I'm overhauling an existing Sharepoint site. There are three "tabs" in the Top Link Bar. Tab 1 is "Home," Tab 2 is "Labor," and Tab 3 is "Training."

However, when I go to Site Settings -> Site Administration -> Sites and Workspaces, I don't see "Labor" and "Training" appear as Subsites. How is this possible? I thought that to add a new tab to the Top Link Bar one had to create a new subsite.

I know that "Labor" and "Training" in my case cannot be subsites because:

  1. They don't appear under the Subsites list in settings
  2. When changing the site theme for one tab, the rest align to the same theme (subsites don't do this)

Since they are not subsites, they must be a different kind of site, right?


I am a beginner and would like to understand:

  1. The difference between the types of sites that one can add to the Top Link Bar
  2. What type of sites "Labor" and "Training" are, and how to duplicate them
  3. Advantages/disadvantages in either case

I'm using Sharepoint 2010. Answers for any of the above three would be appreciated.

3 Answers 3


Go to Site Settings >> Navigation. You can see all options related to navigation. Links don't have to be subsites, you can add a link to Google if you want and it would appear just as you want.

  • Don't have Navigation because I haven't enabled Site Publishing - don't want to if I don't have to. I did find a solution, which I'll post momentarily.
    – chompy
    Jan 27, 2015 at 19:46

If you can't see the Navigation settings link under Look And Feel in Site Settings, you'll need to turn on Site Publishing. However as it appears some has already modified the nav, it should be visible already.

You should find that the Labor and Training links are either in the Structural Navigation settings further down the page, or they may be configured as Metadata Navigation.

  • Got the result I was looking for without enabling Site Publishing. I'll post my solution in a little bit.
    – chompy
    Jan 27, 2015 at 19:47

Gonna answer my own question here:

  1. The Top Link Bar is just that - it holds a number of links. These can take the user to a site, page, library, or (as Mohamed pointed out) an external website.

There's an important distinction between pages and subsites. Subsites exist as standalone sites, while pages are pieces of a site. Most of the time, when a user is looking to create a new area (to create some web parts, upload some docs) they will create a new page. Sometimes, if the new area needs to hold a wealth of category-specific info, they might consider a subsite. Both pages and subsites can be linked to using the top link bar.

  1. I believe, after some reasearch, that the existing "Labor" and "Training" tabs are pages. These can be created using the "Site Actions" menu (with the right permissions).

  2. Pages are better if you need a new area and the ability to add stuff, and not much else. Pages aren't sites, but are linked to a site. Subsites come with their own theme and security options, and are autonomous sites. Designers should weigh these facts when thinking about creating either a page or subsite.

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