Building a Salesforce Community: Templates vs. Branding vs. Lightning Customization

May 23, 2019 Nicole Sholly

Red-headed woman with tattoo sitting in a cafe text overlay Salesforce Communities, Salesforce logo, and the Appirio logo

A previous blog focused on what Salesforce Communities are and the benefits you gain from using them. This blog takes a high-level look at your options for building a Community that can provide one easy-to-use system for content management and knowledge sharing, reducing response time and frustration. 

When it comes to selecting a community solution that meets your specific needs, timeline, and budget, you have three broad choices: 

Out of the box (OOTB) templates: Salesforce Community themes give you standard page templates that allow you to build your community experience, with limited options for customization. It’s the super fast and easy way, but using templates gives you only minimum control over the community’s look and feel and overall user experience. To deliver a truly seamless and personalized digital experience, you probably want a solution that works within your brand and digital properties. That’s generally more than what an OOTB solution can give you.

Custom branded: This option, which uses the existing themed templates with your custom colors and branding added in, gives you medium control over the design and user experience. You benefit from the efficiencies of using a template, with the ability to utilize custom pages and a custom UI when needed.

Full custom: If you’re looking for a fully custom experience that is not limited by templates, choose this option and match your corporate branding look and feel with the desired user experience. With maximum control over theming and user experience, the possibilities are virtually endless. Appirio’s Lightning Bolt solutions can help you to create an online experience that seamlessly integrates with your other digital properties and channels. 

Industry-focused accelerators that are best-practice starting points, Bolts can be customized and expanded based on your specific business needs. Developers in the Salesforce ecosystem can build Bolt solutions with built-in business logic and workflow, including e-commerce, case management, and more, all with drag and drop ease. Because Bolt solutions are built on the Salesforce platform, companies can be confident that every customer interaction is automatically captured in Salesforce CRM.

Building an online community that consolidates data and simplifies interactions makes day to day activities easier for your employees, partners, and customers. Appirio's Employee Lightning Bolt solution can help you roll out a consumer-grade and engaging employee community with minimal development, allowing you to focus on evolving your community to meet your employee’s specific needs. To learn more about creating your own Salesforce Community, reach out to an Appirio expert. 

About the Author

Nicole Sholly

With two decades of writing, editing, and author coaching experience, Nicole has written on topics ranging from big data security to improving employee workspaces to how to be a better wordsmith -- for Rackspace, Office Depot, Macy’s, Social Media Today, and others. When she’s not writing, editing, or otherwise playing with words, Nicole enjoys reading them.

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Salesforce Communities: What They Are, and Why You Want One
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