SharePoint Configuration and Configuration Management

At the moment I read a lot about SharePoint configuration since I’m doing initial SharePoint configuration tasks. Here are two useful blog posts I have found.

Top 10 SharePoint Configuration Mistakes

Top 10 SharePoint 2010 Configuration MistakesThis blog post lists the top 10 SharePoint 2010 configuration mistakes (applies for SharePoint 2013 as well). I recommend to read this post before start doing basic configurations! :)

Besides the well-known ‘don’t use the SharePoint configuration wizard’ it names 9 more configuration mistakes such as Default SharePoint Database Settings which slows down SQL performance (and therefore SharePoint as well).

Here’s the complete post: Top 10 SharePoint 2010 Configuration Mistakes — and How to Fix Them | SharePoint 2010 content from SharePoint Pro

SharePoint Configuration Management

SharePoint Configuration ManagementAlso very useful – not only for initial configuration but for configuration management in general – is following article: SharePoint Configuration Management: Guidelines and Tips.

It shows how to track changes of SharePoint configuration and which benefits such a approach has.

Here’s the complete post: SharePoint Configuration Management: Guidelines and Tips

Other Ressources

25 Mistakes to Avoid in SharePoint or Office 365 (and How to Fix Them): http://en.share-gate.com/blog/recording-dont-suck-at-sharepoint-avoid-common-mistakes

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Who said that i need something like order or structure

How to Structure your Content – Part 1: Intranet Pages

Back in the days when I was working for a big automotive supplier company (~ 200.000 employees) the company intranet pages where about to be built. We saw that one department named the pages with organization charts Organisation, the other Who We Are, the third Organization Charts. I made the suggestion that we should standardize these site maps to gain usability (according to Jakob Nielsen a good usability shows the same content on the same place in the same way).

Standardized Intranet Site Map

So we set up a standard intranet site map. Here’s a stripped-down sample:

Intranet Site Map

Explanation

  • Home – Start Page
  • Products / Services – Choose one; if you are a human resources department you would choose Services
  • Your Content 1 – Content that the content owner / employees wishes to expose (e.g. Download)
  • Your Content 2 – Content that the content owner / employees wishes to expose
  • Who We Are – Organization Charts
  • Where We Are – Approach and Site Plan
  • Site Map – Site map
  • Contact – Head of department, its assistant and the webmaster of the intranet pages

Note that some pages are mandatory and some are optional.

We found out in surveys that the first thing users do on the company intranet pages is to use the search function – and then the site map -, so we placed the search field at the very top of the pages and made Site Map mandatory.

Size and Sorting

Another great finding from Mr. Usability Jacob Nielsen :) was that content should be structured in 7 to 8 section, not more. So we decided to propose 8 sections.

To show the same content on the same place we used a trick. Since Content Management Systems don’t let you sort your CMS content folders we forced them by using numbers as a prefix.

So a typical CMS folder structure looked like this:

Intranet Site Map - Folder Structure

So now the site map and the (internal) CMS folder structure are the same. Note that after the 10 comes 20, not 11: so you are much more flexible. For example you can insert an additional folder with the prefix 15 – New Additional Folder to sort it between Home and Products / Services.

This new standard for intranet site maps became mandatory for all intranet pages and it worked for years and years.

As this concept was so successful I tried to organize my files in the same way – and it worked way better than expected, see Part 2:

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Who said that i need something like order or structure

How to Structure your Content – Part 2: Files, Emails and Favorites

As you can see in part 1 of this post (see How to Structure your Content – Part 1: Intranet Pages) we found a way to organize data in a way that was quite successful.

Files

So I thought how about organize my whole files in the same way? After years of working it over following file structure was created:

Folder Structure - Files

Emails

It worked so good that I decided to organize my emails in the same way:

Folder Structure - Emails

(of course folders that would be empty aren’t created yet)

Favorites

And even my browser favorites:

Folder Structure - Favorites

You can find here part 1 of this post:

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The installation wizzard will install the software

SharePoint 2013 Farm Installation

We want to do a SharePoint 2013 farm installation.
Do we need a installation wizard or are there any helpful guides in the internet?  :)

Complete guide

As always the Microsoft pages are very helpful if you want a detailed or complete guide.
You can find the Microsoft guide on this page:

On this page you can find how to set up administrative and service accounts:

And here’s the section ‘Install’ itself:

Quick guide

But you can find here a shorter guide that sums up the most important steps:

Planning your farm

For planning (not installation) see following post.

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