Welcome back to our four-part series on how to create and run a successful Salesforce community. In the first installment of this series, we covered how to plan and organize your Salesforce community. Below, we’ll outline how to build a Salesforce community, and the strategies to follow to ensure success.
Salesforce Communities are an excellent way to share important information with your customers, partners, or employees.
Part 2: Build
Now that you have your strategy, your plan, and your goals clearly defined, it’s time to start building!
Start with user experience
The first step in building your community is taking the user journeys and personas you outlined in phase 1 and mapping out functional workflows. This is how you can ensure that the experience for your users is simple, intuitive, and useful. Each page in your Community should tell a story and have a clear purpose.
Once you have these workflows mapped out, take stock of what functionality you have vs what you need. Out of the box functionality can be a great place to start, but depending on your workflows, you may need more than that can offer.
For example, if you don’t have access to a development team, you may want to consider an app to build your Salesforce community like the Component Pack for Lightning Communities. This allows you to easily add components to and customize your community pages with drag and drop functionality.
Before writing any code to build a Salesforce community, we suggest going through a design phase as if it were a standard web project.
Creating a mockup of your page layouts helps everyone on the project team understand what to expect from the final product. Expand upon the mockups you created in phase one to show how the data will be displayed to the user, and get approval from your stakeholders before beginning development.
There are dozens of available themes, theme layouts, and components on the AppExchange.These can be a great starting point for your community and can help cut down on extensive development needs.
With your plans and designs in-hand, you’re ready to start building your community. The project manager should create a detailed, reasonable timeline so that your project owners and stakeholders have realistic expectations. Be sure to assign hard deadlines and tangible deliverables so that all project resources know what they are responsible for and when.
Depending on your available resources, you might use an implementation partner for this phase.