Communities Sites Console communities-sites-console

The Communities Sites console provides access to:

See Getting Started with AEM Communities where you can experience how quickly a community site can be created in the author environment, and how to create community groups from the author and publish environments.

The main Communities menus for the creation of community sites, community site templates, community group templates, and community functions are for use only in the author environment.

Prerequisites prerequisites

Before creating a community site, it is required to:

Best practice, to ensure the site is prepared to support many features, is to take the following steps:

Accessing Communities Sites Console accessing-communities-sites-console

In the Author environment, to reach the Communities Sites console:

  • From global navigation: Communities > Sites

The Communities Sites console displays any existing community sites. From this console, community sites may be created, edited, managed, and deleted.

To create a community site, select the Create icon.

To access an existing community site for authoring, modifying, publishing, exporting, or adding a nested group, select the site’s folder icon.

Site Creation site-creation

The site creation console provides a step-by-step approach to assemble features of the site based on a selected community site template and settings.

Every site created includes a login feature as site visitors are required to sign in before being able to post content, send messages, or participate in a group. Other features included are user profiles, messaging, notifications, site menu, search, theming, and branding.

The process is launched by selecting the Create button at the top of the Communities Sites console.

The creation process is a series of steps presented as panels containing a set of features to be configured (presented as subpanels). It is possible to move forward to the Next step or Back to the previous step before committing the site in the final step.

Step 1 : Site Template step-site-template


On the Site Template panel, the Title, Description, Site Root, Base Language, Name, and Site Template are specified:

  • Community Site Title

    A display title for the site.

    The title appears on the published site and in the site admin UI.

  • Community Site Description

    A description of the site.

    The description does not appear on the published site.

  • Community Site Root

    The root path to the site.

    The default root is /content/sites, but the root may be moved to any location within the web site.

  • Community Site Base Language

    (Leave untouched for single language: English) Use the pull down menu to choose one or more base languages from the available languages- German, Italian, French, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazil), Chinese (Traditional), and Chinese (Simplified). One community site is created for each language added, and exists within the same site folder following the best practice described in Translating Content for Multilingual Sites. The root page of each site contains a child page named by the language code of one of the languages selected, such as ‘en’ for English or ‘fr’ for French.

  • Community Site Name:

    The name of the site’s root page which appears in the URL.

    • Double-check the name as it is not easily changed after the site is created.

    • The base URL ( https://server:port/site root/site name) is displayed underneath the Community Site Name.

    • For a valid URL, append a base language code + “.html”

      For example, https://localhost:4502/content/sites/mysight/en.html

  • Community Site Template menu

    Use the pull down menu to choose an available community site template.

  • Select Next.

Step 2 : Design step-design

The Design panel contains two subpanels for selecting the theme and branding banner:

COMMUNITY SITE THEME community-site-theme


The framework uses Twitter Bootstrap to bring a responsive, flexible design to the site. One of the many preloaded Bootstrap themes may be selected to style the selected community site template, or a Bootstrap theme may be uploaded.

When selected, the theme is overlaid with an opaque blue checkmark.

After the community site is published, it is possible to edit the properties and select a different theme.

COMMUNITY SITE BRANDING community-site-branding


Community site branding is an image displayed as a header across the top of each page.

The image should be sized to be as wide as the expected display of the page in the browser and 120 pixels in height.

When creating or selecting an image, keep in mind:

  • The image height is cropped to 120 pixels measured from the top edge of the image.

  • The image is pinned to the left edge of the browser window.

  • There is no resizing of the image, such that when the image width is…

    • Less than the browser’s width, the image repeats horizontally.
    • Greater than the browser’s width, the image appears to be cropped.
  • Select Next.

Step 3 : Settings step-settings

The Settings panel contains several subpanels presenting features to configure before moving to the last step to create the site.

Enable Tunnel Service
Several of the Settings subpanels allow assignment of a trusted member to moderate UGC, manage groups, or be contacts for enablement resources in the publish environment.
The convention is for publish-side users and user groups (members and member groups) to not be duplicated in the author environment.
Thus, when creating the community site in the author environment and assigning trusted members to various roles, it is necessary to retrieve member data from the publish environment.
This is accomplished by enabling the [AEM Communities Publish Tunnel Service]( for the author environment.

USER MANAGEMENT user-management


  • Allow User Registration

    If checked, site visitors may become community members by self-registration.
    If unchecked, the community site is restricted and site visitors must be assigned to the community site’s members group, make a request, or be sent an invitation by email. If unchecked, anonymous access should not be allowed.
    Uncheck for a private community site. Default is checked.

  • Allow Anonymous Access

    If checked, the community site is open and any site visitor may access the site.
    If unchecked, only signed-in members may access the site.
    Uncheck for a private community site. Default is checked.

  • Allow Messaging

    If checked, members may send messages to one another and to the group within the community site.
    If unchecked, messaging is not set up for the community.
    Default is unchecked.

