SharePoint Website Design: How to Get It Right
SharePoint is a powerful platform that allows organizations to create and manage websites, intranets, and collaboration tools. However, designing a SharePoint website can be a complex task that requires careful planning and execution. In this article, we will discuss the key considerations and best practices for designing a SharePoint website that meets your organization’s needs.
Choosing a SharePoint Development Agency
When embarking on a SharePoint website design project, it is important to choose the right development agency. A SharePoint development agency specializes in creating and customizing SharePoint websites and intranets. They have the expertise and experience to design a website that aligns with your organization’s goals and requirements.
When selecting a SharePoint development agency, consider the following factors:
- Experience: Look for an agency with a proven track record in SharePoint development. They should have experience working with organizations similar to yours.
- Expertise: Ensure that the agency has the necessary skills and expertise to design a SharePoint website that meets your specific needs. They should be familiar with SharePoint’s features and capabilities.
- References: Ask for references and testimonials from previous clients. This will give you an idea of the agency’s reputation and the quality of their work.
- Communication: Effective communication is crucial for a successful SharePoint website design project. Choose an agency that is responsive and communicates clearly.
- Cost: Consider your budget and compare the pricing of different agencies. However, keep in mind that quality should be prioritized over cost.
Intranet Design Best Practices
An intranet is a private network that is only accessible to an organization’s employees. It serves as a central hub for communication, collaboration, and information sharing. When designing a SharePoint intranet, it is important to follow best practices to ensure its effectiveness and usability.
Here are some best practices for intranet design:
- Clear Navigation: Design a clear and intuitive navigation structure that allows users to easily find the information they need. Use descriptive labels and organize content into logical categories.
- Consistent Branding: Apply your organization’s branding elements, such as logo, colors, and fonts, to maintain a consistent look and feel throughout the intranet. This helps to reinforce your organization’s identity.
- User-Friendly Layout: Use a clean and organized layout that is easy to navigate. Avoid clutter and excessive use of graphics. Prioritize content based on its importance and relevance to users.
- Mobile Responsiveness: Ensure that your intranet is mobile-friendly and can be accessed on different devices. This is especially important as more employees are working remotely or using mobile devices.
- Search Functionality: Implement a robust search functionality that allows users to quickly find the information they are looking for. Include filters and advanced search options to refine search results.
SharePoint On-Premise vs SharePoint Online
When designing a SharePoint website, you have the option to choose between SharePoint on-premise and SharePoint online. Each option has its own advantages and considerations.
SharePoint on-premise refers to hosting SharePoint on your organization’s own servers. This gives you full control over the infrastructure and allows for customization and integration with other systems. However, it also requires a dedicated IT team to manage and maintain the servers.
SharePoint online, on the other hand, is a cloud-based solution provided by Microsoft. It offers scalability, flexibility, and automatic updates. It eliminates the need for managing servers and allows for easy collaboration and access from anywhere. However, customization options may be limited compared to SharePoint on-premise.
When deciding between SharePoint on-premise and SharePoint online, consider factors such as your organization’s IT capabilities, budget, security requirements, and scalability needs.
Outsourcing SharePoint Development
Outsourcing SharePoint development can be a cost-effective solution for organizations that do not have the in-house expertise or resources to design and maintain a SharePoint website. By outsourcing, you can leverage the skills and experience of a specialized SharePoint development agency.
When outsourcing SharePoint development, consider the following:
- Define your requirements: Clearly define your requirements and expectations to the outsourcing agency. This will ensure that they understand your needs and can deliver accordingly.
- Communication: Establish effective communication channels with the outsourcing agency. Regularly communicate and provide feedback to ensure that the project is on track.
- Quality assurance: Set clear quality standards and conduct regular reviews to ensure that the deliverables meet your expectations.
- Security: Ensure that the outsourcing agency follows best practices for data security and confidentiality. Sign a non-disclosure agreement if necessary.
- Support and maintenance: Discuss the post-development support and maintenance services provided by the outsourcing agency. This is important for the long-term success of your SharePoint website.
Designing a SharePoint website requires careful planning and consideration of various factors. By choosing the right SharePoint development agency, following intranet design best practices, and making informed decisions about SharePoint on-premise vs SharePoint online, you can create a website that meets your organization’s needs. Outsourcing SharePoint development can also be a viable option for organizations that lack the in-house expertise or resources. Remember to define your requirements, establish effective communication, and ensure quality assurance and data security. With these tips and best practices, you can get your SharePoint website design right.