SharePoint permission configuration is one of the hardest things for end-users to understand. Sometimes it is easier to explain a specific scenario instead of how the entire permissions concept works.
I recently encountered a SharePoint environment based on the publishing site template where the administrators had removed the option to set the allowed/default page layouts and site templates for a site. Normally, this is found under “Site Settings -> Look and Feel -> Page layouts and site templates”, but the option was gone.
It turns out that you can still access the page, even if the link isn’t there – you just need to know the URL:
If you want to set the page layouts and site templates in the normal way, via the UI, see Set the Preferred Page Layouts and Site Templates on the Microsoft Office site.
In the past, it was generally a bad idea to turn the publishing feature on within a team site. It could cause some very strange errors and it was confusing. It also points to that someone hadn’t really thought about how a site was going to be used and chosen the correct template accordingly – team sites and publishing sites are very different beasts.
However, I was curious how well this worked and was implemented in SharePoint 2013.
Testing the team site
I created a new site collection based on the team site template – I’ll use the relative URL of /test1 in the rest of this post.
The default landing page was /test1/SitePages/Home.aspx – this is using the standard Site Pages library which is default for team sites.
Turning on publishing
To turn on the publishing functionality:
- Turn on the site collection feature “SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure”
- Turn on the site feature “SharePoint Server Publishing”
The biggest thing that happens is that you now have two page libraries in the site contents:
- SitePages (team site pages)
- Pages (publishing pages)
Testing the effect of the publishing feature
Now that the publishing feature was activated, I wanted to see what effect it had.
- Site Actions -> Add a Page creates a page in the SitePages library
- The homepage for the site is still /SitePages/Home.aspx
Conclusion: simply turning on the features made no change, besides creating a new Pages library.
Changing the homepage
SharePoint allows you to set a different page in your library to be the “homepage” – this is the page that SharePoint sends you to when going to the basic URL. Currently, if using “/test1”, the browser will go to /test1/SitePages/Home.aspx.
I created a new page in the Pages publishing library and set that to the Homepage.
Now, when going to /test1, the browser redirected me to /test1/Pages/test.aspx.
Conclusion: you can change the default homepage from a page in the the SitePages to a page in the Pages library.
Changing the Add a Page type
On a team site, when using the Add a Page option via the Site Settings, you will create a new page in the Site Pages library. Even after enabling the publishing feature, the Add a Page option still creates a new page in the Site Pages library.
To create a page in the Pages library, you will need to go to the Pages library and do it via the ribbon.
It is certainly possible to turn on the publishing feature on a team site. I did not encounter any strange issues.
However, I still think that it is too confusing for users and unnecessary: simply make a good decision on which site template to use and stick to it!