Managing Site Settings in Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010

  • 10/7/2011

Site Settings (Top-Level Site)

Clicking the Go To Top Level Site Settings automatically takes you to the top-level site of the Site Collection you are in. It is important to note that you might have several Site Collections in the farm, so yours might not be the first in the web address. A good example of this would be a Portal Site Collection with departmental Site Collections beneath it, such as the following:


There could be one set of Site Collection administrators for http://portal and another for http://portal/department, provided that each of these addresses is created specifically as a Site Collection.

Assuming that you have been assigned Site Collection administrator permissions, there will be six sections on the site settings administrative page of a SharePoint Foundation 2010 top-level site (Figure 13-13); these will appear familiar to site owners:

  • Users And Permissions

  • Galleries

  • Site Administration

  • Look And Feel

  • Site Actions

  • Site Collection Administration

Figure 13-13

Figure 13-13 The Site Settings menu for the top-level site.

It looks the same, doesn’t it? In fact, the site settings menu for the top-level site is nothing more than a superset of the items present in a normal site settings menu. This is the only site in the Site Collection that has these extra menu items.

We will cover the settings menus again, but this time, only focusing on the specialized items.

The Users And Permissions Menu

There is only one new item in the Users And Permissions menu: Site Collection Administrators (see Figure 13-14). You use this menu to select people who will ultimately have the ability to control each and every site in this Site Collection.

Figure 13-14

Figure 13-14 The Users And Permissions menu (top-level site).


There are four new items in Galleries (Figure 13-15):

  • Web Parts

  • List Templates

  • Themes

  • Solutions

Figure 13-15

Figure 13-15 The Galleries (top-level site).

Web Parts

This menu item lists all of the Web Parts available to sites within this Site Collection. You can add Web Parts to this library to make them available to users in the Site Collection.

List Templates

Earlier, we discussed the notion of making an entire site into a template. Perhaps this is overkill for your needs. A list in any site (in this Site Collection) can be saved as a template. When the list is “templatized,” it is automatically uploaded into the List Template gallery for use within this Site Collection.

It is also possible to download a List Template and then upload that to a different Site Collection, should you prefer.


You can apply a Theme to any SharePoint site. A theme is a set of colors and other styling elements that are used to lightly brand a site. Themes can be created and uploaded to this library for use by sites in this Site Collection.


Earlier in this chapter, we discussed the concept of features. A Solution takes this concept one step further by wrapping one or more features into a larger package (called a Solution) which can be used in a Site Collection. Once the Solution has been deployed and activated within the Site Collection, it can be used by any site.

The Solutions menu specifically shows Solutions that are applied to the Site Collection. A site or a workflow can be saved as a template; these templates are stored as a Solution in this menu.

Other Solution packages can be obtained, uploaded, and activated to add functionality to your Site Collection; these Solutions consume resources on your SharePoint farm. To indicate how many resources are consumed and what your available resource quota is, the Solutions menu also shows a resource quota bar. When you reach the available resource quota limit (it resets daily), the Solution ceases to function for the rest of the day—or, the SharePoint farm administrator raises your quota.

Site Administration

There is only one change in the Site Administration menu, and that is Workflows. While the Workflow Settings menu is available in any site within the Site Collection, workflows themselves are controlled and stored in the top-level site of the Site Collection, as shown in Figure 13-16.

Figure 13-16

Figure 13-16 The Site Administration menus for a top-level site.

From this menu, you can see what workflows are in use as well as their status and associations. Although you can see the associations and progress of all workflows in the Site Collection, this page does not show you which workflows are associated with what sites or lists and does not show you the specific status of those workflows.

The Look And Feel Menu

No additional functionality was introduced to the Look And Feel menu in a top-level site (Figure 13-17).

Figure 13-17

Figure 13-17 The Look And Feel menu for a top-level site.

Site Actions

Site Collection Web Analytics Reports are added to the Site Settings menu of a top-level site (see Figure 13-18). Unlike the standard site web analytics reports, the Site Collection reports are specifically used to report high-level usage in your Site Collection. The information captured in this report is as follows:

  • Storage The Current Storage in megabytes, how much is used by Web Discussions, and the maximum storage allocated to your Site Collection Quota.

  • Users The number of users that have been added to the Site Collection.

  • Activity The total number of hits and bandwidth use on a per-day basis for the Site Collection.

Figure 13-18

Figure 13-18 The Site Actions menu for a top-level site.

The Site Collection Administration Menu

All of the items in Site Collection Administration affect the Site Collection as a whole (see Figure 13-19). These settings include the following items:

  • Recycle Bin

  • Site Collection Features

  • Site Hierarchy

  • Portal Site Connection

  • SharePoint Designer Settings

  • Visual Upgrade

  • Help Settings

Figure 13-19

Figure 13-19 The Site Collection Administration menu.

