A How-To Guide for New SharePoint Admins
Note: This is a multi-part guide. You are on Part 1: Creating a Teamsite Homepage.
Click here to go back to Part 0: Setting up and understanding site collections.
Click here to skip ahead to Part 2: Creating Interactive Content on your Teamsite Homepage.
Part 1: Creating a Teamsite Homepage
——————————— Update to Post ————————————
Note: SharePoint has been updated since this blog was posted! This means that the instructions provided through these links may not apply to the latest version. The same general ideas and concepts still apply, but specific instructions have changed. To learn more about using the most up-to-date version of SharePoint, visit our latest SharePoint Blogs, and check back soon, because we have more How-To’s, Guides, and Articles on the way!
Based on the previous section, you should now be looking at the homepage of your default teamsite. Please go there now if you are joining us in the middle.
Establishing a Point of Reference. SharePoint has a complex permissions structure which is what allows us to securely put corporate data up there. But due to this, it can seem confusing at first. We will go into how to implement complex permission structures later on in step 3, but for now I’m going to keep it simple and give a general analogy which will help with confusion.
At the highest level, SharePoint is organized into “site collections”, let us compare these to your company office. It is reasonable to assume that some people would have a key to that building while others would not.
The homepage of your default teamsite (what you are looking at now) is akin to the lobby of that office building. This is a general space where we start off and get oriented. It will likely have signs that tell us how to get to different rooms, such as “marketing department”, “Client info”, “Sales Department”, etc. It might also have some bookshelves with general info such as “employee handbooks”, “code of conduct”. Maybe it will also have a whiteboard where company members can write down needed office supplies (“More pizza is needed!”)
If you walk around to the white board and book shelves, you are still in the lobby, however, entering a different room would constitute leaving the lobby. This same principal applies to SharePoint. There are tools called: ‘Libraries, Lists, Tasks, and Discussions’, these are all still in the Lobby (same key). However, when you create sites, this is akin to creating a new room which may use a different key to enter. Generally speaking, create sites when you want to restrict access uniquely.
Everything we do in the rest of this blog entry is still in that lobby space. This is because we are only working on the homepage of the default Teamsite.
- What are we looking at? Before we go any further let us look at what comes pre-packaged on the page and discuss some of the features. The image below has numbers on it which correlate to each of the following items:
- General Textbox Fields: These zones are designed to allow to easily plug in text, pictures, and other types of “non-interactive” data.
- Web Parts: These are moveable per-configured tools that allow member visitors to interact with data. Examples are: A place to put files, a mini-calendar for whatever specific topic the page relates to, various types of announcements and discussion tools, video/audio interactive features, etc. Often these same web parts can be created into a library or list instead (see below).
- Libraries, Lists, and Discussions: These are similar to web-parts, but it creates the interactive tool on a new page so as not to clutter the existing interface and allow for levels of organization. For example: I want to have a document folder, but I don’t want it on the main page. So I create a new library, this then appears on the left as a new click-able option. (we will go over how to do this very soon)
- Sites: Instead of putting that library on the left, you can make it into a whole new site. For example, perhaps I’m putting Quickbooks data there and don’t want the general employees to be able to access it. So I create a sub-site, called quick-books data, and lock up the permissions to that space so only me and the CFO can get in.
- Page Options: This will allow you to edit the page you are currently looking at. It also includes some options to add libraries and integrate the current page to sync with your Office Pro Plus desktop programs (such as Outlook and Word, this will be covered in later sections).
- Site Options: This options section allows you to make changes across the entire website. Everything you can do in Page options can also be done under site options, but there are a whole bunch more features, so it can quickly get confusing to use this menu. We will start with page options to keep things simpler at first.
- Clear the slate. You should be looking at your teamsite homepage. As you can see there is already some stuff on there. I like to begin by getting rid of the stuff Microsoft creates by default as I don’t find it helpful. This is also a useful chance for you to learn how to effectively “Undo” mistakes you might make in the future. We will be learning how to delete web-parts and data on a site.
That was a lot of info to take in at once. Go grab a cookie to reward yourself, then come back and we will start pushing buttons.
- Click “Page”, which we noted previously is where you find page options.
- On the far left side, click the button “Edit” to activate editable mode on the page. (see image below)
- You will notice more options are now present, there is now an “editing tools tab. Depending upon where you click on the page, you will have even more options appear. For Example: if you click on the web part labeled “Shared documents” you will get option tabs that say “Library tools”, and “Web part tools”.
- If you haven’t already, click on that web part now. Then go up to Web part tools and click options. This will change the ribbon menu to the Web Part Options ribbon. You should see 5 buttons, the furthest right button allows you to delete the web-part entirely. Do so now. (see image below if anything confused you)
- You’ll see the part is now gone. Next let us delete the existing images and text in the text boxes. Go ahead and select everything with your mouse and press delete. You may need to clean up some extra blank paragraph lines to get rid off all the text footprint. On the right side, you’ll find that it is equally simple. Just keep using the delete key. When you are done, it should look like the image below.
This will bring up an option to browse for photos, click ‘browse’ and find the photo you want on your computer, then click ‘open’. (see image below) By default it will store this under site assets, that is a good place for now. (if you start to have lots of photos, you may want to organize them differently, but most people won’t have that issue).
Now it will take you to a screen where you can name and save the file. (see image below)
After you are done it will auto-add the photo to the area you had your cursor in at the start of this process. You can see the final result below (see image below). Note: clicking the photo will create an editing tab that allows you to modify the picture.
In the next guide will will add some interactive widgets (web-parts) to this homepage. This will allow employees to input info and access files (see link to next guide below).
Proceed to next guide. Part 2: Adding Interactive web-parts to your default Teamsite homepage