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Office 365 pp 277–318Cite as


Web Site Setup and Configuration

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All businesses need a web site. The way we solve our web site problem is to use different web hosting companies to manage our web site and different web technologies. One of the less-known features of Office 365 is its web site capabilities. There are three different web technologies that are available to users on Office 365 Enterprise subscriptions. These are the public web site, the SharePoint team site, and Windows Azure. The SharePoint team site is activated as an intranet site (by default). The Office 365 public web site and Windows Azure will need to activated and configured.


  • Online Store
  • Network Solution
  • Shopping Cart
  • Enterprise Version
  • Window Azure

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

All businesses need a web site. The way we solve our web site problem is to use different web hosting companies to manage our web site and different web technologies. One of the less-known features of Office 365 is its web site capabilities. There are three different web technologies that are available to users on Office 365 Enterprise subscriptions. These are the public web site, the SharePoint team site, and Windows Azure. The SharePoint team site is activated as an intranet site (by default). The Office 365 public web site and Windows Azure will need to activated and configured.

Before we dive into building your own web site, let’s step back and look at Office 365 user permissions. User permissions and security use Active Directory as the security supervisor. The security supervisor keeps track of the user logins, passwords, and user account information. Microsoft Office 365 uses this account information to link to other cloud services, using a concept of “federation.” Federation is simply the linking of different services to a central security supervisor (or Active Directory). When you look at the Office 365 web site capability, there are two different types of services: SharePoint and Azure. The security supervisor manages the Office 365 accounts and provides access to users to these different services. This is where the concept of Office 365 web site is derived. There are two different SharePoint web sites: an intranet and a public web site. Figure 6-1 is an example of an intranet web site.

Figure 6-1.
figure 1

Private Office 365 intranet (courtesy of Reed Integration)

Figure 6-2 is an example of an Office 365 public web site. This is your basic web site that is accessible to all users on the Internet. The public web site is fully searchable and is indexed by the search engines, and no login is required to access the site.

Figure 6-2.
figure 2

Public-facing Office 365 Internet web site (courtesy of Viking Mars Missions Preservation and Education Project)

In the preceding two examples, you have two different web site designs and capabilities: an intranet (using traditional SharePoint design tools and workflows) and an external web site (using traditional HTML and the integrated tools). Intranets (Figure 6-1) typically have a more robust capability, because the users are trusted users. A trusted user is a user with an Office 365 account. The trusted users access the SharePoint team site, based on the permission that the SharePoint administrator assigns to the user.

FormalPara Note

Azure is a PaaS—platform as a service—solution. Windows Azure allows any company to place a line-of-business (LOB) application in a private Microsoft cloud. The server resources are scalable (you pay for what you need), and any operating system (including non-Microsoft) can be hosted on an Azure server. Azure is an optional subscription service that is integrated with Office 365. See , and log in with your Office 365 global admin account to set up the service.

Azure is a Microsoft hosting service that can support any hosted operating system (even Linux) in the Microsoft cloud. One of the great features of Azure is that it can be linked to the Office 365 user account Active Directory services, providing secured access for your business. The alignment of Azure to Office 365 is a free service with Office 365 Enterprise subscriptions. This is very important, because many web developers are under the misconception that Office 365 restricts your capability to only use Microsoft tools. This is not true with Azure. Azure allows you to build and host any web site. As illustrated in Figure 6-3, you can easily add a WordPress web site with an SQL database support and link that web site to your Office 365 user accounts through federation with Office 365.

Figure 6-3.
figure 3

Azure web site linked to Office 365

We can spend a lot of time talking about Azure services and how to extend your Office 365 capabilities. Our focus in this chapter is on the Office 365 public web site. As your business grows, you want to provide your business with as much flexibility as possible to build your business at the lowest possible costs. The Office 365 public web site is a great starting point for your business. The Microsoft Azure web site is a very powerful option, as you look to expand your business in the cloud.

Office 365 Public Web Site

One of the hidden features of Office 365 is the hosted web site that is included as part of the Office 365 subscription. The configuration is simple, just create the web site, update DNS (allow the www records to point to the Office 365 web site), and configure the template. Office 365 allows one public web site per company subscription. What is really cool about the Office 365 public web site is the integration of the web site with SharePoint. As a company owner of an Office 365 subscription, you can now have a web site with an external interface and have the options to configure the SharePoint template (for intranet access) or use Azure services.

Figure 6-4 is the Office 365 public web site. There are two tools from Microsoft that you can use to configure your public web site. These are the Office 365 integrated editor and Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2013. If you are building an Azure web site, you can use almost all design tools (Microsoft and non-Microsoft tools). Personally, we like to use Visual Studio 2014 for Azure modification or WordPress editor tools for our WordPress web site. We are not going to cover these tools in this section. We will focus on the standard tools that are part of your Office 365 subscription that work with the public web site.

Let’s get started on building our customer web site. When your Office 365 subscription was created, the Exchange mailbox storage, instant communication (Lync communicator), and the base SharePoint site were also created. We are going to focus on the creation of a SharePoint external web site (a.k.a. public web site). Microsoft supplies two tools (Office 365 integrated editor and SharePoint Designer 2013) that help us to create a SharePoint public web site.

