I was wondering if the site definition for an Office 365 public website for SharePoint 2013 is available for use in a standard SP2013 on premise farm?

The reason I ask is I would like to do some proof of concept development work in my SharePoint dev farm to show what is possible.

4 Answers 4


Right now, I would advice to stay away from the Office 365 Public site. A lot of features which we would normally expect from a public site are missing.

1) The biggest flaw according to me is that you cannot use the REST API, JSOM as an anonymous user. (You can enable this on On-Premise, but not on O365)

2) You cannot change the permissions allowed for the anonymous users. It is set to by default "ViewItems" only.

3) For some of the O365 Plans, creating sub sites under the public site is disabled.


You can create a Publishing portal site collection and then activate SmallBusinessWebsite feature. You can find feature ID under

<RootDrive>:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\15\TEMPLATE\FEATURES\SmallBusinessWebsite\Feature.xml

The Office 365 public site is a trimmed-down version of a Publishing Site you would find On-premises. The main issue is not that, but the fact that you should not create new Site Definitions, but rather Web Templates which are the only ones supported (read more http://sharepointchick.com/archive/0001/01/01/site-definitions-vs.-webtemplates.aspx or http://sharepointchick.com/archive/2011/02/10/using-web-templates-to-create-site-collections.aspx or http://www.sharepointedutech.com/2012/11/15/live-from-spc12sharepoint-web-templates-for-on-premise-and-the-cloud/).

Then it all depends on what exactly you intend to do with these, but for starters, you should consider these. Most Office plans comprise Publishing Sites (however SharePoint Foundation does not have them - same as for SharePoint 2010).


FYI, I just published a blog post about enabling anonymous access to the client-side APIs for Office 365 public sites: http://sharepointtaproom.com/2014/08/28/anonymous-api-access-for-office-365-public-sites/

Hopefully it'll help someone out there like me who needed to do it and ran across this thread.

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