SharePoint 2013: How to create a Web Application and Site Collection

- select the contributor at the end of the page -
Confused about the logical structure of SharePoint? You don't have to be! For starters, let's define a web application and site collection.

What is a Web Application in SharePoint?

It's the highest-level component in the logical architecture of SharePoint. Everything else--site collections, lists, libraries--all come underneath the web application. Web Applications provide the ability to isolate content, processes, features and users. For example, you can separate the content anonymous users can see vs. what authenticated users can see by hosting the same content in different web apps. It's also an IIS (Internet Information Services) site that contains site collection(s). And in fact, they can contain multiple site collections, up to 750,000 per SharePoint farm. Web apps, however, are not created in IIS but they can be restarted independently in IIS.

What is a Site Collection in SharePoint?

It is, quite simply, a collection of sites. Whether you're using SharePoint for your companies' intranet or your forward-facing internet or both, site collections let you organize sites into logical groups.

Why would you need multiple site collections? It depends. One common reason is so that you can create a site collection for each individual team or department.  Each collection has its own admin, permissions, user groups, etc. In a large corporation, from an admin standpoint, creating a new collection is easier than creating more sub-sites.

To learn step-by-step how to create these and understand better how they work together, watch the webinar above and download the webinar slides here. And, for more information, check out our SharePoint 2013 Administration training.

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Dana Gagnon

Dana Gagnon is the Director of Branded Content at Pluralsight. After working for years in Chicago media, she joined the team in 2012 to continue bringing quality news, tips and more to Pluralsight's audience. Find her @ChicagoDana