Getting Started with Salesforce Communities: How to Create Communities

To create a community is quite easy, especially if you have a guide or tutorial. However, it is always better and much easier to hire a professional Salesforce developer who can customize the system.

First, you can not create an unlimited number of communities (see details on the Communities page in Setup). Fortunately, inactive communities are not counted against the list. In case you would like to create more communities, you should contact your account executive and consult with him.

The creation of the community starts with clicking on  “Customize” button - “Communities” - and “All Communities”, and finally, “New Community”. You will see a template wizard, where you can pick a template you like the  most.

There are 5 major templates:

  1. Kokua. It is a responsive, visually rich template. Allows you to search and look through articles, or contact support team if you can not find what you need. Knowledge and Cases are supported.
  2. Koa. This is a text-based template, with responsive self-service. Supports the same features as Kokua.
  3. Napili.This template is something different. It allows users to post questions to the community, also provides searching and looking through articles and contacting support team by creating cases. Besides Knowledge and Cases, it supports Questions&Answers.
  4. Aloha. Reconfigurable App Launcher template. Allows its users to find applications quickly and access them with one-time authentication.
  5. Visualforce and Salesforce Tabs. It is a standard Salesforce structure that can be customized with the help of Visualforce. It supports most standard and custom objects, plus Salesforce1.

After hover over the template, click “Choose” and “Next”. Your next step will be to choose Category Group Name, Top Level Category, and Company Name.

Another important step is entering a community name. If your aim is to create a number of communities, keep in mind that too long community name will be truncated  in a global header of drop-down menu. The community users will see up to 32 characters of the name. This number of characters also includes status indicators (Preview and Inactive). Track the visible part of the  name - you have to control the visibility of the community name and its distinction from other communities.

Users will appreciate a unique value at the end of URL - it  will also bring diversity to your community.  Community name and URL can be changed later, even when the community is activated. However,users of the community will not get an automatic notification about changes, so don’t forget to inform them.

After this, click “Create Community” button. The community is created and it has Preview status.

The next stage is customization of the community you or your Salesforce programmer created. To customize, click  the “Go to Community Management” button on the page of confirmation.

Once the community is active, every employee of your company can log in with the profile added to the list of profiles that have access. If you remove the profile, all users will lose access with your profile. As for you, you will be able to give yourself access through another permission set or another profile.

Communities can have different status:

  • Preview. Use it in case the customization process is not finished. After you have activated the community you will not be able to go back to Preview status.
  • Inactive. Can be used for deactivation of the community. Use it if you want to add/remove members or the order of tabs, change the color or community URL.
  • Active. Community with active status is available for users. Click “Send welcome email” button to inform users about this community and its availability.

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