Figure 6-4.
figure 4

Office 365 default web site

The approach we will use in building the web site is to create a base web design from one of the templates supplied by the Microsoft tools. Once the template has been chosen, and we have some content posted on the site, we will extend the web site, using SharePoint Designer. Each Office 365 subscription has one public-facing web site, and it is created (and blocked from external views) when the subscription is acquired.


The SharePoint public web site has the standard URL http://< domain> , where <domain> is the domain. The internal websites <domain> and <domain> are only access via https://.

How Do You Make an Office 365 Web Site Visible?

Office 365 refers to the public web site as a feature of Office 365. To enable this feature, you must convert the internal URL http://<domain> to an Internet domain (vanity domain accessible without login from the Web). If you have the Small Business version of Office 365, you do not have to configure the web site. The web site is enabled by default. All that you have to do is to configure the “vanity” domain name.


There are three versions of Office 365: Small Business (P plan), Midsize Business (M plan), and Enterprise. The Enterprise plan provides users with greater flexibility over the P or M plans. The web site tools and configuration are some of those differences.

If you are running the Enterprise version of Office 365, you have to convert the generic URL <company name>-public. to a public-facing URL in the form of www.<compan y name>.com, and have it resolved to your newly created web site. It is pretty simple (we will describe this in more detail near the end of the chapter, after we build our web site). The steps to convert the internal domain (and grant permissions for external access) are outlined below.

  1. 1.

    Add a vanity domain ( ) to your Office 365 plan and verify.

  2. 2.

    Add the subdomain “( )” to Office 365 and verify.

  3. 3.

    Select “SharePoint” as the domain intent for the .

  4. 4.

    In the SharePoint admin center, convert the <company name>-public. to the vanity domain (using the menu item “Website Domains”).

  5. 5.

    Add the CNAME reference in your DNS servers (at GoDaddy, Network Solutions, or elsewhere).

  6. 6.

    Add the root domain "" as an https-redirector in GoDaddy or Network Solutions.

That is it. There are some restrictions. These are centered on the registration of the domain at Office 365. Microsoft disallows having multiple web sites point to the same site. You have to use a web site redirector service from an external web site. GoDaddy and Network Solutions both offer these services. Other than that, web site hosting and creation is really simple. Let’s review the SharePoint admin center in more detail, before we go further in our actual design of the site. The last step of the process is the conversion of the site for access by anyone on the Web.

Quick Tour of SharePoint Administration

Before we start with the public web site, let’s take a quick look at the SharePoint admin center. When you log in to Office 365, the admin web site visibility is based on your administrative roles. As an administrator, there are additional functions for which you have responsibility. To begin, let’s log in as the site administration user. Afte you login to Office 365, select the “admin” menue (see Figure 6-5), and select sharepoint. This action will direct you to the Sharepoint admin center. The public web site is shown in Figure 6-6. Select “Website” URL to access the public web site.

Figure 6-5.
figure 5

Office 365 Admin

Figure 6-6.
figure 6

Selection of “Website”

The public web site will be found under the “Website” category item. If the web site is a private web site, it will have a URL similar to that in Figure 6-6; otherwise, it will have the www reference name. If you have to access the web site, select the pubic web site, then select the URL.

The public web site is different from the other Office 365 SharePoint sites, because the site is preconfigured, and you can only have one public web site per Office 365 organization. The number of SharePoint sites depends on the subscription plan. The Enterprise plan for Office 365 is most flexible in this regard. The only issue that you have with a team site being made public is the permission issues and the security of the rest of your site. Microsoft allows you to invite external e-mail users (via an e-mail address) or to add additional SharePoint users to your Office 365 organization. However, the public web site does not support any membership functions.

The public web site is different from an Office 365 SharePoint site. The public web site can be accessed via SharePoint Designer or the integrated editor; however, the public web site is preconfigured and does not support the standard SharePoint templates. The public web site does not support a private members area for login, and the only person who can modify the public web site is the SharePoint site administrator.

Adding a SharePoint Site Collection Administrator

The first step in accessing the public web site is to add a site collection administrator. All global administrators are members of the “Company Administrator” group, and by default are site collection administrators. However, if you are using a different person from a global administrator, you will have to add them as a site collection administrator for the public web site management. Adding a site administrator is easy. Log in as the global administrator, select the SharePoint site (under the Admin toolbar), then select “Owners” (see Figure 6-7) and enter the user as a site collection administrator (Figure 6-8). Chapter 5 has detailed information about adding users as SharePoint site administrators.

Figure 6-7.
figure 7

Selecting the public web site to add a site collection administrator

Figure 6-8.
figure 8

Adding user as a site collection administrator

Once you have selected the “Owners,” enter the user account as the site collection administrator (see Figure 6-8). Once your add the user account as a site collection administrator, that user can modify and change the public web site with any of the tools that are supported with Office 365. Typically, the tool that is used to make changes to the public web site is the Office 365 integrated web editor.

