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Building a community in today’s competitive marketplace helps you maximize your opportunities and enables you to connect, engage and extend relations with your users. Some companies fail at community management probably because they might haven’t perceived how actually community building functions in their context.
Our webinar on Sitecore Communities discusses the methods and strategies to implement community building in the Sitecore profile. We will be discussing the benefits of building communities and managing them effectively in a way that works well for your business.
Webinar - Improve Engagement with Sitecore Communities.
Suyati has a strategic partnership with Sitecore, the award-winning user experience platform which helps provide enterprises the best content management services customized to offer their clients unique online experiences. Combining our Sitecore expertise and our skills in working with the .net platform, we can leverage powerful products from Sitecore to enable personalized digital ambience.
Suyati’s repertoire of Sitefinity expertise includes but not restricted to integration with different systems, customizations, e-commerce, leveraging other features of the Sitecore platform and Sitecore migration.
How to incorporate community features in Sitecore
There are many features that need to be addressed when it comes to community website. One of the features used commonly in community websites is that of poll. Implementing a poll in Sitecore is to showcase how easily a custom feature, a custom solution, or any other feature can be implemented.
It is easy to implement polls and to develop features in Sitecore, saving lot of time and effort. When you want to implement such functionality, the first thing that you need to do is create the template. This is the first thing that you do when such a function comes across, once it is done, you have data text ready. All you have to do is to create content out of this to showcase the poll.
How we can implement a blog in Sitecore
Blog is a common feature of sharing knowledge on community websites. You can either get a blog feature implemented in Sitecore with your own Custom feature, or as in most of cases, there are pre-built modules available at the Sitecore market place. The best part is that the features are tested. You have many trusted companies and bloggers who give away the modules.
There are 2 ways you can install any module that comes from Sitecore. A module called we.blog can be downloaded from the Sitecore Marketplace. You can install the blog or any module either by logging in to your Sitecore dashboard and then to the desktop or by going to development tools, installation wizard. All these modules come in the form of zip files, all you need to do is upload the package, and finally install it.
With the help of Sitecore box, a developer can install it as well. For e.g. you have blog entry which is actually a data template which can be used to create a blog. It has title, introduction, content, image so all these things come out of the box, you don’t have to build again.
To add a blog with the help of Editor, go to your content editor, right click insert from template and select the template you want to use.
Users play an important role in community websites. Users can be categorized into three groups:
Admin: They are the ones who log into the Sitecore dashboard, and are responsible for the content shown on the site. When it comes to moderation of content that comes from external users, in the backend, admin has the access to the Sitecore. Under admin users, they can be given different access levels. Super admin will have complete access, it is up to them to decide if the content should be published on the website or not. There will be another set of users who have access to approve content but does not have the right to publish.
Membership users: Group members are the ones who are part of different communities on the site. They are not supposed to have access to the Sitecore directly, but they are free to access and join different communities, comment on blog or even post blogs, etc.
Anonymous users: They just view some pages. It would be great idea to have some sort of mechanism to pull these prospective members of Sitecore and convert them into membership users.
Sitecore comes with predefined roles to manage user authorization on items and functionalities.
How does Sitecore manage to grant access to these users?
The answer is domains and roles.
What are Domains?
You can use security domains to manage user’s access to different parts of Sitecore. A Sitecore domain is a collection of security accounts that you can administer as a unit with common tools and procedures. Domain collects all accounts that have some logical relation. For e.g. all accounts that have access to use the Sitecore could be stored in the Sitecore domain.
All accounts with access to published website could be in external domain. So if a user has a membership account, he or she has to be in the external domain. The external domain is a website security domain that contains the user accounts that corresponds to visitors to the website. It also contains customized roles that manage read access to the content of website.
Workflows in Sitecore
Sitecore’s workflow facilities make it possible to quickly define sophisticated workflows often without writing any code at all. So you don’t have to actually acquire a developer’s help if you have to understand how workflows work. Workflow is a series of state that reflect the work processes and procedures for creating web content in your organization. A workflow can be simple or complex, and can contain any number of workflow states. For e.g. our workflow stage can correspond to the creation, review and approval stages that items might go through before they are published on the website. Items do not necessarily have to move through all the workflow states that you have defined, some states can be optional or only applicable to certain kinds of contents. Workflows are simple or complex depending on your business cases. But an administrator can over write any of these workflow states or publish the item at any given time.
People from across the world access internet so it is important that Sitecore has the capability to have different language versions of content. Basically, Sitecore makes managing a multi-language or multi-culture site easy. Items can also be pushed through workflows to incorporate translation process. That’s another important feature of workflow. How does Sitecore manage to get language specific? Sitecore browser finds out from which location your site is being accessed and it sets a parameter here. Generally it is set as en for English. If this has to be changed to French, then just change en to fr, and the content changes to French. Suppose a content does not have the corresponding language translated, the content can be shown in a fall back language.
Can we have custom workflows in Sitecore?
Yes, you can have custom workflows. There are many workflows available, one can create custom workflows or keep it simple/complex.
Can we add additional properties to users?
Yes, creating a custom property template is easy. All you have to do is to create a domain under settings and then you can add it to a user profile.
Can you change the design of a web blog designed template?
Yes. When you install web blog into your website, it comes with a default design template but you can actually change that template to match your websites design.
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