Web sites based on Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services are designed to be flexible. You can tailor a site to fit your users' needs by adding or removing pages, changing the appearance of pages, changing the site navigation, and making other customizations. To customize Web sites based on Windows SharePoint Services, you must have the following rights (rights: File-level and folder-level permissions that allow access to a Web site.), all of which are included in the Web Designer and Administrator site groups (site group: A custom security group that applies to a specific Web site. Users are assigned to site groups to grant them rights on a SharePoint site.) by default:
- Manage Lists
- Add and Customize Pages
- Apply Themes and Borders
- Apply Style Sheets
Other users of your site cannot gain access to the pages required to perform these tasks unless you specifically assign them to a site group that contains these permissions. For more information about controlling permissions and assigning rights and site groups, see "Managing Site Groups and Permissions" in the Windows SharePoint Services Administrator's Guide.
Customizing Web Sites in the Browser
Basic customization can be done from within the browser, using links from the Home, Create, and Site Settings pages of the Web site. From the browser you can perform basic customizations such as the following:
- Add a list.
- Change the layout of the home page (home page: The main page of a Web site. A home page usually has hyperlinks to other pages, both inside and outside the site.).
- Change the picture on the home page.
- Add a Web Part (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.) to a Web Part Page (Web Part Page: A special type of Web page that contains one or more Web Parts. A Web Part Page consolidates data, such as lists and charts, and Web content, such as text and images, into a dynamic information portal built around a common task.).
- Change a site's display name (not the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) (Uniform Resource Locator (URL): An address that specifies a protocol (such as HTTP or FTP) and a location of an object, document, World Wide Web page, or other destination on the Internet or an intranet. Example: http://www.microsoft.com/.)).
- Apply a theme.
The Windows SharePoint Services Help files contain more information about customizing Web sites from within the browser.
Customizing Web Sites by Using Web Page Editing Tools
Additional customization can be done by using a Windows SharePoint Services–compatible Web page editor, such as Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003. With a Web page editor you can perform customizations such as the following:
- Add borders to pages.
- Insert graphics.
- Add components to the home page.
- Change the navigation of a site.
For example, if you have created a custom theme for Windows SharePoint Services sites in Office FrontPage 2003, and added the theme name to the list of themes in Office FrontPage 2003, you can edit the list of available themes in Windows SharePoint Services
to include your new theme. An XML template called spthemes.xml contains the theme name, style sheet location, thumbnail, preview, and description of each theme that is available through the browser. This XML file is used to render the theme selection page. You can modify this XML file (by opening it in any editor, such as Notepad) to include a custom theme on the Apply Theme to Web page. You must be a member of the local administrators group for the server to edit this file. For more information about creating a theme and adding it to the list of themes in Office FrontPage 2003, see the Office FrontPage 2003 Help system.
Add a custom theme to the list of available themes
- On the top link bar, click Site Settings.
- In the Customization section, click Apply theme to site.
- In the Address bar on the browser, replace the file name themeweb.aspx with spthemes.xml.
- For example, if the Address bar showed http://server_name/_layouts/1033/themeweb.aspx, you would change the path to http://server_name/_layouts/1033/spthemes.xml.
- Edit the XML file and add a new section for your custom theme, similar to the following:
For more information about customizing Web site elements in a Windows SharePoint Services–compatible Web page editor, see the Help system for the Web page editor.
Customizing Web Sites by Using Administrative Controls
If you are an Administrator, you can customize how Web sites work by performing tasks such as the following:
- Change settings, such as regional settings.
- Add, remove, or modify site groups.
- Add or remove users, or change their site group membership.
You control these features by using the Site Administration pages. Only an administrator of the site can perform these types of customizations, or users who are members of a site group that contains administrative rights, such as the Manage Site Groups right.
Customizing Web Sites Programmatically
You can perform advanced Web development customizations by using the programming model behind Windows SharePoint Services. You can use the programming model to make Web site customizations such as:
- Add, edit, delete, and retrieve data from SharePoint lists.
- Create new lists and set list metadata (such as the fields in a list).
- Work with documents in document libraries.
- Perform administrative tasks such as creating Web sites, adding users, creating roles, and so on.
For more information about advanced customizations, see the Windows SharePoint Services Software Development Kit.