Recycle Bin

Users often delete list and library items from a Site; in an effort to clean up a site, a site owner might choose to empty a Site Recycle Bin before a user realizes that he did not mean to delete an item. Fortunately, there is a Site Collection Recycle Bin also provided. This bin contains items that are deleted from a site and retains items (by default) up to 30 days after they were originally deleted. This value for the length of time a site is retained is configurable in Central Administration.

Items can be restored from this Recycle Bin directly to the affected site. Additionally, you can choose to see End User Recycle Bin items or items that were deleted from an end user (Site) Recycle Bin.

Items can also be deleted from this Recycle Bin—the Site Collection Recycle Bin is the last stop before an item is gone for good. Items deleted from here will require the help of a SharePoint farm or system administrator’s to restore.

The Site Collection Features Menu

Features can be scoped (applied) to a Site Collection, just as they can to sites. Scoping a Feature to a site simply means that the Feature is only available for that site. Similarly, scoping a Feature to a Site Collection means that the Feature is available for all of the sites in a Site Collection (whether top-level or Subsites).

From this menu, you can activate or deactivate a Feature within the Site Collection.

The Site Hierarchy Menu

This menu has two functions: the first shows you the parent-child relationship structure between sites in the Site Collection, and the second provides you with links to directly manage the sites in the Site Collection.

Portal Site Connection

Site collections are truly independent structures within a SharePoint farm. Relationships between sites can be implied by the URL (web address) of a site. Once you are in the Site Collection, you might want to manually build a connection back to a portal (perhaps the first site in the URL).

To create a connection back to a portal site, you can select Connect To Portal Site and enter the Portal Web Address and Portal Name (which is the friendly name that will show up on the upper-left of your Site Collection.

SharePoint Designer Settings

These settings specifically deal with how SharePoint Designer can affect sites in your Site Collection. Allowing your site owners or designers to have access to SharePoint Designer can be very beneficial; however, great care should be taken to avoid allowing this functionality to be available to inexperienced or untrained personnel.

Site collection administrators can use SharePoint Designer unless prohibited by the SharePoint farm administrators. There are four selections available in this menu, none of which apply to Site Collection administrators:

  • Allow Site Owners And Designers To Use SharePoint Designer In This Site Collection

  • Allow Site Owners And Designers To Detach Pages From The Site Definition

  • Allow Site Owners And Designers To Customize Master Pages And Page Layouts

  • Allow Site Owners And Designers To See The Hidden URL Structure Of Their Web Site

Enabling/Disabling SharePoint Designer

SharePoint Designer is enabled by default. This means that site owners and designers can use SharePoint Designer 2010 to customize any site in this Site Collection. Clearing the Allow Site Owners And Designers To Use SharePoint Designer In This Site Collection check box prevents these two groups of users from making modifications by using this tool.

Detaching Pages from the Site Definition

SharePoint pages can exist in one of two states; either they are attached to the site definition (meaning that they are stored on the local file system of the web servers) or they are detached from the site definition (meaning that they are stored in the content database).

Pages stored in the content database have a mildly negative impact on performance; moreover, they also do not inherit modifications made to the site definition.

Some organizations choose to prohibit pages from being detached from the site definition, instead opting to produce new page layouts for users to choose from.

Customizing Master Pages and Page Layouts

A master page is used to make visual and functional changes that can apply to multiple pages in a site. A page layout is used to provide the template for pages created in a site. If either of these items is incorrectly configured, the site will not render correctly.

Hidden URL Structures

SharePoint Designer can display the underlying URL structure of a SharePoint site. Items in this structure are shown in a series of folders, such as _cts, _catalogs, _private, and so on. Altering items in these structures can be a key component of customization; however, incorrectly altering items in these structures can render an entire site or Site Collection unusable. You can use this menu selection to hide/show these structures to site owners and designers running SharePoint Designer 2010.

Visual Upgrade

If your company upgraded your SharePoint to 2010 from SharePoint 2007, it’s likely that you did not initially notice any changes on your site. The SharePoint site structure literally looks unchanged from its 2007 counterpart; this is intentional, and intended to provide continuity of service and functionality to users, without the need to immediately retrain them.

Choosing to visually upgrade SharePoint is pretty much a one-way street; although it is possible to revert a SharePoint site back to its 2007 look and feel, it is not possible to do so unless you involve a SharePoint farm administrator. As Site Collection administrator, therefore, you might choose to hold off on allowing a visual upgrade until your user base has been trained to use the new interface.

If you want to hide the Visual Upgrade options, you can choose to do so by going into this section and selecting the Hide Visual Upgrade option. If on the other hand, you have already prepared your users for the change in appearance, you can click the Update All Sites button, and the interface will change to adopt the SharePoint 2010 look and feel.

Help Settings

Help subjects available for SharePoint can be available or not available for users in your SharePoint environment. Going into this menu item and selecting the check box for a SharePoint subject allows help information to be made available to your users. In a SharePoint Foundation 2010 environment, the subjects available are:

  • SharePoint Foundation 2010

  • SharePoint Foundation 2010 Central Administration