How to create an intranet site for your business

If your business has more than one person, you likely would benefit from having an intranet.  So what is an intranet?  It’s just a quick and easy way to keep all your important documents, files, pictures, links, anything to do with your business, in one location online and accessible by anyone in the company.  In previous years it seemed that only the bigger businesses had the luxury of something like this because they would also have the luxury of an IT department.  With the increase of “cloud computing” though, just about any size company can have their business information stored securely in one location.

So what’s the best way to get an intranet setup?  There are a few roads you can go down.  Both are fairly easy to set up and fairly inexpensive.  The first one is mentioned If your company has already invested in a server with at least Windows 2003.  If you have a server, then you can go into the server and setup the SharePoint WSS for your business.  This is a free version of SharePoint and allows you to quickly create a centrally managed intranet site for all of your employees.
The next way to create an intranet doesn’t require that you have any server and will be hosted by Google.  You can actually use Google sites for several online functions, including a  family site or a travel site, they are all sites based on a template.  They even have an Intranet template to choose from.  Once you create the site based on the Intranet template, you have a centralized repository for documents, a calendar for everyone to view and share, a contact area to add everyone’s information in one location. You have a way to poll your employees, and an announcements section for keeping everyone informed of upcoming company activities. 

There are even low cost solutions with many of the same functionalities out there.  A company with growing popularity is 37 Signals and they offer Backpack as a company intranet site for your business.  Their service is safe, secure, and offered at a low monthly fee based on how many users will be accessing the site.  The great thing about 37 Signals is that all of their online applications are offered free for up to 2 users.

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