Sites and site collections overview (SharePoint Foundation 2010)

SharePoint 2010

Applies to: SharePoint Foundation 2010

Topic Last Modified: 2011-05-06

A Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 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 Foundation 2010.

In this article:

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.

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:

The following section contains information about the site templates that are included in SharePoint Foundation 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.



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.



Blank Meeting Workspace

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



Blank Site

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


Blank & Custom


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



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.



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, Content

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.



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.



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.



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.