Office 365 Integrated Web Editor

Office 365 supports two different tools for editing the Office 365 public web site. These are the integrated editor and SharePoint Designer. The simpler tool to use is the Office 365 integrated web editor. We have included information on how to install SharePoint Designer, but that is beyond the scope of this chapter. We recommend that you start with the integrated editor, and if you still have to use SharePoint Designer, purchase a book dedicated to the use of that tool. SharePoint Designer is a complex tool to use, and the primary purpose is to design to build and manage SharePoint team sites.


SharePoint Designer is an advance SharePoint tool used for the modification and maintenance of SharePoint team sites. The Office 365 public web site is a subset of a SharePoint team site.

Let’s walk through an overview of using the Office 365 integrated web-editing tool. Our focus will be on pointing out the key features, to give you a better understanding of the tool’s capabilities. Later we will use the tool to build our sample web site with a PayPal payment integration. We deploy a ten-step process (discussed later) in the building of our web site that you can deploy for your own Office 365 public web site.

Getting Started on the Public Web Site

To get started on the public web site, select the public web site link that is located in the SharePoint admin center. The landing page of the public web site should look like Figure 6-9.

Figure 6-9.
figure 9

Default public web site

The Office 365 public site editing tool uses two controls: “Page” and “Site.” The “Page” control is used for content management, and the “Site” control is used for global look changes. This is similar to the SharePoint controls on the Office 365 team site, but different. The public web site controls are optimized for web development and not user permission or library management. The Office 365 SharePoint tools were discussed in detail in Chapter 5.

Accessing the Public Web Site

You can access the public web site in three ways:

  1. 1.

    Access the URL from the SharePoint admin console.

  2. 2.

    Access the URL directly through your browser (in our case the URL is . (If the site is not published, you will be requested to log in with your Office 365 account.)

  3. 3.

    Access the URL and select “Sign In” (see Figure 6-9, upper right, above the search menu bar).

The Office 365 public web site only supports site collection administrators. There are no private member areas for user access. This may change in a future release, but the date is not known. If you are looking for a member-only web site, you have two options: (1) use the Office 365 team site (assign licenses or external users) or (2) look at hosting a web site in Microsoft Azure.

Using the Page Control

The Page control is used to modify and create new page content (Figure 6-10). Selecting the Page control will expand the different content editing functions. There are two types of edit controls: “Edit,” for the content of the page, and “Edit Properties,” for the site. The Edit control also allows you to have an internal page and a public page. You can “Save and Publish” and review page history options to revert to an earlier page.

Figure 6-10.
figure 10

Web site Page controls

To create new pages, select “New” and enter the page description (see Figure 6-11). As an example, we can create two new pages, “Product” and “Store.” These two pages are top-level pages; they will appear on the menus.

Figure 6-11.
figure 11

Adding pages to our web site

When you select create a page, Office 365 changes the menu to the Page Edit control to build out the web page with content. You can add content into the page as needed. In our example, we will add some basic text content and create our “Store” page, so our customers can purchase products from our company. Once you have added content, select “Save,” then “Save and Publish” (or “Unpublish,” for an existing page).


Office 365 Page editor allows you to Save (and not publish), Save and Publish, or Unpublish an existing page. The page history contains all of the differnt versions that were publised on the public website. When you unpublish, you are reverting to an earlier version.

Page Control: Edit Content

Once you have content, there are certain basic controls available to modify the page. These are your standard formatting tools (as you would expect in Microsoft Word), including a spell-checker. There are some additional controls; these are for editing the source and converting content to XHTML (Figure 6-12).

Figure 6-12.
figure 12

Adding page content to our newly created page

Insert Options

Once you have selected the edit content, you can now select the page and insert additional elements onto the page. The insert elements are the expected elements (see Figure 6-13), with the exception of three new controls. The standard controls that you will take advantage of in your design are

Figure 6-13.
figure 13

Insert options for page content

Table, Picture, Video and Audio, Map, Link, and Embed Code. Granted, some of these controls are expected, such as Map, but the interesting controls are the Reusable Content control (for typing data that is used on multiple pages), the Social plug-in, and the Embed Code control. The Embed Code control allows you to do interesting things, such as insert HTML code for a shopping cart (from PayPal) on our web site or add tracking metrics (to see who has visited our site and when).

The control we find the most interesting is the Social plug-in (see Figure 6-14). This control opens the SharePoint Store and allows you to insert different controls and apps into your Office 365 public web site. We’re not sure why SharePoint called this “Social”—it seems more akin to a developer toolkit—but whatever the reason, this control is a real gem.

Figure 6-14.
figure 14

Public web site plug-ins

Page Control: Edit Properties

Edit Properties is a very important feature in your public web site setup. This control offers two different options: editing properties of the pages on your web site and editing the search engine optimization (SEO) properties that are used by search engines to find your web site, so that you can engage more customers for your product or services.

