Building Frequently Asked Questions

I've gotten several questions and comments from people in the comments on my posts and through email, so I thought I'd try to address a couple of them in this post. If I get more then I'll post updates.

What site template did you start with for your site?

This is a great question. There are two site templates that have the awesome publishing features enabled: Publishing Portal and Collaboration Portal. There are some differences between the way they're configured by default. The biggest difference is that the publishing portal has workflow enabled by default, while the collaboration portal does not. In my case, I started with the Publishing Portal, which was a bit of a mistake, since I actually didn't want to use workflow. I ended up going through and turning workflow off on my Pages libraries. But this is a great showcase of some cool SharePoint technology: the Featurization system. If I had started with a Team Site, or some other template, I could get all of the great publishing features, workflow, etc. just by enabling the Publishing Infrastructure feature at the site collection level, and the Publishing feature at the web level, and if necesarry, configuring workflow on various libraries. The Feature infrastructure means that you should never find yourself in a situation where you want to use a specific feature, but can't because you chose the wrong template.

What's the difference between a subsite and a subweb?

Ahhh, this is a favorite question of mine. To really explain this, I need to give you some background. In SharePoint, there are two basic constructs that we think about: sites and webs. In code, these are represented by SPSites and SPWebs. However, these two objects are often refferred to as site collections (SPSite) and sites (SPWeb). This is confusing to no end, largely because "site" is such a loaded and non-specific term. Is a site? Sure, it's a website. People often find it confusing if I was to say that is a different site. It's not, is it? It's just a section of It certainly looks the same as But if were running SharePoint, then /sharepoint/ would most likely be a separate site, or SPWeb in code. This is further compounded by the fact that site collections in SharePoint don't have to be rooted at the root domain name. For example, I can have:


All of these can be separate site collections (SPSites in code). However, consider this:


Music and Work, in this case, would be sub-sites, or SPWebs in code. 

Anyway, this is all to say that when I write my posts, I try very hard to at least be consistent. When I say site, I mean as a whole - anything and everything that I put under that domain. When I say subweb, I mean a specific SPWeb under the root site collection, like /music/ or /work/. I hope this clarifies things. This is particularly tough to communicate because of the inherent lack of precision in the terms "site" and "web," but I've tried hard to be consistent.

What are you doing about post comments, user registration, and other more interactive features on your site?

I do have plans to get all of this stuff built and intergated, but it's going to take some time. I have some ideas, but they're going to require a bit of custom development which I simply haven't gotten to yet. I'll be writing posts either here or on my site itself about the process for those advanced features when I implement them. I also have at least a couple more posts in the original series to finish up. Keep watching this site, or subscribe to the RSS feed here or on my site.

One last note, now points to my MOSS site. My old site is no longer accessible, and you don't have to remember the crazy URL for the MOSS preview site. 🙂

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