How to tell if you are using a Team site or Publishing site template

The most commonly used templates by business users is Team Sites and Publishing Sites. (There are plenty more you can use, but let’s start with the basics).

If you are new to SharePoint, you won’t necessarily know what type of site you have. There are 4 ways to tell : the default page, the menu options, edit mode of that page, and the groups. (If you are using a Publishing template With Workflow, you will also be able to see differences in the Create screen).

There are pros and cons for using each template, and very different circumstances in which you would leverage them. What you need to know for now, is that you can’t migrate team sites into publishing sites and vice versa. Remember that when trying to decide what template to use if you are working on a test environment and need to migrate the site to a production environment at some stage. You need to migrate to the same template.

The Default Page:

Note the differences on the Quick Launch (left hand menu), and the web parts that are displayed.

When the publishing site it populated, it starts to look like a team site, so you will need to look for other features.

Menu Options:

Click on Site Actions. These are the default menu options for Team Sites.

And menu options for Publishing Sites. (You will also see this menu on a Team Site if you have Publishing Features activated on that site, so be careful not to confuse the two).

Edit Mode:

Click on Site Actions and Edit Page, note the extra editing features in the publishing template.


Then there are the groups. On a standard team site with unique permissions, you will see:

Publishing sites and standard team site with inherited permissions from a site that has Publishing Features activated look like this, note the new groups. If you are using a team site template with Publishing Features activated, it’s a good idea to clean up the People and Groups to only display the Members, Owners and Visitors so as not to confuse your users.

Create Options:

When you click on View All Site Content and Create, you will have the same options available for Team sites and Publishing sites.

But when using a Publishing template with Workflow, you will only have the following options available. Take this into consideration when deciding on a template type.

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