SharePoint Online Site Templates

By Ken Withee, Jennifer Reed

When you need to develop a SharePoint Online site to solve a problem, be sure that you start with a solid understanding of the available site templates. It’s often much easier to start with a site template that almost does what you want and then develop it from this starting point than to develop everything from scratch.

Before you start building custom applications for SharePoint, having a solid working knowledge of its various components is a good idea. The best way to get to know SharePoint is to start with a blank site and develop it from scratch so you understand what the templates are doing. Then you can more easily start with a template as a baseline and develop your site from there.

Creating a new site is as simple as clicking Site Actions→New Site from the parent site and then clicking through the templates to find the site you want to create. A parent site is simply a site that holds another site.

SharePoint Online Site Templates
Site Template Description
Assets Web Database Create a database to keep track of your organization’s
information assets, including the details and owner(s) of each
Basic Meeting Workspace A site on which you can plan, organize, and capture the results
of a meeting. It provides lists for managing the agenda, meeting
attendees, and documents.
Basic Search Center This site provides SharePoint search functionality, including
pages for search results and advanced searches.
Blank Meeting Workspace You can use this blank meeting site to customize to your
meeting’s requirements. The difference from a Blank Site is
that a Blank Meeting Workspace has the components available that
you need to build out a site geared toward meetings.
Blank Site A blank site has no built-in features; customize it to match
your requirements. What you are actually doing is creating a
container for SharePoint stuff, a site, without actually putting
any of the SharePoint stuff in there at the time of creation.
Blog This site works like an Internet blog; a person or team can
post ideas, observations, and expertise that site visitors can
comment on.
Charitable Contributions Web Database By using this site, you can create a database that keeps track
of information about fundraising campaigns — including
donations, contributors, campaign-related events, and scheduled
Contacts Web Database By using this site, you can create a database to manage contact
information from customers, partners, and other people who work
with your team.
Decision Meeting Workspace You can use this site at meetings to track the status of
projects or make decisions. The site includes lists you can use to
create tasks, store documents, and record decisions.
Document Center You can manage documents centrally for your entire enterprise
from this site.
Document Workspace Colleagues can use that famous SharePoint collaborative
capability to work together on a document. The site provides a
document library for storing the primary document and supporting
files, a list for to-do tasks, and a list that can hold links to
resources related to the document.
Enterprise Search Center This site provides the SharePoint search capability. The
Welcome Page includes a search box that has two tabs: one for
general searches and another for searches for information about
people. You can add tabs, delete them, or customize them with
different search scopes or specified result types.
Enterprise Wiki You can use this site for publishing knowledge that you capture
and want to share across the enterprise. Use this site to edit,
coauthor, and discuss content, as well as to manage projects.
Express Team Site This site is for teams to quickly create, organize, and share
information. It provides a document library and a list for managing
Group Work Site This template provides a site that teams can use to create,
organize, and share information. It includes the Group Calendar,
Circulation, Phone-Call Memo, the document library, and the other
basic lists.
Issues Web Database Create an issues database to manage a set of issues or
problems. You can assign, prioritize, and follow the progress of
issues from start to finish.
Multipage Meeting Workspace You can use this site to plan a meeting and make note of the
meeting’s decisions and other results. The site provides lists for
managing the agenda and meeting attendees, as well as two blank
pages you can customize to your requirements.
Personalization Site You can use this site to deliver personalized views, data, and
navigation from this site collection to My Site. It includes Web
Parts that are specific to personalization and navigation that is
optimized for My Site sites.
This template is available only at the site level.
Projects Web Database You can create a project-tracking database to track multiple
projects and assign tasks to different people.
Publishing Site This template offers a starter site hierarchy (grouping of
SharePoint sites) for an Internet site or a large intranet portal.
You can use distinctive branding to customize this site. It
includes a home page, a sample press-releases site, a Search
Center, and a logon page.
This template is available only at the site-collection level. A
site collection is a special SharePoint site that allows you to
separate key aspects of the sites contained within the site
Publishing Site with Workflow A site for publishing web pages on a schedule by using approval
workflows. It includes document and image libraries for storing
web-publishing assets. By default, only sites that have this
template can be created under this site.
Social Meeting Workspace A site on which you can plan social occasions and use lists to
track attendees, provide directions, and store pictures of the
Team Site A site on which a team can organize, generate, and share
information. It provides a document library as well as lists for
managing announcements, calendar items, tasks, and
Visio Process Repository A collaborative site on which teams can view, share, and store
Visio process diagrams. It provides a document library (with
version control) for storing process diagrams as well as lists for
managing announcements, tasks, and review discussions.