Core and Addon Upkeep, Maintenance, and Support
So, I've been working on looking for a platform to take over the workload from a BuddyPress+bbPress site that just hasn't worked out the way we wanted it to. I've been going from forum to forum, open source and paid, looking for something that I think has some staying power, stability, and support to make it a good solution. Reason being, I don't want to be going through this process in another year or two. Forums are a bit of a sticky wicket as a tool - helpful for user communities, but tough to maintain, customize, administrate. In the past decade, there really hasn't been much in the way of new, breakthrough features.
So, my quest has brought me to Vanilla. So far, I feel like it's winning out. vBulletin was close, but expensive, and there's a lot of debate over how good it is under new leadership. phpBB is a nice forum, but still seems like a PITA to customize, and feels like they haven't really come very far in the past 5 years. But with a little effort in Vanilla, and I was able to migrate content out of bbPress, set up the site, and use a couple plugins to get things adapted enough that I think I have a good solution at the moment. So, that brings me to my next question for the community.
How do you feel support is for the development cycle for the product and addons? For instance, one thing that seems a little bothersome to me are the number of addons that seem to have not been maintained in a while, or "approved" addons that have threads discussing how they are broken. That's a little scary to me. If you're running a Vanilla forum (which I assume if you're here, you are), what do you wish you'd known before you went live with your site? Would you choose Vanilla again, if you were making the choice now versus when you got into it? Do you feel good about the future of the product and the roadmap the core team have? Maybe more importantly, do your users like it, and what are their common complaints?