Design Principles for Templating and Default Communities

Default Communities and Community Templates are not required, but you can use them to add more customization and potentially save community owners time during setup. Templating is flexible, and there are several methods that we’ll outline below. Choose the method(s)  which best fit your needs, and feel free to get in touch with our academic team for additional help at

First off, Default communities pass on both Settings and Content to new communities, while Template communities can pass on Settings and/or Content.

** Copy content publishes all posts on day 1 of community and attributes them to the new community owner. The exception is that drafted posts will remain in the owner's drafts.

Default Community


You need Organization Admin permissions to create or edit the Default Community. Contact for help.


Default Community(s) are the primary option designers use to customize Yellowdig across their institution. Design the Default Community(s) to meet the specific needs of your program. 

Default communities pass on both Settings and Content to new communities
(see the table above for details). Only one Default Community can be created per Organization level. Top-level organization Defaults will pass down to the sub-organizations. However, the sub-organizations can have their own Default communities as well. 

When instructors create a new community inside an organization that has a Default Community, the new community will automatically inherit both the settings and content from the Default. If there’s no Default Community, new communities will automatically inherit Yellowdig’s Defaults; so out of the box, communities get all of Yellowdig’s default best practices.

How to create a Default Community

Go to Organization Settings - Defaults - Click the Create Default Community button. The video below demonstrates this.

💡Pro Tip

In the community creation flow, instructors can override the Default by choosing to copy settings from a Template community.

In both examples below, the top-level organization is called “State University”, and underneath that, there are two sub-organizations for the schools of  “Arts & Sciences” and “Engineering”. 

The chart below shows only one Default Community for the top-level “State University” organization. The settings and content automatically get inherited by the sub-organizations.

The chart below shows the scenario with three distinct Default Communities, one for each organization.

Template Community

Instructors can use Template Communities to copy the settings and/or content from a previous Yellowdig community. Under most use cases, community content is not copied, but settings may be.
During community creation, there are two ways to copy settings & content (shown in the screenshot below):

  1. Paste a template link. You must use this option if you don't own the community you're templating from. Copy the template link in the source community’s basic settings.

2. Select the community from a dropdown by clicking the field under Copy Content From and/or Copy Settings From. Only communities owned by the user will show as options here.

More details

Copy Content
  • Only Posts and Comments from Community Owners and Facilitators will be copied, and you will assume ownership of those Posts and Comments upon content copying.
  • If you choose not to copy the content, your new Community will inherit the default posts of your Organization’s Default Community. If your Organization does not have a Default Community, and if no parents of your Organization have default Communities, your new Community will inherit Yellowdig's default "Welcome to Yellowdig" posts, which feature how-to guides.
  • If there is a Topic on a post from a Community Owner or Facilitator  ONLY those Topics will get copied (unless settings are copied as well).
Copy Settings
  • Community settings include Point Configurations, Accolades, Topics, and Emojis. Community settings do not include the community start and end dates.
    • If you choose not to copy settings, your new Community will inherit the default settings of your Organization’s Default Community. If your Organization does not have a default community, and if no parents of your Organization have default communities, your new Community will inherit Yellowdig's Defaults.

Audience: This help article is for Instructors, Designers, and Administrators. Students or Learners do not have access to these settings.

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