SharePoint sites organize and control access to information. You create a new site when access needs are unique or when the purpose of the site is unique. For example:
Create sites for each department in your organization so department members can add and edit documents, but others can't (unique access).
Create a general Helpdesk site where employees can ask questions of any department (unique purpose).
In Chapter 1, I showed you how to create a simple document control site for a Legal department. In this chapter, I'll tell you how to organize your sites, control access, customize their appearance, and create custom site templates.
Sites are organized hierarchically within SharePoint sort of like the folders in a conventional filesystem, only instead of drives, folders, and subfolders, SharePoint uses web applications, site collections, and subsites:
A web site that has been extended using the SharePoint administration tools. Each web application has a unique address—usually a subdomain of your organization's web address such as http://intranet.something.com.
A group of sites that all exist under a top-level site. Web applications usually have several top-level sites: one at the root and others under the /sites and /personal paths.
A site beneath the top-level site in a site collection.
Figure 3-1 illustrates a typical configuration with public, internal, and partner web applications.
Figure 3-1. How ...