security than we had previously. The migration process with Vanilla was very smooth and we have had contacts...

Cons

Due to the high number of extra settings, plugins, and options available, it's a lot to take in and learn, especially if you're coming from another software where there was a limited amount of settings to use. We're grateful to have our wonderful Customer Success Manager on hand to guide us through these, send over the best guides to read and explain how it all works.

EK
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Eva K.

Computer Software, 51-200 employees

Used daily for less than 6 months

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Vanilla Forums for the win!

Reviewed 5 years ago

The sales process was awesome. My CSM is awesome. Support is very impressive. I really love Vanilla as a company. They're tuned in and know the secret to their success is mine. It's evident in every interaction I've had with them.

Pros

It's easy. There are a few small areas that could use more robust documentation, but overall I feel like I could have launched this platform in my sleep. Which is a huge win for our org. We're fairly small, growing really fast, and we've all got to put on additional hats to keep getting stronger. Vanilla forums provided a tool that could be spun up quickly without sacrificing how powerful it is. Having...

Cons

Just that the permissions are so granular they can get a little cumbersome. It just required really taking our time and testing. Not such a bad thing when it comes to permissions. Like I said, the current analytics built in are a great jumping off point. But we're leveraging google analytics as well to fill in the gaps. One "for instance" is what our customers are searching for. But this was easily solved leveraging the pockets and throwing in a GA tracker.

SJ
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Sreekumar J.

Information Services, 1-10 employees

Used daily for 1-2 years

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Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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A cute online community solution with amazing flexibility and scale

Reviewed 6 years ago
Pros

For our startup in online solution space, I was looking at a stable and easy to manage community solution and I found vanilla as the perfect solution to meet our requirements. It is pretty simple for Administration. We took a few hours to create and organize our online community. Building it up is easy. I found the solution, extremely flexible - a handful of options,and business rules. The...

Cons

So far, our experience with Vanilla is perfect and hence no dislike. If get more deep in to functionalities, probably analytics portion is something which require further improvement.

SC
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Sue C.

Used daily for 1-2 years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Vanilla has been great from initial setup/launch to daily use & support. We're very happy.

Reviewed 6 years ago
Pros

Vanilla is easy to use and navigate, and the tools/options/add-ons are explained thoroughly in the dashboard. This was very helpful to me, especially in the beginning when I was fairly new to forum software. When we were just getting started, having several design options/layouts to choose from helped us get the look we wanted. The webinars I've watched were very helpful, and I've downloaded and read just about every eBook Vanilla has published (from their resources) to get advice and roadmaps for different aspects of managing a forum. Technical support has been outstanding throughout. Whenever we have an issue large or small, I can always count on a quick response and a solution or at least an explanation.

Cons

The only cons are that there are just a couple of specific features that we would like to have but they're not available for us: When starting a New Poll, options are limited. For example, a "select all that apply" option would be beneficial to the types of polls we take. In the theme we are using, we're unable to sort discussions based on number of views.

JC
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Jacob C.

Financial Services, 201-500 employees

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support

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Good forum software with great customer service

Reviewed 8 years ago

I'm a moderator on a community that switched to Vanilla three years ago from a heavily hacked-together vBulletin. I was initially ambivalent about the switch - even though our old software had become hopelessly inadequate to our needs, it was super-tailored to the needs of our community - but Vanilla won me over, primarily on the strength of their support staff, who are not only pleasant and helpful, but are engaged in the community in a real way. As participants in our forum, they've come to know our needs as well as we do, and not only have all our old favorite features come back in newer, spiffier implementations, in a couple instances they have added entirely new features that addressed needs I didn't even know I had but now couldn't live without.

Pros

It's a slick, modern forum implementation that is heavily customizable (as a cursory flick through the diverse kinds of communities running the software can illustrate) with some features I really welcome in 2015, particularly the Minion, which automates a lot of tasks that used to require babysitting by moderators or community managers. This was something Vanilla provided us because they saw the kinds of things we were dealing with and they anticipated the need - that's service I appreciate.

Cons

The customer service is excellent and the team is eager to help find software solutions to community problems, but it can take a while for requested fixes to make their way through the pipeline.

PH
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Paul H.

Publishing, 51-200 employees

Used daily for 6-12 months

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Great transition team, awesome support, easy to use product

Reviewed 6 years ago

Simple support forum solution, cloud hosting, and easy posting for our users.

Pros

After completing our transition to Vanilla and getting the community in place, the thing that makes Vanilla really stand out is how easy it is to use day to day. Tracking new threads, seeing new comments quickly, and being able to respond to our customers promptly make the product a great fit for our support forums. We also use Vanilla to host some locked knowledge content, a function beyond the scope of the product, but one Vanilla adapted to very nicely.

Cons

Some of the limitations in the text box can be frustrating. Our users often post written content and edit each other - previously we used a product with the option to change text color, something Vanilla lacks (outside of BBcode). A few other small functionalities of this sort are lacking, but on the whole nothing that has reduced the number of posts we get daily.

YC
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Yael C.

Computer Software, 201-500 employees

Used daily for 6-12 months

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Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Overall, we have a good experience that can become perfect if few features will be added\fixed

Reviewed 6 years ago

Better communication between clients and between clients to employees

Pros

Vanilla is very easy to use and manage, looks good, offer great gamification that make our community fun, great value for money, good training materials, easy solution to support multilingual.

