I am getting lost in the Sharepoint universe and I need someone to point me in the direction of an easy guide to setting up a public facing website collection following best practice.
We have SharePoint online office 365, with its stupid simple website so I need to set up a site where I can experiment and ork on creating a proper Sharepoint publiic facing website.
I do not have developer background, more web design, html, css etc.

  • 1
    Heres to get you started: office.microsoft.com/en-us/… Just follow the links on each topic for further details. Good luck!
    – user7400
    Nov 2, 2012 at 15:57
  • Thans, but this guide only covers the simple cms and website that comes with microsoft online and that design is far too restrictive. I aready have one of them: globalgateways.eu I need to make a public site collection but am unsure of all the settings.
    – Nina
    Nov 2, 2012 at 16:34
  • "We have SharePoint online office 365" ... have fun. Nov 2, 2012 at 16:34
  • @rjcup3 does that I mean I am on a path of no return? Give me the ammunition I need to convince my boss that this is a bad idea to use sharepoint for our website. or is it just the Sharepoint Online thats crapand we would be ok with another version?
    – Nina
    Nov 2, 2012 at 16:42
  • Specifically SharePoint Online public facing websites are bad, but all SharePoint Online severely limits your ability to customize (only sandboxed solutions allowed, no direct access to server) Nov 2, 2012 at 17:25

2 Answers 2


The current public website on Office 365 is frustrating, because you cannot easily use dynamic content as you would do with regular SharePoint sites. This is going to change with the next version, so my first advice would be to wait for a couple months if you can.

Apart from this limitation, I don't think there's anything complicated about the public site, you should be able to figure it out just by exploring the menus. The best practices are the same as for any website, and one good point about the SharePoint page templates is that they include context advice.

As far as I know there is no option to built a test website, so you'll have to directly experiment with the actual site, or get yourself another instance of Office 365. Of course your visitors will only see the changes that you publish.

Just to be clear, you can build some advanced customizations on the public website, like this one. But this requires custom programming. Again vNext will provide more opportunities.


Using public facing sites could be really frustrating, the available tools to add content to the site are very limited and the available design seems to be from the last century.

You can dig into the designer and change the master page and add manual content however you can blow your site very easily.

Other approach is use one of the available platforms to customize the public site, this can save you a lot of time and money and the results are guaranteed.

See here, this works for the 2010 and 2013 version


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