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Create a site

A site is a website that can be used to share information with others. Organizations can create unlimited sites and pages.

Here are some examples:

  • Create a data portal for sharing internal GIS data across an organization.
  • Share open data with the community.
  • Organize GIS content for students enrolled in a GIS course.
  • Announce proposed plans, projects, and updates.
  • Showcase content related to a specific topic, such as research to restore local habitats or efforts to increase volunteer work within a community.

If your organization has a license to ArcGIS Hub premium, you can create a site by starting an initiative. Every custom initiative comes with a site by default. For more information, see Initiative basics.

What can I do with a site?

Every site includes a layout template, configuration options, and a set of drag-and-drop cards so that you can share content in the following ways, no HTML required:

  • Content integration—Display a variety of content types, including content you've already created using other ArcGIS products, along with your own graphics, media, and narratives.
  • Configurable branding options—Brand your sites with your organization's logo, theme, social media, and custom domain.
  • Global navigation and site mapping—Build your own site navigation using pages and menu links to create a holistic web experience. A mobile-responsive navigation bar helps people to explore the rest of your content on any device.
  • Built-in analytics—Every site and initiative includes a dashboard so that you can track how many people are engaging with your content over time. Key metrics on content and account creation are also available on your hub's Overview, providing you with quick insight on your hub's activity.

Who can create sites?

To create and share a site and content, an ArcGIS Online administrator can configure your ArcGIS Online account with a custom role based on the Publisher role and the following administrative privileges for GroupsCreate with update capabilities and Assign Members For more information on the privileges needed to create and share sites and initiatives, see Configure roles and privileges.


Without the Create with update capabilities privilege, you’ll need to have an administrator activate your site’s core team if you want to collaborate with other members of your ArcGIS Online organization. The Assign members privilege is useful for adding members to your core team automatically. You can still add members to a core team without this privilege, but you won’t see them appear in your core team until they’ve signed into ArcGIS Hub and accepted your invite.

Default site groups

By default, every site includes the following two groups to help site creators and team members manage the content they want to share:

  • Content group—An ArcGIS Online group for managing the content you want to share on a site. Team members can add items to this group, but only the item's owner can edit them.
  • Core Team group—An ArcGIS Online group for managing the content you want site or initiative team members to edit. This group is automatically enabled with the update capability so that members of the group (team members) can edit its items. The site is automatically shared to this group so that core team members can make edits.

Create a site

Follow these steps to create a site.


If you're using ArcGIS Hub premium, you do not need to create a site for your initiative, because one is automatically created for you. You only need to create a new site if you'd like have multiple sites as part of your initiative. To get started with an initiative, view Start an initiative.

  1. Sign in to ArcGIS Hub
  2. On the Overview page, click New on the Sites card.
  3. Note:
    If your organization has licensed ArcGIS Hub premium, choose Initiative. A site will automatically be generated for you as part of your new initiative.
  4. Provide a name for your site.
  5. Click Create Site.

Add your first card using the row card

Row cards are the building blocks of your site. Whenever you want to add a card, such as a text card or image card, you must have a row card positioned where you want to add the content. Multiple cards can fit in a row card.


Row cards are also used to theme a site or page. Each row card can be configured with a unique background color and text color. You can also set an image as the background for a row card. For more information, see Brand a site with header and theme options.

  1. Click Layout on the side panel and choose a row card.
  2. Drag the row card from the panel onto the layout and position the row card where you want it.

    Markers appear on the page to guide you.

  3. Hover over the row and three buttons appear on the right side: arrows for moving the row around the page, a settings button for editing, and a delete button for deleting the row.
  4. Click the settings button to switch to edit mode.
  5. Choose the Layout setting of your row: Box or Wide. Wide displays your content across the entirety of the page, whereas Box displays content at a fixed width within the row.
  6. Set the text color for this specific row.
  7. Set either a background color (transparent is default) or a background image.
  8. Optionally add an image by clicking Image Source and choosing to either upload an image file or provide an image URL. Both options support JPG, JPEG, and PNG.
    • To upload an image file, choose Upload Image and drag the file onto the box in the Site Editor, or click Browse for Image to locate and add your file. The maximum file size is 3 MB.
    • Or, provide an image URL by pasting a supported image link in the URL field.
  9. If using an image file, you can customize it by clicking the crop button and dragging a handle to resize the crop frame. The crop frame can be repositioned by dragging on the dotted line. You can also zoom by adjusting the slider below the image and reposition the image by clicking within the crop frame.
  10. If you add background color and an image, you can also adjust Image Transparency in the Appearance menu by entering a percentage or using the slider.
  11. Enable Fixed Background to give a parallax effect so that content scrolls at a different pace than the background image.
  12. Optionally set a point for Image Focal Point to ensure the focus of your image as it adjusts for different screen sizes.

Next steps

Administrators and the site's core team members can edit a site. To edit a site, team members can click the edit button to the right of the site when signed in and viewing a site in a browser. In edit mode, team members can do the following:

For more information, see A quick start guide for ArcGIS Hub basic.