An introduction to cross-site publishing

To build our Contoso website, we'll be using cross-site publishing, a new publishing method that's just been introduced with SharePoint Server 2013. Before we start however, let's get a bit more familiar with how cross-site publishing works.
Note: most of features described in this series are not available in SharePoint 2013 online.

What is cross-site publishing?
Cross-site publishing's a publishing method. It lets you create and maintain content in one or more authoring site collections, and publish this content across one or more publishing site collections, by using Search Web Parts.


When should you use cross-site publishing?
Use cross-site publishing when you want to store and maintain content in one or more authoring site collections and display this content in one or more publishing site collections. Cross-site publishing will make life easy for you as it:

  • Can be used across site collections, web applications, and even across farms.
  • Separates content authoring from branding and rendering, meaning how you author content has nothing to do with how it is displayed to users.
  • Allows you to mix pages and catalog content.


How does cross-site publishing work?
Cross-site publishing uses search technology to retrieve content. Here's how it works in four simple steps:

  1. You create content in libraries and lists in a site collection where cross-site publishing is enabled. You enable these libraries and lists as catalogs.
  2. You crawl the content in your catalog-enabled libraries and lists. This will add the catalog content to the search index.
  3. You add one or more Search Web Parts to the site collections where you want to display your catalog content.
  4. When users view a page, the Search Web Parts issue queries to the search index. Query results are returned from the search index, and shown in the Search Web Parts.

Cross-site publishing overview

When you decide to change content in an authoring site collection, the changes you make are shown across all publishing site collections that are using that same content.

You can also add search-driven features like faceted navigation, query rules and usage analytics, all of which we'll be talking about soon.


Feeling confused? Don't panic! I will take you through how this works step by step.
The first thing we have to do, is to create two site collections.


Next blog article in this series Stage 1: Create site collections for cross-site publishing.


Blog series
On overview of all blog posts in this series can be found here.



Additional resources