Office 365 SharePoint online had a component built in that allow you to have one public facing web site that you could your for your business website (www.company.com). However, Microsoft will no longer be offering that functionality as of Jan 1st 2015.
It is disappointing to see that go away. It was never full fledged SharePoint functionality, but at least it meant that the small business could use the same platform for their public facing web site and their collaboration together. Looks like small and medium business will have to go back to finding other solutions to host their company web sites.
Like to support article: http://support2.microsoft.com/kb/3027254
Here is the content from the web site:
Starting in January 2015, Microsoft is making changes to the SharePoint Online Public Website feature. Exisiting customers of this feature will continue to have access for another two years. New customers who subscribe to Office 365 after the changeover date won’t have access to this feature. Moving forward, Office 365 customers will have access to third-party offerings that will enable them to easily integrate their public presence with their Office 365 service. More information about these solutions will be made available in January 2015.
Why is Microsoft making this change?
As part of the evolution of the Office 365 service, we periodically evaluate the capabilities of the service to make sure that we’re delivering the utmost value to customers. Although it was a difficult decision to discontinue the SharePoint Online Public Website feature, this change lets us focus on future investments while we broaden our partnership with industry leaders.
What does this change mean for existing customers of Office 365 plans?
Office 365 customers who currently use the SharePoint Online Public Website feature will continue to have access to the feature for a minimum of two years after the changeover date. Moving forward, customers will have the option to subscribe to third-party solutions for public website functionality. Customers should plan to move to one of these third-party solution within the next two years.
What does this mean for new customers of Office 365 plans?
Starting on the changeover date, we will no longer offer the SharePoint Online Public Website feature to new customers. New customers who subscribe to Office 365 after the changeover date won’t have access to this feature. Instead, they will have the option to subscribe to third-party solutions by using links from Office 365.
How will this change be communicated to Office 365 customers?
All Office 365 administrators who have provisioned SharePoint Online will receive a notification in the Office 365 Message Center.
Overview of third-party offerings
What are the third-party solution offerings?
Office 365 customers will have access to industry-leading tools and services that are provided directly from third-party solution providers for building and managing your online presence. We will provide more information about the third-party solutions in January 2015.
How does the new third-party solution offering compare to existing SharePoint Online Public Sites?
The existing SharePoint Online Public Website feature was designed for customers who need only a basic online presence. These new solutions will provide more robust tools and solutions that are required to deliver, support, and manage a fuller online presence.
Which countries and languages will be available?
We will provide more information in January 2015 about about the countries and languages that will be available.
Implications for new customers
Will the price for affected Office 365 offers be reduced?
No. This change is aligned with our commitment to deliver a superior productivity experience in Office 365. Therefore, the change won’t affect the pricing of Office 365. Third-party solutions, when they are available, will be offered at discounted pricing rates for Office 365 customers.
We will provide more information in January 2015 about third-party solutions.
Can I use other website hosting services or must I use the partners that Microsoft refers?
Yes. Customers can use any external website hosting service and aren’t limited to the third-party solutions that will be provided in Office 365. These particular third-party solutions, when they are available, will be offered at discounted rates to Office 365 customers.
Implications for existing customers
What is our guidance to customers for existing SharePoint Online Public Websites?
There is no immediate change for existing customers. Office 365 customers who currently use the SharePoint Online Public Website feature will continue to have access to the feature for a minimum of two years after the change. Moving forward, customers will have to plan to move to one of the third-party solutions offered or to a different solution of their choice.
When will the existing SharePoint Online Public Websites be discontinued?
Microsoft will support SharePoint Online Public Websites for existing customers for a minimum of two years after the change. As per our policy about disruptive service changes, we will provide at least one year of notice before we make any significant changes to the Office 365 service.
I currently use SharePoint Online Public Websites. How do I switch to one of the new third-party solutions?
We will provide more information in January 2015.
Will customers or users lose any content when they make the transition?
All content and data migration is currently a manual process to be completed by the customer. To avoid disruption and data loss, customers should back up all content and data from the SharePoint Online Public Website before they switch to any new solution or service. This will minimize potential disruptions.
We will provide more information in January 2015.
I have subscriptions to Office 365, but I haven’t provisioned SharePoint Online yet. Will I still have access to SharePoint Online Public Websites after this change?
No. If you haven’t used SharePoint online yet, the situation will be the same as if you were a new customer. To be considered as an existing user of the SharePoint Online Public Website feature and maintain access for two years after the changeover date, you must take action by the end of January 2015. Our guidance going forward is to use the third-party options after they become available.