Our company uses Sharepoint Online and have a Office 365 public website which I have tweaked and bent to within an inch of its life.
Can we have a prober Sharepoint public facing website using Sharepoint Online or would we have to change to a different version of sharepoint?
I have tried setting up a sub site for a new public facing website, but can never get the backend to look like screenshots I see from other people and I am wondering weather it is possible at all?


Just added these 2 links for clarity:

This is what I have currently managed to do with Office 365 http://www.globalgateways.eu/Pages/default.aspx

This is what I wnt to be able to do!: http://www.carbonwarroom.com/

  • Does the public facing site have to be editable through the web interface, or is designer/WSP enough?
    – eirikb
    Commented Nov 2, 2012 at 11:22
  • Do you mean if the design itself has to editable via the web interface? In that case no. I am planning on designing the laoyout, converting it to html with Dreamweaver and then turn it into a proper Master Page. I will need to create various page layouts as well that can be used online, and not assigned in Designer. Not sure what WSP stands for?
    – Nina
    Commented Nov 2, 2012 at 11:40
  • A WSP would be a sandboxed solution in your case. I have played around some with this, see my testpage . This is a WSP I upload and enable on the site, if interested you can see the [source](github.com/eirikb/www.eirikb.no). Again a bit self-promoting, so just leaving this as a comment :)
    – eirikb
    Commented Nov 2, 2012 at 11:55
  • I like what have done Nina. That's a good job as well. I too am trying to figure out how to make mine look like a "normal" site.
    – user32202
    Commented Aug 5, 2014 at 22:40

2 Answers 2


** This feature is now deprecated please use Azure to host websites **

** Please read the KB Article here for more information **

You can indeed create public site collections in SharePoint Online as you have done. Branding is another kettle of fish however and requires quite a lot of work.

Please watch this course on SharePoint Online branding as a starting point.


For SEO however I would not suggest using SharePoint online as a website. The markup isn't very crawler friendly, on-top of this URLs aren't friendly and it is a lot of work to get the site to work.

  • Thanks, the video didn't really teach me anything new. And I agree that a Sharepoint Online 365 is not a good option for a website. Question s, can I create a "prober" sharepoint website when we only have Sharepoint online?
    – Nina
    Commented Nov 2, 2012 at 12:04
  • Yes of course you can, limitations are that you can't run things like powerpivot on the same site to analyze your data. But you can export lists to excel and use analysis there as normal. You can easily create the required information gathering tools, and put the data into lists. What data are you looking to collect?
    – Hugh Wood
    Commented Nov 2, 2012 at 12:48
  • I have added 2 links for further clarification. My boss is very keen to use sharepoint, so not sure there is a way around it. Just utterly confused by all the various versions and what is possible in which version. So you are saying that I should be able to ake a public site collection with sharepoint online office 365 without using there stupid "out of the box" website? We have tried to set one up previously but I am sure there was something wrong in the setup. Any step-by-step guides you know of?
    – Nina
    Commented Nov 2, 2012 at 12:55
  • I dont think we will need to collect any data, basically my boss want a website very much like this: carbonwarroom.com
    – Nina
    Commented Nov 2, 2012 at 13:00
  • That's simple branding. You want to make a custom web template for each page type, and a master page for the look and feel. More resources. msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/… Since what you want is a pretty straight forward branded public sharepoint site, just concentrate on web parts, site templates and master pages.
    – Hugh Wood
    Commented Nov 2, 2012 at 14:10

as told above, branding is not easy specially for the public websites of the SharePoint 2010/office 365, however check this online toll where you can fully customize a skin for your SharePoint site in just a few clicks including the public sites, this works for 2010 and 2013 versions. http://bindtuning.com/

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