When working with Search, I often get the question how to set up the Search Center, and how to configure and customize its Search Pages. In this blog post, I am summarizing the basic configuration steps to follow.

Please note, these steps can be applied in SharePoint 2013, SharePoint 2016 on-premises as well as in Office 365 / SharePoint Online.

Setting up the Search Center

A Search Center is a site or a site collection in SharePoint, created from the Standard or Enterprise Search Center site template. Usually, I recommend to create a separate site collection, unless the explicit requirement is a sub-site somewhere in the existing site structure.

The steps are as easy as setting up any other site collections:

  • In SharePoint 2013/2016, go to Central Administration / Application Management.
  • In Office 365, go to Admin / SharePoint Admin Center / Site Collections.
  • Then choose “Create Site Collection”
  • Specify the Title and URL.
  • Select the language.
  • Select the template: Enterprise / Enterprise Search Center.
  • Specify the site collection administrator(s) and the quota settings.
  • Click OK.

Create new site collection: Enterprise Search Center
Now, your new Search Center is set up and ready to be used.

Create Search Pages

By default, the Search Center contains four TABs (verticals): Everything, People, Conversations, Videos.

Out-of-the-box search user interface: Everything, People, Videos, Conversations




Each of these TABs represents a Page created in the Search Center site:

  • Everything – results.aspx
  • People – peopleresults.aspx
  • Conversations – conversationresults.aspx
  • Videos – videoresult.aspx

Search Center pages

To edit these TABs or add new ones from existing pages, you have to edit the site’s Search Settings:

  1. Go to Site Settings.
  2. Under Search, open Search Settings.
  3. Scroll down to Configure Search Navigation.

Here you can add new TABs, remove them, or re-order.

Configure Search Navigation

If you want to add a new TAB, you have to make sure the following conditions are all true:

  • The proper page does exist.
  • The page is checked in.
  • The page is published.

Next Steps

Once you create a search page, there are several things you can configure and customize there:

  • Define what results are to be displayed (by Result Sources);
  • Configure the Search Refiners;
  • Customize the user experience by Display Templates;
  • Set up Search Query Rules.

Please stay tuned, I’m going to discuss these topics in the upcoming parts of this series.