The Microsoft SharePoint Training Series: How To Create And Configure New SharePoint Sites




Microsoft SharePoint is a network suite for a shared project building experience. It is a part of Office 365’s business plan. It caters to corporations that want to set up a collaborative environment in which employees can participate by creating and editing documents, check new notifications, meet deadlines, and view the corporate calendar.

Employees can be given access to limited areas of the sites they create in SharePoint, so that it suits their roles within the organization and the project.

Choosing Between a Team Site and Communications Site

There is one thing to keep in mind before building a site, and that is whether you want to build a team site or a communications site. On the most basic level, the difference between both of them comes down to the way you want to work. If you want a more collaborative environment where members with access to the site can communicate with each other, plan events, create and edit content, then go ahead with a team site.  

A communications site on the other hand is more akin to a sales representative where the person is basically talking about what is available. Members in a communications site can still have content authors but will be limited in numbers, as compared to the number of readers viewing content that you wish to share.

While there are many SharePoint online training programs available that will teach you to be an expert, if your requirement is as basic as building or configuring your first site in Microsoft’s SharePoint, then follow the steps below to ensure you have a working site up and running. Make sure you are the account administrator or have privileges to create sites.

How to Create a Team Site

  • Locate the app drawer icon on the top left corner and click on the SharePoint icon.
  • Now click on ‘Create site’ and you will be asked to choose between a Team site and a Communications site. Click on ‘Team site’.
  • On the next screen, you will be asked to choose a design for the site. Pick from the available design on the drop-down menu icon.
  • You will now be prompted to enter your site’s name. You will notice that as you type in the name, the text box below automatically fills in with the same name. This is an Office 365 email ID generated for the site you create. You can also add in the site’s description.
  • The privacy settings will dictate whether anyone can access it or only people who you have added as members.
  • Once you click ‘Next’, you will be able to add members or owners to the group. As the creator of the site, you are by default an owner of the site.
  • After you are done, hit ‘Finish’. You will be prompted to wait until your site is ready.

How to Create a Communications Site

  • Locate the app drawer icon on the top left corner and click on the SharePoint icon.
  • Now click on ‘Create site’ and you will be asked to choose between a Team site and Communications site. Click on ‘Communications site’.
  • As discussed earlier, a Communications site is like a channel to stream updates to your audience. You will be asked to select a design tailored for the purpose you want it to accomplish. Choose between ‘Topic’ which is designed to suit news and events, ‘Showcase’ which is designed to around showcasing media such as photos, or ‘Black’ which lets you customize the design yourself.
  • Hit ‘Next’, and enter a name for your site and add in a little description in the text box below. Click on ‘Finish’ and wait until it finishes readying your site.

Now that your site is up and running, you would want to configure it to meet your requirements. Here are some of the ways you can configure your site to help you do more:

How to Create My Site Host Site Collection

Before we begin, make sure that you have privileges to create My Site host site collection. You are required to be a member of Farm Administrators. You will need additional privileges to create site collections if you are a service application administrator.

  • Select ‘Application Management’ by going into Central Administration.
  • Select Create Site Collection and choose the web application that you want to host My Sites in.
  • Like when you created a new site, you will be asked to enter Title and Description for the site collection.
  • Use the URL you want the site collection to have after you have been directed to Web Site Address section.
  • In the template section, select My Site Host by going into the Enterprise tab.
  • In the next section, enter the name of the user that you want to make administrator of this site collection.
  • Click on ‘Manage Service Applications’ by going into Application Management.
  • Choose the user profile which you used to connect the web application to host My Sites
  • Now go into ‘Manage Profile Service’ from My Site Settings.
  • Click Setup.
  • You should now be on My Sites Settings page. On ‘My Site Host’ section, enter the URL of the My Host site collection that you created earlier.
  • Choose a naming format for the My Sites site collections. You can change to another language from Language Options section if you want.
  • Now specify the users who can view other users’ My Sites in Read Permission Level section
  • Now specify the permissions for how posts are displayed in feeds
  • You can specify a Secondary Owner in the My Site Cleanup section, so that when the original owner of the site is deleted, the ownership will be transferred to the specified user. Additionally, you can check Enable Access Delegation so the system will try to assign ownership to the original owner’s manager.

Creating User Profile Service Application

These are all the steps you need to take to create a working SharePoint site. You can dig in deeper to access more features, but on a basic level, this is how a SharePoint experience will look like for you. There are several SharePoint online training programs that teach how to take advantage of all the features present. According to recent news, there will be more features added in future updates to SharePoint.

About The Author
Dennis
Enterprise Account Manager at QuickStart

Dennis Tello

Dennis is a passionate individual with eight years of experience in the industry. He loves working with organizations large and small, helping them train their technology teams. He specializes in DevOps training and has helped a number of organizations turn their IT teams into game-changers.