Determine paths for sites (Windows SharePoint Services)

Applies To: Windows SharePoint Services 3.0


Topic Last Modified: 2006-10-17

In this article:

  • Specific paths

  • Additional paths

  • Worksheet

Specific paths

You have the ability to use specific paths in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 to contain your SharePoint site collections, similar to the way that folders contain files or documents in the file system. By default, when you create a Web application, two paths are created for you:

  • Root path (/)   This is an explicit inclusion that can contain one site collection. For example, if you want a URL to appear as http://company\_name/default.asp, you would create the site collection at this root path.

  • Sites path (/sites)   This is a wildcard inclusion that can contain many site collections. For example, when you use the /sites path, the URL for a site named Site_A would be similar to http://server\_name/sites/Site\_A/


    The name of the /sites path varies depending on the installation language.

Additional paths

You can also create additional paths, allowing you to group site collections. Then, when you create a site collection, you can choose to:

  • Create the site collection at the root of the Web application (if no site collection has already been created there).

  • Create the site collection under the /sites path.

  • Create the site collection under any additional paths that have been made available for that Web application.

In general, the /sites path should be sufficient for most installations. However, consider using other paths for the following situations:

  • You have a complex installation and anticipate having a large number of site collections, and you want to group similar sites together. For example, you could use /personal for individual user sites and /team for group collaboration sites, rather than using /sites for all.

  • You want to be able to add a filter to your firewall or router to constrain a specific namespace to internal access only. For example, you could expose the /team path for external collaboration but not /personal.

Worksheet action

Use the Site paths worksheet ( to record your decision to use paths, and specify which paths you need to create to organize your SharePoint sites.

If you have decided to use specific paths for your SharePoint sites, you can set them up after deployment.


Use the following worksheet when you determine paths for sites: