Khoros Communities vs. Higher Logic Vanilla

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Khoros Communities
Score 7.6 out of 10
Enterprise companies (1,001+ employees)
Lithium Community is a fully-featured community platform and is focused on the needs of marketers. Lithium most often competes with Jive Team Collaboration and Get Satisfaction.N/A
Higher Logic Vanilla
Score 9.0 out of 10
N/A
Higher Logic Vanilla is a customizable and themable forum software. It can be used for support communities, Q&A Communities and more. There are numerous integrations, including SSO, and connectors to popular software such as Mailchimp, WordPress, Zendesk and Salesforce.N/A
Pricing
Khoros CommunitiesHigher Logic Vanilla
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
Essential
Contact sales team
Corporate
Contact sales team
Enterprise
Contact sales team
Enterprise Plus
Contact sales team
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
Khoros CommunitiesHigher Logic Vanilla
Free Trial
NoYes
Free/Freemium Version
NoYes
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
YesYes
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional DetailsPricing is variable based on the needs of the customer.
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
Khoros CommunitiesHigher Logic Vanilla
Considered Both Products
Khoros Communities
Chose Khoros Communities
A lot of small and key features which are not available on other platforms
Chose Khoros Communities
Khoros was the best use for our needs and other solutions were always missing at least one or more features that were crucial for our use case and the workaround proposed by other platforms weren't simply enough. Most of them have their strong side and it is hard to say, which …
Chose Khoros Communities
I evaluated several different community platforms when Jive-x was being discontinued and ultimately chose Khoros as it had much more customization options compared to the other platforms out there. It also seemed to be the most robust and powerful, had the most features, and …
Chose Khoros Communities
  • Khoros had a clear migration path for Jive users.
  • Khoros is a platform that can scale.
  • Khoros allows us to spread and share knowledge while allowing us to continue to build trust and credibility with all our loyal fans.
Higher Logic Vanilla
Chose Higher Logic Vanilla
Most of all we could customize the forum to look and feel like an extension of our existing web properties. This makes the forum feel more native to the users coming from or being redirected to the forum. We also had plans of being able to create custom badges we could grant …
Chose Higher Logic Vanilla
From a footprint standpoint, Vanilla has less technical bloat than vbulletin or InVision, and it outdoes Lithium as far as features and service go. The bloat of other services and ability to use new ways of engaging communities such as through Reactions are part of the reason …
Top Pros
Top Cons
Best Alternatives
Khoros CommunitiesHigher Logic Vanilla
Small Businesses
Discord
Discord
Score 8.6 out of 10
Discord
Discord
Score 8.6 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
Higher Logic Vanilla
Higher Logic Vanilla
Score 9.0 out of 10
Discord
Discord
Score 8.6 out of 10
Enterprises
Verint Community
Verint Community
Score 9.2 out of 10
Verint Community
Verint Community
Score 9.2 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
Khoros CommunitiesHigher Logic Vanilla
Likelihood to Recommend
7.3
(77 ratings)
9.0
(10 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
7.3
(4 ratings)
10.0
(1 ratings)
Usability
7.3
(2 ratings)
9.0
(1 ratings)
Availability
9.0
(2 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Support Rating
6.7
(5 ratings)
9.0
(1 ratings)
In-Person Training
9.1
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Online Training
4.5
(2 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Implementation Rating
10.0
(2 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Product Scalability
7.7
(68 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
User Testimonials
Khoros CommunitiesHigher Logic Vanilla
Likelihood to Recommend
Khoros (Formerly Spredfast + Lithium)
I describe Khoros as the salesforce of community software in that it's customizable and enterprise, however it can be a beast to use. There isn't any standout in the community field (in my opinion) so if you're looking for an enterprise community software, it'll serve you well. I do think it's important to realize you can't manage this without the proper buy in from your company when it comes to development of the site. You shouldn't be using Khoros if you only have a front end community manager. If you're going all in on community and need a solution that will scale as you grow, consider Khoros amongst your vendors and see how you like it. It's worth checking out.
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Higher Logic
For companies that want to customize almost anything and make the forum look like your site, Vanilla Forums is the one for you. Customization and automation of the data via the API with other systems is more than possible and they serve to be great as a hosting provider, dealing with all the upgrades, deployments and maintenance and threat management well. I would say they might be less turn key for a small application but the fact they have an open source community, the ability to find help and information can lower the barrier of entry for most.
