Office 365 – Public Website


Mmm, my last blogposts are indicating than I’m currently working on an Office 365 project 🙂

One of the requirements is the have a public website in Office 365 where anonymous users can download free folders, brochures etc… so no rocket science or rare questions…

When you create a public site you will see that you get an out-of-the-box website with basic CMS tools. I think that my grandma can change the design (So it’s user-friendly!!) but a customer who pays for an”enterprise” SharePoint plan will not have a big “whauw” effect…

The following issues / problems didn’t make me happy but can be easly solved!

  • You will see that the Site Actions menu is trimmed down: No link available to the Site Settings page to activate some features and tweak you site
    • No problem: just add “/_layouts/settings.aspx” in your url and you are there.
    • on the Settings page, go to the QuickLaunch and add a link to this Settings.aspx page (easy for the future!)
  • There is no link on a library or list to change some settings
    • Go to your general “Site Settings” page and use the link “Site Libraries and Lists”
  • Activating the Publishing Infrastructure feature gives you some “unexpected” errors, and since you are on Office 365, you cannot look in the logfiles!
    •  I had this problem a long time ago on an on-premise SharePoint installation. The “unexpected” error means that the feature can’t create a couple of libraries (nice FeatureReceiver… but anyway :-)) because those libraries are allready there!
    • Solution:
      • Open you’re SP Designer 2010, and rename all the default libraries (also the URL path) to something like “rename_documents” … (except the Style Library because this library does not depend on this feature)
      • When this is complete, your public website looks like a standard SharePoint Foundation intranet (much nicer and you can work with the default masterpage to change the design!)
      • (optional), now you have the possibility to activate the Publishing Infrastructure features on Site Collection -and Site level.
      • (optional) at this moment you can have “normal” SharePoint pages, so you can use your own custom Sandbox solutions on Office 365!

Simple solution and no coding required! if you are familiar with SharePoint and SharePoint Designer, you can create some nice stuff on the platform!

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