Office 365 plans comes with support for public facing websites.
No matter if you are using Small Business Plan (P Plan) or one of
the Enterprise Plans (E Plans), you can create exactly one public
facing website. The difference between plans is the fact that for P
plan public website is created automatically at the root level
immediately after you establish your account, and for the E plans
it have to be created manually.
In this blog post I'll show you how easy is to create and
customize a public facing website hosted inside your SharePoint
How to create a new public facing website…
…in 5 easy steps:
1. Open the Microsoft Online Services
2. Click on the Manage site collections link.
3. Click on a Public Website action in the New
dropdown on the Site Collections ribbon.
4. A Create Your Website dialog will be
opened. There are few options you need to configure in order to
create a new public facing website:
Title - title for the new site collection.
URL - cannot be changed unless you configure
alternate DNS settings in the Microsoft Online Services
Localization options - Language, Time Zone.
Administrator - one and only user, represents primary site
Storage Quota - maximum storage limit for the site collection,
300 MB should be enough.
Resource Usage Limit - maximum resource usage limit for the
site collection; default value should be OK.
5. Commit the changes and wait for the site collection to be
created. Once created, you'll be able to navigate to the newly
Behind the scenes
It's interesting to see what was created behind the scenes. On
the first sight, public web site doesn't look like a SharePoint
site. However, it's a simple site with a Page Library on it. Each
link represents one page in the Page Library. To see the files in
edit mode, you'll need to click on the Member Login
If you open the Home page in edit mode, you'll see that it looks
pretty different from standard SharePoint pages. There are zones
similar to web part zones, but here stops any similarity.
First, if you click anywhere in the header area, a header
customization dialog will appear. Using this dialog you'll be able
to edit page title, description and logo.
Page content can be edited using standard text manipulation
tools available on the Home ribbon tab.
Using the Insert tab, you'll be able to insert some
standard object such us an image, line, hyperlink or table.
However, that's not all you can put on you page. There is a set
of gadgets you can insert on your page, e.g. Slide Show, HTML, Map
& Direction, Video, Contact Us form or Weather gadget.
The very last tab contains a set of Design tools that
can be used to change the look and feel of your page. There you can
change page size, color scheme, background, layout, style sheet and
We'll dig into design options in one of the future blog posts.
See you soon.
Tomicic IS a .Net & SharePoint consultant with 11+ years of
experience. His blog shares his thoughts about SharePoint and .Net
programming technics and the solutions about the challenges and
issues I hit on the real-world projects.
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