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Should I use Vanilla?

Hi. I'm considering Vanilla but want to make sure it can do everything I need. I'm not an IT pro, so I need something that is usable by someone with moderate tech skills.

I would like forum software that can do the following:

• From an email list, invite people to join a group (or let them join a group with an access code).
(I want to form groups based on schools, as well as allow non-group general members)

• Show all discussions at once or filter by group
(So one can see all discussion comments, or comments from a specific school group)

• Allow non-group general members to state their school when registering.

• Ability of users to rank/vote for best discussion posts (this seems to be part of Vanilla)

• Can it support multiple languages (such as English, Korean, Chinese…), and can discussions be filtered by language?
(So one can see all discussion comments, or filter to only see, say, Chinese)

• Works on mobile devices (this seems to be part of Vanilla)

• Ability to email all members or group members

• Some commenters say Vanilla is “boring” or “basic.” What do critics mean by this?

• Is hosting on Bluehost (installed from Simplescript) a good option?

Help with any of the above points would be appreciated.

Thanks.

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    whu606whu606 I'm not a SuperHero; I just like wearing tights... MVP

    @chililb

    Welcome to the community.

    Vanilla is free if you use the self-hosted version, so really, the answer would be to install it, and have a look at the features for yourself.

    I used SimpleScripts to set up my first Vanilla forum with Bluehost, but, if you follow the instructions here:

    http://vanillaforums.org/docs/installation

    you can be sure you are installing the latest stable version.

    Vanilla is intentionally 'basic' out of the box, with additional features provided via plugins (Addons in the menu here.)

    You are free to 'jazz up' your forum to the limits of your skills/imagination.

    Vanilla supports multiple languages, but i don't know about simultaneously.

    Mobile support is default, badges/awards are available via plugins, thanks to the efforts of some kind-hearted developers.

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    Thanks for the advice!

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