Monday, May 30, 2011

Customizing the Office 365 Public Facing Website

For Customizing the public-facing Website that is available with SharePoint Online for Microsoft Office 365 you should go for following options:
Option 1: Out-of-Box Editing
Option 2: Apply Minimal Master Page and customize it using SharePoint Designer
When you try to customize the website master page through SharePoint Designer 2010 it will gives you different errors. So to avoid these errors firstly copy Minimal Master Page (Create duplicate file) which is located to /_catalogs/masterpage/minimal.master, then customize it in SharePoint Designer 2010. Apply this customized Master Page to all pages.

This is my 50th Post On SharePoint Development and may be this will be helpful as pervious 49….


  1. when you say apply master to all pages you mean for example opening aboutus.aspx and entering MasterPageFile="../_catalogs/masterpage/minimal.master" ?
    I wan't to understand your post but you seem to mix the internal master pages (V4, minimal) with the frontend contents (root.master).

    Are you saying you can apply a default master to the frontend public site that uses root.master? If so, how?


  2. I don't mean that default master page uses root.master and it won't be. You can apply internal master pages to public facing site pages. I have taken Minimal Master page in consideration because it takes less time to customize then other internal master pages.

    Have got any error while to customizing public facing website in Designer?

  3. if I copy minimal master and apply it to aboutus.aspx, I get
    An unexpected error has occurred.

    in SPD

  4. Keep minimal.master page in _catelogs/masterpage and apply it. it won't give any error!

  5. Ok this is what I did:

    - Open up SPO 365 online public facing site in about us page
    - Open up SharePoint Designer 2010
    - Edit Pages\aboutus.aspx in Advanced Mode
    - Change to: MasterPageFile="../_catalogs/masterpage/minimal.master"
    - Refresh the online page and get the same error

    What am I missing?


  6. Do not edit "Page" tag manually. For apply master page, do the following steps...

    1. Open Page in Edit Advance mode in SPD 2010.
    2. Go to Style Tab.
    3. Click on Attach Button (Left most Side).
    4. Select minimal.master page.
    5. Save Page

  7. Yes, it worked.

    It seems we need to change the ID of the place holder to PlaceHolderMain to get it to work. That's what SPD does when we change the master page using that option. I guess it should ask for that when you manually edit the url too. Its a good thing the placeholders can be mapped so we can use the internal masters.


  8. Hi Amit,

    How can i make the content part editable by users.... without the Member Login link that was available in root.master

    when i link to the /Pages/Forms/allitems.aspx i get the following error...

    An unexpected error has occurred.

    Troubleshoot issues with Microsoft SharePoint Foundation.

    Correlation ID: fb14ef54-7808-46f7-9897-4fbff44df4d0

    Date and Time: 7/15/2011 11:02:35 PM

    Go back to site

    Kindly help....
    Thanks in advance

  9. Hi Thendral,

    Office 365 does not provide anonymous user to contribute contents, it only allow anonymous user to read contents which was not possible in BPOS.

  10. This was very useful thank you.

  11. For the public-facing Website, again, do you want to learn more about basic customization, like uploading and adding images, changing the text, or changing the theme? Or do you want to know more about advanced site customization, like integrating your site about gadgets web store with external sites or customizing the site with CSS?