Configure your organization website

After activating your subscription, you'll perform some initial setup to meet the needs of your department. You'll configure your ArcGIS organization's customized view of the ArcGIS Online website. To make the site appealing to visitors, you'll personalize its appearance by configuring the home page using your company's branding guidelines.

Activate your ArcGIS Online subscription

As the designated administrator, after purchasing an ArcGIS organizational subscription, your first step is to activate your subscription and create your administrator account.


If you've already activated your ArcGIS Online subscription and have a username for your administrator account, skip to the next section.

  1. Open the email from Esri with the subject heading Activate Your ArcGIS Online Subscription.

    The person who requested the subscription should have received an email with an activation link. The subscription must be activated by a person who will administer it, so you'll need that email to get started.


    If you requested the subscription and didn't receive an activation email, check your junk or spam folder. You can also contact Customer Service for assistance.

  2. In the body of the email, click the link provided or copy and paste it into a web browser.

    The Activate your organization page appears.

    Activate your organization page

    You can activate your subscription two ways. If you've already created an ArcGIS public account and want to use the account and any content associated with it, you can use the public account to activate your organizational subscription. If you don't already have an account, or want to create a new one, for example, if the public account has personal projects and this organization is for business purposes, you can create a new account to activate the organization.

    This tutorial will show the Create a new ArcGIS organization option, but many of the setup steps will be the same across both options.

  3. Click Create a new ArcGIS organization.
  4. On the Provide the basic settings for your organization page, enter the following information:

    • Organization name: This is the long, descriptive name for the organization, such as your company or nonprofit's full name.
    • Organization short name: This is what will form the organization's URL. Consider using an acronym or nickname to keep the URL short and easy to type.

    Choose settings for your new organization.

    You can also choose a specific region to determine the default basemap gallery and the default basemap and extent for new maps. The default extent shows the entire world.

  5. Click Next.

    Now you'll set up the default administrator account that will be used to activate the organization.

  6. For Provide your account details, enter the following information:

    • First name
    • Last name
    • Email

    Activation form

    These details can all be updated later from the My Profile page if needed.

  7. For User type, accept the default (this will be the user type with the highest level of permissions that you have access to, Creator and above).
  8. Review and accept the Esri Master Agreement and the Esri ArcGIS Online Privacy Policy and click Next.

    Your account is created and the subscription is activated.

  9. On the Setup your login page, enter the following information:

    • Username
    • Password
    • Security question

    Once created, your username cannot be changed. It also has to be unique within the ArcGIS Online system.

  10. Click Finish setup.

    A welcome window appears with a few suggestions to get started with your organization, including adding more members and customizing pages.

  11. In the Welcome window, click OK.

Customize the appearance of your site

Now that you've activated your new organizational subscription, you'll customize the home page to match your company's branding. The home page can also serve as a helpful landing page for organization members and visitors alike. You can showcase content and link to resources.

  1. On the Organization page, click the Settings tab.

    First, you'll add your company's logo The logo appears on the home and organization pages.

  2. If you don't have your own logo image, download and unzip the Sample_Data file to a location where you can easily find it.

    Acceptable image formats are PNG, GIF, and JPEG.

  3. In the General settings, for Organization profile, under Logo, click Upload logo.

    Upload logo button

  4. In the Upload logo window, click Browse (or your browser's equivalent command).
  5. Browse to the folder where you unzipped the Sample_Data folder and upload MyCompany_Logo.png, and in the Upload logo window, click Save.

    Next, you'll customize your home page.

  6. Click the Home page tab and click Launch editor.

    Home page tab

    The home page editor appears. The home page editor includes a flexible set of components and options that allow you to create a unique entry point to your site. As you configure your page using the home page editor, a live preview of your design choices helps you achieve the look and functionality you want. Use the view options at the bottom of the home page editor to see how your page will appear on different devices.

    First, you'll add a header.

  7. In the side pane, under Content, click Header.

    Open the Header configuration.

    In this pane, you can choose the background and font color for your home page. Before making any of these choices, you'll want to upload your logo to the home page.

  8. For Show logo, turn the toggle button on and click Choose file.

    Choose file for logo upload.

  9. In the Upload Logo window, browse to the folder where you saved MyCompany_Logo.png earlier, select it, and click Save.

    Upload Logo window

    Now that you have your logo for an idea of the color scheme you need to match, you'll look at the background. You can upload a custom background matching your company's brand guidelines or choose from several stock covers. For the purposes of this tutorial, you'll upload a custom cover.

  10. For Show cover image, choose Upload a custom cover.

    Upload a custom cover option


    If you don't have a background image you want to use, a sample image you can use is in the zip file downloaded earlier in the tutorial.

  11. Click Choose file and browse to the location where you saved cover.png. Choose the file and click Save.

    Home page with new background

    The image is added to the home page. Against this background, the white title text stands out well. Finally, you'll look at positioning for the title and background image.

  12. Expand Layout Options.
  13. For Cover Image, choose Half screen height.

    Resize the cover image to half screen height.

    The cover image resizes to the upper half of the home page layout. This will allow you to add blocks below the background image, such as a description about your organization and map gallery.

  14. If you want, adjust the Focal Point and Overlay value settings. When you're happy with the background and title, click Header and click Page settings to return to the Edit home page pane.

    Now you'll add a description about the organization's purpose.

  15. In the side pane, click Content blocks and click Add block.

    Add a content block to the body of the home page.

    The Add block pane appears. There are three options: a Text block, an Item gallery, or a Link. You can add text blocks at any time, but you'll need to create maps before adding the gallery block to your home page.

  16. In the Add block pane, click Text.

    Add a text block to the home page.

    Each text block is configured with a headline and body copy. Since this block will sit underneath the title of the organization, you won't use the headline in this example.

