Add community features to a SharePoint site

Community features include discussion lists, administration tools, membership information, and community activity counters. All of this is available by default on community sites (e.g., those sites built with the community site template). But you can integrate these same community features on team sites, records sites, project sites, and so on. This article shows you how.

Why add community features to your site?

Let’s say you have a team site that is actively used by employees in your organization to store project files, update vacation calendars, and so on. Because employees are already comfortable using the team site and are accustomed to going to it for all job-related information, and because the team site has a lot of valuable information that you don’t want to have to migrate to a new community site, you decide to add community functionality so your employees can take advantage of the discussion, moderation, and reputation features. An added benefit is that you don’t have to create or manage a separate site.

Adding community features is a two-step process. First, you activate them; second, you add them to your sites. You must be a site admin or site collection admin to activate or deactivate community features.

Activate community features

  1. From the top level of your site collection click Settings Small Settings gear that took the place of Site Settings. > Site Settings.
  2. On the Site Settings page, under Site Actions, click Manage site features.
  3. On the Site Features page, scroll down to Community Site Feature and click Activate.

Deactivate community features

  1. From the top level of your site collection click Settings Small Settings gear that took the place of Site Settings. > Site Settings.
  2. On the Site Settings page, under Site Actions, click Manage site features.
  3. On the Site Features page, scroll down to Community Site Feature and click Deactivate.

 Caution    If you delete individual discussion lists from the community after deactivating it and then reactivate the community, your site will not function as expected. You’ll either have to delete all lists or delete no lists if you plan to reactivate the community at some later date.

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Available community features

Once community features are activated, you’ll have a new set of pages in your Site Pages library: Home, Members, Categories, and About. All of these pages are listed for you in the Quick Launch. You’ll also see a new set of web parts in the web part gallery. You can add these web parts to your team site pages just like you would add any other web part. This table describes the web parts that come with community feature activation:

Web Part Description
About this community Displays the community description and other properties, such as established date.
Join Enables non-members to join the community. The button hides itself if the user is already a member.
My membership Displays reputation and membership information for the current visitor of a community site.
Tools Provides community owners and administrators with quick links to common settings pages and content lists for managing a community site.
What’s happening Displays the number of members, topics and replies within a community site.

Add community features to your site

  1. Navigate to the page where you want to add one or more community features.
  2. On the Page tab, in the Edit group, click Edit Page.
  3. Scroll down the page until you reach the location where you want to insert the community feature and click Add a Web Part.
  4. In the Categories list click Community.
  5. In the Parts list click the desired web part.
  6. In Add part to, select the location for the web part. Choices are Top, Left, and Right.
  7. Click Add.
  8. On the Page tab, in the Edit group, click Stop Editing.

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Applies to:
SharePoint Online Enterprise (E1), SharePoint Online Enterprise (E3 & E4), SharePoint Online Midsized Business, SharePoint Online operated by 21Vianet - Enterprise (E1 & E2), SharePoint Online operated by 21Vianet - Enterprise (E3 & E4), SharePoint Online operated by 21Vianet - Midsized Business, SharePoint Server 2013 Enterprise