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Free vs Paid: What are the differences?

Hello everyone. :)

I've been researching Vanilla forums for a few months, on-and-off, and I have a few questions that I've been unable to find clear answers about:

1.) Is the free, open source, self-hosted version still limited in any way? I remember reading that there was a limit on users and/or posts.
2.) I also remember reading that you cannot install custom themes with the free, self-hosted version (unlike SMF, phpBB, and others). Is this true?
3.) Lastly, I remember that the open source version isn't really meant for live usage, just developers to test plugins and such.

Please forgive me if I missed some obvious section of the site where this information is readily available. I checked google, vanillaforums.com, vanillaforums.org, wikipedia, opensourcecms, these forums, and even the sales phone number with no luck on clear answers.

I am hoping to be able to use the free version of the software to host on my own site without any limitations on themes, users, posts, or anything else. Is this possible, or do I pretty much have to use Vanilla's cloud hosting plan for any meaningful usage of the software?

Thanks!
Tim

Comments

  • 1) no limit on users or posts, opensource has its own plugins and hosted have their own plugin, there may be overlap, but there might be some unavailable on hosted and vice-versa.

    2) read a few discussions - there all kinds of custom themes and add-ons. self-hosted - you can do whatever your heart pleases. you are the boss.

    3) false. you are confusing beta and development versions with stable version.
    2.0.1.18 is the stable open source self-hosted version - most all plugins and themes in the add-on section will work with it.

    I am hoping to be able to use the free version of the software to host on my own site without any limitations on themes, users, posts, or anything else. Is this possible, or do I pretty much have to use Vanilla's cloud hosting plan for any meaningful usage of the software?

    your only limitation is - the sky is the limit.

    I'm sure @adrian can give you the benefits of the hosting plan over at vanillforums.com

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

    Adriantimsilvahgtonight
  • AdrianAdrian Wandering Spirit Montreal Vanilla Staff
    edited November 2013

    @peregrine has covered most of what you need to know about self-hosted. The hosted version is the choice for you if you don't want to worry about hosting, backups, support , and you need access to various features only available on the hosted version. Neither platform is limited when it comes to users, posts, or theming. It really comes down to preference and where you want to put your energy. If you need more info send me a PM with your contact details.

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    peregrinetimsilvahgtonight
  • timsilvatimsilva New New
    edited November 2013

    Thank you so much for the speedy response @peregrine! I appreciate it. :)

    I am shocked at how confused I became about the differences between the two. As of a few hours ago, I was 100% certain that you had to commit to the $60/m (with the 30 day free trial of course) to use Vanilla in any meaningful way... I could have sworn I saw this clearly explained in multiple places across this site and on other credible sites. Did the policy recently change in the past few weeks or months? I must have been reading about the freely-hosted beta version... What a relief.

    The paid version definitely looks worthwhile too, I was just hesitant because I thought it was the only option.

    @Adrian - Thanks for the additional details! Where can I find a list of the features only available to the hosted version? Is this list from Wikipedia generally accurate as far as the differences are concerned?: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanilla_(forum)#Hosted_Forums

    Lastly, if I want to migrate over from another forum software (SMF, to be exact), can I still use your team's migration services even if I am using my own host? I know their experience in migrating from other platforms is invaluable and I hope it isn't limited to the cloud plans.

    *Note, you can reply to me in a PM Adrian, unless your response is something that other readers may benefit from. ;)

    Very pleased (and a little embarrassed :P) to have realized that I misunderstood the power of the free version for so long! I would have started switching over months ago.

    Warm regards,
    Tim

  • hbfhbf wiki guy? MVP

    at one time there was a free hosted version that vanilla offered. it's gone the way of the dodo now, but at the time it had the user, theme and add-on limits.

    timsilva
  • @hbf - That must be the source of my misunderstanding. Thanks a ton for clearing that up, I no longer doubt my sanity. :)

  • AdrianAdrian Wandering Spirit Montreal Vanilla Staff

    @timsilva I removed the price of migration because it depends on what is worked out with the sales team. So I decided to err on side of caution. We also don't sell services separate from the hosted plan. I also think there is value to go hosted if you want piece of mind. There is a free porter, but if memory serves it's only for SMF1.X. Anyway I think it really gets down to your comfort. In terms of features, the hosted version is more than the open source on our servers. Other features also depend on the plan you opt for. It might be worthwhile to have a call to discuss the options. I'll send you a PM.

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  • hbfhbf wiki guy? MVP

    i also provide a hosted version. it's less expensive than what you will find here, but i can't boast the 99.99% uptime reliability that they can. but more importantly everyone likes hamburgers, and i look better in a thong bikini.

    timsilva
  • AdrianAdrian Wandering Spirit Montreal Vanilla Staff

    @hbf you are right. I forgot about the free hosted version. It wasn't there for long. I might have to search out the blog and make sure we remove the mentions to it. Thanks for the memory jog :D

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  • AdrianAdrian Wandering Spirit Montreal Vanilla Staff
    edited November 2013

    @hbf it's great you do offer hosting, but it's important to point out the version we host is not just the open source version on our servers. There are some architectural and feature differences that users need to be aware of. It really depends on the needs related to that as well as support.

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  • hbfhbf wiki guy? MVP

    @Adrian said:
    hbf it's great you do offer hosting, but it's important to point out the version we host is not just the open source version on our servers. There are some architectural and feature differences that users need to be aware of. It really depends on the needs related to that as well as support.

    oh yes, thanks for that.

    addendum:

    it's less expensive than what you will find here, but i can't boast the 99.99% uptime reliability that they can, or the cutting edge latest releases or ".com only" features . but more importantly everyone likes hamburgers, and i look better in a thong bikini.

  • AdrianAdrian Wandering Spirit Montreal Vanilla Staff

    @hbf I am not sure how you look in a thong--rather not have the image. :p I do like hamburgers, though and I appreciate the addendum.

    Sharing is caring

    timsilva
  • hbfhbf wiki guy? MVP

    @Adrian said:
    hbf I am not sure how you look in a thong--rather not have the image. :p I do like hamburgers, though and I appreciate the addendum.

    hey, i'm from sunny southern california, we're all beautiful here.

    timsilvaphreakhgtonight
  • peregrineperegrine MVP MVP
    edited November 2013

    @hbf said:
    hey, i'm from sunny southern california, we're all beautiful here.

    but don't they all say "gag me with a spoon" valley girl, or is that the wrong valley.

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

  • HI

    I just installed the free version on my computer and been playing with it , I just wanted to see if I can duplicate the feel of vanilla site , so I installed the a&q plugin which doesn't work, and the betterbitter theme which looks there need to be a lot of work to be done with it , everything looks out of place ,and there is no mobile support on the theme , is this because its a free version , is the paid version going to work out of the box?

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