Office 365, Publishing Portal and Enterprise Wiki

Office 365, Publishing Portal and Enterprise Wiki header image

When you setup a new Office 365 environment you will get a default team site. This team site will be auto provisioned, and might not be what you want. In a recent case we required the Publishing features, so we decided to delete the default Site Collection and create a new one based on the Publishing Portal template. However creating a new site collection (selecting the Publishing Portal template) resulted in a new site collection with the Enterprise Wiki template. After contacting support about this we received a good explanation on what was happening and some help working around this.

As it turned out creating a new site collection based on the publishing portal will fail leaving your site a broken state. This is the result of the fact that the publishing portal template provisions a /search site collection, which conflicts with reserved path in SPO with the same name (/search). To prevent users ending up with a broken site within Office 365, if you choose to use a Publishing Portal template a Enterprise Wiki template is used instead. I can only guess for the reasons to do it that way instead of just disabling the template that but both templates look alike, and both have have publishing enabled. So in some cases it might be sufficient to just use the Enterprise Wiki as there are a only few options that differ. In our scenario we wanted simple publishing turned on (something that isn’t in the Enterprise Wiki), so we really wanted the Publishing Portal to be turned on instead of going with the Enterprise Wiki, luckily there is a work around:

So if you ever require a Publishing Portal you can use the following:

  1. Just create a new root site collection with No template (Custom tab -> I'll choose later). This will create a blank site collection
  2. After the site collection will be created, navigate to the URL. It will then ask you what template to use
  3. Select the Publishing Site Template and the top level site will then use the Publishing Site Template.

With this work around you will end up with a Publishing Site as template and all will be well.

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