We are all familiar with Internet websites. But, few people have heard about "Intranet" sites. From a functional point of view, they work just the same as normal sites on the World Wide Web. The only difference is, Intranet sites are for internal organization use only. In other words, only company employees, for example, can see them.

You might be wondering what the point is of having an Intranet site. Well, the answer is simple. An Intranet website is a central online hub that all workers can access, regardless of their job role.

It's a useful place for employers to make available all kinds of news and information. In today's blog post, I will describe in detail how to set up an Intranet site and what to include on it. Here is what you need to know:

Setting Up An Intranet SitePhoto via Wikimedia Commons

How to set up an Intranet site

As with a standard website, you need a Web "host" to store your Intranet files. It's a physical computer or server that runs web server software. Many businesses use a standard PC because it's more than capable of doing the job.

Next, you'll need to install and configure the web server software. There are plenty of open-source (free) solutions you can use. For instance, there is XAMPP or WAMPSERVER. They are a "stack" of software programs that allow you to have a fully-functional web server. What's usually included in such software stacks includes:

  • The web server (Apache);
  • A server-side scripting language (PHP);
  • And a database (MySQL).

Those are the three core components you need to create a database-driven Intranet site. The good news is that those software stacks are easy to install and take just minutes to set up. One doesn't even need a great deal of technical knowledge to do so.

The other requirement for setting up a web server stack is that you need an operating system. The examples I mentioned a moment ago run on Microsoft Windows XP onwards.

Once the physical server is up and running, you need to begin the process of building the Intranet site. You can do this from scratch by coding HTML pages yourself. Or you could install a CMS (content management system), such as WordPress.

Next, you'll need to think about the types of content to put on your Intranet. Here are some examples of the core items you should include:

Employee benefits

The first thing you should put is information on what benefits your staff can enjoy. For example, it might be an employee assistance programme support from Peninsula Group. Or it could be details on things like gym memberships or private health insurance.

Organizational news

What new developments are happening in your firm? Are you about to embark on the launch of a new product or service? Some workers in your company may not know about everything that happens within it. Your Intranet is a great way to keep everyone abreast of any new developments.

Documents and templates

Workers will often need to fill out forms for various reasons. One classic example is to request some holiday time off. Or they may need to submit expenses. Your Intranet site should make available such useful content to all employees.

Discussions

Let's say that two or more teams are working together on a project. One way to keep everyone "in the loop" is with a Facebook-style discussion forum. Each staff member can post comments or upload content to share among all stakeholders.

I hope you've found this article useful today. Thanks for reading it!