Friday Theme Tip: Basics of Customizing Vanilla

Vanilla offers you the ability to customize your theme to a greater extent than any other hosted community platform. You can make HTML and CSS changes straight from the backend of the software, with no FTP needed. You can also roll back any of the changes you make at any time.

Vanilla Forums does offer theming services, and you can speak to your account executive about this route if you wish. If you prefer to go it alone, here are some tips to make sure you get the most from customizing your Vanilla Forums. We recommend you only customize your theme if you have some HTML or CSS knowledge. While our support team is very helpful, troubleshooting your customizations is beyond our standard support offering. Continue reading

How to Manage a Customer Community with the Resources You Already Have

A community forum needn't reduce your dragon horde...

A community forum needn’t reduce your dragon hoard…

One of the biggest worries for any business starting a community forum is time. They know the benefits of a customer community, but they simply don’t think they have the staff bandwidth to accommodate one. It’s an understandable worry, but it relies on the false assumption that a customer forum requires new, dedicated staff to run. If you have the right processes in place, your existing staff can easily manage your customer community without extra costs. In the event that your forum grows large enough that further staff are required, additional staff can be justified as the ROI of ticket deflection and lead generation make themselves manifest. Continue reading

3 Weird Rules Your Community Forum Needs

weird forum rules

…but not this weird

Almost every community has a dedicated rules post, and most tend to be pretty similar. This is partly because some rules (Be nice to each other! Don’t spam the forum!) are pretty obvious, but it’s also because many community managers don’t spend the time to tailor their rules to the individual needs of the community. Depending on the community in question, this is something that it’s possible to get away with. Many communities don’t need anything particularly unusual or specific in their rules. However, I have a few, rarely-seen  rules that I keep in my back pocket which most communities could benefit from adopting.

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