Accessing the SharePoint Site

There are currently almost unlimited tools available for collaborating online with other users. Many servers and cloud-based solutions provide central access to documents, schedules, project plans, and/or tools to communicate with other team members. Some of these solutions also allow users to manage and back up this content. SharePoint offers these features, and more.

What is SharePoint?

SharePoint 2016 is unique in that it is essentially a one-stop shop for many of these collaboration features. As well, SharePoint integrates with other Microsoft products, including Office 365 and software-based versions of Microsoft Office.

You will primarily interact with SharePoint using a web browser by navigating to the site and logging into it with your user name and password. From here, you can interact with the different elements that can be found in SharePoint. You can share documents, add your input to conversations, and work with other available resources.

In addition to collaborative capabilities, SharePoint can also be used as a small-scale content management system (CMS). This includes the ability for users to check in and check out documents and follow the history of a file though versioning.

SharePoint can be hosted in the cloud via Office 365. SharePoint 2016 Farm is hosted as a server-based product within your organization’s infrastructure. In either situation, SharePoint is typically managed by an organization’s IT team. If you aren’t sure what your user name and password are, or you need help finding your SharePoint site, check with your help desk.

SharePoint 2016 Versions

There are three main versions of SharePoint 2016.

SharePoint Online (hosted in the cloud) is more modern-looking, with no ribbon interface; links to Frequent and Suggested sites on the home page; and Following, Recent, and Featured links in the Quick Launch pane (which we will discuss in the next topic).

SharePoint Online Classic Mode (also hosted in the cloud) is very similar, but you will see the ribbon interface, a different home page, and fewer links in the Quick Launch pane.

SharePoint 2016 (hosted on a physical server) is similar to Classic mode as it includes the ribbon interface. However, you will not see any references to Office 365 as you will with the other two versions.

SharePoint Sites

Each SharePoint site contains different components that are grouped together in a meaningful way (although a site can technically contain a single page).

You will access your SharePoint site from a web browser (either through Office 365 or as a direct link):


Brad Holt is an expert in information architecture, taxonomy design, and portal strategy for clients in the Utilities, IT, and Finance industries. He has significant experience in the design, maintenance, and content management of Microsoft SharePoint 2016 on-premises and Office365.  If you need the SharePoint Edge, Contact Brad Holt at:

512-394-8747 or online at The Office 365 Edge.

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