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Create a site collection in SharePoint 2013

Published: July 16, 2012

Summary: How to create a SharePoint 2013 site collection in an existing web application.

Applies to:  SharePoint Foundation 2013 | SharePoint Server 2013 

A site collection is a grouping of websites under a common top-level site that have the same owner and share administration settings, for example, permissions. When you create a site collection, a top-level site is automatically created in the site collection. You can then create one or more subsites below the top-level site. For more information, see Overview of sites and site collections in SharePoint 2013.

Web applications host site collections. A web application can host many site collections, but a site collection can be hosted in only one web application. You must create a web application before you can create a site collection. For more information, see Create claims-based web applications in SharePoint 2013.

If your web application is for a single project or for use by a single team, you should use a single site collection to avoid the overhead of managing multiple sites. However, complex solutions benefit from multiple site collections because it is easier to organize content and manage permissions for each site collection. For example, because there is no built-in navigation from one site collection to another, having multiple site collections can provide an additional layer of security for site content. For more information, see Plan sites and site collections in SharePoint 2013.

SharePoint 2013 supports both path-based and host-named site collections. The primary difference between path-based and host-named site collections is that all path-based site collections in a web application share the same host name (DNS name), and each host-named site collection in a web application is assigned a unique DNS name. You must use Windows PowerShell to create a host-named site collection. For more information about host-named site collections, see Host-named site collection architecture and deployment (SharePoint 2013).

Data about a site collection is stored in a set of configuration databases. A farm can only have one set of configuration databases. All the data for a specific site resides in one content database. Each web application can contain many content databases. Each site collection can be associated with only one content database, although a content database can be associated with many site collections.

SharePoint provides site templates in the following categories: collaboration, meetings, enterprise, publishing, and custom. When you create a site collection, you select the template that matches what you want the site to do. For example, you can use the templates to create the following types of site collections:

  • Choose the Publishing Portal template from the Publishing category if you want to create a large intranet site that has many more readers than contributors.

  • Choose the Discovery Center template from the Enterprise category if you want to create a site to manage the preservation, search, and export of content for legal matters and investigations.

  • Choose the Records Center template from the Enterprise category if you want to create a site for records management. Records managers can configure the routing table to direct incoming files to specific locations.

Important Important:

The steps in this article apply to both SharePoint Foundation 2013 and SharePoint Server 2013.

In this article:

Before you begin

Before you create a site collection, ensure that the following prerequisites are available:

  • A web application in which to create the site collection.

  • A quota template, if you plan to define values that specify how much data can be stored in a site collection and the storage size that triggers an email alert to the site collection administrator. For more information, see Create, edit, and delete quota templates in SharePoint 2013.

  • A custom managed wildcard path, if you plan to create the site collection somewhere other than under the root (/) directory or the /sites/ directory. For more information, see Define managed paths in SharePoint Server 2013.

Create a site collection by using Central Administration

You typically use the Central Administration website to create a site collection in a stand-alone deployment.

To create a site collection by using Central Administration

  1. Verify that you have the following administrative credentials:

    • To create a site collection, you must be a member of the Farm Administrators SharePoint group on the computer that is running the SharePoint Central Administration website.

  2. Start SharePoint 2013 Central Administration.

    • For Windows Server 2008 R2:

      • Click Start, click Microsoft SharePoint 2013 Products, and then click SharePoint 2013 Central Administration.

    • For Windows Server 2012:

      • On the Start screen, click SharePoint 2013 Central Administration.

        If SharePoint 2013 Central Administration is not on the Start screen:

      • Right-click Computer, click All apps, and then click SharePoint 2013 Central Administration.

    For more information about how to interact with Windows Server 2012, see Common Management Tasks and Navigation in Windows Server 2012.

  3. On the Central Administration website, in the Application Management section, click Create site collections.

  4. On the Create Site Collection page, in the Web Application section, if the web application in which you want to create the site collection is not selected, on the Web Application menu, click Change Web Application, and then click the web application in which you want to create the site collection.

  5. In the Title and Description section, type the title and description for the site collection.

  6. In the Web Site Address section, select the path to use for your URL (for example, a wildcard inclusion path such as /sites/, or the root directory (/).

    If you select a wildcard inclusion path, you must also type the site name to use in your site's URL.

  7. In the Template Selection section, in the Select experience version list, select the SharePoint experience version of the templates that you want to use.

    Select the 2010 experience version if you want the site collection to look and run like a site collection in SharePoint Server 2010. A site collection that uses the 2010 experience version runs in SharePoint 2013, but the user interface and user experience of the site collection is that of SharePoint Server 2010. A site collection that uses the 2010 experience version can be upgraded at any time to the 2013 experience version. For more information about how to upgrade a site collection, see Upgrade a site collection to SharePoint 2013.

  8. In the Template Selection section, in the Select a template list, select the template that you want to use for the top-level site in the site collection, or click the Custom tab to create an empty site and apply a template later.

    A description for the template that you select appears below the list of templates.

  9. In the Primary Site Collection Administrator section, type the user name (in the form DOMAIN\username) for the user who will be the site collection administrator.

  10. In the Secondary Site Collection Administrator section, type the user name for the secondary administrator of the site collection.

    Designating a secondary site collection administrator is a best practice to ensure that someone can manage the site collection when a primary site collection administrator is not present.

  11. If you are using quotas to manage storage for site collections, in the Quota Template section, click a template in the Select a quota template list.

  12. Click OK.

Create a site collection by using Windows PowerShell

You typically use Windows PowerShell to create a site collection when you want to automate the task, which is common in enterprises.

To create a site collection by using Windows PowerShell

  1. Verify that you meet the following minimum requirements: See Add-SPShellAdmin.

  2. On the Start menu, click All Programs.

  3. Click Microsoft SharePoint 15 Products.

  4. Click SharePoint 15 Management Shell.

  5. From the Windows PowerShell command prompt (that is, PS C:\>), type the following commands, and then press ENTER:

    Get-SPWebTemplate
    
    $template = Get-SPWebTemplate "STS#0"
    
    New-SPSite -Url "<URL for the new site collection>" -OwnerAlias "<domain\user>" -Template $template
    

    This example retrieves a list of all available site templates and then creates a site collection by using the Team Site template. For more information, see New-SPSite and Get-SPWebTemplate.

    We recommend that you use Windows PowerShell when performing command-line administrative tasks. The Stsadm command-line tool has been deprecated, but is included to support compatibility with previous product versions.

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