XenForo or Vanilla or SMF? Please help me choose the right forum based on plugin availability


Aug 29, 2016
I am looking for forum software that would allow me to:

0. automatically create profiles using social connect (Facebook, Google, Twitter, OpenID)
1. admin - create templates for certain items which then users may trade, buy or sell (externally - the forum is only for them to connect, not to conduct transactions) and assign specific templates to specific subforums.
2. allow users to post classified ads (as topics), but only by selecting from these predefined templates and then customizing some properties, e.g. quantity
3. allow admin to add custom user-editable properties in user profile, e.g. payment methods that they accept, and have this info automatically visible in classified topics' OP
4. allow non-admin classified topic starter mark it as sold, automatically closing it and moving to archive subforum
5. include integrated ebay-style buyer and seller feedback system
6. ability to customize filtering and sorting of classified subforums, e.g. by min feedback, location, accepted payment methods, etc., or their combinations.

Nice to have: ability to turn off all unnecessary bells and whistles in the UI, leaving only the bare necessities. Ability to have bots sending users template PM on certain events (e.g. reminders to leave feedback when classified topic is closed). Email would do too though.

I heard a lot of good things about XenForo, but have no experience with it. I like Vanilla UI, a lot, especially on mobile, and not impressed with where IPB is going. And I see a couple of relevant mods for SMF, though I do not know if they play nicely together.
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Sep 10, 2016
Well if you are concerned with price doesn't vanilla start at $300/mo or maybe there is a cheaper option?


May 11, 2013
Well if you are concerned with price doesn't vanilla start at $300/mo or maybe there is a cheaper option?
Vanilla is available as (free) open source software. If you want official hosting, then you might be looking at a bit of a price tag.