Skip to main content

Scenario: Create SharePoint sites by using cross-site publishing in SharePoint Server 2013

Find resources for learning how to use cross-site publishing to make published content available to users in SharePoint Server 2013. Select a tile to filter by life cycle. CTRL-click to select multiple tiles.

What is cross-site publishing: Cross-site publishing is a new publishing method that lets you create and maintain content in one or more authoring site collections and publish this content in one or more publishing site collections by using Search Web Parts. Cross-site publishing complements the already existing publishing method, author-in-place, where you use a single site collection to author content and make it available to readers of your site.

Why would I use this scenario: You should use cross-site publishing when you want to store and maintain content in one or more authoring site collections and display this content in one or more publishing site collections. Using cross-site publishing provides the following benefits:

  • Separates content authoring from branding and rendering.
  • Can be used across site collections, web applications, and also across farms.
  • Allows for a mix of authored pages and list content.

  1. Explore

  2. Plan

  3. Develop

  4. Configure

  5. Manage

  6. Use


Cross-site publishing uses search technology to retrieve content. On a site collection where the Cross-Site Collection Publishing feature is enabled, libraries and lists have to be enabled as catalogs before the content can be reused in other site collections. The content of the library or list catalogs must be crawled and added to the search index. The content can then be displayed in a publishing site collection by using one or more Search Web Parts. When you change the content in an authoring site collection, those changes are displayed on all site collections that reuse this content. In addition, you can use other search driven features like faceted navigation, query rules and usage analytics to adapt the content that is displayed on the publishing site.


Learn how you can use cross-site publishing and Search Web Parts to create adaptive SharePoint Internet, intranet, and extranet sites.

Overview of cross-site publishing in SharePoint Server 2013

  1. Content is created in libraries and lists that are shared as catalogs in the authoring site collection.
  2. The search system crawls the content and builds the search index.
  3. A user views a page on a publishing site, which triggers queries from Search Web Parts.
  4. Results are returned from the search index, and shown in Search Web Parts on the page.

Training video

Learn about the key changes and improvements in SharePoint 2013 web content management.

How to set up a product-centric website

Learn how you can use the new web content management features to set up a website that is based on product catalog data.

Content pivot viewer


Before you start to build out your site using cross-site publishing, you should familiarize yourself with typical cross-site publishing architectures, the search driven features that let you adapt the content that is displayed on the publishing site, and the different features that are involved when you add a custom design to your publishing site.

Plan search for cross-site publishing sites

Search-driven pages are pages that use search technology to dynamically show content. Learn about the features that you will use on search-driven pages, such as managed properties, refiners, result sources, and recommendations, and find out what you must consider when you set up and use these features.

Plan the design of a publishing site

Learn about the different features that are involved when you add a custom design to your publishing site, such as master pages and page layouts. Get an introduction to how display templates are used to customize the content that is shown in Search Web Parts, and how you can use device channels and device channel panels to render a publishing site in multiple ways. Also, learn how you can use the new Design Manager feature to manage all aspects of your custom design.


Learn how to use the design features that are involved when you add a custom design to your publishing site.


Learn how to create content for cross-site publishing, how to add content to the search index, and how to use search driven features to display content on a publishing site.

Configure cross-site publishing

Learn how to create site collections for cross-site publishing, activate the Cross-Site Collection Publishing feature, create and manage term sets for tagging content on authoring sites, create catalog content by using SharePoint lists, share a library or list as a catalog, and configure search settings for cross-site publishing.

Connect a publishing site to a catalog

To show content from a library or list that is shared as a catalog, you must connect the publishing site collection to the catalog.

Configure Search Web Parts

Search Web Parts use search technology to show content that was crawled and added to the index. In Search Web Parts, queries are configured so that a subset of content from the search index is shown in a particular ranking order. When users browse to a page that contains a Search Web Part, the Web Part automatically issues the query. The result is then shown in the Web Part. You can modify the associated display template to decide how the search results should be displayed.

Configure refiners and faceted navigation

You can add refiners to a page to help users quickly browse to specific content. Refiners are based on managed properties from the search index. To use managed properties as refiners, the managed properties must be enabled as refiners.

Faceted navigation is the process of browsing for content by filtering on refiners that are tied to category pages. Faceted navigation lets you specify different refiners for category pages, even when the underlying page that displays the categories is the same.

Learn how to map a crawled property to a refinable managed property, enable a managed property as a refiner and configure refiners for faceted navigation.

Configure result sources

Result sources limit searches to certain content or to a subset of search results. Learn how to create and manage result sources.

Configure query rules

Query rules can be used to improve search results that respond to the intent of users. Learn how to create and managed query rules.

Configure recommendations and usage event types

Usage events let you track how users interact with items on your site. Items can be documents, sites, or catalog items. You can use the data that is generated by usage events to show recommendations or popular items on your site.

Learn how to create custom usage event types, and how to add code to record custom usage events so that they can be processed by the analytics processing component.


Learn how to view reports that are based on usage event statistics of your site.

View usage reports

Learn how to view the Popularity Trends report and the Most Popular Items report to see usage event statistics for the content on your site.


Read how Mavention, a Dutch system integrator, have used cross-site publishing for their new website, and then learn how to use your publishing site.

Case study: Mavention

This case study provides an overview of new SharePoint Server 2013 web content management features and describes how these features benefit Mavention after they upgraded their website from SharePoint Server 2010.

Case study: United Airlines

This case study gives an overview of new SharePoint Server 2013 web content management (WCM) and search features and shows how United Airlines used these features to improve their Service Catalog.

Use your publishing site

Learn how to create and manage pages and choose a theme for your publishing site.

Send feedback about this prototype to

Join us: Follow us on Twitter Twitter