SharePoint Content and Site Editing Tips

A few content management and site editing tips for power users on this bacon flavoured unicorn morning. The theme here is keep it clean!

  • Write "friendly" email addresses
    • Remember it's human beings reading your content. So seeing something like "If you have questions please send an email to Corporate.Comm@mycompany.com" breaks up the readiblity. Instead just do the simple steps of writing the content in plain English and going back, highlighting the name and insert a link (note: you might have to prefix the link with mailto:first.last@yourcompany.com). It makes for a friendlier looking page and hides the ugliness that are sometimes in email addresses.
  • Use friendly column and list names
    • This is a big pet peeve of mine. When you first create a column or list with spaces the internal name is changed. The display name might be "My Amazing List of Animals with Large Testicles" but the internal (and link) name becomes "Myx00x20Amazingx00x20Listx00x20ofx00x20Animalsx00x20withx00x20Largex00x20Testicles". What's worse is if you create a publishing page named "This Website is Fueled By a Dolphin's Spleen". Not only is it incorrect grammar, but the apostrophe wreaks havoc on both the internal name for the list (with lots of crazy hex codes) as well as the hyperlink (where everything is uuencoded). Instead create the list with a distinct and compact name then go back and change it to whatever you want. The end result is a better formed name that you can both script and access in code easier.
  • Keep your Views Clean
    • When you add a column to a list or create a new list the default is to add it to the default view. Do everyone a favour and don't check this box! The default view of a list should be something similar to the Title field and nothing else. Keep it clean. If you want to set a defalt view that's different, go back and create one with all the fields and filtering and sorting columns you want and set it as default. It's a good idea to keep the original AllItems.aspx (note the lack of space in the filename!) easy and unfiltered. It's also a good idea to keep your column count down in views. Don't let every column be added by default and don't add every column just because you can. Create separate views for distinct responsibilities and try to keep the number of columns down to a single screen to prevent horizontal scrolling.
  • Simple Navigation
    • The Quick Launch is a great tool for navigating around your site but don't use the default of adding all lists to it. Uncheck that box and keep navigation simple. Create custom groupings that make sense so if you don't have a site with "Documents and Lists" but "Reports and Notices" makes more sense then do it. Also hide internal lists from the Quick Launch. For example, if most users don't need to see all the lookup tables you might have on a site don't show them. You can use audience filtering on the Quick Launch if you want to hide admin items from non-admin users so consider that as an option.

Enjoy!

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