OTT, Inc.

Tips to Help You Determine What Kind of Content You Want on Your SharePoint Site

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It is pretty easy to just throw up anything on your SharePoint website, but if you want some type of organization to it, you need to plan it. Planning involves evaluating your business needs and deciding which content features in SharePoint will support the goals of your business.

What kind of content do you need?

Rather than listing specific content information at this point, you should begin by determining the general kind of content and how you plan to track and organize it. You should have some information management policies in place that specify how you will store content, how you handle data governance, the types of metadata you use, and more.

Specifying Content Types

With content types, you can quickly create new documents by using the pre-configured settings for that type. This saves time and keeps everything organized according to your information management policies. It allows you to specify columns, workflows, custom features, policies, and templates.

Adding Apps

Apps help users extend the functionality of SharePoint in various ways. Determining which ways you need to extend it will help you decide which apps to make available to your users. Since you will probably not need all apps in the SharePoint app store, you can purchase and make available only those apps your organization will actually use.

Finding and Accessing Content

Too often people create websites without any thought as to how users will access the information. Imagine building a kitchen without considering the locations of the stove, the sink, the dishwasher, and the cabinets. You want everything to be accessible and easy to find without getting in the way of each other.

Plan your navigation based on the lists and libraries that you will create. If you have a standard hierarchy in place, it will help you avoid ending up with sets of information that do not fit your categories. You can customize the top link bar as well as the quick launch to contain the most relevant links. You may also use the managed Metadata feature, which will allow contributors to add tags to content. This will help you maximize discoverability within libraries. Similarly, you should plan your searching by specifying high-quality pages, query rules, and result scores.

There are other questions you will need to ask when planning your sites, such as: “What do users need to do with content?” and “How will content be managed through its lifecycle?”. For a more detailed look at SharePoint site planning, visit Microsoft’s online Office 365 support.

By OTT, Inc., a Microsoft Partner Network member in the Twin Cities area, Minnesota.


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