Welcome to Vanilla!
One of the coolest things about Vanilla is that the platform is super customizable; different communities will have very different feature sets based on community type, moderation style, and of course, community manager preferences. We’re excited to have you as a customer and are looking forward to working with you and your team.
Let's get started!
Trial & Production Sites
When you were evaluating Vanilla as a platform, you were probably given access to a trial instance, which hopefully allowed you to experiment with the product. That trial site will eventually become your production site once you join the Vanilla community -- eventually this will be the live site where your community starts to grow.
It will typically have its own custom domain.
A Staging site is a sandbox environment where you can test things out before giving the "OK" to those changes or features to make their way to Production.
If your subscription qualifies for a staging site, you'll always have access to it and it will remain even after your Community has launched. Admins and moderators can learn, try out new features, and do testing on the staging site.
What's the difference between staging and production?
Your production and staging sites are two separate instances of your community.
All changes made on staging will need to be manually copied to production: there is currently no way to automatically move settings from staging to production. Typically, staging is used for testing, learning & training, and most often for theme development.
How does that affect my migration to Vanilla?
Test and Final Migrations will go on the Trial/Production site, which will wipe the database on your Production site. Your Staging site will not be affected by the migration and so we suggest creating your category configuration and any custom roles in your Staging site while your test and final migrations are taking place.
Your main point of contact at Vanilla will be your CSM. They will be your guide as you get to know your new platform; they will host training sessions and work with you to implement and grow your community strategy. You may also have contact with our Project Manager if you will have professional services (Migration, Custom Theme, Customizations). Along with your CSM, you will also receive the contact information for our Director of Experience if ever you need a point of escalation.
Your CSM will be available from Monday - Friday between 9am-5pm EST. In case of any emergencies outside of these hours, you may contact our support directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Onboarding with Vanilla
Throughout the duration of your onboarding your dedicated CSM will walk you through training sessions to get you familiar with the Vanilla platform as well as set your team and community up for success!
Community Strategy - Identify project goals, strategies and milestones for your community.
Product Training - Learn how to leverage your new platform.
- Dashboard Training
- Gamification Training
- Moderation Training
- Analytics Training
- Knowledge Base Training (if applicable)
Implementation Support - Regularly check in on the status of your projects within your team as well as with the Vanilla Professional Services team (if applicable).
Forum Launch - Help support you in getting your new community launched.
Along with having a dedicated CSM, Vanilla provides the following valuable resources;
- Vanilla Customer Community - Connect with fellow Vanilla users, post questions and product feedback. success.vanillaforums.com
- Vanilla Knowledge Base - Search through our documentation and see our latest Release Notes. success.vanillaforums.com/kb
- Vanilla Blog - Stay up to date on the latest advice from community experts. Blog.vanillaforums.com