Discourse vs. Vanilla Forums

Compare Discourse and Vanilla Forums ⁠— learn how Tribe Community Platform can help you build a fully customizable and modern online community while saving budget and resources.

Forum Software Comparison

You have narrowed down your choice for forum software. But, what if there is a better option than traditional forum software? A community platform with a modern and beautiful design that has been crafted to suit the preferences of new-age users. Sounds neat?

Well, Tribe offers exactly that and takes the capability of community platform to a greater height with additional key elements such as pluggable widgets, extensive API, in-built apps and tight integrations with third-party tools.

Here is a nifty comparison table covering factors such as ease of use, reviews, and customization to help you with your research.

Software review
Capterra score4.8/5Not available4.5/5
Blocked-based customization
Embeddable widgets
Activity feed
Deep third-party integrations
20+ popular apps including Zapier
Native video player
In-built apps
Groups or sub-communities
Rich content support
DIY option
Moderation tools
Reporting and analytics
Newsletter and daily digest
Design and customizability
Modern design
UI customization
White label
Responsive interface

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Tribe helped us build a unified community with continuous experience for learners and create a robust communication channel.

Mariah Olson

Head of Community, Schoolhouse


your customer retention


of your customers engaged

Which forum software to choose?

At Tribe, we believe that the time has already come for the forum software to evolve into a community platform that can truly connect the members in a purpose-driven environment. So, let’s focus on building valuable connections between the members and the brand instead of simply enabling discussions.

Tribe’s powerful widgets, modern and beautiful design coupled with extensive API, engaging apps, and third-party integrations at a highly competitive price make it a compelling choice.

Things to consider before
selecting a community platform

Member size

Community software can never be a “one-size-fits-all” solution, so you should not be forced to pick a higher level plan just for a relatively smaller user base. Based on your target market and specific use case, pick the solution that allows you to scale.


Being able to customize the community exactly as per your user requirements, brand guidelines, existing company workflows is the key to success. Changing with time and being flexible are critical elements, which means the solution needs to equally adaptable.


There are some great affordable community platforms available in the market. Highly expensive solutions are not necessarily superior, but if you come across a tool that’s outside of your budget, evaluate if the investment would benefit you in the long term.

Customer Support

If you are investing a great deal in a software solution, it doesn’t make sense to wait a long time to get a response from the support team. Look for a vendor that offers rapid support with live chat during your work hours to get the best value.

Operational blueprint

There should be a blueprint on how to onboard users and keep them engaged, so the user retention increases. This will be useful when the community gradually grows — your team would have a solid repeatable process to keep users hooked to the community.

Content seeding

Building community is similar to a marathon; you need to be prepared to put consistent effort in creating content and facilitating discussion. This type of content generation incites your members to engage with the content by answering, commenting, and upvoting.

Internal buy-in

Your organization and all the stakeholders should completely buy-in to the idea of community and be ready to dedicate resources for a longer period. Look for ways to find the problems your teams are trying to solve and create a plan to streamline communication.

Success criteria

Every investment must be justified, so it is imperative that you zero in on the set of success metrics based on the stage of the community. And the platform you select must be able to report the numbers so you can perform a granular measurement and build powerful dashboards.

Why choose Tribe over Discourse or Vanilla Forums?

✔ Allows you to add community experience in the customer journey via widgets
✔ Extremely customizable
✔ Modern design with personalized feeds
✔ Scalable pricing model based on active users instead of simple member counts
✔ Top-notch real-time customer support
✔ Comes with a extensive set of in-built apps
✔ Industry-leading integrations with popular third-party tools
✔ All of these at an unbeatable subscription fee

Modern design
for modern users

Tribe’s design philosophy and engagement tools are inspired by popular social networks which makes it familiar to community members.

Embeddable widgets

Deliver immersive social experience right inside your product, app or website with widgets. Some of the prominent examples can be enabling user discussions under the product listing and showcasing user-generated content when users browse through different features of your product.

Highly engaging apps

Tribe offers some of the most compelling modern apps such as an incentivization system via virtual currency that can be used to get desired user action, easy user management, and powerful analytics.

It’s your brand.
Fully customizable.

Tribe is a white-label social network solution. It is designed to adopt your brand and engineered to integrate with your website. You can even add your site header/footer to seamlessly blend it with your site navigation.

Join top businesses empowering their
community using Tribe platform.