Our recent exploration of Office 365 platforms highlighted the distinct features of SharePoint Online's P1 and E3 plans. While P1 offers straightforward domain control, the E3 plan introduces advanced options and setup intricacies. Join us as we further decode domain management on SharePoint and await your valued feedback.

Our team has recently embarked on a deep dive into our client's web platforms hosted on Office 365, specifically focusing on the setup and functionalities of SharePoint Online intranet sites. We've noted that most of our clients prefer the Small Business Plans, especially the P1 package. This exploration led us to distinguish the variations between the services on offer.

At a cursory glance, SharePoint offers limited features under the P1 plan. However, it provides complete domain control, streamlining the process for companies; they only require a domain name. Office 365, in this instance, facilitates the necessary DNS server and complements it with the robust communication and collaboration capabilities of Lync Online, in addition to SharePoint's public and intranet sites. For those opting for the E3 plans, Office 365 delivers many enhanced features, granting companies the liberty to host their DNS server or align with a third-party service.

This dynamic landscape offers numerous options, albeit some companies may find they only require part of the spectrum. With the P1 plan, the setup is straightforward: input the name servers into your domain registrar's portal, and you're operational.

For a public website, the domain will resemble the 'yourdomain.tld,' eliminating the necessity for the 'www' subdomain. The E3 plan is slightly more intricate, with restrictions preventing administrators from impulsively establishing public websites.

To achieve a public domain with the E3 plan, one must register the domain and subsequently write it again, including the 'www' subdomain. Presumably, Microsoft's rationale is that businesses leveraging the E3 plan (typically those with over 25 users, priced at $24/user/month) wouldn't be content with the rudimentary website option on SharePoint Online by default.

Although we offer services to create a polished website atop SharePoint Online, it's a less sought-after feature by larger enterprises. For the E3 plan's Internet-facing website domain setup: 

  1. Initiate with your domain, selecting only Exchange and Lync as intents.
  2. Upon domain verification via the TXT record addition to your DNS service provider, introduce a new subdomain, such as 'www.' This will be the designated subdomain for public access.
  3. Define the purpose of this domain as 'SharePoint.' 

From here, the process for public website settings remains consistent:

  • Only one Public Website can be crafted within the SharePoint Site Collection. Here, select the desired domain name.
  • For E3 users, integrate the ProdNetxy.SharePointOnline.com CNAME with your 'www' subdomain at your DNS service provider. P1 users can skip this, as Office 365 manages this aspect.
  • Post-provisioning, visitors will be able to access the public site.

Regarding the intranet website, a typical format is 'yourdomain.tld/TeamSite/'. Occasionally, I recommend a subdomain setup for ease of employee access.

In our subsequent post, we'll delve deeper into the domain name intricacies, focusing on troubleshooting and the SharePoint Online domain assignment mechanism. We eagerly await your insights, queries, and feedback.

Best regards.

Article by Mr. Razvan Burz

(published )

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