Welcome to Higher Logic Vanilla (Vanilla)! We’re excited to have you here. To get started, you’ll find common topics in this section.
If you prefer video training, check out the Onboarding with Vanilla category of our knowledge base. It has a number of videos, most of which are shorter than 15 minutes, and they're grouped by module so that you can more easily track your progress and resume where you left off!
In addition, we recommend you check out our community welcome category with all things onboarding:
Let’s get started!
Your Vanilla sites
Depending on your subscription, you may have two sites: Staging and Production.
Your Staging site is your "sandbox" environment. Admins and Moderators can learn, test, and try out new features (like addons). Then, if you like how they look and behave, you can recreate them on your Production site.
Staging typically gets releases ahead of production. To learn more, see our Release Notes.
📝 NOTE: If your subscription includes a Staging site, you'll always have access to it: it will remain even after your community has launched.
Your Production site is your "live" community site, and is where your users will engage with one another and your organization.
You Production site will have its own custom domain. Learn how to set up your custom domain in:
Staging vs Production: site differences
Your Staging and Production sites are essentially two distinct instances of your Vanilla community. It's important to understand that changes in one of these environments are unique to that environment.
This means that any changes tested, enabled, and made on your Staging site have to be manually copied to your Production site; currently, it's not possible to automatically move settings from Staging to Production.
Migrating to Vanilla
If you're migrating to Vanilla, there are a few other things to consider:
- Test and final migrations will go on your Production site, which will "wipe" its database.
- Your Staging site will not be affected by the test migration or the final migration, so we suggest that you create your Category configuration and any custom Roles on your Staging site while the migrations are taking place.
For additional information about migrating to Vanilla, see:
If your Vanilla community launch and your migration are occurring simultaneously, see:
Implementation Project Manager (PM)
Your Implementation Project Manager (PM) will take over as your main point of contact after your contract is signed. Your PM will guide you through the process of setting up your new community via two trainings, two working sessions, and regular cadence check ins.
Your PM will:
- design a project plan for you,
- work to keep you on schedule to meet your targeted launch date,
- answer any questions you have, and
- advise you on best practices and the ideal set up for your site.
Customer Success Manager (CSM)
After your community is set up, your main point of contact at Vanilla is your CSM, who:
- is your guide as you get to know Vanilla,
- will help you get the most out of the Vanilla product,
- will work with you to develop and grow your community strategy,
- keep you up to date on new Vanilla features,
- work with you to develop new initiatives and solve problems, and
- reduce time to value.
Vanilla now offers Strategic Services as an additional service. Strategic Services offers:
- Strategic planning conversations and workshops,
- Community roadmap creation,
- Monthly and quarterly reporting,
- Tactical hands-on support such as setting up features and executing on strategic tactics,
- Community management services such as post moderation, gamification strategy and execution.
To learn more, speak to your account executive or CSM.
Vanilla Support is here to assist with your technical questions and concerns.
To learn how to contact support and subscribe to the system-outage status page, as well as view targeted response times for issues, see:
Onboarding with Vanilla
Throughout your onboarding journey, your PM will walk you through training sessions to help familiarize you with Vanilla to get your community and your team set up for success.
You can expect the following from your PM:
- Product training - Learn all about your Vanilla community, including Dashboard, Gamification, Moderation, Analytics, and Knowledge Base training. We also have KB documentation and videos that you can refer to in addition to the 1-on-1 training with your PM.
- Implementation support - Regularly check on the status of your projects with your team, including a personalized project plan.
- Community launch - Support you throughout your community launch.
📝 NOTE: You should plan on an estimated 20 to 40 hours for your team to set up a basic site, and 40 to 70 hours for a more complex site (five of which will be spent in training / working sessions with your PM). The set up will require collaboration with your community manager, technical team, and design team.
In addition to your CSM, Vanilla works to ensure that your community is a success by providing:
Check out the topics on the left side to learn more about your Vanilla experience!