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Pros
Khoros (Formerly Spredfast + Lithium)
  • Collaboration with other Khoros customers to understand what works and doesn't work within other communities.
  • Support documentation makes it easy to find information when looking for technical resources.
  • Our account team is always in communication with us to ensure we are aware of roadmap updates.
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Higher Logic
  • Gamification: The ability to incentivise community members to get involved with ranks and badges is one of the main reasons that we purchased the tool.
  • Support: The Vanilla support team are incredible, often responding to issues very late at night and proactively fixing issues as soon as they occur.
  • Customisation: Vanilla can be completely styled with css allowing us to match it to the branding of the rest of our website.
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Cons
Khoros (Formerly Spredfast + Lithium)
  • I feel that the professional services engagements need to be better. There is a lot of miscommunication, and a lack of clear outcomes, goals, and timelines. It can take weeks to get meetings on the books and a team assembled to start getting work done.
  • Documentation on their website, at times, is outdated or incorrect. Sometimes the product doesn't even work as described in some of their documentation
  • The admin console could use a nice fresh UI overhaul. While it's functional, it would be nice to see a more modern UI for the area where most community managers are spending a decent amount of time
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Higher Logic
  • There are some features I wish Vanilla would implement that could improve ease of use in our specific community, but some of the ideas we have are not necessarily something that would benefit all of the forums that Vanilla works with.
  • In the past, we've had issues with releases breaking some of our specific site features they built for us, but this has improved drastically recently.
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Likelihood to Renew
Khoros (Formerly Spredfast + Lithium)
Community has worked well for over the year. However, there have been a lot more technical and feature issues we have been seeing in last year or so. Also customer support has not been very quick to address issues. SO there are things that can definitely be improved on Khoros end
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Higher Logic
No answers on this topic
Usability
Khoros (Formerly Spredfast + Lithium)
Like every backend, it can always be improved upon. The excellent thing is that Khoros have a hugely active customer support community as well as a fantastic case management system to triage support issues and requests. So regardless of your level of knowledge or familiarity, you're well supported out of the box.
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Higher Logic
It is very intuitive and simple to operate. Our customers immediately came up with the curve and began contributing content.
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Reliability and Availability
Khoros (Formerly Spredfast + Lithium)
I've hardly ever seen downtime in any of their production communities. There's the occasional reboot needed for config reasons or if patches are applied, but these take place after customer approval and typically last only a few minutes.
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Higher Logic
No answers on this topic
Support Rating
Khoros (Formerly Spredfast + Lithium)
They are responsive and proactive. They are really on top of things. They send personal emails to check in on you. It feels like they really know you. You only get emails from 3-4 people at Khoros – they must be customer assigned.
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Higher Logic
They did an amazing job transferring our content from GetSatisfaction. We had almost 100% success in the transfer of 8 years worth of content.
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In-Person Training
Khoros (Formerly Spredfast + Lithium)
I think it is engaging and has good instructors.
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Higher Logic
No answers on this topic
Online Training
Khoros (Formerly Spredfast + Lithium)
It was out of the box training - pre-recorded/ not live. There was nothing for more advanced topics like APIs. They do have a good knowledge base and community that you can access and folks in there are responsive. I would however like more advanced training options.
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Higher Logic
No answers on this topic
Implementation Rating
Khoros (Formerly Spredfast + Lithium)
We were up against a hard stop with Jive’s contract ending and Khoros connected us with a deployment partner to do accelerated deployment using a template approach. It could have happened in 2 weeks. We did not end up going that way since we wanted more customization. Lithium handled technical stuff like migration, but a lot of the process is self-deployment. It’s one of the ways they teach use of the system is having the user self-implement.