The SEO interface allows you to rename a page, change the title, change the browser title, give detailed meta-and keyword descriptions, and control the search engine (whether it is allowed to scan or not scan). Typically, an SEO expert will modify the HTML and meta-data directly on your pages. What we have in this case is a tool that will format the SEO characteristics, so that you can use these later on in your Bing and Google ad campaigns to drive leads to your web site for conversion into opportunities and business transactions.

Page: Page History

The most useful control is the Page History. Once you have started to edit a page, select “Page History” to view your changes (see Figure 6-15). Page History allows you to look at different versions and compare the versions to what you have currently published. This feature is extremely useful for ensuring that you do not lose content and have a record of what you’ve published.

Figure 6-15.
figure 15

Page History

Using the Site Control

Earlier, we looked at the Page elements. The “Site” control raises us a level to look at the site in detail (Figure 6-16). The Site control allows you to set the global site characteristics, form, and feel.

Figure 6-16.
figure 16

Site control options

With the Site control, you set up the site’s look and feel, style sheets, logos, menus, structure, etc. This is how you give your web site personality. As an example, the basic template for all Office 365 web sites is a cloud theme. If you do not like clouds, this is where you change the site.

The preceding was a quick look at the editing tools that you can use to build your web site, but to take advantage of the tools, you must have a plan. To show you how make one, we have created an eight-step process to build your own web site. Our test web site will be about model trains, and we will use the different internal editor tools to build the web site. Our goal is to give you the necessary information, so that you can repeat the process for your own Office 365 public web site.

Build Your Public Web Site in Eight Steps

All web sites need a project focus. In our example, we will build a model train web site that offers model train software products (we are all big kids, so why not make this fun). Before we start building our web site, let’s look at why we want to build a web site. We need to put a basic plan in place that will guide our development of the pages for the web site.

We looked at different web site projects that we have been involved with over the years and designed a web site around these four questions. Granted, more complex web sites will have different issues, but for the sake of discussion, we are looking at a simple web site that supports most businesses. We will use these questions to describe our web site . Review the questions and answer them in terms of your own web site. Try to be as brief as possible. You want your web site to be focused. That way, you have a clear set of objectives and requirements.

  1. 1.

    What is the purpose of the web site?

    The purpose of is to sell model railroad products and services.

  2. 2.

    What problem does the web site solve for the client?

Visitors come to The Conductor (the name of ) web site to find information on using computers to control model trains and purchase KAMRR products or services to meet this need.

  1. 3.

    How do we convert a lead (visitor) into an opportunity?

There are three methods the web site uses to increase visitor conversions: (1) all material downloaded from the web site is branded with KAMRR contact information; (2) there are purchase options for KAMRR support services for KAMRR products; and (3) an integrated contact mechanism allowing a lead to request more direct information from KAMRR.

  1. 4.

    What is the perception that the customer has when he or she leaves our web site?

The visitor should leave with the understanding that KAMRR has the solution for computerized model trains and is capable of solving the customer’s problem with KAMRR products.

We want the site to be functional, act as a business card for our products, and support a payment system using PayPal. The default pages that are created by Office 365 are about us, directions, and blog. The assumption is that customers will look at the web site, download product information (perhaps a demo), then come back and purchase product. Let’s get started with our Office 365 public web site project.

Step 1: Collect the Content and Images for the Home and About Pages

There are two content items that we have to collect before we begin our web site construction. We need content for the home and about pages. Our home page should have sufficient information about the product or service that we are offering.

When you build your content, look back at the four questions that we asked, and then build your content for the home page (Figure 6-17) and the about page (about your company). In KAMRR’s case, we created a capabilities document (PowerPoint form) that describes our skills and accomplishments. The other items that we added to our home page are information about our products and community support (KAMRR has been producing model railroad products since the early 1990s).

Figure 6-17.
figure 17

Office 365 default web site

Step 2: Browse to the Default Site and Select - Sign In

When you see the default web site, the first question becomes how to edit the site. To edit the site, browse to the sign in (see menu item in Figure 6-17) and select sign in. If you have permission, you will be granted access to the site at the appropriate permission level. The admin user who created the site (as we discussed earlier) will have full content control and edit privileges. Log in to the site. If you do not have permission to log in, you will have to see your site collection administrator and have him or her add you as a site collection administrator (discussed earlier in “Adding a SharePoint Site Collection Administrator”) to edit the site.

Step 3: Select Home Page and Edit to Change to Edit Controls

After you log in, the next step is to select the page that you wish to change and to edit that page. To see all pages, select view pages (Figure 6-18). The default page (notice default.aspx in the URL) is the home page for your site. Notice that

Figure 6-18.
figure 18

View all pages

you can add pages easily (drag and drop them to “or drag files here.” Also, the various pages are HTML documents. You can use your favorite HTML editor to edit the pages, or you can use the Office 365 integrated editing tools. To download the page, select the three ellipses (. . .), then select the three ellipses (. . .) (again) on the share page. Select download to save a local copy. However, be careful about what you change. The format is in an XML as an active server page (aspx). Be careful; it is easy to break the page. It is best that you try to modify the page in the editor, then change the HTML afterward (and keep a copy of the page before you change it).

