Understanding SharePoint 2013 Site Templates

Welcome to the third part of our series Understanding SharePoint 2013 Site Templates. Our focus will be on SharePoint 2013 Blog Site Templates, but you can also review our previous posts, SharePoint 2013 Team Site Templates as well as SharePoint 2013 Project Site Templates. Both describe what was included in the template and ways you can leverage them. This post, however, is going to be slightly different – I’m going to focus on the Blog Site Template… which, as you may suspect, is cleverly named to create a blog.

Keep in mind this is a Site template and therefore available to everyone who uses MySites. Which means it’s in their private Newsfeed site. So yes, that basically means anyone in your company can have their own blog. It’s safe to say that this means you’re about to learn way more than you’d probably like about your coworkers’ pets and relationships.

Nevertheless, let’s look at how easy it is to create a blog with the SharePoint Blog Site Template.
It’s pretty self-explanatory:

SharePoint 2013 Blog Template

Welcome to SharePoint 2013 Blog Template

Out-of-the-box, the blog template comes with some predefined categories. Chances are, though, you’ll have your own idea of what categories are appropriate for your blog. To modify the categories, click the Manage categories link. The first thing I’m going to do is delete all the existing categories. Do this by simply clicking the menu button for each item and choosing Delete Item.

SharePoint 2013 Blog Categories

Delete all SharePoint 2013 Blog Categories

After you’ve deleted all the items (or have left a couple you think you’ll use), it’s time to create new categories. Yes, it’s as easy as clicking new item.

SharePoint 2013 New Blog Category

Create SharePoint 2013 New Blog Category

Assign the name for the new category and click Save. Repeat for as many categories as you want to add.

After you’ve added the necessary categories, you’re ready to blog! And coming up with blog ideas is always fun, trust me…

So once you’ve had your afternoon nap and maybe a coffee or lunch and another nap and you’ve finally thought up your great new blog idea that people are dying to read about – click Create a post. After you’ve typed your masterpiece, click Publish.

SharePoint 2013 Publish Blog

Publishing your SharePoint 2013 Blog Masterpiece

And Viola! It’s now available for everyone to see!

SharePoint 2013 Blog

SharePoint 2013 Blog

But wait… let’s get rid of that “Welcome to my blog” post. To do that, click Manage posts. This looks like a standard SharePoint list… and fortunately, it behaves like one, as well.

To delete a post, use the item menu and click Delete Item.

Now your blog is your own… with your categories and your own posts. As promised, the SharePoint Blog Template makes creating a blog painless and easy. Now the hard part is determining what your blog should be about.

So, Why Should I Blog?

Obviously in a corporate environment, the standard rules of blogging don’t apply. So why write a blog at work and how do you do it so that it’s interpreted as actual work?

Five Ways Corporate Blogging Can Benefit Your Business:

  1. To supply tips and tricks for end-users of Lines of Business applications (and SharePoint!). I maintain a blog here at Fpweb.net where I provide SharePoint users some ideas on using SharePoint more efficiently. Because my team maintains the Intranet, we can strongly encourage end users to leverage solutions we implement.
  2. To keep employees up-to-date on the latest corporate news. This would be a viable blog from a C-level executive. Let the people know what’s going on!
  3. A place for sales to celebrate their victories! What employee wouldn’t want to know how the sales department is doing?
  4. Marketing can preview and show off their new campaigns. They can post samples and collateral. This will let individuals within the company know how their company is being promoted. This knowledge can increase that important corporate catch-phrase: synergy.
  5. Team leaders or department directors can brag about their team. This will promote understanding from other departments on what exactly your team is up to.

One of the nice features of blogging in a corporate SharePoint environment is the ability to follow blogs. Following blogs provides an easy way for you to see what blogs have been updated. A corporation can encourage their employees to blog relevant information as a way to increase transparency and communication between departments. Speaking of…