Developing an Intranet on Confluence Wiki

Confluence now ships with a space blueprint for creating Team spaces, which is useful if you use Confluence as an intranet.

Go to Create Space > Team Space to try it out for yourself.

This guide is for people who are using Confluence as a platform for an intranet. You will find this guide useful if you want to create a space where your team can collaborate and share information.

Step 1. Create a space

Below is a quick guide to adding a space for your team.

  1. Go to the Confluence dashboard and choose Create Space > Blank Space.
  2. The Create Space screen appears. Enter a space name and a short, unique space key.
  3. Choose Create .

The home page of your new space will appear. Because you created the space, you are the space administrator. Now you can do some basic configuration, as described in the sections below.

Step 2. Set the space permissions

Define the space permissions to determine who can do what in your new space.

  1. Go to the space and choose Space tools > Permissions on the sidebar.
  2. Choose Edit Permissions .
  3. Set the permissions to suit your needs then choose Save All.
    • You can add groups and/or individual users to the list, then select the permissions for each group or user.
    • You can also set the permissions for anonymous users – these are people who have not logged in to Confluence and will not count towards the number allocated by your license. Anonymous access is only available if enabled for your entire Confluence site. It is unlikely you will need anonymous users for your intranet.
    • You can change these permissions at any time. You may want to restrict the permissions to specific groups now, and later open the space to more people.

More about permissions

Confluence has a robust and granular permissions scheme that you can use to determine who can view, create content and comment within your intranet. There are three levels of permissions in Confluence:

  • Global permissions apply across the entire site.
  • Space permissions apply to a space.
  • Page restrictions allow you to restrict the editing and/or viewing of a specific page.

Space permissions in Confluence are simple yet granular enough to be useful for an intranet. You can:

  • Use the permission levels to control who can create pages, delete pages, create comments, delete comments, administer the space, and so on.
  • Grant a permission level to one or more users, and/or to one or more groups, and/or to anonymous users. A space administrator has complete control.

Terminology:

  • 'Anonymous' means people who have not logged in to Confluence 
  • The 'confluence-users'  (or 'users') group is the default group into which all new users are assigned. Everyone who can log in to Confluence is a member of this group.

For example, you might allow the 'confluence-users' group permission to create and edit comments, but reserve full editing rights for your team members. Let's assume your team members are all members of the 'developers' group. The example below shows that members of the 'developers' group have all permissions except space administration, but, members of the 'confluence-users' group and the individual 'Josh User' only have a few editing rights.
 

For detailed information, see the documentation on:

Step 3. Customise the title and content of the home page

When you created your space, Confluence created a home page with default content and a default title. You will want to change the title and content to suit your team.

  1. Go to your space home page
  2. By default, the page title is 'X Home' (where 'X' is the name you gave your space).
  3. Choose Edit.
  4. The page opens in the editor.
  5. Change the title and update the content to suit your needs.
    Hint: If you do not know what to add yet, add a short description. You can refine the content of the page at any time.
  6. Choose Save to save your home page.

Step 4. Subscribe to email notifications for updates made to the space

You can configure your email notifications to suit your needs: You can choose to be notified about all pages in a space, blog posts in a space, or both. Below is a quick guide to monitoring a space's content. See Watching Pages, Spaces and Blog Posts for a full description.

  1. Go to your space homepage.
  2. Choose Pages in the sidebar.
  3. Choose Watch this space.
  4. Choose Blog in the sidebar.
  5. Choose Watch this blog.

If at any time you wish to stop watching activity in the space, choose Stop watching this space or stop watching this blog.

Example of an email notification

Here is an example of the email notification you will receive when someone adds a comment to a page or blog post:
 

More about notifications

You can specify the notifications you want to receive at a global, space, and page level. The quick guide above demonstrated how to set up notifications for a space. Now we will show you how to configure your notifications at the global and page levels.

Global notifications

Global notification settings determine the overall behaviour of the notifications you receive from Confluence.

  1. Choose your profile picture at top right of the screen, then choose Settings.
  2. Choose Email.
  3. Choose Edit.
  4. Change the default settings to suit your needs. You can alter these email settings at any time.
  5. Choose Submit to save your changes.
Page and blog post notifications

Follow the quick guide below to receive notifications from Confluence about changes to and comments on a specific page or blog post. See Watching Pages, Spaces and Blogs for a full description.

You can watch any given page or blog post that you have permission to view. We will use your space's home page as an example.

  1. Go to the home page of your space.
  2. Choose Watch.

You can choose to watch just that page, or all pages in the space. 

You are now watching the current page and Confluence will notify you about any updates made or comments added.