Step 4: Select Home Page, Then Configure Using the Site Controls

The site design mode is where we make the global look and feel changes for our site. We are going to use each of the controls (Figure 6-19) and change the look and feel from those of the default web site (cloud) to our new web site design.

Figure 6-19.
figure 19

Site controls to be used

In the design mode, there are three actions you have to complete.

  1. 1.

    Change the look. This is the web site theme and color.

  2. 2.

    Edit the title. Give the web site a name (in this case, “The Conductor”).

  3. 3.

    Change the logo. Add your business logo.

Select each of the controls in Figure 6-19, and then select what makes sense for your business. In our case, we selected a black theme with light colored buttons. We wanted a simple, but different, site. When you have completed the above three actions, the site will have a new look, and the title will reflect your business. Remember the four questions we asked earlier about your web site? You will want to refer to these as you continue to build your site and add content. At this stage, we have completed the necessary changes for a consistent look and feel for our new web site. After you complete the above three steps, the site home page will look similar to Figure 6-20 (but with your content).

Figure 6-20.
figure 20

KAMRR home page

Step 5: Select the Footer Control and Create Your Footer

The next step is to build your footer control and add the necessary legal information (see Figure 6-21). To add the footer, select the “Edit Site Elements” control and add your footer. Save your work and publish the changes.

Figure 6-21.
figure 21

Adding copyright statement to footer

Step 6: Select “Edit Properties” in Site Control to Add Your Keywords

This is where we add the SEO support for the site. We return to the home page and select “Page,” then “Edit Properties” (Figure 6-22). Edit SEO Properties allows you to enter the keywords and description for your web site. This will appear as meta-data in the description for the site. Search engines use this information to index the web site. The keywords that you enter should be descriptive and meaningful. To help the search engine locate information on your web site, the document or image that you upload should also be descriptive.


When you add images, assign a descriptive name. Search engines use this name, as well as your content, to place your web page in their search engineers. For example, do not use a generic name like “image_21.” Use a descriptive name like “kamrr Inc logo–Run with the prototypes.” You will have better search results.

Figure 6-22.
figure 22

Adding SEO properties

Step 7: Add Content

Once you have defined the content, just add additional pages. In our case, we added a PayPal payment feature (see the “Adding PayPal Online Shopping” section) to our web site. You may have other pages that you want to add. This is a mechanical process: simply fill out the pages with the content and add them to the site. Figure 6-23 shows the online store that we created.

Figure 6-23.
figure 23

Online store using PayPal

Step 8: Save the Web Site and Make It Public.

We hope that you have been saving your web site all along. At any point, when you save your web site, it is published (save and publish are your options). There is nothing that you have to do or create. It is a very simple process. Remember that until you make your web site “online,” it is not visible to the outside world. Office 365 permission controls restrict the site to those users who have the correct permissions (site collection administrators).

If you have not configured an external www domain and verified it, following is a summary of the steps you must follow. It is very simple process.

  1. 1.

    Add a vanity domain to your Office 365 domain’s admin console. (You will add to Office 365 to be verified.)

  2. 2.

    Verify the www domain in the Office 365 admin console.

  3. 3.

    Select “SharePoint” as the domain intent.

  4. 4.

    In the SharePoint admin center, convert the <company name> to the verified domain (using the menu item “Website Domains”).

  5. 5.

    Add the CNAME reference in your DNS servers (at GoDaddy, Network Solutions, etc.).

These steps are explained in detail later in the chapter.


The external web site only allows one domain name to be appointed. Additional domain names will result in a 404 error. Office 365 configuration is for one public-facing web site. Services such as GoDaddy allow a domain redirection, which will resolve correctly to the Office 365 public web site.

Adding PayPal Online Shopping

This is not an advertisement for PayPal. You should look at each payment-processing engine and determine which approach works best for your business. We are only looking at PayPal because it offers a preconfigured shopping cart that is easy to add to an Office 365 public web site. To use PayPal, log in with your PayPal account. Our PayPal account is a business account, so we have access to the PayPal merchant services. Once you have verified the account, log in to the PayPal web site and select “Merchant Services” (see Figure 6-24).

Figure 6-24.
figure 24

PayPal Merchant Services

There are different strategies for using the online store. Our store example is a simple one: we have three products to sell, and we will use a shopping cart. The best way to approach PayPal is to determine the customer purchase model that you want to use (see Figure 6-25) and allow PayPal to build the necessary HTML files for the code of the web site add-in.

Figure 6-25.
figure 25

PayPal Payment processing options

The next step in the shopping cart is to build your product purchase button. PayPal allows you to have six different product purchase button options, depending on your needs (Figure 6-25). You can mix and match different product purchase button types. We recommend that you use the supplied PayPal shopping cart and allow your customers to purchase items and place them in the cart. Keep your Office 365 public web site simple. This makes it easier to maintain and change.

Fill in the product name and price and enter an inventory code (a code you use to track the products that are ordered; this is a number that you create to help you fulfill your sale. Paypal views the inventory code as the Item ID.). Once you have entered this information, select the “Save Changes” button and allow PayPal to build your shopping cart HTML code (Figure 6-26).

