Understanding SharePoint 2013 Site Templates
Welcome to the first part of my blog series detailing the SharePoint 2013 site templates available out-of-the-box. Although many of these templates were in previous versions of SharePoint, you’ll see that there have been some changes… both in how you use the templates and the available features. I will do my best to clarify most of these changes. Additionally, I also plan on providing examples of when you may want to use a specific template and when you may want to use features within a given template.
So let’s get started with the most common of SharePoint site templates:
The SharePoint Team Site
The SharePoint Team Site is the proverbial default template for SharePoint sites. You will notice there’s quite a difference between the SharePoint 2013 Team Site and the SharePoint 2010 Team Site.
Keeping with the new Windows design sensibilities, the template is relatively barren with a few noticeable tiles across the center of the page. These tiles are shortcuts to assist the new SharePoint 2013 administrator in performing common tasks such as configuring permissions, adding a task list, adding a library, changing the template and simple branding configurations (Site title, logo, and description).
You can click the Remove This link to get rid of the tile bar. Don’t worry. You can use the menus to perform every task that is available in the tile bar.
The SharePoint Team Site template has always been designed as a collaborative space where users can share documents, view calendars, and assign tasks. Click the Documents link on the quick launch (sidebar) to see the default repository for documents.
SharePoint 2010’s Team Site Template had a calendar and task list already deployed. We have to manually add these apps (formerly known as web parts) to the site. There are many default apps you can add to a SharePoint 2013 site. Many of these used to be called web parts such as Links and Contacts. But now, even custom lists and document libraries are considered apps.
To add an app, use the Settings menu and click Add an App.
Simply click on the tile of the app you want added.
Notice we added the Calendar and Tasks apps. They are now available in the Quick Launch Bar.
But what if you want the calendar displayed on the page? Similarly to SharePoint 2010, you must first edit the page. So… click Edit.
Click Insert on the ribbon bar.
Click App Part. This allows you to display content from any already-added app. In this case, we’re going to display the calendar.
Highlight Corporate Calendar and click Add.
Click Save to make the changes permanent. And now the calendar is shown on the page.
Nice! Now no one has any excuse on why they missed the quarterly meeting!
So, what’s this Newsfeed thing all about?
Microsoft has put a lot of effort into making SharePoint 2013 a viable social platform for an enterprise. The SharePoint 2013 Newsfeed is just one aspect of this focus on social computing. Newsfeed provides a quick and easy way to have ad-hoc conversations. Users can embed images, videos, and links, even using the familiar @mentions and also #hashtags.
I can see Newsfeed being used by managers as quick reminders or by team members to solicit help on a specific problem. On our test servers here at Fpweb.net, the SharePoint Team uses the Newsfeed as a new medium to (lovingly, of course) give each other trouble.
Anyway, although the Team Site has a sleeker more minimalist look than its predecessor, the functionality and feature set has been improved. The Team Site is now, fittingly, more like a site for teams, where team members can easily communicate and collaborate.