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Salesforce Portals vs. Salesforce Communities – Why Convert?

Our customers are starting to migrate from Salesforce Portals to Salesforce Communities. Migration efforts range from relatively simple, involving updates to profiles, links/buttons, and email templates as well as regression testing, to more complex, especially where automated provisioning processes are in place or the user interface has been heavily customized. What are the benefits of incurring this expense and is it worth your while to do the migration?

  1. Foster a Community. Portals are powerful for their ability to serve up content and receive content, but they lack a true sense of community where members are able to connect. Imagine a world where your customers are able to connect both with your employees as well as with each other, sharing ideas and collaborating. Salesforce Communities can help you to make this happen. One idea we love: create a private Chatter group for your best customers to interact with your product managers and give private feedback on new features.
  2. Easily Manage Web Content. With Communities, you get access to, a web-based CMS (content management system) that allows you to quickly create web pages for your Community. It takes creating and updating web content out of your developer’s hands (portals tend to use VisualForce for custom web content) and puts it into the hands of your marketing department.

A side benefit of migration is that it provides a great opportunity to revisit what is working well in your Salesforce Portal and consider what you might want to add to your new Salesforce Community. Improving existing features or adding a few new features will add to the excitement of the migration and will strengthen the message to your Community members about the changes they will see. If your customers or partners have logged into your portal recently, announcing new features can be a great way to re-engage them.


Migration is not for everyone. If migrating to Communities does not help you to deepen your relationship with your customers or partners, or more easily manage your portal,  keep your Salesforce Portal! As Salesforce rolls out new Communities features each release, a compelling reason to migrate may arise for you in the future but if it is not there today, there is no risk in waiting.

Not sure if migrating is right for you? Feel free to reach out to and we would be happy to discuss what value Communities might add to your business.

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