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I am looking into building a custom site that has a form that takes in user data and pushes it to our SF instance. I am looking into the force.com custom domain and it seems pretty great except for the fact that it still uses VFP. Am I only seeing outdated documentation or is force.com an out of date solution for custom sites? It almost seems like a regular website with embedded iframe or an api build would be more up to date (although a lot more work). Thoughts?

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    Are you not aware of Experience Cloud? Serious question.
    – identigral
    Nov 7, 2023 at 21:19
  • When you say "takes in Account data", do you mean via user data entry, or by external integration process? Please edit your post to clarify and include more details about your use case. Nov 7, 2023 at 21:26
  • @identigral Is the experience cloud free? To my understanding it's not which is why I went with the force.com option
    – Olivia
    Nov 7, 2023 at 23:28
  • @DavidCheng updated the post. takes in user data from a website and pushes the data to sf. Web to lead or web to case would be an easy route as well but I need more flexibility with attachments and picklists.
    – Olivia
    Nov 7, 2023 at 23:30
  • @Olivia The FAQ in help.salesforce.com/s/… answers your question
    – identigral
    Nov 7, 2023 at 23:59

3 Answers 3

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By force.com, do you mean the force.com "Sites" feature? SF has been pushing Communities, now Experience Cloud, over Sites for years but you can still use Sites if you want to and it is still a viable solution. To the best of my knowledge, Communities aka EC is built on top of Sites. By VFP, do you mean VisualForce. You can still code in VF and use it on Sites very easily. Yeah, it's not the new sexy way to do things but if you want something simple, it is very very easy to use VF and Sites to get something up and with much less programming skill that Aura/LWC and Communities. You can now easily style VF like Lightning with no extra coding. If Sites/VF meets your needs, go for it and don't worry about the latest greatest bleeding-edge tools.

If you do want something more sophisticated, I think there are ways to use Aura/LWC with Sites now. Try reading -- https://developer.salesforce.com/docs/platform/lwc/guide/lightning-out-public-apps.html

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To add to Ken's answer, one thing that is not always clear is that Experience Cloud does provide the same concept of Guest User access as regular Sites do, and that is included with Enterprise Licenses:

"Do I need communities licenses in my org to create Experience Cloud sites?

In Enterprise, Performance, and Unlimited orgs, you can create up to 100 Experience Cloud sites without buying communities licenses. However, you do need to purchase licenses to use specific templates and functionality.

(See here for more details)

One key advantage of using a public site via EC vs VF is that you can much more easily expose things like LWC and Flow to a public site vs trying to use VF and something like Lightning Out.

The main disadvantage I have seen is that to my knowledge, you cannot put a EC Site into a iFrame and embed it on another site vs being able to do that with a regular Force.com site. So the right solution might rely on your use case.

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So I finally got through to a SF technical account manager and they explained it all to me. Force.com sites is an old way of making external sites and no longer supported.

They rolled this functionality into Experience Cloud (which is the same thing as Community Cloud). EC has two options, guest user access (thank you @DavidCheng for bringing this up) that is free up to a certain point but there are limitations on read/write and two way syncing. The paid version of EC is $18 per 12 logins a year or $46 for unlimited logins for one user. The paid version has access to everything.

So in essence, force.com is no longer the way to build external sites.

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