Subcommunities Quickstart

Getting Started

Subcommunities allow you artificially split your forum into multiple sections. For more information about the benfits and details of subcommunities, see our primary subcommmunity document. This guide assumes a forum with no existing subcommunities. The setup process is relatively simple so let’s get started.


The Subcommunities plugin is only available on certain plan levels. If you are a cloud client on a plan that includes subcommunities and are unable to access subcommunities in your dashboard, please contact support, your account representative, or your customer success manager if one has been assigned to you.

Enable the Addon

Navigate the dashboard addons page /dashboard/settings/addons, scroll down to the Subcommunities addon, and click on the toggle to enable.

Create the Categories

Subcommunities are built on top of categories and requires a particular category structure to function optimally. If you are unfamiliar with categories, please see our categories documentation. Otherwise, proceed to the categories page of the dashboard /vanilla/settings/categories and proceed to create/re-arrange your categories as follows:

Each category that you wish to become a subcommunity, should be - At the top level - Have the nested type.

With few exceptions every other category should be inside one of these categories. Categories found outside of these categories will likely not be accessible to your users. With Subcommunities and a default subcommunity set there will be no navigable way for users to reach top-level categories outside of their current subcommunity. See our instructions for navigating between subcommunities.

One exception to this rule is the Social Groups category created by the Groups addon. That addon provides additional methods to navigate to and from groups inside of a subcommunity. Groups are shared between subcommunities and are accessible from all subcommunities.

Create the Subcommunities

Navigate the subcommunities dashboard page. A link to this page should now be provided in the left panel of the dashboard under the Discussions section. Alternatively this page can be access through the URL /subcommunities.

Next click on the add subcommunity button, which will open a dialogue box.

You will need to provide the following information

  • Name - The name of the community. This will appear in the SubcommunityToggleModule.
  • Folder - The bit added to the URL to differentiate the subcommunities from each other.
  • Category - One of the Nested categories that you created/moved in the previous step.
  • Locale - The language that you wish to use for your subcommunity. Subcommunities are often used to separate a community into different sections based on language, but different languages are not a requirement for subcommunities.
  • Default - Whether or not this community will be the default community. There can only be 1 default community at a time. See considerations when setting a default subcommunity.

After filling in the information, click save on the bottom right. If you set a default you may notice your URL in the dashboard adjusting to reflect this change.

Subcommunity List

After creating your subcommunities in the previous step, verify that your subcommunities align with your top level categories. The image below depicts a proper subcommunity setup to match the categories created in a previous example

Cloud Hosting

We believe that online communities should be intuitive, engaging and true to your brand. Vanilla allows you to create a customized community that rewards positive participation, automatically curates content and lets members drive moderation.

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