Creating and managing your community – Tutorial

In today’s blog I’m going to do something slightly different. There will be less code but more casual talk. I’m going to present you with a compact tutorial on the early stages of launching community using Napili Template provided by Salesforce, and give you some, hopefully, handy and useful tips along the way.

Launching your community

The template itself is rich in many original and unique functionalities. It provides a point and click builder, as well as a workspace for administrational settings. But we cannot forget about the limitations and there are some, but more on that some other time.

Let’s start from the very beginning – launching your community. It would be good to start by enabling it for a Salesforce Org, after that we can move on to selecting a domain for our organisation. Be extremely cautious when doing that! There’s no way of reversing this process. Once a domain is submitted, it stays there so make sure to choose wisely!

After you’ve created your domain, it is used inside Sandboxes with a fixed name depending on the name of a Sandbox (For example: if Sandbox name is “test” and domain name on production is “codedose” the domain  name for Sandbox would be “test-codedose”). After that, it is possible to create new communities and there are new options in the Setup added.

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Basic components

Picking Napili Template gives us a prebuilt view of a community. The main component is a Template Header which contains some obligatory components: Global Search for Peer-to-peer Communities, User Profile Menu and Navigation Menu. It means that we can either use all of them or none. Additionally you can find some optional components like Notification Button. It’s up to you how you want to set it up, but if you decide not to use those components, you would have to create custom pages with all custom functionalities.

Customizing your community

Community builder itself is pretty easy to wrap your head around. It is point and click tool, provided with 4 main options on the left: Components, Themes, Page Structure, Settings. In components section we will find variety of different items we can put inside the community’s sections. Those can be for example: visualforce pages, flows, records, topics, reports or components we get from AppExchange.

Theme is a place where you can setup branding for our community. There you can add fonts, logos, colors. In Page Structure you can look up each section of the page and manage their components. In the Setting you can change things like community title, languages used, login and logout pages, and much more.

We can test our progress by clicking on the preview button, which lets us check how the whole community is developing. The publish button won’t bring the changes into the public community, which the users have the access to, unless the community is activated.

And that’s pretty much all for today when it comes to setting up your own community using  Napili Template. It provides you an easy and intuitive tool that will make sure that your company stands out of the crowd. I’m sure that right now you will be able to make a simple community on your own without any problems. Good luck and stay tuned for new posts!

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