Get started with the Public Website

Note: The SharePoint Online Public Website information in this article applies only if your organization purchased Office 365 prior to March 9, 2015. Customers who currently use this feature will continue to have access to the feature for a minimum of two years after the changeover date of March 9, 2015. New customers who subscribed to Office 365 after the changeover date don't have access to this feature. Moving forward, Office 365 customers have access to industry-leading third-party offerings that enable them to have a public website that provides a complete online solution and presence. For more information about this change, see Information about changes to the SharePoint Online Public Website feature in Office 365.

If you have Office 365 for business, your subscription may automatically include a public website that’s ready for you to customize. Tell people who you are, show them what you offer, and let them know how they can contact you. Change the site to reflect your brand, including images, colors, and logos. You can customize the website yourself, or invite others to help you.

Watch this video for a quick demo:

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Note:  SkyDrive is now OneDrive, and SkyDrive Pro is now OneDrive for Business. Read more about this change at From SkyDrive to OneDrive

Getting started with the public website is easy. From the Office 365 banner, choose Sites to open your sites page.

Menu bar with Sites link highlighted

Important: If you've just signed up, and your team site and public website have not been provisioned yet, you might be redirected to OneDrive instead of your site page.

Right away, Office 365 invites you to start designing your website. Just select Public Site.

Office 365 sites page, showing the tiles for Team Site and Public Website

In just a few minutes, you can open the sample page on your new website, and start working.

Default page layout for Office 365 public website

At the top of the page, you can see three tabs: Browse, Page, and Site. Browse lets you look at what’s there already. To start customizing the page you see, choose Page. If you want to know more about customizing pages, see Customize pages on your website.

To start working with elements that carry through all the pages on the site, choose Site. Continue to the next section to learn more.

Change the look and feel

The look and feel of your website provides the first impression. It conveys your brand and gives your business a professional look – the image you want for your business. You can change the site title, logo, background, theme, and more.

To change the look and feel, choose the Site tab. You’ll see several options right away on the ribbon.

Ribbon on public website Site tab, showing buttons for Change the Look, Edit Title, and Change Logo

Edit the title and add your logo

  • To change the title, click Edit Title, add your own title (and a description if you want to), and click OK.

  • To add a logo, click Change Logo then browse to an image that’s ready to use for the logo. The image file can be on your computer or on a shared site.

Tip:  Be sure to add a description – Office 365 uses this description to create Alt Text (alternative text), which helps make your site accessible for people who are blind or have low vision.

Change the look

Changing the look makes a noticeable impact right away. The look includes the layout, color scheme, fonts, and the background (a picture or art that appears behind the page content.)

  • Just click Change the Look and choose one of the template designs that appear. A template pre-packages design elements for you, such as page layout, fonts, and color combinations.

Office 365 template selection page, showing optional templates for public site layout and theme

Once you select a template, you can experiment with backgrounds, color schemes, layout, and so on.

Tip:  To make sure your web site is accessible for color and contrast, choose the Office theme. People who are colorblind can see all the elements in the Office theme, and the contrast is strong enough for those with low vision.

To see what each combination looks like on your site, click Try it out. Each time, you’ll have the option to keep the choices (choose Yes, keep it) or go back to choose different options (choose No, not quite there).

To find information about how to customize site elements, see one or more of these articles:

Change the look of your website

Change your website title and description

Add a custom logo to your website

Customize the navigation on your website

Customize the header or footer of your public website

Do more customization

There are many other things you can do – change the site navigation, add pages, add images or video, etc.

To learn more about these options and to get instructions and videos that show you how, see Learn about partner website hosting and public websites in Office 365.

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