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Have you ever looked at the Project Web App home page and felt it was simply too plain for Jane? I understand the need for design simplicity but sometimes the PWA home page simply feels like underutilized real estate.

The Need

Your manager wants you to add system announcements, support contacts and a list of wiki based FAQs to the PWA home page. So, you knowledgeable Project Administrator, attempt to Edit Page the home page and start adding web parts, like you would do to most SharePoint based pages.

The Challenge

To your dismay, you quickly realize that the home page layout is single column, full page width. Technically, you can add these new parts to the page, but now the user likely needs to scroll and your manager hates to scroll. You attempt to change the layout and there’s no visible way to do this. Times like these cause grown Project Administrators to shake their heads in despair. Why is this so freaking hard???

SharePoint to the Rescue

SharePoint 2013 On Premise and Online versions provide a site feature that replaces the site home page with a Wiki page. Wikis are flexible by design and by doing this, you gain the ability to set different page layout. You are also able to add text, apps and web parts to the PWA home page as desired. Sounds like just the ticket.

Hold on, cowboy! There’s one caveat to this option. The home page URL will change as a result. See the before and after below.

Before PWA URL

https://servername/PWA/default.aspx

After PWA URL

https://servername/PWA/SitePages/Home.aspx

The Implementation Details, Illustrated

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The Implementation Details, the Checklist

  1. Click the Gear in the upper right corner of PWA
  2. Click Site Settings
  3. Click Manage site features in the Site Actions section
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Activate for the Wiki Page Home Page feature

Redesign Your Home Page

The new home page is blank. To set the page layout, do steps 1 – 4 below.

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Once set, place your cursor in the desired location on the page and perform steps 5 and 6 to insert web parts on the page.

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To add back the default Track Your Work Links to the Home Page, insert it using steps 7-10 below.

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The Lists

You can add whatever web parts you need to the various zones. The finished product uses three lists.

  • Announcements – View modified to use Newsletter, No Lines Style
  • Wiki Page Library – View modified to use Newsletter, No Lines Style
  • Custom List – Only a Person field, with Show Field in column definition set to Name (with picture and details)

For That Clean Look

I did two changes to remove unnecessary items. First, I don’t want any links for new items visible. So for each of these web parts, I set the Web Part value of Toolbar Type to No Toolbar.

    I didn’t want any list to have headers. So, I added a Script Editor web part and pasted in the following code.
<style type="text/css" >
.ms-viewheadertr   
{  
  display:none ;  
}  
</style>

The Final Result

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