Deploying communities can be challenging, so much so that we wrote a blog post about it, which contains detailed technical guidance and troubleshooting.

There are several metadata types associated with communities. The SiteDotCom metadata type is a binary blob that includes the content; that's where any community pages you've created will be. As standard, they won't appear as separate entries in the comparison results table within Gearset, and you'll need to deploy this metadata type to see your pages in the target.

However, you can export the pages in Salesforce, so you can treat them as separate entities and reuse them in different communities should you wish to:

If you've exported a page, it will show up in its own row on the Gearset comparison results page, with the Lightning page metadata type.

Metadata types to include for deploying communities

Standard filter

Gearset has a Default communities comparison filter to make it easy to compare and deploy communities.

The filter includes the typical metadata types you need:

  • Site.com - The binary blob that contains the site content
  • Network (Community) - The community's settings
  • Custom site - The settings for the associated site
  • Network branding (Community branding) - The core of your community's branding, including colours and logos
  • Branding set - Additional assorted branding properties
  • Content asset - The metadata for an asset file, required for logos and header images

Other metadata types relevant to communities

Note that the Default communities comparison filter is designed for comparing and deploying communities when you already have your target set up for communities. If there are currently no communities in the target, you will need to add the following metadata types to your metadata filter, so that the 'Apex scaffolding' that Salesforce automatically generates for communities is included. For further details on this, see our blog post

  • Apex class 
  • Apex component 
  • Apex page 

The Lightning page metadata type, which you would use for exported community pages as described above, is also not included in the Default communities comparison filter, so would need to be added if required.

For more on custom metadata filters, see our support article.

Running communities under custom domains

When you set up a community, that community by default runs under a force.com domain (for example: mycompany.force.com). Salesforce explain how to run your community under a custom domain (for example: community.mycompany.com) in this knowledge article, which includes guidance on certificates.

Important notes

  • Salesforce advise that custom domains are supported only in non-sandbox instances in the Enterprise, Performance, and Unlimited editions. Custom domains aren’t supported in Developer Edition orgs. You can configure a custom domain in a sandbox and then migrate it to production, but the custom domain is active only in production.
  • If you try to deploy CustomSite metadata from an org with a certificate defined into an org without the certificate, the deployment is expected to fail. You would first need to get the identical certificate in the target org. This Salesforce Stack Exchange post explains how to do this.
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