To effectively search SharePoint and configure and index content, it's helpful to know all the possible locations or sites where data or content can be stored. Here are the different types of Web sites in a typical SharePoint Portal Server and Windows SharePoint Services implementation and their characteristics.

Team site.

  • Controlled by SharePoint Services.
  • Offers basic collaboration features such as document libraries, discussions, and lists.
  • Used by ad hoc teams. A team site generally has a closed membership.
  • Can be created using the self-service creation option from within a SharePoint Services deployment or from the Sites option in a Portal Server portal site.
  • Thousands of team sites supported within a single Microsoft IIS virtual server. A team site might or might not be associated with a portal site.

Portal site.

  • A Portal Server portal, controlled by Portal Server.
  • A centralized point for finding and managing information.
  • Generally open membership.
  • One portal site per IIS virtual server.

My Site.

  • Controlled by Portal Server.
  • One My Site per user per portal site. However, if you have a shared services deployment, you can have one My Site per user for all the portal sites that share the services.

Portal area.

  • Controlled by Portal Server.
  • Used to group together content of common subject matter within a portal site.
  • Provides the navigation for the content within a portal site.
  • Many portal areas per portal site.

Non-SharePoint Web site.

  • Any other Web site not controlled by Portal Server or SharePoint Services.
  • Sites on the Internet or in-house application sites.