Note that Confluence will not notify you about content changes that are due to the output of a macro. For example: The output of the Children macro will change if someone adds a child page. The page containing the Children macro will show the new child page. But the page content itself has not been edited, so no notifications will be sent.

You can stop watching a page or blog post at any time. Choose Watch and deselect the Watch Page or Watch all content in this space checkboxes. 

Step 5. Attach or import Office documents, if applicable

Below are some guidelines on managing your existing Microsoft Office documents in Confluence. You can choose to attach them to a Confluence page, so that team members can view and access them in Confluence, and edit them in Office. Or you can import the documents into Confluence, converting the content to Confluence pages.

Attaching Office documents to a page

You can use Confluence as a central repository for your team's Office documents. This means that you can share your Office documents without having to email them to your teammates. People can view the Office documents even if they do not have Office installed on their computers.

  1. Go to a page in your space.
  2. Choose Tools > Attachments.
  3. Use one of the following methods for attaching files to the page:
    • Choose Browse and to locate the file on your computer, enter a comment then choose Attach

    • Alternatively, drag and drop one or more file(s) directly onto the 'Drop files here' region of the attachments screen. The 'Attach File(s)' message box appears, indicating the upload status of the file(s) being attached to your page.

Importing Word documents into Confluence

You can also import content from Microsoft Word into Confluence, so that it becomes a Confluence page. See Importing a Word Document into Confluence for a full description.

  1. Go to your space home page.
  2. Choose Tools > Import Word Document The Office Connector import screen will appear.
  3. Choose Browse and locate the Office document on your local drive or network.
  4. Choose Next. The import document options screen will display.

  5. Choose how you would like the Office Connector to import the file:
    • Root page title – This will be the title of the page.
    • Import as a new page in the current space – This option specifies that a new page will be created with the title specified.
    • Rename imported pages if page name already exists – This is what Confluence will do if there is a conflict.
    • Split by heading – If your document contains headings, Confluence can use the heading information to split the document into multiple wiki pages. If you do not want to split your document leave the default 'Don't split' option selected.
  6. Choose Import.

When the upload has finished, the content of the Office document will have been transformed into Confluence page content. You can now view and edit this page in the normal way, using the Confluence editor. There is now no connection between the original Office document and this page.

Step 6. Import page templates and blueprints

In order for an intranet to be effective, people need to use it. One way to spur new user adoption is to provide your team with templates so that they can focus more on content creation and less on page format. You can create your own templates or download some from the Atlassian Marketplace. See Importing Templates and Adding a Template for a more information.

A blueprint is a page template with added functionality to help you create, manage and organise content in Confluence. Confluence ships with some predefined blueprints. You can also download additional blueprints from the Atlassian Marketplace. You can customise the blueprint templates to suit your individual needs and even develop your own blueprints. See Working with Blueprints.

Creating a page from a template

Now that you have made some templates available to your site or space, other Confluence users will be able to choose a template when they want to create a page. Templates appear in the Create dialog for users to select when creating a new page. 

  1. Go to your Intranet space.
  2. Choose Create on the header. Available templates will be listed in the Create dialog.
  3. Select a template and choose Next.

  4. If the template contains variables, a form will appear. Type the relevant information into the form fields, and choose Next.
  5. Enter a title for the page, update the content and choose Save.


Step 7. Set up your personal space

Now that you have created a space for your team, let's create your personal space. This is a place where you can publish your own pages and blog posts. Once you have created it, Confluence users can reach your personal space by clicking your name in the People Directory or by searching for your name via the quick navigation search box.

  1. Choose your profile picture at top right of the screen, then choose Add Personal Space.
  2. Enter a few details about your space:
    • Choose who can view content.
    • Choose who can contribute (create and edit) content.
    • Choose the 'Global Look and Feel' for your personal space.
  3. Choose Create.
  4. The 'Home' page for your new space is displayed.

Step 8. Publish a blog post

Blog posts are a good way of letting your team mates and the company know your news. People can blog about product and strategic ideas, team updates, and things they want to get ideas about. New employees can write blog posts introducing themselves. People write about getting married or the birth of a child. Blog posts are a great way for people to share their visions, get to know their c-oworkers and start lively discussions.

Remember to set your email notifications to alert you about the blog posts published within Confluence, as described in an earlier step.

See Working with Blog Posts for a full description of adding, editing, viewing and linking to blog posts.

  1. Go to a page in your space.
  2. Choose Create in the header.
  3. Select Blog then choose Next.
  4. Add a title and some content.
  5. Choose Save to publish your blog post.

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