In chapter 1, I introduced you to the steps for creating your first site. I covered it at a high level, but I wanted to provide you with the detailed steps in case you’re interested in following along. To do this I assume you have a SharePoint environment readily available. If you don’t, you should first work through appendix A, which covers the steps for creating a development/test environment.
In this section, I’m going to discuss two options for creating a site. First, you’ll create a site using the Blank Site template; the second option creates a site using the Publishing Site template. The latter is available only for users who have SharePoint Server.
Select New Site under the Site Actions menu and this will take you to the New SharePoint Site creation page. If you’re working with SharePoint Foundation, select Advanced Options, which will display the site creation page with the following options.
If you’re running SharePoint Server and it’s a migrated SharePoint Server 2007 environment, you’ll still see the site creation page with the options listed here if you haven’t undertaken a visual upgrade.
In this section you need to enter the title that will be displayed on all your sites and a description. The description is important because it helps users understand the purpose of the site. Creating a site is just half the battle. Getting users to understand it and use it correctly is just as important in building a successful site; having a meaningful description can make all the difference. Don’t worry if you’re not sure what title and description you want. Go ahead and create your site, and you can always modify this information later.
It’s important here to follow naming conventions that are similar to your other sites. For example, if you abbreviate words on other sites, try to do the same here. I also recommend not putting spaces in the address because doing so will make %20 appear in your URL. Keep the address short and descriptive. You can also change this later, but note that changing it will break any links from external applications. All links within SharePoint will automatically update to the new URL, and yes, this includes links lists, navigation links, and links entered into the Content Editor web part.
If you choose to modify the Title and Description or Web Site Address fields at a later time, you can do so by going to Site Actions > Site Settings, and under Look and Feel there will be an option called Title, Description and Appearance.
This section gives you different options based on the version of Share-Point you’re running and what your administrator has installed. Later in this appendix we’ll discuss how to create your own templates from the sites you created. In the meantime, refer to chapter 3’s overview of the site templates and the descriptions displayed to the left as you navigate through your options.
Here you have the option to use the same permissions as the parent site. This is a good option if you don’t want to manage permissions and you want to have the permissions of the parent site automatically applied to your child site. This means that if a new user is added to the parent site at a later time, they’ll automatically get access to your site as well. If your permissions need to be different, you can select the option Use Unique Permissions.
If you select Use Unique Permissions, you’ll be asked to set up groups for the visitors, members, and owners of the new site, as shown in figure B.1.
Figure B.1. If you choose to use unique permissions when creating a site, you’ll need to create the visitors, members, and owners groups.
This option is broken up into two sections. The first covers Quick Launch navigation and the second covers the top link bar. Here you can choose how you want your site to display in either of these navigation bars, if at all, as shown in figure B.2.
Figure B.2. Navigation options for the top link bar and Quick Launch bar are displayed on all sites by default.
You can modify the Quick Launch and top link bars under the Look and Feel section in your site settings. Here you can add your own links, and for the Quick Launch bar you can add headings and modify the order of appearance.
If you’re working with a SharePoint Server page, your interface will be different for creating sites. Here it will bring up a Silverlight interface, which will allow you to navigate through the various site templates. A refinement panel will allow you to easily filter down to the sites you’re interested in. Once you choose your site template, you’ll see an option to enter a title and URL. Next to the Create button you’ll see a More Options button. This will take you to the additional site properties discussed previously.
Now that you understand the basic options for configuring your site, we’ll walk through the steps of creating a site. This is a simple exercise if you have a SharePoint environment available. If you don’t have access to a SharePoint environment, come back and revisit this section after you work through appendix A.
I’ll demonstrate two options for creating your first site, which you can continue using in the scenarios in part 2 of this book. The first option is a blank site, and the second is a publishing site. Both sites have advantages and disadvantages that you should consider when making a decision about which to choose. If you don’t have SharePoint Server, the decision is made for you; you have to use the Blank Site template because the publishing site is available only with SharePoint Server. Figure B.3 shows several of the options that you might see when creating a site if you’re using SharePoint Server. Chapter 3 discusses the different templates, what they can do, and what version of SharePoint they’re associated with.
Advantages and disadvantages specific to the Publishing Site template will be discussed in further detail in the section Creating a publishing site. Let’s start with the directions for creating a blank site.
You’ll need to complete the following steps to create a blank site or a publishing site. You’ll need to complete these steps at the beginning of each scenario in part 2 in order to create your site. The scenarios will then walk you through a series of different customizations to leverage SharePoint’s out-of-the-box capabilities:
|1||Select Site Action.||A list of administration options will appear. This enables site owners to access much of the administrative functionality for your site.|
|2||Select New Site.||This will direct you to a separate page to enter your site-creation information.|
|3||Enter a title, description, and website address.||If you don’t see all of these options, click the More Options button.|
|4||For the template selection, select Blank Site under the Collaboration tab.
Alternate steps: if you want to create a publishing site, select Publishing Site under the Content tab.
|This will create a blank site that has no lists or web parts, enabling you to start from scratch to build out your site.|
|5||Leave the rest of the selections at their default value, and click Create.|
An alternative to the blank site is a publishing site.
A publishing site, which is available with SharePoint Server, offers advantages over the blank site because it allows the site administrators to make modifications to a checked-out version of the page and not disrupt the view of the current users. Your users won’t see your modifications until the changes have been completed and published.
The disadvantage is that saving a publishing site as a site template isn’t supported. If you plan to use your site as a site template for the creation of additional sites in the future, you may want to consider using a blank site instead.
Figure B.4 is an example of a publishing site with the page editing toolbar displayed. As you can see in the Status area, the site is currently checked out, and the edited version can’t be viewed by the end users.
Figure B.4. Publishing site with page editing toolbar displayed. This enables administrators to modify the site without impacting the end users.
If you choose to use a publishing site as your foundation site, you’ll need to complete the steps listed in the previous section but follow the alternate steps mentioned in step 4 for the template selection.