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Sites and site collections overview (SharePoint Server 2010)

Published: May 12, 2010

A Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 site collection is a hierarchical site structure that is made up of one top-level site and any sites below it. This article describes site collections and sites and contains information about the site templates that are used to create sites in SharePoint Server 2010.

In this article:

Site collections overview

The sites in a site collection have shared administration settings, common navigation, and other common features and elements. Each site collection contains a top-level site and (usually) one or more sites below it in a hierarchical structure.

You must group your site's content and features into a site collection. This provides the following benefits:

  • For site designers, a site collection's galleries and libraries (such as the master page gallery or the site collection images library) provide a means for creating a unified, branded user experience across all sites in the site collection.

  • For site collection administrators, a site collection provides a unified mechanism and scope for administration. For example, security, policies, and features can be managed for a whole site collection; Site Collection Web Analytics Reports, audit log reports, and other data can help administrators track site collection security and performance.

  • For farm administrators, site collections provide scalability for growth based on how much content is stored. Because each site collection can use a unique content database, administrators can easily move them to separate servers.

  • For site authors, a site collection's shared site columns, content types, Web Parts, authoring resources, workflows, and other features provide a consistent authoring environment.

  • For site users, a site collection's unified navigation, branding, and search tools provide a unified Web site experience.

The following list includes some examples of solutions that benefit from being implemented as site collections:

  • Team site   A site collection to support authoring and collaboration tasks for people in your organization who are working together to produce content useful for your organizational goals. Often, this kind of site includes collaborative content that is not published but only used internally, and content intended for publication to an outside audience.

  • Publishing site   A site collection configured to let site members view, author, and interact with the site's content. Publishing sites are often implemented as two site collections — a production site collection and an authoring site collection. The production site collection is the published site that the content audience uses. The authoring site collection is a mirror of the production site, and it is used by the authoring team to create and view site content and test site features. SharePoint Server 2010 includes a content deployment feature that copies content from an authoring site collection to a production site collection. For information about content deployment, see Content deployment overview (SharePoint Server 2010)

Sites overview

A site collection consists of a top-level site and one or more sites below it. Each top-level site and any sites below it in the site structure are based on a site template and can have other unique settings and unique content. Partition your site collection content into separate sites to obtain finer control of the appearance, content, and features of the various pages in your site collection. The following list includes site features that you can configure uniquely:

Site templates included in SharePoint Server 2010

The following section contains information about the site templates that are included in SharePoint Server 2010. Although you can use a site template with its default configuration, you can also change the site’s default settings by using the site administration pages, and then saving the site as a new template. In addition, you can modify a template's design and features by using Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010 or Microsoft Visual Studio 2010.

The following table lists every site template, describes the purpose of each, and indicates whether the template is available at the site collection level, site level, or both. The category that is used to group the templates might be different, depending on the level at which a site is created.

Template Purpose Category in Site Collection Category in Site

<Select template later>

An empty site for which you can select a template later.

Custom

N/A

Assets Web Database

An assets database to keep track of assets, including asset details and owners.

N/A

Web Databases

Basic Meeting Workspace

A site on which you can plan, organize, and capture the results of a meeting. It provides lists for managing the agenda, meeting attendees, and documents.

Meetings

Meetings

Basic Search Center

A site that provides basic search functionality. The site includes pages for search results and advanced searches. Use this template if you do not require people search or publishing features; if you do require these features, we recommend that you use Enterprise Search Center.

note Note:

Search Centers should be separate site collections because they search for information across a company portal or division. If you create a Search Center as a sub-site, you might have to create some workarounds for a full customization. For more information, see Customizing the Search Center.

Enterprise

Search

Blank Meeting Workspace

A blank meeting site that you can customize based on your requirements.

Meetings

Meetings

Blank Site

A blank site that you can customize based on your requirements.

Collaboration

Blank & Custom

Blog

A site on which a person or team can post ideas, observations, and expertise that site visitors can comment on.

Collaboration

Content

Business Intelligence Center

A site for presenting business intelligence data. It provides document libraries for storing documents, images, data connections, and dashboard Web Parts. It also provides lists for linking content from PerformancePoint Services in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.

Enterprise

N/A

Charitable Contributions Web Database

A database to track information about fundraising campaigns including donations made by contributors, campaign-related events, and pending tasks.

N/A

Web Databases

Contacts Web Database

A contacts database to manage information about people that your team works with, such as customers and partners.

N/A

Web Databases

Decision Meeting Workspace

A site on which you can track status or make decisions at meetings. It provides lists to create tasks, store documents, and record decisions.

Meetings

Meetings

Document Center

A site on which you can centrally manage documents in your enterprise.