Overall, the implementation was super easy to do. Doing single sign-on (SSO) was the only hard part. The implementation ended up taking nine weeks total, but in hindsight, we could have done in it six. Most of the implementation time was spent in course work, which consisted of on-demand training - approximately 7-8 hours that you are required for you to do, before they turn on the system. During this nine week period, about 50% of my time was spent on implementation.

We had a deployment manager who we were able to email 1-1. I leaned on him heavily. He was great at all hours, for example, they would call back at 7pm PST. They were very responsive.

Content migration strategy is important to consider. Moving from an existing community you need to strategically choose how your layout will be. Two different systems will have two different ways to format communities. For example, Jive has communities with sub-communities, whereas Khoros has community, category, and boards.

Contact migration is also an important consideration. You need to think through how you are going to move contacts from your old community to a new one. For example, are you going to create new logins and passwords? We were hoping to use the integration with Salesforce.com to be a portal, but ended up using an in-house solution that works well to maintain same the same logins. The next related question is are you going to be able to keep them connected to all the posts in your old community? We migrated old posts. If you have a tech-savvy team, you can do a self-migration. Khoros has a migration services team that we utilized. It cost us $10k to move content and posts were kept tied to the user.

The next consideration is your launch/promotion plan. Khoros helped us out and gave us a lot of examples. They shared pre-launch email dates, follow-up emails, FAQ pages (e.g. to explain why switching, why better).
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Higher Logic
No answers on this topic
Alternatives Considered
Khoros (Formerly Spredfast + Lithium)
WordPress, Guild, tribe - all have pros and cons vs Khoros. The primary concern of Khoros vs other platforms is cost. For the price difference, Khoros *should* be a no-brainer choice. No one should ever consider using any platform other than Khoros... so why do people consider other platforms?
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Higher Logic
From a footprint standpoint, Vanilla has less technical bloat than vbulletin or InVision, and it outdoes Lithium as far as features and service go. The bloat of other services and ability to use new ways of engaging communities such as through Reactions are part of the reason Vanilla was selected. However, the features are better on a couple more seasoned platforms and more equipped to deal with issues and technical problems.
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Scalability
Khoros (Formerly Spredfast + Lithium)
The platform is incredibly scalable and provides the flexibility to use it out-of-the-box or customize it to whatever extent is needed. It has very powerful APIs and is built in modular way that allows pages, components and other elements to be constructed easily.
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Higher Logic
No answers on this topic
Return on Investment
Khoros (Formerly Spredfast + Lithium)
  • When we switched from Yammer to here, it really increased visibility of the community to the general public, the media, and in search results.
  • It's created dynamic relationships and shortened the gap between Microsoft employees, MVPs, and other users.
  • It's been a great place for software products to gather feedback from users, and for users to feel they have the inside track.
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Higher Logic
  • Increased uptime and overall speed in the forum (compared to our previous phpbb solution)
  • Increased usage by users which resulted in a higher pages/session in a short amount of time
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ScreenShots

Khoros Communities Screenshots

Screenshot of Community helped generate a 4.2/5 customer satisfaction rating for Consorsbank.Screenshot of Samsung saw support savings up 255% YOY and growing. Their community drives 60% of SEO traffic.Screenshot of Microsoft has seen $2M+ in SEO value and $145M case deflection savings since adopting community.Screenshot of Sony Europe generates $4M in value and 7M searches per monthScreenshot of Syndicate community content throughout digital channels to better engage your audience.Screenshot of On-demand, peer-generated questions and answers to increase prospect and customer engagement.

Higher Logic Vanilla Screenshots

Screenshot of Looks great on any device, including desktop, tablet or mobile device.Screenshot of We offer over 60 plugins that can add functionality to your community.Screenshot of Many different themes to choose from, which you can further customize as you like.Screenshot of You have full access to edit HTML and CSS of your theme, to make any changes you need.