Organizing Site Content in SharePoint 2010 - dummies

Organizing Site Content in SharePoint 2010

When thinking about the problem of what to put where on a SharePoint 2010 site, it’s important to differentiate between a user’s content and site resources. A site’s resources are the images, styles, scripts, and various other files that come together to create the user experience for your site. Of course, the site’s users may also have all these files used as content.

So how can you tell the difference? The key differentiator between the site’s branding resources and a user’s content is who owns it. If the file — the video, image, or audio file — is intended to be used by the end users who maintain the site, it’s user content. If those files aren’t intended to be consumed in pages, consider them off-limits to users.

Examples of branding resource files and content files.
Examples of branding resource files and content files.

User content needs to always go in a library so that users can take advantage of all the great library features — check-out, versioning, and approval — that they may want for managing their content.

Use SharePoint 2010 libraries to store content

A document library can be used to store any kind of user content. However, SharePoint provides additional types of libraries that may be suited better for specialized kinds of content.

Kinds of Libraries for Storing Content
To Store This Kind of Content . . . . . . Use This Kind of Library
Small videos, audio files, and images Site Assets library or Picture library
Documents, such as PDF files Document library
Individual PowerPoint slides for reuse Slide library

So users can easily find resources, designate a library as a suggested asset location. Doing so causes the library to appear in the asset picker. Click the Suggested Content Browser Locations link on your site’s Site Settings page to configure this setting.

Put web page content in default locations

SharePoint provides a number of default locations for storing content, such as web pages. Team sites use the Site Pages library, whereas publishing sites use the Pages library. Here are some of the common locations SharePoint provides for storing resources.

Default Locations for Content
To Store This . . . . . . Use This Default Location
Documents Documents library
Images on pages Images library
Images in branding Site Collection Images library
Master pages Master Page gallery
Page layouts Master Page gallery
Publishing pages Pages library
Reusable Content Reusable Content list
Style sheets Style library
Themes Themes gallery
XSL templates Style library
Wiki pages and Web Part pages Site Pages library

In most cases, you aren’t limited to using just the libraries provided by SharePoint. The exception is the Pages library. All publishing pages must be stored in the Pages library. And the galleries — Master Page gallery and Themes gallery — can’t be changed.

You can use folders in the Pages library, unlike in previous versions of SharePoint.

You usually want to store site-wide resources off the root site. You might want to use a single Image library and views and metadata rather than having a library at each site in your site hierarchy. But there are no hard-and-fast rules. Do what makes sense for your site and your organization.

Deploy SharePoint site content in folders or libraries

You have other options besides placing your resources in document libraries. With SharePoint Designer 2010, you can create a folder and place your items inside it. Or if you want to reuse items across several site collections (or even the entire farm), you can deploy items directly to the hard drives on the web servers.

Deployment Options
Put Stuff Here . . . . . . When You Want These Features
In document libraries To use the browser to upload files; to use check-out and
version control
In folders off the site’s root To hide resources from the browser
In folders on the server To make the same version of a given resource available across
multiple site collections