Enterprise

Content

Document Workspace

A site on which colleagues can work together on a document. It provides a document library for storing the primary document and supporting files, a tasks list for assigning to-do items, and a links list to point to resources that are related to the document.

Collaboration

Collaboration, Content

Enterprise Search Center

A site that provides the search functionality. The welcome page includes a search box that has two tabs: one for general searches and another for searches for information about people. You can add and customize tabs to focus on other search scopes or result types.

note Note:

Search Centers should be separate site collections because they search for information across a company portal or division. If you create a Search Center as a sub-site, you might have to create some workarounds for a full customization. For more information, see Customizing the Search Center.

Enterprise

Search

Enterprise Wiki

A site on which you can publish knowledge that you capture and want to share across the enterprise. It provides an easy content editing experience in a single location for co-authoring content, for discussions, and for managing projects.

Publishing

Content

FAST Search Center

A site for delivering the FAST search experience. The welcome page includes a search box with two tabs: one for general searches and another for searches for information about people. You can add and customize tabs to focus on other search scopes or result types. A refinement option provides a count of each query refiner. This template also provides document preview that shows thumbnails of Microsoft Word 2010 and Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 documents. We recommend that you use FAST Search Center if you have the FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint SKU.

note Note:

Search Centers should be separate site collections because they search for information across a company portal or division. If you create a Search Center as a sub-site, you might have to create some workarounds for a full customization. For more information, see Customizing the Search Center.

Enterprise

Search

Group Work Site

This template provides a groupware solution that teams can use to create, organize, and share information. It includes the Group Calendar, Circulation, Phone-Call Memo, document library and other basic lists.

Collaboration

Collaboration

Issues Web Database

An issues database to manage a set of issues or problems. You can assign, prioritize, and follow the progress of issues from start to finish.

N/A

Web Databases

Multipage Meeting Workspace

A site on which you can plan a meeting and capture decisions and other results from the meeting. It provides lists for managing the agenda and meeting attendees. It also provides two blank pages that you can customize based on your requirements.

Meetings

Meetings

My Site Host

A site that hosts personal sites (My Sites) and the public People Profile page. This template has to be provisioned only once per User Profile Service Application.

This template is available only at the site collection level.

Enterprise

N/A

Personalization Site

A site for delivering personalized views, data, and navigation from this site collection to My Sites. It includes Web Parts that are specific to personalization and navigation that is optimized for My Sites.

This template is available only at the site level.

N/A

Blank & Custom

Projects Web Database

A project tracking database to track multiple projects, and assign tasks to different people.

N/A

Web Databases

Publishing Portal

A starter site hierarchy that you can use for an Internet site or a large intranet portal. You can use distinctive branding to customize this site. It includes a home page, a sample press releases site, a Search Center, and a logon page. Typically, this site has many more readers than contributors, and it is used to publish the Web pages by using approval workflows.

This site enables content approval workflows, by default, for a more formal and controlled publishing process. It also restricts the rights of anonymous users so that they can see only content pages, and they cannot see SharePoint Server 2010 application pages.

This template is available only at the site collection level.

Publishing

N/A

Publishing Site

A blank site for expanding your Web site and quickly publishing Web pages. Contributors can work on draft versions of pages and publish them to make them visible to readers. This site includes document and image libraries for storing Web publishing assets.

N/A

Content

Publishing Site with Workflow

A site for publishing Web pages on a schedule by using approval workflows. It includes document and image libraries for storing Web publishing assets. By default, only sites that have this template can be created under this site.

This template is available only at the site level when the Publishing Portal template is used to create the top-level site.

N/A

Content

Records Center

A site that is designed for records management. Records managers can configure the routing table to direct incoming files to specific locations. The site also enables you to manage whether records can be deleted or modified after they are added to the repository.

Enterprise

Data

Social Meeting Workspace

A site on which you can plan social occasions. It provides lists for tracking attendees, providing directions, and storing pictures of the event.

Meetings

Meetings

Team Site

A site on which a team can organize, author, and share information. It provides a document library, and lists for managing announcements, calendar items, tasks, and discussions.

Collaboration

Collaboration

Visio Process Repository

A site on which teams can view, share, and store Visio process diagrams. It provides a versioned document library for storing process diagrams, and lists for managing announcements, tasks, and review discussions.

Collaboration

Content

Some Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 site templates, such as the site directory, news, and collaboration portal templates, are not available as an option in SharePoint Server 2010. These templates can still be accessed and used programmatically by developers. These templates are also still available as options in the UI if the SharePoint Server 2010 farm is upgraded from Office SharePoint Server 2007. Otherwise, use the social tagging features in SharePoint Server 2010 to get much of the functionality provided in these templates.

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