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How to Move Salesforce Visualforce Pages from Classic to Lightning

May 15, 2019

Home » Salesforce » Functional Consulting » How to Move Salesforce Visualforce Pages from Classic to Lightning

Transferring your Visualforce pages to Salesforce Lightning from Classic can sometimes be easier said than done. Customers who’ve written apps in Visualforce for their Salesforce Classic organizations shouldn’t have any issues transitioning to Lightning Experience. However, our clients tell us that this transition isn’t quite as seamless as Salesforce intended it to be. Let’s take a closer look at issues you might run into, how to identify them before they happen, and how to fix them if they do.

Ways Visualforce Works Differently in Lightning Experience

Despite reassurances that “Visualforce just works” in Lightning, Salesforce acknowledges that there are a few exceptions to this rule. First, Visualforce pages that use standard, out-of-the-box components will have a distinctive “Classic” look and feel to them, which may feel out of place in the Lightning UI. Secondly, if your Visualforce pages rely on JavaScript, issues may arise in Lightning Experience, as JavaScrip code might need rules to play nicely with how Visualforce interacts with Lightning.

In addition, even in cases where your Visualforce pages work as they’re supposed to in Lightning, you might notice that how you and your coworkers can access them has changed a bit. There are a wide variety of ways to customize your org using Visualforce pages, so we’ll just focus on the highlights:

  • Open from the App Launcher
  • Add as a component in the Lightning App Builder
  • Use custom buttons or links
  • Add to the Navigation Bar
  • Override a standard button or link
  • Launch as a quick action
  • Display in a standard page layout

How to Understand What Problems You May Face

Whether you’ve switched to Lightning and noticed some issues with your Visualforce pages, or you’re still in Classic but want to know what problems you may face in the future, the Lightning Experience Readiness Check is for you. You can learn more about it in an article we posted recently on the subject, Getting Started With Salesforce Lighting Experience, but in short, the Readiness Check is a great way to identify potential issues (for example, when you see a message that reads, “Supported but Requires Some Attention”) as well as inform yourself about possible solutions.

Possible Solutions for Your Visualforce Vexations

Here are a few of those possible solutions and quick tricks to troubles you may face while moving Visualforce pages to Salesforce Lightning:

Take Advantage of the Salesforce Lightning Design System

The Salesforce Lightning Design System gives you access to Component, Design Tokens, Icons, and Utilities that are designed to make the creation of custom apps for your business responsive, easy to use, and in line with the UI expectations of your employees and customers.

Is There an App for That?

Of course, code that’s “easy to use” is dependent on one’s skill at programming. (Just think about skiing: a Black Diamond slope is no sweat for an Olympic athlete, but less so for a novice.) Enter the Salesforce AppExchange! If you don’t have the internal resources to create an app to handle your “Visualforce pages aren’t working as I’d like in Lightning” issue, you can count on Salesforce’s AppExchange (ISV) partners, who develop and publish solutions on the AppExchange, to have made just the app for you.

3rd-Party Consultant for the Win

But what if you don’t have someone who can design an app for you in Lightning, and there isn’t an app that solves your problem? (And what if it turns out you don’t need an app to make your Visualforce pages work correctly after all?) To help answer these questions, we recommend a neutral, third-party consultant, one who’s familiar with the product and can offer out-of-the-box solutions based on their experience with different customers.


Whether you’re having trouble moving your Visualforce pages to Lightning Experience, or you need someone to help you avoid problems before they arise, our wide network of Salesforce experts can help. Get in touch with us today to learn how.

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