Figure 6-26.
figure 26

PayPal–add online store Buy Now button for the shopping cart

Once you build the button, highlight the code and insert it into our HTML online store page.

Figure 6-27.
figure 27

Building PayPal shopping cart

Online stores can be complex or simple. The easiest way to look at an online store is as a collection of images, descriptions, and buttons. The PayPal approach is a simple store approach, not a good solution for a complex online store. When we complete the button for the cart, we add the button to view the cart. At the bottom of the screen (see Figure 6-28), select “View Cart,” to build the HTML code to view the cart.

Figure 6-28.
figure 28

PayPal View Cart option

If you are building a web site that that needs more features, the simple PayPal solution will not work for you. Your only alternative is a different hosting company, or use Microsoft Azure. Microsoft Azure allows you to build an environment that is composed of any computing resource needed. Azure is a service that you can add to Office 365.


Office 365 user accounts can be linked to the Azure Active Directory. Please see for more information about Azure services.

Earlier, we built a sample web site with some dummy pages for our PayPal online store integration. The hardest part of adding the PayPal integration is getting the correct buttons to be built on the PayPal site. Once you have the buttons built, all you have to do is add the code to the existing page.

Adding PayPal HTML Code to an Existing Page

Once our web site is created, the next step is to modify the content of a web page. You can make most of your changes using the Office 365 integrated editor. The PayPal code will be inserted into the store page. To add the new content to an existing web page, take the following the steps:

  1. 1.

    Log in to the public web site as a site collection administrator.

  2. 2.

    Select the page to be edited.

  3. 3.

    Edit the page.

  4. 4.

    Add content to the page.

  5. 5.

    Insert the PayPal HTML code.

  6. 6.

    Publish the page.

Step 1: Log In As a Site Collection Administrator

Modification of the Office 365 public web site (or team site) requires you to be a site collection administrator. If you are not a site collection administrator, you cannot log in to the Office 365 non-published public web site. To access the public web site, go to the SharePoint admin center and click the public web site link or enter the link into your browser (<company name> You will be prompted to log in with your site collection administrator credentials and, after login, will land on the landing page (Figure 6-29).

Figure 6-29.
figure 29

Public web site landing page

Step 2: Select the Page to Edit

Once you have logged on to the public web site, select the page to edit. To find the correct page, select “Page,” then view pages. Our PayPal store is located on the “Store” page. Select “Store” (see number 1, Figure 6-30), then select “Page” (see number 2, Figure 6-30).

Figure 6-30.
figure 30

Store landing page

Step 3: Edit the Page

There are two edit options on the page: site properties and page properties (or content area). We are interested in the content area. Select “Edit” (see Figure 6-31) to extend the content page with the additional fields required for the PayPal order icon and shopping cart.

Figure 6-31.
figure 31

Editing an existing page

Step 4: Add Content to the Page

Online stores are built around tables. Each row of the table is allocated to a product and ordering button. When you create your PayPal payment engine, you define a number of products that you want your customers to add to their shopping cart. You then add the products in each row. This works well for simple stores but not for more complex stores with lot of products.

To add a table (see Figure 6-32) to the page that we are editing is simple. Follow these steps:

  1. 1.

    Move your mouse to the content page.

  2. 2.

    Enter a heading for the table insert, such as “Product Offering.”

  3. 3.

    Select Insert ➤ Table and select the table size.

Figure 6-32.
figure 32

Inserting a table

Step 5: Insert the PayPal HTML Code

Earlier, we generated two code snippets from the PayPal site. These were “Add to Cart” and “View Cart.” In the table that we created in Step 4, select one of the cells (we used the right-most cell in row 2) and embed the PayPal code (see Figure 6-33). Follow the steps outlined below.

  1. 1.

    Select the second row, third column with your mouse.

  2. 2.

    Select “Embed Code.”

  3. 3.

    Insert the PayPal “Add to Cart” code.

  4. 4.

    Advance to the next row and insert additional PayPal “Add to Cart,” as required.

  5. 5.

    Insert “View Cart” in the last row.

Figure 6-33.
figure 33

Insert PayPal “Add to Cart” button into the page

Step 6: Publish the Page

Save and publish the page. Test the add to cart and view shopping cart (see Figure 6-34) and make changes in the PayPal code, as appropriate. You now have a payment engine with PayPal and no responsibility for the payment processing (PCI compliance for credit card information is PayPal responsibility.)

Figure 6-34.
figure 34

Online store page with “View Cart” button

Installation of SharePoint Designer

We spent most of this chapter on how to use Office 365 integrated editor. There is another tool that you can use for web site design. This is the SharePoint Designer 2013. SharePoint Designer is a download from the Office 365 site that is free with subscribers who have access to SharePoint team site. To use the tool on an Office 365 site, you must be a global administrator or have rights granted to you as a SharePoint site collection administrator. The different privileges are discussed in Chapter 5.

To download the SharePoint Designer tool, log in to the Office 365 site ( ) and select the “gear” icon (Tools menu) and Office 365 settings (Figure 6-35).

