SharePoint 2010 Quick Hints – Where Are All The Templates?

So one of the things that you may notice when you create a new site collection in SharePoint Server 2010 based upon the Publishing Portal is that your initial options for creating new content areas such as lists and sites are limited.

For example, when you attempt to create a new site, you may only see the following as options:

In addition, you may want to create a simple collaboration list such as a contacts list, but when you go to the list creation options, you only see the following:

However have no fears! You can still create items based on the missing templates, you just have to enable the options for these other templates first. So here are the steps you need to follow:

Configuring Which Site Templates Are Available For Use as a Subsite

  1. Select Site Settings from the Site Actions menu.
  2. From the Look and Feel section of links, select the Site Templates and Page Layouts option.



  3. From this location you can either select to all subsites to use any template or you can specifically select your desired templates to allow from this list.


So you might be thinking, “Why didn’t they just allow all site templates to be used from the start? It’s so lame that I have to complete this step”.

Well the truth is that this is just a single step in configuring the Publishing Portal (or any site collection) for use and it’s a valid consideration when planning your SharePoint site collections to determine which subsites you are going to allow from specific areas. As an example, in a Projects area, you may only want users to create sites that are based upon the templates you have defined for managing projects. Therefore you would restrict the Projects landing area to only allow those templates as subsites. Similarly if you have a Departmental sites area and you have defined a standard template for Departmental sites, you would apply this setting there so that people couldn’t just choose any site for that area.

Configuring the Publishing Portal to Allow All Common Collaborative List Templates

  1. Select Site Settings from the Site Actions menu.
  2. From the Site Administration section of links, select the Site Features option.
  3. Scroll to the Team Collaboration Lists feature and click Activate.


Now when you return to the list creation screen, you will see all the common collaborative list types including the missing Contacts list.

Again you may be asking why this wasn’t enabled by default like it was in 2007. Well the truth here again comes down to initially limiting choices to those most commonly required for a specific site type or usage scenario. Because the Publishing Portal is a template designed for usage around a communications type site using the publishing capabilities of SharePoint, collaborative features are not turned on by default. However as you can see, they can be added if required by following the above described steps. That said, I do advise to use careful planning when turning on features to ensure you are activating features in the places where you actually need them. To quote a great mind in the SharePoint world, just because you can doesn’t always mean you should. In a lot of cases, you don’t really need or want to be adding collaborative content to the top level of your communications site collection.

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