AEM Communities now comes with an out of the box easy to use wizard that customers can use to quickly create a branded community site without writing even a single line of code. Today, I will try to provide an overview of the Community Site Wizard. Let’s go over the wizard one screen at a time.
You can launch Community Site Wizard by accessing Sites, under Community Section. Here is a quick url to access Community Sites:
http://<hostname>:<port-number>/communities/sites. On the Community Sites Admin, click Create to launch the wizard.It is a four step wizard – General Settings (Site template), Design, Settings and Preview step.
In this step, one has to provide general settings about the Community and most importantly pick the Site Template. A site template, defines the structure of the Community Site. There are a few templates that are available out of the box. One can edit the existing templates or create a new template from accessing Sites Templates Console (Tools, Communities, Site Templates).
For this blog post, I will go ahead and create a Discussion Forum Community Site. Let’s go over these fields one by one:
Community Site Title: Self Explanatory
Community Site Description: self explanatory
Community Site Root: In case you want the Community Site to be a sub-site of a bigger site, you can specify the root path here. The Community Site is created at the specified path.
Community Site Base Language: Language of the Community Site Language. This creates the language node in the path name.
Community Site Name: This gets added to the path of the website. Think this through carefully as it gets added to site path and has impact on SEO.
Template: This is the most important field. Here you pick up the template for the Community Site.
In the first section, we pick the theme. All the themes are Twitter Bootstrap themes. You can go ahead and customize or add your own theme. In the next section, you can upload an image and brand your community website.
This is the section, where we get to do all the settings. There are multiple sections:
In this section, we pick up options pertaining to User Management. All the fields are pretty self explanatory. You can turn on Social Logins via Twitter and Facebook, to use federated logins.
In this section, you pick up all the namespaces defined in the Tags Manager that apply to this Community Site. One can access the existing tags (and namespaces), modify, edit, remove or add new tags under a new namespace by manage tags in the Tags Manager (Tools > Tags).
In this section, you can choose the moderation settings.
Content is Premoderated: If this option is selected, the content will be visible to the community on the site only when a moderator approves of it. So, if a community member posts something, it wouldn’t be visible automatically. Use this option with caution – ensure that you have staffed moderators adequately so that they do not become a bottleneck.
Flagging threshold before content is hidden: Another common scenario is where you can use the community to moderate the forum. Community members can flag any post to be inappropriate. If the same post is flagged by multiple community members – if the number is greater than than the threshold, the post will be hidden and will require a moderator to approve of it before it becomes visible again.
Community Moderators: You can select Community Moderators using this settings.
Here in this section, you choose who is allowed to create Groups. Refer Managing Users and Groups for more information on this topic.
This setting is useful only if you have licensed Adobe Analytics for collecting key metrics. Refer this page for configuring and settings up Analytics.
These settings are useful if you wish to setup a Global Community, where we allow your users to contribute to the forum in different languages. You can choose different translation related settings in this section:
Allow machine translation: turn on this option if you want to allow your users to translate content in their preferred language. Be default, out of the box, AEM has a connector to MS translator and comes bundled with a trial license for 2 Million characters/month limit. You can buy a commercial license to get higher volumes of translation. You can also select other machine translation services likes Systran, Google Translate by writing an AEM connector to those service providers.
Select Languages to offer Machine Translation: You can tightly control all the language in which you want to offer Machine translation. At times you want to try out with a few languages before you go expand the list of supported languages. In addition, you can invest in improving the quality of machine translation by training the engines in specific languages.
Persistence Options: You can choose if you wish to store the translations in the AEM repository, once they have been translated. There are three options:
- Do not persist: if selected, the machine translations are never saved in the AEM repository
Translation Contributions on User request and persist afterwards: if selected, when first user requests for the translation, AEM calls the machine translation service and then persists the translation thereafter. This option is useful if you wish to control machine translation costs and worry about the repository size.
- Automatically translate new contributions and persist them: when this option is selected, the translations are requested as soon as a contribution is made in all supported languages – and then persisted thereafter. This option is useful if you wish to provide the best user experience to your community. This option also helps community members search for content, when it is not posted in their native language. Another feature, covered in this Blog post: https://experiencelabs.wordpress.com/2016/08/23/multilingual-searchmls-breaking-the-language-barrier/
Enablement is different kind of content, which is produced by the internal folks rather than being produced by Community. It is targeted for structure learning and training. We shall cover this in a different blog post.
The last step of the Wizard is Preview. All you can do here is click on the “Create” button and wait for the site wizard to put together a site for you. You need not worry too much about the settings, we will be able to come back to these settings (some of them) and change them using the “Edit Site” functionality.
Once the Wizard finishes processing, you will be navigated to the Community Site Admin, where we had started in the first place. However, you will see a folder and a newly created Community Site under it.
The Site offers three options:
- Open Site: You can access this to Preview the site and make sure that it looks the way you wanted.
- Edit Site: Click this to make modifications and change some of the settings that we had initially chosen in the wizard.
- Publish: this is the final step. When you are ready and everything looks good, you can publish the site to the Publish instance. After this operation your Community can start accessing the Community site and start collaborating.
As you saw, we were able to put together a branded functioning site without writing a single line of code.
Please share your experiences with us and let us know if you find these blogs helpful.