Figure 6-35.
figure 35

Selecting “Office 365 settings” from the Tools menu (“gear” icon)

After you select “Office 365 settings,” select “tools & add-ins,” then select SharePoint Designer and install the software on your systems (Figure 6-36).


If you have Office 2010 and SharePoint Workspace 2010, you will have to uninstall these tools before you install Office 2013 or SharePoint Designer 2013. If not, you will have conflicts with the 2013 tools, and they may not work properly.

Figure 6-36.
figure 36

Downloading SharePoint Designer 2013 for Office 365 SharePoint

Before you install SharePoint Designer 2013, uninstall Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010. The 2010 software will be in conflict with the 2013 software when you use these advanced features. SharePoint Designer is a streaming download, similar to Office 2013. Once the software has been installed, start up the SharePoint Designer account to match your Office 365 company account. In Chapter 5, we discussed the different permission settings to be used to modify a SharePoint site. To modify the Office 365 public web site, you must be a site collection administrator on the site you are going to modify. Once SharePoint Designer has downloaded, start up SharePoint Designer, then select the account screen and enter your Office 365 credentials (Figure 6-37).

Figure 6-37.
figure 37

Selecting account screen on SharePoint Designer startup

Fill in your account information. You want to make sure that the connected services match your Office 365 company (Figure 6-38) and that the account you are using has the site administrator permissions allowing you to actively change the SharePoint public web site. Once you add the account, you can then actively change the SharePoint public web site or team site on Office 365.

Figure 6-38.
figure 38

Setting the account information to match Connected Services

Public Web Site and Domain Name Configuration

Microsoft Office 365 allows one public web site to be created for your company. A default SharePoint team site and public web site are created with the default domain name that is used when you subscribe to the Office 365 service. For example, if your domain name is "" , the admin center is created as, and the default public web site will have the external public name: . The only real work to make the web site public is to add a www subdomain that will resolve to your public web site. Once you add the “www” subdomain, all that is left is to enable the public website in the Sharepoint admin center.

There is a seven-step process that you must follow in setting up the externally hosted web site on Office 365. The steps are simple.

  1. 1.

    Create the public web site. (Go to the SharePoint admin center.)

  2. 2.

    Validate the www domain, a subdomain of < > domain.

  3. 3.

    Change the domain to a SharePoint-only domain.

  4. 4.

    Change the web site internal name (to the public Internet domain name).

    1. a.

      Select the check box URL of the public web site.

    2. b.

      Select the web site domain (rename your web site button).

    3. c.

      Change the URL to the Internet domain name URL, then select OK.

  5. 5.

    Look up the DNS name for the web site.

    1. a.

      Select the check box URL on the vanity domain.

    2. b.

      Get the DNS name from the SharePoint admin center.

  6. 6.

    Change the hosted DNS and add the CNAME to the DNS registrar.

  7. 7.

    Make web site “online.”

The process is very straightforward and simple to do. The primary decision is a simple one. Do you make the web site public “before you are ready, or wait till the content is deployed?” If you want to delay publishing your web site, stop at step 3. This stops the vanity domain from being published, but the web site is still published with a default web domain in the format “domain”- . Step 7 is important, because you have to change the permissions for public access. Until you “Make Website Online,” it is only available to your Site Collection Administrator.

Step 1: Create the Public Web Site

You should have your public web site created and tested and ready to go live. The default public web site is <company name>- .

Step 2: Validate the www Domain (or the Subdomain)

Add the full domain name (www) and validate the domain for Office 365 (Figure 6-39). This will be a fast process. Once the domain is verified, step 2, skip setting any users.

Figure 6-39.
figure 39

Add the www domain to be validated

Step 3: Change the Domain to SharePoint Intent

The next step in the domain validation is setting the domain intent. The domain (www) is being used Sharepoint online (the public website). Figure 6-40 shows setting the domain intent as SharePoint.

Figure 6-40.
figure 40

Setting domain intent as SharePoint

Step 4: Change the Web Site Internal Name

At this step, select the web site domain, to assign the Internet domain to the Office 365 public web site. From the SharePoint admin center, select “Website Domains” (see Figure 6-41).

Figure 6-41.
figure 41

Assign the web site domain to the internal site

After you select “Website Domains,” select the new URL that will replace the current public web site domain name (see Figure 6-42).

Figure 6-42.
figure 42

Selecting the public Internet address for the web site

Step 5: Look Up the DNS Name for the Web Site

At this point, the web site has been assigned, all that is needed is to look up the DNS records and have the CNAME assigned at GoDaddy or Network Solutions. In Figure 6-42 (preceding), we see the public web site as . If you select “DNS Information” (Figure 6-43), this will give you the DNS information for the main SharePoint web site, . The Office 365 DNS manager will redirect the web traffic to the correct location. After you select the menu item, retrieve the DNS information (Figure 6-44). This is the information you require to add a CNAME in your domain registrar.

