Plan the structure of site collections and sites

Determining the goals and objectives of a Web site are important factors to consider when developing a Web site. Careful planning will help to ensure that the Web site will be easier to use and easier to manage.



Determine who will use the site

Deciding what kind of site to create depends on the intended scope and use of the site. You can create a separate site for every project on which your team is working. For example, you might want to create a top-level Web site for an entire organization and separate sites under that site for each team.

Site collections, sites, and subsites

You can use top-level Web sites and subsites to divide site content into distinct, separately manageable sites. Top-level Web sites can have multiple subsites, and subsites themselves can have multiple subsites, down as many levels as your users need. The entire structure of a top-level Web site and all of its subsites is called a site collection (site collection: A set of Web sites on a virtual server that have the same owner and share administration settings. Each site collection contains a top-level Web site and can contain one or more subsites.).

This hierarchy allows your users to have a main working site for the entire team, plus individual working sites and shared sites for side projects. Top-level Web sites and subsites allow for different levels of control over the features and settings for sites.

Site collection administrators and the Site name Owners group

Site collection administrators have full permissions to all sites in the site collection. Members of the Site name Owners group of the top-level Web site in the site collection can control settings and features for both the top-level Web site and any subsites beneath it that inherit permissions from it. For example, both a site collection administrator and a member of the Site name Owners group of a top-level Web site can do the following:

However, when a subsite uses unique permissions, members of the Site name Owners group for the top-level Web site cannot perform the actions listed above for that site. By comparison, site collection administrators can always perform these actions in all subsites, regardless of whether or not the subsite has unique permissions.

A member of the Site name Owners group of a subsite can control settings and features only for that subsite and any subsites below it that inherit permissions. For example, an administrator of a subsite can do the following:

  • Add, delete, or change users and groups, if unique permissions have been set
  • View usage statistics
  • Change regional settings
  • Manage Web Part and template galleries
  • Manage alerts
  • Change the site name and description, theme, and home page organization

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Determine the content of the site

Windows SharePoint Services provides a central location where you can post information, such as project schedules, important events, and announcements rather than communicating that information through e-mail.

Workspace sites

A workspace is a unique Web site that you create, which provides team members with collaboration tools and services for either collaboration on documents or for resources relevant to meetings. A workspace can contain lists of information, such as related documents, team members, and links.

Windows SharePoint Services provides the following workspace sites:

Workspace site Description
Document Workspace This template creates a site for team members to work together on documents. It provides a document library for storing the primary document and supporting files, a Task list for assigning to-do items, and a Links list for resources related to the document.
Basic Meeting Workspace This template creates a site that provides all the basics to plan, organize, and track your meeting. It contains the following lists: Objects, Attendees, Agenda, and Document Library.
Blank Meeting Workspace This template creates a blank Meeting Workspace site for you to customize based on your requirements.
Decision Meeting Workspace This template provides a Meeting Workspace in which to review relevant documents and record decisions. It contains the following lists: Objectives, Attendees, Agenda, Document Library, Tasks, and Decisions.
Social Meeting Workspace This template creates a site that provides a planning tool for social occasions, featuring a discussion board and a picture library to post pictures of the event. It contains the following lists and Web Parts: Attendees, Directions, Image/Logo, Things To Bring, Discussions, and Picture Library.
Multipage Meeting Workspace This template creates a site that provides all the basics to plan, organize, and track your meeting with multiple pages. It contains the following lists: Objectives, Attendees, and Agenda in addition to two blank pages for you to customize based on your requirements.

Other site templates

When creating a new site, Windows SharePoint Services provides the following collaboration templates:

Site template Description
Team Site This template creates a site for teams to create, organize, and share information. It includes a Document Library, and basic lists, such as Announcements, Calendar, Contacts, and Links.
Blank Site This template creates a Web site with a blank home page that you can customize with a Web browser or a Windows SharePoint services-compatible Web design program by adding interactive lists and other features.
Wiki Site This template creates a site where users can quickly and easily add, edit, and link Web pages.
Blog This template creates a site to post information and to allow others to comment on it.

Save customizations as templates

You can save an existing site or list as a custom template. Custom templates are a way of packaging up a set of changes to an existing site (site: A group of related Web pages that is hosted by an HTTP server on the World Wide Web or an intranet. The pages in a Web site generally cover one or more topics and are interconnected through hyperlinks.) and making those available for new sites and lists. Every custom template is based on a site definition. You can store Web Parts (Web Part: A modular unit of information that consists of a title bar, a frame, and content. Web Parts are the basic building blocks of a Web Part Page.), list templates, and site templates in libraries for use by all sites in the site collection (site collection: A set of Web sites on a virtual server that have the same owner and share administration settings. Each site collection contains a top-level Web site and can contain one or more subsites.). Custom templates are made available through the Site Template Gallery and List Template Gallery pages.

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Plan the navigation structure

The navigation consists of links that users use to access the major sections and pages on a site. The following site navigation elements are available:

Site navigation elements Description
View All Site Content This navigation element appears as a link on the left-hand side of a page, directly above the Quick Launch. You cannot customize or disable this link. When you click this link, the All Site Content page appears, which provides a list of links to all lists, libraries, discussion boards, surveys, and the Recycle Bin for a site.
Quick Launch This is a customizable navigation element that displays section headings and links to different areas of your site. By default, the Quick Launch appears on most pages directly below the View All Site Content link.
Tree View This navigation element has the same look and feel as Windows Explorer. Branches of the tree that contain other objects can be expanded to view those objects. The tree view is not configurable and is not displayed by default. When displayed, the tree view appears directly under the Quick Launch.
Top link bar This is a customizable navigation element that appears as one or more hyperlinked tabs across the top of all pages on a site.
Content breadcrumb This navigation element provides a set of hyperlinks that you can use to quickly navigate up the hierarchy of the site you are currently viewing. This breadcrumb does not appear when you are on the home page of a site. However, when you navigate down the site hierarchy, this breadcrumb appears above the name of the page to which you have navigated.
Global breadcrumb bar This navigation element provides hyperlinks that you can use to navigate to different sites within your site collection. This breadcrumb is always visible, and appears in the top-left corner of the page, above the name of your site.

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Determine access to sites and site content

When you set up a Web site, you need a way to specify who has access to it. For a typical Internet site, you probably want everyone who comes to the site to be able to view your content, but you don't want them to be able to change that content. For a company intranet site, you may want a few users to control the structure of the site, but many more users to add new content or participate in group calendars or surveys (survey: A Web site component that presents users with a set of questions specified by the creator of the survey and collects user responses. Results are tallied in a graphical summary. Requires a Web server that is running Windows SharePoint Services.). For an extranet (extranet: An external Web site for an organization; usually secured so that only authorized users can gain access to it.), you want to carefully control which users can view the site at all. Generally, access to Web sites is controlled by combining user accounts with permissions structure that controls the specific actions users can perform.

Permissions can be set at the top-level site, subsite, and list and library levels. Find links to more information about setting permissions in the See Also section.

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Applies to:
Windows SharePoint Services 3.0