SharePoint Online without “Public Website”
In March 2015, Microsoft had announced, that the “Public Website” feature of SharePoint Online would no longer be available for new Office365 subscriptions. For existing customers, Microsoft prospected to support the feature for another two years. Users of the “Public Website” feature should use this period to transform their sites to third-party solutions. Microsoft justified this step by the argumentation that SharePoint in Office365 would not represent a suitable platform for website hosting.
This transition period will now be ended in March 2017, and Microsoft has announced the imminent end in the change log of the Office365 administration portal. The “Public Website” will then not only become inaccessible from the Internet, but also its content will no longer be available.
However, this will not affect the collaboration with external contributors and partners on documents and files in SharePoint Online. Publishing websites or document libraries to persons outside the own organization will be still possible.