3 Lessons Learned about Building Custom WCM sites with SharePoint 2010

How SharePoint helps you create sites and enable content owners to manage them

Todd Baginski

September 26, 2011

2 Min Read
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SharePoint Server 2010’s web content management (WCM) capabilities let developers create compelling public-facing websites built on the SharePoint platform while enabling content owners to easily manage and update the content in the websites without writing a single line of code.

When SharePoint websites are properly architected, content owners can use a web browser to update content stored inside SharePoint lists. They can edit the content directly within the body of a web page or edit the list content in a SharePoint list’s edit form.

My experience building custom WCM sites with SharePoint Server 2010 started early in its product cycle. I was leading the architecture and development team that was charged with upgrading the platform of the SharePoint marketing website from Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS 2007) to SharePoint Server 2010.

We launched the marketing website on the Beta 1 build of SharePoint Server 2010 during Steve Ballmer’s keynote address at the Microsoft SharePoint Conference in 2009. It’s safe to say that my team and everyone else who worked on the website was nervous about going live with a Beta 1 build, but it turned out the product was stable enough.

After the website was launched, other teams transitioned the site to the Beta 2 and release to manufacturing (RTM) builds and redesigned the site to give it the look and feel you see today at sharepoint.microsoft.com.

While working on the SharePoint marketing website and several others—including the Microsoft Visio (visio.microsoft.com) and Microsoft Lync (lync.microsoft.com) marketing websites—I learned many lessons about building public-facing websites on the SharePoint 2010 platform.

I’ll share three lessons that I feel are most helpful because they involve techniques that you can use to prevent or solve common problems.

Lesson 1: Pay Attention to Page Size
Lesson 2: Use the Content By Query Web Part
Lesson 3: Learn How to Allow Anonymous Users to Rate Content

These three lessons are only some of the lessons I learned while building public-facing Internet sites on the SharePoint platform. The techniques they teach can help you prevent or solve common problems, so keep them in mind when you build your SharePoint websites.

Also keep in mind that you need to consider many other performance, usability, and supportability issues to make sure that your website meets the needs of the website owners and end users.

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