Thursday, 11 October 2007

Sharepoint 2007 (MOSS) - Unpublishing/Expiring a Site

It's not immediately obvious how to expire a site… particularly for used to SPS 2003. In 2003, you could just set the end date to sometime in the past or if you really wanted to, the start date to some time in the far off future. Unfortunately with MOSS it's a little more complicated.

You'd think that the "Unpublish" option on the Workflow menu of the Page Editing Toolbar would do the trick but sadly, no! What it does do is roll the page back to it's previous version. Definitely handy. But what if you want the page (which has several versions) to be entirely invisible to users? In theory, you could delete it… but I ask you, how many of your content managers will want to delete page just because it's expired now? None I'd wager!

So what's the answer? Page Scheduling (also referred to as Publication Dates). You set a start and end date for publication and the page is only visible during that period. The period may be from "Immediately" to "Never" so you don't have to think about it to much. Easy huh? Yeah, well….

Every site CAN have publication dates however not every site DOES have them. It has to be enabled. To enable Page Scheduling do the following:

  • Go to the site in question
  • Go to Site Actions > Site Settings > Modify Pages Library Settings

    • From Versioning Settings, ensure Versioning and Content Approval are both enabled
    • From Manage Item Scheduling, ensure Enable Scheduling is ticked

Unfortunately no, it does not apply to subsites of the current site. For the administrators who want to know why - because what you are effectively doing is amending the properties of the Pages list in the site content for that site.

So still you ask, how do I expire the page???? Ok…

  1. Show the Page Editing toolbar
  2. In the status section of the toolbar, it will have the version, the status and the Publication date. Click on the date (it's a hyperlink)
  3. The page scheduling options will open
  4. Set the end date to the desired date/time
  5. Hit OK and from the Page Editing Toolbar hit Publish

Again, seemingly simple…. unless you're changing pages migrated from SPS 2003. Mostly I've found the Start and end dates are blank. You can't set the start date or the end date to some time in the past - you will get an error message telling you so. It's a slight irritation sure but is it really necessary? What's the big deal already… just let me set the date to a point in the past! So you can set the start date to 'Immediately' and the End date to 5 minutes from now and once you hit Publish and those 5 minutes have past, the page will magically no longer be visible.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very useful, but shouldn't the title be" Unpublishing/Expiring a Page" instead of a "Unpublishing/Expiring a Site"?

How do you expire a site?