SharePoint Site Templates – Benefits, Types of site templates and Use Case Scenarios

What Are SharePoint Site Templates And Their Benefits?

SharePoint Templates are prebuilt template that are designed around a desired business requirement. A customized site template can be reused to create sites with similar features, which allows you to create solutions and then share it with your colleagues, inside or outside your organization. Turning your customized site template into reusable template is very useful and powerful. Your ability to deploy these template as your reusable business application is a tremendous business value. If you are building a team site template, intranet site landing page template, collaboration site template, community site template, a template driven approach can save you considerable amount of time in deployment, maintain consistency in look and feel and features. When creating new SharePoint on-prem or SharePoint Online Sites, you will be able to select from a number of SharePoint templates.

Customization: As it is a Web Solutions Package, you will be able to open the site template in Microsoft Visual Studio, work on additional customizations and be able to deploy it to SharePoint.

Ease of deployment: You can save and activate the SharePoint UI Template that is available in solutions gallery that can help other users create sites from the saved SharePoint Templates. SharePoint administrators can create new site from the template that inherits the components of the SharePoint site, the workflows, structures and much more.

Different Types of SharePoint Templates

We discussed about what is SharePoint Template. Now, let’s talk about the different types of SharePoint Templates.

  • Collaboration Site Templates
  • Enterprise Site Templates
  • Publishing Site Templates
  • Project Site Templates
  • Departmental Site Templates

1. Collaboration Site Templates

Collaboration site templates comes in three different categories.

  • Team Sites
  • Blog Sites and
  • Community Sites

a. Team Sites

Team Sites are used as a single interface for organizing, creating and sharing content.

The Team Site includes: libraries & lists for:

  • Calendars
  • Links
  • Shared documents
  • Discussion Board
  • Tasks and
  • Announcements

You can use the Calendar for scheduling team events, holidays, project deadlines etc. The link control can be used to add quick links to frequently used items. Announcements can be used to publish important events/information.

Team site can be used for each individual team working on a project or a specific area of expertise to collaborate on a particular subject or project.

The site provisioning can be done by the SharePoint admin or can be used self-service site provisioning capabilities of SharePoint. You have the ability to enable workflows for the site creation approval process. The site creation approval process can be helpful to manage site creation process and control the growth of site in an uncontrolled fashion.

b. Blog Sites

The blog site can help you easily announce company announcements, or to record observations, ideas and post your skills within your team members or the entire organization. The site template will have posts, comments and Links. The blog content can be made available to the users after its get approved by the content approver. You can use SharePoint workflows to accomplish content approval process. The blog can have embedded videos, links and text. You also have the ability to publish draft version of blog for review and approval by colleagues. Also, you can setup alerts when the blogs are created/updated. To help the users to find the blog content that is of their interest levels, assign the posts to one or more categories.

c. Community Sites

Community portal template is an enterprise site template. You can use community site to categorize and cultivate discussion among a broad group of people across your organization.

Communities use categories to organize discussions. Visitors can view the discussions and become members of the community if they want to contribute to those discussions. Community site can be moderator by Moderators. Moderators can set rules, like reviewing and addressing inappropriate posts, marking interesting content as featured discussions, and so on. Moderators can also assign gifted badges to specific members to visually indicate that the member is recognized as a specific kind of contributor in the community, such as an expert or a moderator. Each community contains information about member and content reputation, which members earn when they actively post in discussions, and when their content is liked, replied to, or marked as a best answer.

Although the purpose of discussions is similar between communities and email discussion lists, there are some benefits to communities including:

  • All users who have access to the community (whether through membership or visitor permissions) can view the information in discussions. By using email distribution lists, only members of that list benefit from discussions.
  • Communities are more permanent and contain the history of any posts and replies in discussions before a user has even joined the community. In contrast, when a user joins a distribution list, they receive email only from the point that they joined the list.
  • Communities help collect and organize intellectual property that is otherwise undiscoverable or difficult to find unless you are part of the distribution list. By using distribution lists, there is no method to categorize email messages and a search of the email messages only returns results within the member’s own folders.
  • Communities encourage and reward members for participation by building reputation points for posting, replying, and receiving likes and best answers.
  • Communities have built-in moderation functionality that helps keep the community active and appropriate to enterprise needs.

2. Enterprise Site Templates

We spoke about the Collaboration Site Templates and Enterprise Site Templates is really bigger than that. So what’s in Enterprise Site Templates?

  • Business Intelligence Center Site
  • Document Center Site
  • Search Center Site
  • Records Center Site

a. Business Intelligence Center Site

You can use the Business Intelligence Site for managing, storing, and to view scorecards, business reports and dashboards. A Business Intelligence Center Site has couple of features which is different from other type of sites which includes pre-built libraries and lists which is designed dedicated to the BI content.

b. Document Center Site

You can use the Document Center Site Template to effectively manage lot of documents. It can be used as an authoring interface or content archive.

We have published a training video on SharePoint Document Check In and Check Out which is very essential for the authoring interface. The users checks in an out the files and create folders for those type of files. Also, the versioning feature can help you keep 10 or more previous versions of each document. Enable workflows for controlling document life cycles.

c. Search Center Site

Here, you can provide a way for your colleagues to search the site and refine search results. The SharePoint Administrator creates a Search Center Site which is a top-level site of the site collection.

Upon creating Search Center Site, you get a default search home page and search results page. The search verticals can be customized based on specific people, content, videos and conversations. Basically, the search results are formatted and filtered for specific content class or type.

d. Records Center Site

Speaking about Records Center Site, it helps you to store, organize and manage records like financial or legal documents. It controls the entire records management procedures right from record collection -> records management -> records disposition.

What are the built-in features of Records Center Site that helps you to better manage the records easily?

  • Auditing
  • eDiscovery
  • Versioning
  • Metadata Management and
  • Customizable Record Routing

3. Publishing Site Templates

You can use the Publishing Site Templates for creating communication portals, enterprise intranets and for public websites. Publishing Site Templates can be used for expanding your website and easily publish the webpages. The Knowledge Workers/Contributors can work on the drafts and publish them to make it available for the readers.

The Publishing Sites have advanced features which simplifies webpage approvals, authoring & publishing procedures. The given below features are available when creating a publishing site:

  • Column types
  • Lists
  • Page layouts
  • Document & image libraries to store web-publishing assets
  • Webparts

You can also setup the publishing site with workflow by using approval workflows. This includes image and document libraries to store web-publishing assets.

There is another interesting feature called “Enterprise Wiki”. This is a publishing site to share and update high volumes of data across an organization. If your enterprise requires a big, centralized knowledge base which can both share and store information on a wider scale, this is the perfect option!

4. Project Site Templates from Dock.

Project site templates is designed to help you plan your project collaborate with your team and collect project files and documents.

Benefits of Project site?

  • Timeline of the Project tasks.
  • Project specific documents can be stored under each Project.
  • Ability for connecting to Project Server 2016, Project Professional, or Project Online.
  • Shared Calendar for Project Teams
  • Scheduling Project Tasks

Click here to watch the Video on dock Project Portal experience.

5. Departmental Site Templates from Dock Intranet Portal

Dock offers several departmental templates, which includes:

The Publishing Sites have advanced features which simplifies webpage approvals, authoring & publishing procedures. The given below features are available when creating a publishing site:

  • Sales Department
  • Marketing Department
  • HR Department
  • Finance Department
  • IT Department
  • Training Department
  • Projects Department and so on.

Click here to learn more about Dock Intranet Portal’s departmental portals!

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