Join Simon Allardice for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a new site, part of SharePoint Designer 2010: Branding SharePoint Sites.
If you have the right permissions, you can create a new site in SharePoint, and this can be very useful when you are learning how to make these customized layouts because you can just make a new site to experiment with. Creating a site in SharePoint is really nothing special. It can be done in a few seconds and that site might last for a few hours or a few days or a few years-- it all depends on what you need that site for. But regardless, the process is the same. If you have the correct permissions, you can go to your Site Actions menu and you will see an option that says New Site.
Now, permissions can differ from one site to another. So you may have this ability on one site, but not have it on another site. Now, but before you do make one, it's vital to understand which site you are currently in. You see, I'm in this existing site, this Team Site that I have called Example Team Site, and I'm making another site. But what this actually means is I'm not creating a completely independent site that's detached from this one. I'm actually making what is called a Sub-Site and that to choose this way of doing it, I'm creating a new site that will be underneath this one.
Now, this may strike you as a bit of a chicken and an egg situation. If I have to be in a site to make a site, well where did the first site come from? We'll talk about that in just a moment. But if I'm in this position, I use my Site Actions menu, I say New Site. And I get my Create Window, and it gives me the available site templates. Now, yours may look a little different here depending on your version of SharePoint or what your system administrator has enabled or disabled. I'm also seeing the Create Page Here that I get when I have the Silverlight plugin installed.
If you don't have that plugin installed, you may have a slightly different visual experience. As I select each of the different options that I can create, I'll see a bit more information about them. There's the Team Site that we've seen before, we've got the document workspace, all the different meeting workspaces. I'm not going to go through these different sites. I invite you to explore them if you haven't already. What I'm going to create is the simplest kind of site, the blank site. So I'll select that site template, I'll come over. I have to give it a title-- all SharePoint sites need a title--and I need to give it a URL.
Now, the URL of this new sub-site will always be based on the URL of the existing site. So it's really telling me here it's already got a certain amount of the address that's set. I don't have any choice about that. I just need to put something in here like blank or a blank site. I'm going to ignore the More Options button for now and just click Create. It thinks about it for a second and makes my new blank site, and the URL of this site will always be underneath the URL of the site above it, of the parent site.
Now, another way I could see that is by using the Navigate Up button which would show me I'm currently in the homepage of this new blank site, which is underneath the example Team Site. What's also happening here is it's using the permissions of this parent site, and that's the default behavior. So if I'd added a user to my Team Site, that person would now be a user of this blank site as well. But we are talking about customizing things here, and every site in SharePoint has its own settings, and every site in SharePoint has its own All Site Content link, which I can either get to here from Quick Launch Bar or from the Site Actions menu to view all site content.
In this case, this page is pretty much empty. I have no libraries, I have no lists, I have no discussion boards, no sub-sites; this is a blank site. So I could either start adding elements to this to make it useful using either the Create button here or again from the Site Actions menu coming down to More Options, or I could even go ahead and delete the site if I wanted to. But one of the pages I'll always be interested in on any site that I'm customizing is found under Site Actions, and it's the Site Settings Page.
Clicking that will take me to the site settings for this particular site. As you've probably encountered, you will see settings pages all over the place. There are settings for every site, there are settings for every library and every list in every site. So you will see settings everywhere you go in SharePoint if you have the right permissions to see them. And on this site, I'll see things like the site theme that this site is using--what's the color scheme, and the fonts. I'll see options to change the Quick Launch Bar, the navigation on the left, the Top Link Bar, the navigation along the top, and I'll see other options like saving the site as a template or even deleting the site if I want to.
Of course, whenever you are deleting a site, you want to be really careful that you are in the right place, because this delete message pretty much looks the same for every site, whether it's an important one or whether it's a completely empty site. I'm just going to leave this one alone for now. I'm going to navigate all the way back up to that example Team Site that's at the top here, because one of the things we haven't really talked about is where did this site come from. If I have to create a site by going to the Site Actions menu of an existing site, where did the first site come from to give us this menu at all? Well, this leads us a bit deeper into the idea that every single site in SharePoint is contained into what is called a Site Collection.
Now, a Site Collection is invisible. It's really just a way of grouping sites together that belong together, usually because they have a similar business use, say a similar set of users. And you can have dozens of site collections or hundreds of site collections in SharePoint. Each could contain 1 site, or 5 sites, or 1000 sites. Now, these site collections themselves are typically created by your farm administrator and that's someone with access to the SharePoint Central Administration web site.
When a new site collection is created, that's where the first site comes from. It's what's called the top level site in any site collection. In this case, this example Team Site is the top-level site in this site collection. There is nothing above it. Site collections can be really useful for us when we are working with designs because they allow us to have folders that contain assets, and style sheets that can be shared across an entire site collection but kept separate from any other site collection.
Now, while I'm not going to do much with SharePoint Central Administration in this course, I'm going to show you one of the screens you have here. So I'm actually in a SharePoint Central Administration page here to create a new site collection. Now, when I do that, it will always ask me, what is the first site in that site collection? And we do have the usual suspects; we have things like the Team Site, the Blank Site, the Document Workspace, you have all the Meeting Workspaces. In SharePoint 2010, there is an option to select the template later. So create the site collection, but the first time anybody tries to use it, they are going to be asked, what is that first site? Now, one option I can find when I'm in SharePoint Central Administration is this Publishing option that gives me the Publishing Portal or the Enterprise Wiki.
Now, these templates aren't typically available when I'm making a sub-site, when I'm just using that Site Actions > New Site menu, because with some sites, it's suggested that they are only created at the very top of a new site collection. After all, if you are making a new public Internet site using the Publishing Portal template, you really don't want to make it as a sub-site beneath your company's annual report document workspace. Now, if you don't have access to SharePoint Central Administration, and usually it is pretty locked down, you may need to ask your administrator to make you a site collection with, say, one of these at the top of it.
But for most people, the options that they will have of creating sites will be from an existing site already. But this is the process to create one. I'm not going to explore all the possible SharePoint sites in this course. I do encourage you to try a few of them out if you can, just to become familiar with the functionality that's already built into the current SharePoint sites.
- Understanding the different kinds of SharePoint site customization
- Creating new sites and pages
- Customizing Wiki and web part pages
- Understanding necessary permissions
- Using the built-in themes
- Using SharePoint Designer 2010
- Using normal and advanced editing modes
- Creating inline and embedded CSS styles
- Working with master pages
- Customizing SharePoint sites using the Publishing feature
- Creating new pages based on page layouts
- Growing portal sites
- Creating custom themes
- Customizing site navigation