Cons

Reporting & stats needs much improvement: At the moment you cannot download/export any report nor create one of your own. To receive a very simple report of members list I have to contact my CS. While Vanilla do their best to fix bugs, it sometimes takes a lot of time. To make a truly beautiful and customized community you'll either have to know coding (css & html), pay a freelance or pay for professional services that have long ques.

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Martin M.

Internet, 51-200 employees

Used daily for 6-12 months

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Our experience with Vanilla overall has been excellent.

Reviewed 6 years ago
Pros

It provided a solid platform to launch our member engagement initiatives, and provides valuable tools that work well for our needs. Baked-in customer focused features such as the gamification engine and the availability of a customer analytics dashboard are great! Software is iteratively tweaked and improved as time goes on.

Cons

Inability to fully customize the look and layout of our community/subcommunity pages. The use of sub-communities to manage separate site forums that fall under one umbrella did not work as expected. Small things like tailoring tags to display only on specific sub-communities was not possible.

JS
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Justin S.

Consumer Goods, 501-1,000 employees

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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You won't be disappointed

Reviewed 6 years ago
Pros

Easy moderation tools, FANTASTIC customer support/success team, and lots of great tools for the community such as badges and reactions.

Cons

Would like to see more reporting capabilities, an in-depth knowledge base for self-service so that we can learn about best practices. Would also like more advanced AI and Q&A functionalities.

MG
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Matt G.

Insurance, 51-200 employees

Used daily for less than 6 months

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Vanilla is easy, intuitive and full of useful features.

Reviewed 6 years ago

This software has allowed our members to engage with each other in ways other platforms don't support or offer. As a company we pride ourselves on customer engagement and to have a tool that supports us in this aim has been fantastic.

Pros

As we're very new to community management Vanilla has made it incredibly straight forward to setup, moderate and grow our online community. The post sale support they offer is fantastic. There hasn't been a question they haven't been able to answer in a timely manner. The software itself is very easy to use, and as someone who has never used community tools before that's saying something. It's packed full of all the features you need to make your community a success.

Cons

The lack of customisation without having technical knowledge has been a mild inconvenience. We'd like to stand out and be different, but if we're using the same format/layout as almost all other community sites it's hard to do that. So more support for customisation for newbies would be welcomed.

KR
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Katie R.

Computer Games, 51-200 employees

Used daily for less than 6 months

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend5/10

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Vanilla and the community

Reviewed 4 years ago

I've always found Account Managers and the support team to be friendly and helpful - I think they make up for a number of pitfalls that the product has. The vanilla product we have is basic - there are many other platforms we could use that can deliver the same, if not more at a lower cost. Other options may not have the same levels of support/account management though.

Pros

I like: - It's customisable - It's designed for desktop and mobile

Cons

- Features that would be very useful are locked behind additional monthly costs that don't justify the benefit. (Ideation as an example) - Default themes haven't been thoroughly tested on different browsers and devices, resulting in complaints from our users. - There's not enough customisable options for automatic moderation. - Some functions aren't in intuitive places - e.g. editing the main home page banner is in the add-on and this is a completely different location to all other banners. - Inability to schedule posts to go up out-of-hours.

AR
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Verified reviewer

Computer Software, 51-200 employees

Used daily for less than 6 months

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend9/10

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Excellent onboarding & support, a great service

Reviewed 6 years ago

Easily customisable, has everything we needed to create and oversee our growing community.

Pros

The onboarding process with Vanilla has been exemplary. Customer support has been supportive, helpful and friendly. No question is too small. Vanilla has given us everything we needed to get our forums looking exactly how we wanted, with easy-to-understand tools that give us great control over the content in our community. We've been very specific about what we needed from Vanilla, and there's always been a way to deliver this. Overall, a good experience and we're very hopeful for the future of our community.

Cons

Occasionally, some of the more 'in-depth' tools have been tricky to use (for example the bulk user import function). However, Customer support has always been on hand to answer my questions and set things right.

JM
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John M.

Information Technology and Services, 10,001+ employees

Used weekly for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend3/10

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Adequate

Reviewed 6 years ago

We have a community of users that really seem to enjoy the forums. They enjoy that there is some platform to communicate on, not necessarily enjoying the features and experience of Vanilla. I don't hear much about that, although I never ask.

Pros

The customer support I receive is excellent. Team does an amazing job of answering or finding the answers to my questions.

Cons

There are some features from competing platforms that are attractive and missing from Vanilla Forums. The API was historically weak as well, but I have not tried version 2.0 of it.

SH
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Samer H.

Consumer Electronics, 10,001+ employees

Used daily for 1-2 years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Quirky at times but gets the job done.

Reviewed 6 years ago

Reporting information & direct contact with real time users.

Pros

There is plenty of information for reporting on the backend which is very useful. Overall layout is simple and responsive.

Cons

There are a lot of features on the front end that I would like to see implemented for both admins and users.

JG
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Jeff G.

Information Technology and Services, 51-200 employees

Used daily for 6-12 months

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Easy to implement user community

Reviewed 4 years ago

Catalytic has a thriving user community as a result of our implementation of Vanilla.

Pros

The available templates make it very quick and easy to stand up a user community that includes announcements, questions and ideas. The support is fantastic.

Cons

The API is pretty robust, but we do find some actions that we would like to perform automatically to not be possible via the API.