  • Allow Social Logins: Facebook

    If checked, allow site visitors to sign in with their Facebook account credentials. The selected Facebook cloud configuration should be configured to add users to the community site’s members group once the community site is created.
    If unchecked, no Facebook login is presented.
    Leave unchecked for a private community site. Default is unchecked.

  • Allow Social Logins: Twitter

    If checked, allow site visitors to sign in with their Twitter account credentials. The selected Twitter cloud configuration should be configured to add users to the community site’s members group once the community site is created.
    If unchecked, no Twitter login is presented.
    Leave unchecked for a private community site. Default is unchecked.

Allowing Social Logins
While sample Facebook and Twitter configurations may exist and be selectable for a production environment, it is necessary to create custom Facebook and Twitter applications. See Social Login with Facebook and Twitter.

TAGGING tagging


The tags–which may be applied to community content–are controlled by selecting Tag Namespaces previously defined through the Tagging Console.

In addition, selecting tag namespaces for the community site limits the selection presented when defining catalogs and resources.

  • text search box : Start typing to identify tags allowed to be used on the site.

ROLES roles

Community roles

The roles of community members are assigned with these settings.

Finding community members is easy using type-ahead search.

  • Community Managers

    Start typing to select one or more community members or member groups who may manage community members and member groups.

  • Community Moderators

    Start typing to select one or more community members or member groups who are to be trusted as moderators of user-generated content.

  • Community Privileged Members

    Start typing to select one or more community members or member groups to be given the ability to create content when Allow Privileged Member has been selected for a community function.

  • Community Admins

    Start typing to select one or more site administrators who can handle the site structure independent of other site administrators and the default community administrator. They can create groups at any level of the hierarchy, and become the default administrator of the nested groups (but they can later be removed from the admin role of nested groups).

MODERATION moderation


The global setting for moderating user-generated content (UGC) is controlled by these settings. Individual components have additional settings to control moderation.

  • Content is Premoderated

    If checked, posted community content does not appear until approved by a moderator. Default is unchecked. For more information, see Moderating Community Content.

  • Flagging threshold before content is hidden

    If greater than 0, the number of times a topic or post has to be flagged before it is hidden from public view. If set to -1, the flagged topic or post is never hidden from public view. The default is 5.

ANALYTICS analytics


  • Enable Analytics

    Only available when Adobe Analytics has been configured for Communities features.
    Default is unchecked. When checked, an additional selection menu appears:


  • Cloud Config Framework Reference

    From the pull-down menu, select the Analytics Cloud service framework configured for this community site.
    Communities is the framework example from Analytics Configuration for Communities Features documentation.

TRANSLATION translation


  • Allow Machine Translation

    When checked (default is unchecked), machine translation is enabled for UGC within the site. This does not affect any other content, such as page content, even if the site is set up as a multilingual site. See Translating User-Generated Content for information on configuring a licensed translation service for AEM Communities. See Translating Content for Multilingual Sites for a complete overview.


  • Enable Machine Translation for selected languages

    The languages enabled for machine translation default to the system setting specified by the translation integration configuration. These default settings may be overridden for this site by deleting defaults and/or selecting other languages from the pull-down menu.

  • Choose a translation provider

    By default, the service provider is a trial service using microsoft for demonstration only. If no translation service provider is licensed, Allow Machine Translation should be unchecked.

  • Choose a global shared store

    For a website with multiple language copies, a global shared store provides a single thread of conversation, visible from each language copy. This is achieved by selecting one of the languages included as a language copy. The default is No Global Shared Store.

  • Choose translation provider config

    Choose a translation integration framework created for the licensed translation provider.

  • Select the translation options for your community site

    • Translate entire page

      If selected, all UGC on a page is translated into the base language of the page.

      Default is not selected.

    • Translate selection only

      If selected, a translate option appears next to each post allowing individual posts to be translated into the base language of the page.
      Default is selected.

  • Select Persistence Options

    • Translate contributions on user request and persist afterwards
      If selected, content is not translated until a request is made. Once translated, the translation is stored in the repository.

      Default is not selected.

    • Do not persist translations

      If selected, translations are not stored in the repository.

      If not selected, translations are persisted.

      Default is not selected.

  • Smart Render

    Select one of:

    • Always show contributions in the original language (default)
    • Always show contributions in user preferred language
    • Show contributions in user preferred language for only logged-in users

Step 4 : Create Communities Site step-create-communities-site

If any adjustments are needed, use the Back button to make them.

Once Create is selected and started, the process of creating the site cannot be interrupted.

Once the site is created:

  • Changing the url (node name) is not supported.
  • Future changes to the community site template do not affect the created community site.
  • Disabling the community site template does not affect the created community site.
  • It is possible to edit the STRUCTURE of a community site by modifying its properties.


When the process completes, the folder for the new site is displayed in the Communities Sites console, from where authors may add page content, or administrators may modify the properties of the site.


