Home » How to Create Your First SharePoint Site: An In-Depth, Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

How to Create Your First SharePoint Site: An In-Depth, Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

by Mark
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As a SharePoint consulting firm that works with many clients new to SharePoint, we wanted to provide an in-depth guide that walks you through the entire process of creating sites and libraries from start to finish.

Follow along as we set up an example marketing team site for collaborating on documents.

Step 1: Access SharePoint in Microsoft 365

First, log in to Microsoft 365 or Office 365 using your work or school account credentials.

Click the app launcher icon (the “waffle”) in the upper left and choose SharePoint from the list of apps. This will open your organization’s SharePoint home page.

The left nav shows SharePoint sites that already exist across your company. These can be team sites for projects or groups, intranet sites for announcements, and more. You can visit them or use the search bar to find files.

To create your new SharePoint site, click the large +Create site button and explore available templates.

Step 2: Choose a Site Template and Create the SharePoint Site

Microsoft provides different SharePoint site templates depending on your needs, like a Team site for group collaboration, a Communication site for announcements, or other Project Management templates. Let’s choose the Team site.

Name your new site and assign it a URL. For our example, enter “Marketing Team Site” as the title and “marketing” as the URL. You can also select language and regional settings. Finally, click Finish, and SharePoint will automatically build your new site.

This may take a few minutes. Behind the scenes, SharePoint provisions a storage location on servers or in the cloud and sets up permissions.

Once it’s ready, you’ll land on the homepage of your fresh new SharePoint site!

Step 3: Tour the SharePoint Site and Contents

The site may look plain now– but it’s loaded with lists, libraries, and apps that you can customize. SharePoint handles the heavy lifting so you can build out sites without coding.

Browse the Quick Launch menu on the left. This navigates between major sections of the site. You’ll recognize common elements like:

  • Documents: Default location to store Office documents, PDFs, images, and more for collaboration.
  • Pages: Where you can create free-form webpages leveraging text and web parts.
  • Site contents: All sub-sites, lists, and libraries in one view to manage.

The homepage displays News, Documents, and other web parts ready for you to customize and add content.

Switch the page into “Edit” mode to rearrange or add more components like Yammer feeds, Power BI reports, calendars, custom lists, and more apps.

Pro tip: Use SharePoint’s out-of-the-box features before reinventing the wheel. Do you need a contacts list, tasks, a shared calendar, or some way to organize data? Chances are SharePoint has something for the job.

Step 4: Build Your First Document Library

Now let’s create our central Marketing Materials document library to store our files. From the Site contents page, select New > Document Library.

Give your library a name like “Marketing Materials” and other metadata if desired. Choose columns to track data like client, campaign, and date. Enable content approval if reviews are required.

Select Create, and the empty library is now available in our site contents, ready for documents.

SharePoint consulting

Step 5: Add Files and Collaborate

There are many ways to upload documents into your shiny new library:

  • Upload directly in SharePoint with drag-and-drop
  • Sync to your PC via OneDrive for easy drag-and-drop transfers
  • Send email attachments to a unique mail address that saves in the library
  • Connect to third-party repositories like DropBox or Google Drive
  • Migrate existing file shares using the SharePoint Migration Tool

After adding files, colleagues can:

  • Co-author Office docs simultaneously
  • Share folders with internal teams or external partners
  • Comment on file changes
  • Manage versions to track history
  • Automate manual processes using workflows
  • Alerts notify users of changes
  • fully Search across all content

So there you have it! With these steps, you can start leveraging SharePoint collaboration for your team quickly and easily. Let your SharePoint consulting partner know if you need any further assistance!

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