Figure 6-43.
figure 43

Retrieve the DNS name from the SharePoint admin center

Figure 6-44.
figure 44

DNS information for web site registration

Step 6: Update the DNS Information

You will have to update the DNS information in your local DNS servers and at the domain registrar. This change allows external Internet users to find your web site. Figure 6-45 is an example of the CNAME changes at Network Solutions.

Figure 6-45.
figure 45

Adding CNAME to SharePoint web site

Step 7: Make the Web Site Online

Once you have set the public DNS records, you will have to log the public web site, and “Make Website Online.” This final step reconfigures the public web site with the correct permissions for access by users from the Internet (see Figure 6-46).

Figure 6-46.
figure 46

Converting the offline web site to an online web site

During the conversion process, you will be notified that the draft pages will be offline until you publish them (see Figure 6-47). This is followed by a verification message, to make sure that you intend to make the web site online (Figure 6-48).

Figure 6-47.
figure 47

Verification that the draft pages are not being published

Figure 6-48.
figure 48

Final step before web site is published to the Internet

Once you have selected “Make online,” the draft pages that you access as a site collection administrator will have a prompt to publish the web page (see Figure 6-49).

Figure 6-49.
figure 49

Home page with message to site collection administrator to publish


The public web site will repond to either the internal name, , or . The domain intent determines how the Office 365 DNS will respond to an external web request.

Last Thoughts–Office 365 Public Web Sites

We covered a lot of material in this chapter. You should now know how to create a web site with the Enterprise version of Office 365. If you have purchased the Professional or Midsize versions, you will have noticed that a lot of the options we described in this chapter are already configured for you or not present.

That is the main difference between the Professional version and the Enterprise version. The Enterprise version scales across thousands of users, whereas the Professional version can support a maximum of 50. The other difference between the Professional version and the Enterprise version is the level of support. The Professional version uses support groups. The Enterprise version uses online services or direct phone support to give you access to the resources you need to handle support problems. We typically recommend that you find yourself a Microsoft Partner. You need to add the partner to your subscription (see Figure 6-50).

Once that partner is added, you can work with your Microsoft Partner as well as Microsoft online service support personnel to address support issues. When you use the Enterprise version, Microsoft and your partner will team up to find a solution to a problem. In the case of the Professional packages, the service support is only through MS online forums and partners. Any direct support from online services will be paid support.

Figure 6-50.
figure 50

Selecting a Microsoft Partner as a license adviser

If you do not have a partner, contact one and ask for his or her partner ID. Select the subscription (Figure 6-51), then edit the partner information. For example, if you selected KAMIND, you would enter the partner ID 598821. Our recommendation is that you contact different Microsoft Partners and interview them to find out what they will offer you as license advisers. Microsoft compensates licenses advisers with adviser fees, to assist you in the management of your Office 365 site. The overall objective of the licenses adviser program is to link you to a Microsoft Partner, so your experience in using Office 365 is a good one, with minimal issues.

Figure 6-51.
figure 51

Adding KAMIND (partner ID 598821) as a licnese adviser

Reference Links

There is a lot of information about Office 365 on the Web. The point is to find the right site. The information contained in this chapter is a combination of our experiences executing deployments and the support information that has been published by third parties.

Getting Started with the Public Web Site

Customizing Your Public Web Site

Office 365 Two Public Web Sites (Wave 14 and Wave 15)

Tagging Documents and Pages in the Cloud

Office 365 SharePoint Online Developers Guide

Next Steps

Your basic Office 365 systems have been set up and configured. At this point, you are 100% functional and ready to move to the next steps. However, your work is not yet complete. There is much more to do, depending on your Office 365 configuration. The key chapters that you have to review for your Office 365 deployment and management are the following:

  • Chapter 5: SharePoint Administration

    • SharePoint administration and design can be simple or complex, depending on your business needs. This chapter provides you with a basic overview of the configuration necessary to be up and running, using the Office 365 team site. This chapter describes site design and construction issues, as well as the full SharePoint administration functions for Office 365.

  • Chapter 9: Compliance and Data Loss Prevention

    • Businesses must adapt their mail document storage systems to correctly process electronic communication, based on regulatory oversight. Compliance and data loss prevention (DLP) provides this capability, to allow businesses to manage their communications and protect them from simple mistakes in their electronic communications. Office 365 includes integrated discovery that supports legal discovery and audit requirements.

  • Chapter 10: Exchange Online Protection Administration

    • Office 365 is composed of a set of services. The Exchange Online Protection (EOP) service is the front end of Office 365 that handles all of the external e-mail front-end processing and filtering. If you have smart devices that e-mail to Office 365, you will use EOP to manage the interaction.

  • Chapter 11: DirSync, AD FS, Single Sign-On, and Exchange Federation

    • Active Directory Federation Services and Single Sign-On is the integration of the Office 365 Active Directory with on-premises Active Directory. This allows one sign-on (controlled by on-premises servers) to give access to both cloud and on-premises resources. Password Sync can be a simpler implementation that meets many requirements. Federation allows on-premises and cloud Exchange servers to work together.

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Katzer, M., Crawford, D. (2013). Web Site Setup and Configuration. In: Office 365. Apress, Berkeley, CA.

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