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Bettermode vs. Vanilla Forums: Which is Better for Customer Community

An in-depth comparison of Bettermode and Vanilla Forums based on key features, use cases, pricing, and third-party reviews. This guide will help you select the right community platform for your customer community.
Written by
Kerry Leech
Last updated
October 23, 2023

Among the top community platforms, Bettermode and Vanilla Forums offer a variety of features designed to help companies grow online communities. And it can be overwhelming to select one platform based on your business goals and community objectives.

Bettermode, formerly known as Tribe, is an all-in-one community platform that enables businesses to organize Q&As, facilitate discussions, empower customers to upvote product ideas, communicate the roadmap, and drive customer success with help and resource center.

Bettermode offers advanced block-based customization features with its Design Studio, making it an ideal choice for businesses looking to deliver unique and streamlined customer experience.

On the other hand, Vanilla Forums doesn't offer one centralized platform for community engagement. However, it does offer customization tools using build blocks.

With these key differences in mind, an in-depth comparison of Bettermode and Vanilla Forums is essential for companies to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of each platform. This post will help you make an informed decision about which community platform best aligns with your business goals and objectives.

Overview of Bettermode and Vanilla Forums

In this section, we will look at a brief overview of both of the platforms - Bettermode and Vanilla Forums (also known as Higher Logic Vanilla).


Bettermode is an all-in-one customer community platform that helps businesses simplify customer experience, improve customer engagement, and build stronger relationships. This platform helps brands and creators to build online communities with complete customization capability and data ownership. The goal is to empower brands build unique and tailored customer communities exactly based on their needs.

Community powered by Bettermode
Community powered by Bettermode

Some of the key features of Bettermode include professionally designed templates, a powerful design studio, modular apps, and the ability to collect user feedback and ideas from product teams. These features work together to create a dynamic and user-friendly community that fosters engagement and attracts new members.

Vanilla Forums

Vanilla Forums offers various customization options using block-based widgets. Some of the key features of Vanilla Forums are its moderation tools, analytics, and theming.

Higher Logic Vanilla Community
Higher Logic Vanilla Community

Comparing key features

Pre-made templates

Bettermode offers more than 10 pre-made templates to help create an engaging community experience. Some of the key templates for common use cases are Q&A, discussion forum, events, ideation, knowledge base, and roadmap.

In comparison, Vanilla Forums is geared towards supporting forum-style discussions.

Customization and branding

Bettermode offers a powerful Design Studio, allowing for extensive customization and branding capabilities. You can select, arrange, and configure various blocks to build completely unique communities.

Block-based Design Studio by Bettermode
Block-based Design Studio by Bettermode

Vanilla Forums provides options for customizations as well. However, it still requires additional custom coding for creating unique designs.


Both community platforms have built-in integrations with popular third-party tools. Specific integration options for each platform may vary, so it's essential to verify whether the required tools are compatible.

Popular integrations by Bettermode

The popular integrations offered by Bettermode are Zendesk, Jira, Salesforce, HubSpot, Slack. Bettermode's Developer Portal also helps businesses to build custom integrations and add additional features to the platform.

Bettermode App Store
Bettermode App Store

Popular integrations by Vanilla Forums

Vanilla Forums integrates with Zendesk, Salesforce, GitHub, WordPress, and more.

Embed tools

Embedding content or tools within your community platform is crucial for creating an interactive experience. Bettermode allows users to embed components of the community as well as the entire community to provide an engaging experience to community members.

Community embedded into mobile app
Community embedded into mobile app

Vanilla Forums also supports embedding tools.

Developer platform

Developers typically prefer platforms that offer extensive customization options to suit their requirements. Bettermode and Vanilla Forums both provide developer platforms, allowing for a variety of functionalities such as API access and custom integrations.

Multilingual community

Multilingual support is vital for organizations looking to cater to a global audience. Both Bettermode and Vanilla Forums offer multilingual support, enabling community owners to serve their user base in multiple languages.

Bettermode specifically supports languages such as French, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, German, Turkish, and Portuguese.


Single Sign-On (SSO) streamlines the user experience by allowing community members to log in using a single set of credentials across multiple related applications or services. Bettermode and Vanilla Forums both support SSO, making it easier for users to access their communities with ease.

Pricing and plans

When considering a community platform, it's essential to compare pricing plans and features offered by both Bettermode and Higher Logic Vanilla.

Starting with Bettermode, their pricing model begins at $599 per month for the Advanced package. This plan includes features like advanced apps, Single sign-on (SSO), API and webhooks, staging environment, fully white-label configuration, and a customer success manager.

For a more customized solution, regulatory requirements, and advanced security, Bettermode offers an Enterprise plan. Bettermode's team can also activate a free trial to evaluate the platform and explore the full capabilities.

On the other hand, Higher Logic Vanilla does not provide a clear pricing model on their website.

Below is a comparison of some key features provided by each platform:

Feature Bettermode Vanilla Forums
All-in-one customer engagement X
Fully White-label
Block-based customization
API and Webhooks
Single Sign-On (SSO)
Customer Success Manager
Free Trial


In the comparison between Bettermode and Vanilla Forums, both community platforms offer unique features and benefits to meet different business needs. Bettermode has been found to be easier to use, set up, and administer by reviewers. The primary differentiation is that Bettermode provides an all-in-one community engagement experience.

On the other hand, Vanilla Forums focuses on providing a forum-centric platform with customization options. It is a good option for businesses looking for a more traditional forum solution.

Comparison between Bettermode and Higher Logic Vanilla based on G2 Crowd reviews
Comparison between Bettermode and Higher Logic Vanilla based on G2 Crowd reviews

Some considerations for making a choice between Bettermode and Vanilla Forums include ease of use, integration with existing tools, customization options, and pricing.

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Kerry Leech
Content Contributor

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