As an implementation partner, we really enjoy working with the Communities platform. The built in collaboration with Chatter and the flexibility of configuration make Communities a major upgrade over traditional portals. But today I’m going to highlight another key benefit of that platform: branding and design with Salesforce Site.com.
Site.com is free to use with Communities and it offers a host of configurable, drag and drop options for doing UI design and branding. If you want a branded, polished look and feel for your community but want to avoid custom Visualforce development, Site.com could be a great option for you.
Enough with the introductions though, let’s get into some specific use cases for Site.com in a community!
1) Custom Home Page
Every community/portal/site needs a home page – it’s the first thing users see when they login and ideally it’s the core of your community experience. With data tables, Site.com makes it incredibly easy to expose any data from a Salesforce object in a Site.com page. So with a few clicks you can create a new widget for your sidebar that shows current open cases, or assets owned by the customer, or hot leads for partners. You can drop in a Chatter Feed widget and with a few hours of effort you’ve got a custom home page with collaboration up and running.
With any portal or community – users need to view data but also interact and create their own. Creating a case in a service community or a new deal reg in a sales/channel community are both actions supported by standard SFDC objects and page layouts, but what if you want to style the page differently? Or add more information to the form? With a few clicks you can select an object, choose your fields, and drag a brand new form on to any Site.com page.
3) Community Navigation
Lastly – a simple and clear navigation menu is key for making your community/portal/site user friendly and engaging. While you can of course use standard SFDC tabs – you’ll likely want something more in line with your product or corporate branding. Site.com has an easy to use menu component – that automatically generates your menu based on pages you’ve created. Add your own CSS/images and you’ve got a fully functional menu that’s branded and easy to update.
Salesforce is continuing to add new features & widgets to the Site.com library so we strongly recommend that you take a look before your next community initiative. For other community-centric content – click here or leave a comment to get in touch.