O365 won’t offer to host your internet web site as of 9th March 2015. So where should I go?
Those KB articles explain how customers won’t get offered to host their public website on Office 365 anymore. The changeover date is 9th March 2015.
What is the recommendation from MS for new customers?
In those support articles, Microsoft explains that Office 365 will provide links to third party offerings similar to the screenshot below.
I quote from the first article:
“Moving forward, Office 365 customers will have access to third-party offerings that will enable them to easily integrate their public presence with their Office 365 service.”
For existing customers who already have a public facing website in O365: the deadline is 9th March 2017
2 years minimum will be left after the changeover date.
Note that the customers will need to migrate their content to a new platform themselves. There is apparently no automation yet in place as this operation is referred as a manual process in the article.
Third-party offerings: and the winner is…
Currently the lucky chosen companies are
But why this decision?
We can speculate as much as we want on this decision.
The funny part is that I wrote an article just a few days ago warning about the search service of Office 365 / SharePoint Online not delivering the same level of indexation frequency as an On-premise SharePoint farm. This causing frustration amongst internal communication teams who want to make a published article visible quickly on a SharePoint portal. Their intranet home page relying here on search web part to deliver content.
The above could be one of the many different reasons.
Another could be the lack of ease of customisation. As oppose to On-premise SharePoint farm, Office 365 has a different development model which forbids the deployment of any server side code in the form of WSP package. This has been traditionally the best way to customise heavily a website in SharePoint.
Taken from the article:
“The existing SharePoint Online Public Website feature was designed for customers who need only a basic online presence. These new solutions will provide more robust tools and solutions that are required to deliver, support, and manage a fuller online presence.”