Vanilla Forum

May 9th, 2012

I recently set up a forum using Vanilla Forums, and have to say I’m impressed.

I started with phpbb and found it confusing and ugly. It has a million configuration options, and is probably very powerful, but even adding a new forum is confusing, with lots of permissions settings etc. And the plugin architecture is nightmarish.

I deleted that and had a look for another option. Vanilla Forums is so simple. It’s pretty, and seems to be pretty sensible right out the box. The forum I’ve been using it for is an internal project, with not that much traffic. Maybe it’s simplicity is no good for a busy forum, but the admin side of it is straightforward. It’s easy for users to navigate around. Even the way drafts are saved – it autosaves as you type, and next time you view the page you were adding a comment, everything you’d typed before is ready for you to finish.

Also, turning on Markdown support made me very happy. Since it isn’t well document, I’ll note here: add markdown support to your vanilla forum install by adding the following to conf/config.php

$Configuration['Garden']['InputFormatter'] = 'Markdown';

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