Using SharePoint to design your website – Part 2 of 3

As part of a series of blogs, I will be tackling the topic of websites, and specifically, SharePoint websites.

The second post in my blog-series about SharePoint websites will cover the different licensing and payment options available.

SharePoint on premise or SharePoint Online?


If you have decided that SharePoint is feature rich enough for you, then the next step is to think about whether you want SharePoint on premise or online.

The biggest hurdle people struggle to overcome with SharePoint is the price point; and there is no getting around the fact that SharePoint On Premise is pricey- probably stemming from its inception as a corporate business tool. However, with Microsoft’s cloud offerings, SharePoint is now accessible to a much wider audience.

To use SharePoint On Premise, there are a number of different licensing options you need to think about, as SharePoint is licensed using a server-CAL model, where an organization purchases a server license for the right to run software on a server, and CALs for the right for users or devices to access the servers.

However, to use SharePoint Online- Microsoft’s cloud version of SharePoint, you need only purchase one licence subscription and can start using it within minutes. No need for consultants and no need for servers, Microsoft does the hard graft and maintenance, allowing you to keep your overhead costs to a minimum.

As the chart below clearly shows, rather like a monthly broadband fee, you can pay for different plans to suit your type of usage:


Scale it up or down, the advantage of using SharePoint Online is that the number of users can be entirely adapted to best suit your business. While SharePoint On Premise demands that you buy a whole other server when your users tip over the threshold, costing your company more money to purchase resources that will not be utilised to their maximum effect, SharePoint Online cuts down wasted resources and you only pay for as much as you actually need.

It’s also worth noting that you can buy different levels of SharePoint Online that mirror the Foundation, Standard and Enterprise versions available with SharePoint On Premise; each with a different level of functionality.

Capital vs Operational Expenditure


Another impact worth noting is the economic effect that Cloud Computing would have on your business.

With the innovation of the Cloud, offering monthly ‘rental’ of Microsoft servers, you automatically shift your Capital expenditure to Operational expenditure as you don’t have to buy a server or server licence- you are ‘utility-spending’. Paying a monthly amount of money, like any other utility bill such as broadband or water, means you have a steady stream of expenditure that can be tracked and adapted month by month to cope with your ever-changing business needs.

Already have SharePoint On Premise? You can make better use of your investment by utilising these same staff members to administrate SharePoint Online. It’s the same technology, there’s no hidden ‘surprises’ that require expertise beyond what SharePoint On Premise already requires.

However, remember, you will always get the highest functionality with SharePoint On Premise, so it is still the best option for internet sites as you get the maximum level of functionality; but with SharePoint Online now incorporated as part of Office365, those of you who had previously disregarded SharePoint due to its expense, now have a value-for-money option to design a website.

In the final blog post of this series, I will be discussing the ins and outs of actually building a website using SharePoint – the final decision to made when thinking about using SharePoint for your website.