How to Create an Engaging SharePoint Website: A Guide for Newbies
SharePoint is a powerful platform that allows organizations to create and manage websites, intranets, and collaboration spaces. Whether you are new to SharePoint or looking to enhance your existing SharePoint website, this guide will provide you with the necessary steps to create an engaging SharePoint website that meets your organization’s needs.
Benefits of SharePoint Intranet Development
Before diving into the process of creating a SharePoint website, it is important to understand the benefits of SharePoint intranet development. SharePoint intranets offer a centralized platform for employees to access and share information, collaborate on projects, and streamline business processes. Some key benefits of SharePoint intranet development include:
- Improved communication and collaboration among employees
- Centralized document management and version control
- Customizable dashboards and reporting
- Integration with other Microsoft tools and applications
- Enhanced security and access control
Choosing Between SharePoint On-Premise and SharePoint Online
When creating a SharePoint website, you have the option to choose between SharePoint on-premise and SharePoint online. SharePoint on-premise refers to hosting SharePoint on your organization’s own servers, while SharePoint online is a cloud-based solution provided by Microsoft. Consider the following factors when deciding between SharePoint on-premise and SharePoint online:
- Cost: SharePoint online typically has a lower upfront cost, as it does not require the purchase and maintenance of servers. However, it may have ongoing subscription fees.
- Scalability: SharePoint online offers greater scalability, as Microsoft manages the infrastructure and can easily accommodate growing storage and user needs.
- Customization: SharePoint on-premise allows for more customization options, as you have full control over the server environment. SharePoint online has some limitations on customization.
- Maintenance and Updates: SharePoint online takes care of maintenance and updates, ensuring that you always have the latest features and security patches. SharePoint on-premise requires regular maintenance and updates.
Outsourcing SharePoint Development
If you do not have the in-house expertise or resources to develop a SharePoint website, outsourcing SharePoint development to a specialized agency can be a cost-effective and efficient solution. A SharePoint development agency can provide the following services:
- Custom SharePoint development: A SharePoint development agency can create a tailored SharePoint solution that meets your organization’s unique requirements.
- Managed SharePoint services: A SharePoint development agency can provide ongoing support and maintenance for your SharePoint website, ensuring its smooth operation.
- Intranet design and development: A SharePoint development agency can design and develop a visually appealing and user-friendly intranet that promotes employee engagement and productivity.
Creating an Engaging SharePoint Website
Now that you understand the benefits of SharePoint intranet development and the option to outsource SharePoint development, let’s dive into the steps to create an engaging SharePoint website:
Step 1: Define Your Objectives and Requirements
Before starting the development process, clearly define your objectives and requirements for the SharePoint website. Consider the following questions:
- What is the purpose of the SharePoint website?
- Who are the target users?
- What features and functionalities are necessary?
- What content will be included?
- What are the design and branding requirements?
Step 2: Plan the Information Architecture
Next, plan the information architecture of your SharePoint website. This involves organizing the content and defining the site structure. Consider the following:
- Create a logical hierarchy of sites, subsites, and libraries.
- Define the navigation and search functionality.
- Consider the permissions and access control.
- Ensure that the information architecture aligns with your objectives and requirements.
Step 3: Design the User Interface
The user interface of your SharePoint website plays a crucial role in engaging users. Consider the following tips for designing an appealing and user-friendly interface:
- Use a consistent and intuitive navigation system.
- Incorporate your organization’s branding and visual identity.
- Ensure that the design is responsive and mobile-friendly.
- Use clear and concise language in your content.
- Consider the accessibility requirements.
Step 4: Develop and Customize the SharePoint Website
Once the planning and design stages are complete, it’s time to develop and customize your SharePoint website. Consider the following:
- Choose the appropriate SharePoint version (on-premise or online) and set up the necessary infrastructure.
- Create the necessary sites, subsites, and libraries based on your information architecture.
- Customize the site templates, web parts, and workflows to meet your requirements.
- Integrate with other Microsoft tools and applications, such as Microsoft Teams or Power Automate.
- Test the functionality and usability of the SharePoint website.
Step 5: Train Users and Promote Adoption
Once your SharePoint website is developed, it is important to train users and promote adoption. Consider the following:
- Provide training sessions or resources to familiarize users with the SharePoint website.
- Highlight the benefits and features of the SharePoint website.
- Encourage user feedback and address any concerns or issues.
- Continuously promote the use of the SharePoint website through internal communications and incentives.
Creating an engaging SharePoint website requires careful planning, design, and development. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can create a SharePoint website that enhances communication, collaboration, and productivity within your organization. Consider outsourcing SharePoint development to a specialized agency for custom solutions and ongoing support. With the right approach, your SharePoint website can become a valuable tool for your organization.