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Missing Office 365 Public Facing Website Modules

  • I'm evaluating Office 365 Beta from the perspective of porting and monitoring a Office Live Small Business 'OLSB' website.  I was surprised to see that the free OLSB service has more functionality than does the Office 365 Beta when it comes to the public facing website.

    Event Calendar - missing, we use this to inform public about company participation at industry events.
    Form Designer - missing, this is a showstopper for us as we collect referrals via our public facing website and track them in a SharePoint list.
    List Publisher - missing, we display job opportunities as entered directly into the SharePoint list.
    Custom Navigation - missing, we use this to customize our site beyond the standard templates using this module.
    Custom Header - missing, i know many OLSB customers who have customized their site beyond the standard templates using this module.
    Custom Footer - missing, i know many OLSB customers who have customized their site beyond the standard templates using this module.
    Subscribe to newsletter - missing, at minimum I would like to see this feature tie into a user designated SharePoint list or Outlook Address book.
    Contact Us - while the look is the same as to what you will find on OLSB, it does not have the ability to populate a SharePoint List like OLSB does with Contact Manager.

    Map & Directions - location dropdown not populated.

    Live Spaces Blog - unnecessary since Windows Live has dropped blogging.

    2 out of 2 people found this post helpful.

  • John,

    Unfortunately, when comparing Office 365 and Office Live Small Business, there are differences in the features offered by each product. With Sharepoint Online, Office 365 offers public facing site collections. Compared to OLSB which provides hosting for an actual website designed to generate and accept external traffic to increase business. Sharepoint Online provides the option of a public facing site collection so that external contacts can access specific documents and information for the purpose of sharing and collaborating. Public facing site collections are not designed to replace your current business website.

    In addition, currently some functionality is disabled due to the project being in Beta. From another of your posts I see that you have had some issues with granting access to external contacts or anonymous users. At this time, anonymous access to the public facing Sharepoint site collection is not enabled and external contact invites are not functional. And as you've noted in another post, external contacts still have to sign in through a Windows Live prompt to access the site collection. A greater limitation of a public facing site collection versus the OLSB website is the inability to use custom web parts to modify the functionality of the site collection.

    I hope this addresses some of your concerns about using Office365 as a replacement for your OLSB website.

  • Thanks.  I was under the impression that Office 365 for Small Business would let Office Live Small Business customers keep the company website they customized on OLSB using built-in web parts.  From what I can tell in speaking with folks in the Office Live forums, the Custom Navigation module is commonly used.  Without that and other missing web parts on Office 365 for Small Business, I doubt many OLSB sites will be able to be migrated.  But even so, it sounds like establishing and maintaining a company web presence is not facilitated by the Office 365 for Small Business offering.  That needs to be made very clear to Office Live Small Business customers very give them time to move their web hosting elsewhere.

  • Hi All,

    I wanted to make a quick correction to Bruce's post.  While this information is accurate for Office 365 for enterprises, it’s not correct for Office 365 for small businesses.  Office 365 for small businesses is designed to host a public website designed to generate and accept external traffic in the same way that OLSB is.  As JohnCz has pointed out, currently there are a few differences between the site design tools in Office Live Small Business and Office 365.  We do expect to these tools over time and are committed to providing an easy to use set of tools to help Office 365 for small businesses customers create professional-looking public websites.


    Annie Akin

    Product Manager, Office Live Small Business and Office 365 for Small Businesses

  • Hello,

    I have both Enterprise and a P1 edition. Neither have a Custom Footer Module or equal replacement. Website Analytics are important because:

    1. Provides data for effective marketing strategies.

    2. Investors and potential investors will see the demographics of the usage.

    3. Pie charts and graphs printed and offered at network presentations

    4. Data and statistics are used to apply for Government Grant funding.

    In other words a website is useless if data cannot be obtained from it.

    Current MS users are unable to demonstrate the value of O 365 to potential customers without clear data for support.

    Personally, I am already losing customers because I must say that there is no data or information to provide showing their "ROI".

  • Hi Annie,

    I just don't have the computer or website background that many of the contributors here seem to have. I really liked OLSB and wanted to go to 365 because of that. I have my website rebuilt (20 hours) and now I can't seem to get it online with 365.

    Office 365 gives different self-transition directions in their guide (first thing you see on the old OLSB home page) than those in their setup wizard. Both first direct me to add my domain to 365, so far so good, and I have done that with Network Solutions. The guide then tells you to "configure your domain with 365" by changing the DNS name server records at your domain registrar and gives you the new settings to use. I did that yesterday at 5:10 pm. However, the setup wizard tells you in step 2 to "Contact the company that hosts (my website) for you and ask them to provide the IP address where your website is hosted."

    I contacted Microsoft asking for that IP address got an answer unrelated to the problem. Microsoft Office Live Small Business is the host of my website - correct? I can't give Office 365 the IP address unless OLSB provides me with that address.

    I am not sure if I need an IP address since I can't find reference to it anywhere else. I'm also not sure if what I have done so far is all that I need to do and I should wait the possible 72 hours. 365 has my website verified but I can't bring my site up on Google.

    I just want my website back up!

  • Hello,

    This is Cody with Microsoft SharePoint Online Support. Thank you for your posts about migration from OLSB to Office 365 SharePoint Online.

    Since OLSB was discontinued on April 30, 2012, customers have been given the option of moving to Office 365. I apologize for any differences in features that may be causing inconvenience. We value your opinion and invite customers to provide us with feedback about what options they would like included. This feedback will be evaluated for possible future inclusion.

    Concerning web analytics, I apologize that this functionality is not available out-of-box with SharePoint Online. There are several third-party options for this functionality that can be added to the public website. You can find these options by searching on

    Finally, I would like to clarify what is needed to use a custom domain for Office 365 and SharePoint Online. After verifying a domain with the TXT record at the domain registrar, the IP address that is requested can be found by pinging the website through a domain lookup service. (Please note that this step will be skipped if you select "No" when asked if you already have email address or a website for the domain.)

    Changing the Name Servers for a custom domain at the domain registrar will point the domain to Office 365. Nothing further will need to be done, but the changes will take time to propagate through the internet. Changing the individual DNS records at the domain registrar can be performed instead of a Name Server change, if you prefer.

    I hope this information is helpful.

    Best Regards,

    Cody Spears

    Microsoft SharePoint Online Support