Getting Started With Community Sites in SharePoint 2016

SharePoint 2016 comes with a Community Site template that helps the team hold a forum discussion. This site template was first introduced in SharePoint 2013 as an improved “Social Feature” so as to encourage open communication and information exchange. It also promotes active participation via reward system like badges and reputation. Community site comes as a Site Templateas well as a feature that can be activated in a normal team site.

If we go to the site features section of a Community site we can view the Community Site Feature activated.

How to create a Community Site

We can create a community site from central administration by selecting the Community Site from the Site Templates section while creating the Site Collection.

Add the site collection administrator and click on create.

This will create the Site collection for you. We can start new discussion by clicking on new discussion button.

This will navigate to the discussion post creation page. Here we can create a new discussion post and give details about the discussion intended.

Once the discussion is created it will appear in the home page.

Site users can now click on relevant discussion and add their replies and views. You can also Like the replies and posts.

Now we have forum where multiple discussions can be hosted. Community site also provides options to generate community badges, reputation and categories which will enhance the community experience. Members usually gain reputation points by creating posts, replying to a post and liking replies.

This is a useful feature to get feedback from employees and for starting a discussion on a topic. There are multiple use cases for a community site which we will explore later. Summarizing, SharePoint helps to maintain a forum within the intranet for organizational discussions using Community Site. In the upcoming articles we will see how to implement multiple use cases using Community site and explore in deep the social features associated with it. 

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