A client recently asked me what the difference was between some of the out of the box SharePoint templates. This is basic stuff, but it is often difficult to find a reference guide, so here are some basics.. or at least part 1 of the basics. I'll follow up this post soon if people think it is useful.
This is the template that most users build sites from, and you will recognise it from the pictures of random office workers on the right hand side:
Above: A team site with no modifications
As with most SharePoint site templates it has two key elements:
- A number of predefined lists
- A number of predefined webparts on the page
A team site will give you the following lists to play with - Announcements, Calendar, Links, and Tasks. You also get the a number of libraries - Shared Documents, Site Assets, and Site Pages. Oh and their is a 'Team Discussion' board as well.
The main page of the team site is a wiki page, new to SharePoint 2010, which means you can edit directly onto the page. It is split into two columns (roughly 2/3 and 1/3) and contains some text and images and a document library webpart.
A blank site is a team site (same two column layout) with all lists and webparts stripped out. Its blank. Hence the name.
This site is designed to make working with documents a little easier and more intuitive for groups of people:
Above: A document workspace
The standard lists and libraries here are the same as a team site, minus the site asset and page libraries.
The page layout is a full width column at the top, with the familiar 2/3 1/3 column split below. You get the following webparts - Announcements, Shared Documents, Tasks, and Members.
The Members webpart shows people with permissions on this site, but it can be configured to show people in a particular SharePoint group.
The meeting workspace template stands out as it doesn't use the popular 'quicklaunch' bar that most site templates uses. As a result the page content spans the full width of the screen. SharePoint is often trumpeted as a collaboration platform, and it is templates like this one that go some way to fulfilling this role:
Above: A meeting workspace
Included are a single document library and the following lists - Agenda, Attendees, and Objectives. It is easy to see that these lists are designed to help run a meeting. The idea is the site can be used to prepare for, or during the running of, a meeting.
All the lists respective webparts are included on the page, which is split into three vertical columns.
There are a number of alternative versions of this site template:
- Decision meeting workspace - Adds Decision and Task lists
- Social meeting workspace - Adds a Picture Library, Directions list, Things to Bring list, and a discussion board. This site template is aimed at face to face meetings.
- Multipage meeting workspace - Same as the main meeting workspace template but this site supports multiple pages, and brings back the quicklaunch bar to help with navigation.
- Blank meeting workspace - Same as the main meeting workspace, but no lists or webparts
This is an improved version of the SharePoint 2007 blog template:
This template really shows off the power of what a SharePoint site template can do. Whilst there are lists for things like post, comments, and links, this site doesn't really break down into our usual lists and webparts groups. Instead it feels very much like a custom site unlike any other. In this context it works well as a blog. If you are expecting Blogger or WordPress then you might want to think again. However if you are looking to give teams or indivduals a voice on your SharePoint Intranet then you should find everything you want.
Keep an eye out for part 2, when I'll look at some of the remaining site templates (contacts, issues, projects and more).
There is more on site templates on the official Microsoft site here.