I'm trying to make custom web parts for my SharePoint site through Visual Studio 2015, but I keep getting the error below.

Sharepoint 2013 Web Part VS2015 error

Is there a way for me to develop custom web parts without having SharePoint Server 2013 installed? I may not be able to get SharePoint server since my web site is on the SharePoint server run by another department. I do have full control to customize the SharePoint site, but I would like to be able to make custom web parts for full functionality. Also, I don't know if my current computer specifications can handle SharePoint Server 2013.

If I do require SharePoint Server 2013, would I still be able to develop custom web parts if my website is on a SharePoint server that is not on the same computer I'm developing the web parts?

2 Answers 2


In order to develop deployable web parts, you need a local SharePoint environment to develop against, ideally the same version (Foundation or Server) at the same patch level. This will allow you to develop and test your web part, then give a deployable package to the server admins to install into the environment, at which point you can activate it on your site.

If you don't want to do those types of web parts, you can create a variety of functionality with SharePoint Designer and content/script editor web parts.

  • I'm new to Sharepoint so bare with me. I'm trying to make various web parts of components of web pages so I can reuse them throughout my web site. Here's an overview of what I'm trying to make:
    – splearner
    Nov 28, 2016 at 22:47
  • 1. Basic content web parts that will automatically style the inputted text with the appropriate boxes, colours, etc. based on the type of webpart used. The user wouldn't have to think about the styling and would just input the content
    – splearner
    Nov 28, 2016 at 22:48
  • 2. Lists of content types that would automatically group by their categories. New content will automatically be updated and added.
    – splearner
    Nov 28, 2016 at 22:51
  • 3. On the front page of my site, I'll have a section of the the top 6 highest rated content or most viewed depending on the calculation. There will be multiple content types spanning in multiple subsites. I want that to update and automatically in a certain format without the user having to do anything other than to add the web part in.
    – splearner
    Nov 28, 2016 at 22:55
  • Would you say that I'd need custom web parts for this or could I make due with working with the ones already available? This site will be passed onto someone else without a coding background, so I'm trying to make sure there's little to no coding needed and the styling stays consistent.
    – splearner
    Nov 28, 2016 at 22:57

In order to develop webparts and other components of SharePoint with SSOM (Server Side Object Model) you have to do what Eric suggested.

On the other hand you can develop with JSOM using the Apps for SharePoint (SharePoint Add-in) project template and creating an Add in part, without installing SharePoint on your computer.

Look at this: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/fp179921.aspx

  • I'll check out the Sharepoint Add-ins. I haven't taken a full look yet, but would they still act as web-parts such that I can re-use them over the whole website? I replied to Eric with what I'm trying to do with the web parts as well so would you say the Add-ins should be enough to handle what I'm looking for?
    – splearner
    Nov 28, 2016 at 22:59

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