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About sites and subsites

Archived content. No warranty is made as to technical accuracy. Content may contain URLs that were valid when originally published, but now link to sites or pages that no longer exist.

You can use top-level Web sites and subsites to divide site content into distinct, separately manageable sites. Top-level Web sites can have multiple subsites, and subsites themselves can have multiple subsites, down as many levels as your users need. The entire structure of a top-level Web site and all of its subsites is called a Web site collection.

This hierarchy allows your users to have a main working site for the entire team, plus individual working sites or shared sites for side projects. Top-level Web sites and subsites allow different levels of control over the features and settings for sites.

About site collection administrators and the Administrators site group

In Windows SharePoint Services, there are two levels of administrators: site collection administrators, and users who are members of the Administrator site group. Site collection administrators have full rights to all sites in the site collection. (For more information on specifying site collection administrators, see Modify user account information .) Members of the Administrator site group of a top-level Web site can control settings and features for both the top-level Web site and any subsites beneath it that inherit permissions from it. (For information on assigning users to site groups, see Assign a user to a different site group .) For example, both a site collection administrator and a member of the Administrator site group of a top-level Web site can do the following:

  • Add, delete, or change user permissions

  • View usage statistics

  • Change regional settings

  • Manage Web Part and template galleries

  • Manage Web Discussions and alerts

  • Change the site name and description, theme, and home page organization

  • Configure settings, such as regional settings, for the top-level Web site and all subsites

  • Change which rights are available for the top-level Web site and all subsites

  • Update e-mail settings for the top-level Web site and all subsites

  • Configure Web part settings for the top-level Web site and all subsites

However, when a subsite uses unique permissions, members of the Administrator site group for the top-level Web site cannot perform the actions listed above. By comparison, site collection administrators can always perform these actions in all subsites, regardless of whether or not the subsite has unique permissions.

A member of the Administrator site group of a subsite can control settings and features only for that subsite and any subsites below it that inherit permissions. For example, an administrator of a subsite can do the following:

  • Add, delete, or change user permissions, if unique permissions have been set (for more information, see Enable or disable rights for a site group )

  • View usage statistics

  • Change regional settings

  • Manage Web Part and template galleries

  • Manage Web Discussions and alerts

  • Change the site name and description, theme, and home page organization

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