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As a user of vanilla communities for more than 5 years and as community owner for one year. I have all praises for the software. Without going in positive details i will like to draw attention to important shortcomings.
As an community owner, everyone, even non profit community will like to recover costs. Vanilla totally neglect ad support for modern ad needs, which is so easy with blogs. With users coming from mobile, option of adding ads script somewhere in start of posts like after paragraph and before comments in last of first post are necessity. Nobody on mobile labor to top and bottom to find ads. So my visitors do not convert. Rest of things are either great or are manageable for non - programmer owners too .
With user perspective vanilla need push notification, couple of responsive default themes without any bugs. Modern user oriented language terms like "New discussions" word changed to "new topics" etc, Bookmark changed to follow. Feature of inviting friends to community through emails and through whatsapp etc while using mobile. Better networking like following people, posts, and adding friends into lists. Better organised sidebar, profile page , settings.
I hope vanilla team take into consideration these for near future. Thankyou