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Salesforce Communities has evolved rapidly since its creation back in 2013. With the focus moving from standard Community components to Lightning components, one can further enhance the Community experience to customers and partners. A key focus from Salesforce is in helping customers to create, prototype and iterate Communities quicker, as seen by the introduction of Lightning Bolt.
Video: ‘Better Communities with Lightning’
Presenters: David Green and Kartik Viswanadha
Date: November 14th 2016
Time: 57 minutes
Key terms: Lightning Communities, Lightning Templates
Key points: It is quicker and easier than ever before to create fully customizable Lightning Communities.
- @2.20 — Community means a lot of different things to lots of different people but Salesforce like to consider Communities as being a combination of websites, portals and social.
- @5.00 — Communities was officially launched in 2013. But the feedback from customers and partners was to provide users with a better option to build faster, without the need of developers.
- @6.20 — The focus of the Lightning template release in 2015 was to give businesses the ability to make customizations without code.
- @6.50 — With Lightning Bolt, Salesforce wants to deliver out of the box, end to end experiences. The purpose is to make Lightning a lot more reusable.
- @7.50 — Communities is natively integrated with the Salesforce platform.
- @9.10 — Lightning Community Builder is the ‘what you see is what you get’ (WYSIWYG) drag and drop tool that enables users to create compelling experiences.
- @10.50 — Lightning Community Templates enables customers to build their own sites entirely. It’s a very similar concept to using WordPress plugins to a website.
- @12.15 — Themes will allow you to customize the outer shell.
- @13.30 — Go to Setup | Communities | Community Workspaces. In Community Workspaces, you have the ability to do a huge range of functions.
[email protected] — Using the Builder, you can drag and drop components onto the page. You can change the branding of each of these components. You can change the page structure of the page. You can also use the Settings screen. There are so many Settings that you can customize. For example, you can embed your Google Analytics Tracking Id here. You can also export an entire page from the Settings screen. You can then deploy this exported page to a new org.
- @21.00 — You can easily navigate between different pages of the Community and also edit the settings of the different pages. By selecting the three-dot icon, you will be navigated to the properties screen of that particular page; which can easily be edited.
- @23.00 — You can associate different pages of your Community to different themes.
- @24.00 — You can create page variations to ensure that certain profiles see subsets of a page.
- @26.00 — You can preview the Community on different devices via the ‘View Mode’ option. Community pages are responsive by default.
- @26.10 — You can make changes to a Community, preview the changes for as long as you like and then when you’re ready, select ‘Publish’ and it’s only at that point that the changes will go live. edited.
- @27.00 — Examples of live communities are https://community.openx.com and https://support.truphone.com. If you right click on these pages and select ‘view page source’, and then do a search (control + f) for ‘Community’, some tags will show up.
- @27.30 — However, the structure of these communities is quite similar. The standard themes are used with some relatively minor tweaks.
- @28.00 — However, with new capabilities of Community templates, you can create fully customized experiences. For example, you can refer to this github repo which shows a fully customized Community.
- @45.30 — *Is there a separate license or cost for Lightning Bolt? *No — there is not. Lightning Bolt is a feature available to any customer that has the Community Cloud and it is also available to Salesforce Developer editions which have enabled Communities.
- @46.00 — Can we use Lightning templates for public sites? Yes — you can. With Lightning Communities, you have the ability to create a fully private (and therefore, authenticated) or fully public site or even a mixture of the two.
- @50.00 — A good example of a public Lightning communities site is https://help.hulu.com/s/?language=en_US.
- @51.00 — A big demand that Salesforce is coming across from customers is how to enable customers to modify out of the box components without having to rewrite them as custom components. There will be standalone search components that will be released in the upcoming releases, and there will also be the functionality to modify CSS styling without having to override the existing styling (although this isn’t best practice).