To edit a community site, select its project folder to open it:


When hovering over a site with a mouse, or touching a site card, icons appear that allow for the following:

Authoring Site Content authoring-site-content

The content of a site may be authored with the same tools as any other AEM website. To open the site for authoring, select the Open Site icon that appears on hovering the site with mouse. The site opens in a new tab such that the Communities Sites console remains accessible.


If not familiar with AEM, view the documentation on basic handling and a quick guide to authoring pages.

Modifying Site Properties modifying-site-properties


The properties of an existing site, specified during the site creation process, can be modified by selecting the Edit Siteicon that appears on hovering the site with mouse.

Details of the following properties match the descriptions provided in the Site Creation section.


Modify Basic modify-basic

The BASIC panel allows the modification of:

  • Community Site Title
  • Community Site Description

The Community Site Name may not be modified.

Choosing a different community site template would have no effect on an existing community site as no connection remains between templates and sites.

Instead, the STRUCTURE of the community site may be modified.

Modify Structure modify-structure

The STRUCTURE panel allows the modification of the structure initially created from the selected community site template. From the panel, it is possible to:

  • Drag-and-drop additional community functions into the site structure.

  • On an instance of a community function in the site structure:

    • gear icon

      Edit settings, including the display title and URL name, and privileged members groups.

    • trashcan icon

      Remove (delete) functions from the site structure.

    • grid icon

      Modify the order of functions as displayed in the site’s top-level navigation bar.

You can change the order of all the functions in the Site Structure except for the function at the top. Therefore, the home page of a community site cannot be changed.
  • While the display title may be changed without side-effects, it is not recommended to edit the URL name of a community function belonging to a community site.
For example, renaming the URL does not move existing UGC, thus ‘losing’ UGC.
The groups function must not be the first nor the only function in the site structure.
Any other function, such as the page function, must be included and listed first.

Example : Adding a Catalog Function to a Community Site Structure example-adding-a-catalog-function-to-a-community-site-structure


Modify Design modify-design

The DESIGN panel allows a new theme to be applied:

Modify Settings modify-settings

The SETTINGS panel allows access to most of the settings under the subpanels of for Step 3 of community site creation:

Modify Thumbnail modify-thumbnail

The THUMBNAIL panel allows for an image to be uploaded to represent the site in the Communities Sites console.

Publishing the Site publishing-the-site

After a community site has been newly created or modified, it is possible to publish (activate) the site by selecting the Publish Site icon that appears on mouse hover over the site.


There is an indication after the site is successfully published.


Publishing with Nested Groups publishing-with-nested-groups

After publishing a community site, it is necessary to individually publish each subcommunity (nested group) created using the Groups console.

Exporting the Site exporting-the-site


Select the export icon, on mouse hover over the site, so you can create a package of the community site that is both stored in the Package Manager and downloaded.

UGC is not included in the site package.

Deleting the Site deleting-the-site


To delete the community site, select the Delete Site icon that appears on hovering the mouse over the site in the Communities Site Console. This action removes all the items associated with the site, such as UGC, user groups, assets, and database records.

Created Community User Groups created-community-user-groups

Once the new community site is published, new member groups (user groups are created in the publish environment) which have the appropriate permissions set for various administrative and member roles.

The name created for the member groups includes the site-name given in Step 1 (the name which appears in the URL). It also includes a unique ID to avoid conflicts with community sites and groups having the same site-name for different community site roots.

For example, if the name were “engage” for a site titled “Getting Started Tutorial”, then the user group for moderators would be :

  • title: Community Engage Moderators
  • name: community-engage-uid-moderators

Any members assigned roles as moderators or group administrators while creating the site, are assigned to the appropriate group and assigned to the members group. These groups and member assignments are created on publish when the new site is published.

For details, see Managing Users and User Groups.

If Allow Social Login: Facebook is enabled, once the user group community-<site-name>-<uid>-members
is created, the applied Facebook cloud service should be configured to add users to this group.

Configure for Authentication Error configure-for-authentication-error

By default, a community site redirects to a sample login page when the user enters the wrong credentials and fails to log in. This sample login is not present on a production server.

To correctly redirect, once a site has been configured and pushed to publish, complete these steps to get authentication failure to redirect to the community site:

  • On each AEM publish instance.

  • Sign in with administrator privileges.

  • Access the Web Console.

  • Locate Adobe Granite Login Selector Authentication Handler.

  • Select the pencil icon so you can open the configuration for edit.

  • Enter a Login Page Mappings as follows:


    For example:

  • Select Save.


Test Authentication Redirection test-authentication-redirection

On the same AEM publish instance configured with a login page mapping for the community site:

  • Browse to the community site home page.

  • Select Log Out.

  • Select Log In.

  • Enter incorrect credentials, such as username “x” and password “x”.

  • The login page should be displayed with an “invalid login” error.


Accessing Community Sites from Main Sites Console accessing-community-sites-from-main-sites-console

From the global navigation Sites console, community sites are in the Community Sites folder.

While it is possible to access a community site in this manner, for administrative tasks, the community site should be accessed from the Communities Sites console.