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I'm just getting started with Sharepoint and my assignment is to create a public facing website based on Sharepoint 2013.

If I get it correctly, the new way of buildning things in 2013 is the app model. I'm familiar with REST APIs. By using the OData service I could build the site in JavaScript (which is bad for SEO), so I'd rather use some kind of server side platform, like LAMP or ASP.NET to consume JSON.

I assume that I have to make the lists and content types public from the administration panel for such a application.

But is this the recomended way to build a public facing site on 2013? If not, what is?

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I'd suggest you take a look at the SharePoint 2013 training videos, Module 13 specifically, that highlights the main web content management features in SharePoint 2013: msdn.microsoft.com/en-US/sharepoint/fp123633 –  Vassili Altynikov Oct 18 '12 at 19:19

2 Answers 2

SharePoint 2013 has excellent features directed towards web content management, so apps doesn't really come to play here (unless you have some integration tasks you want to do).

On top of the (lacking) WCM features we not have support for nicer URLS (good for SEO), alot better support for content publishing from intranet or staging environment, HTML5 support (also good for SEO, and for the sanity of web frontend developers), multipe image renditions (good for responsive web design).

There are more features, read more about SharePoint 2013 WCM capabilities here http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj219688(v=office.15).aspx

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Depends on the topology entirely. If it is a totally custom website with a SP2013 back end, then you are probably on the correct lines, you would need to implement caching to prevent slow down though, preferably a prefetch caching mechanism.

One thing you have to remember, if this is what you have to achieve, SharePoint is not designed to work this way, so a little bit of out of the box thinking and abuse of the system would be required.

If you want a SharePoint customised front end visible to the public, then you need to configure SharePoint for external users, basically creating an extranet.

To have a look how other websites with SharePoint back ends are produced, take a look at the following. You can see the basics of how each is built by viewing the source and having a play around.

http://www.topsharepoint.com/sharepoint-sites-of-the-month-3

There is no real right answer, it depends on how extensive the change and integration must be.

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