Vanilla was initially recommended by Anthony:
I initially recommended vanilla based on polling my coworkers. I work at a company that converts large sites off of their current platforms and onto ours. Most of the conversions are away from vbulletin with phpbb in preparation. My coworkers have done a lot of research on the question but I myself can only say I don't like vbulletin or phpbb very much based on the many random forums I've read that use them. Vanilla seems better written so far but I haven't seen it nearly as much of course. Anyway, if there's anything super-critical that's missing, I could probably write it.
Vanilla seems to be more modular and easy to administer / customize. Here's an excerpt from http://vanillaforums.org/discussion/13239/phpbb-vs.-vforums/p1:
Vanilla has Smilies and Signatures as add-ons. I have used phpBB before and I can say Vanilla is much easier to theme and customize. There are some features you might be missing or see as must have, but its nothing a couple of moments of PHP scripting could not fix. The best bet would be to download it and try it out on a test subdomain. You will be surprised, I know I was...
ive used phpbb extensively in the past, and hands down vanilla is the better choice. like adrian said, give it a try and let us know what you think
Pros and Cons
- Vanilla is not used by as many sites as phpBB
- At least 2 discussions suggest we should replace Vanilla:
- Post on fixing spam - http://forum.opensourceecology.org/discussion/comment/3830#Comment_3830
- Comparison chart: http://www.forum-software.org/forum-comparator/phpbb3-vs-vanilla