  17. For Show headline, turn the toggle button off. For Show body copy, type a few sentences to describe your organization.

    Add body copy.

    You can also change the alignment of the text and color of the background here, depending on what works with your background image.

  18. On the bottom ribbon, for View, click the Tablet view and Mobile view buttons to see what your home page will look like on different devices.

    Change View mode.

  19. At the bottom of the page, click Save.

    The home page includes your logo and organization name, which overlay a banner image. The organization description appears in a box below the banner.

    Home page with description

  20. On the ribbon, click Close to close the editor.

Next, you'll create a group of public items and feature them on the home page. You'll also create a new item to share with your organization.

Share content

Groups can be used in ArcGIS to collect and share content. In this section, you'll create a group of public items to feature on your home page so colleagues can easily access key maps and apps. You'll also create a new item to share with members of your organization.

Create a group

A group is a collection of items, often related to a common topic, such as region, subject, or project. Groups are used to organize and share items. For example, you can use groups to facilitate team collaboration on a project, share items privately with specific organization members, or organize content to feature on your organization's home page or gallery.

Earlier, you configured a basic home page for your organization and customized it by including a description and banner. Now you want to further customize the home page by adding a featured content gallery that colleagues will see when they sign in to the site. You must find, collect, and organize the content that you want to feature. The best way to do this is by using a group to organize the featured content. You'll start by creating the group.

  1. If necessary, sign in to your ArcGIS organization with your administrator account.
  2. At the top of the page, click Groups.

    Groups tab

  3. On the Groups page, click Create group.

    The Create a group window appears.

  4. Under the Group overview section, for Name, type Home Page Featured Content.

    You'll add a thumbnail image for the group to make it stand out to organization members. To save time, you'll use the same image that you used for your organization logo.

  5. Click Upload thumbnail.

    Upload thumbnail button

  6. In the Upload thumbnail window, click Browse (or your browser's equivalent command).
  7. Browse to the thumbnail image that you used for the organization logo and select it. Click Save.

    Next, you'll add a summary and tags for the group so that it's easy to find and identify.

  8. For Summary, type Featured content for the home page.
  9. For Tags, type featured content, home page and press Enter.
  10. Accept the default settings for the remaining options.

    Anyone can search for and find your group, but they won't be able to apply to join the group. You do want colleagues to be able to help you curate content for this group later, so you want to allow others to contribute content.

  11. Click Save.

    The group is saved with the settings that you specified.

Share public content

The Home Page Featured Content group currently has no content. There are several ways you can use featured groups such as this one. For example, once members of your organization start creating and publishing content, you can share it to a group to act as a portfolio for prospective clients. You can also use a featured group as a shortcut to items that members in your organization need to access frequently. You'll share some items from ArcGIS Living Atlas with your group to feature them on the home page.

  1. On the Home Page Featured Content group page, click the Content tab.

    This option is only available for the group owner and managers.

    Content tab

  2. On the Home Page Featured Content page, click Add items to group.

    Add items to group button

  3. In the Add items to group window, click the ArcGIS Online tab and choose Living Atlas.

    Search through Living Atlas.

    The list of results includes all the public items that are part of ArcGIS Living Atlas. You want to feature only web maps and layers on your home page. First, you'll filter the results to show only web maps.

  4. Click Filter, expand the Item Type list, and click Layers.

    The list of search results refreshes to show only items that are layers.

  5. In the search box, type Forests and press Enter. In the search results, for USA Forest Type and Administrative Forest Boundaries, check the boxes for the items.

    Check boxes for items.

  6. In the search box, type Protected areas and check the box for the WDPA - World Database of Protected Areas layer.

    The selection count at the top of the Add items to group pane should say 3 items selected.

  7. Using what you've learned, share the following layers with the Home Page Featured Content group. (As needed, refine the search phrase and use the filter options and the Previous and Next buttons.)
  8. When you are done, click Add items.

    The layers that you shared with the group are now listed on the Content tab for your Home Page Featured Content group.

Feature group content on the home page

Now that you have a group of items that you'd like to feature, you'll display them in a gallery ribbon on your home page.

  1. Go to the Organization page and click the Settings tab.
  2. Click the Home Page tab and choose Edit home page.
  3. Click Content blocks and click Add block.
  4. In the Add block pane, choose Item gallery.

    Add item gallery

    Since you only have one group in the organization, your Home Page Featured Content group is automatically added to the home page above the description text block. Once you've created more groups, you can change this in the Body pane under Group.

  5. For Show title and Show summary, turn the toggle buttons off to hide the elements.

    You can also choose what information about each map and app is displayed. By default, the cards show a short summary about each item, but these are long and push the organization description out of sight. To change this display, you'll remove the extra information.

  6. For Number of items displayed, accept the default to show 4 items.
  7. For Item display preferences, for Style, choose Dark gray.
  8. Turn the Show item type and Show item summary toggle buttons off to hide them and turn the Show "View gallery" button toggle button on.

    Display preferences settings

    Finally, you'll reorder the content blocks so that the description of your organization appears above the featured content group.

  9. Click Content blocks to return to the Edit home page pane.
  10. For Content blocks, click the Text block and drag it above the Item gallery block.

    Reorder content blocks so the text block is on top.

  11. At the bottom of the page, click Save.

    Customized home page with featured gallery

  12. Close the editor and on the top ribbon, click the Home tab to see the page.

    Home tab on the top ribbon

Create and share an item

Not only can you share public items with your groups, you can also add your own items to ArcGIS Online. You can share your items with groups, your organization, or the public. Next, you'll add a CSV file of electric vehicle charging stations that some colleagues will need for an upcoming project.

  1. On your ArcGIS organization page, on the ribbon, click the Content tab. Click New item.

    New item

    The New item window appears.

  2. In the New item window, choose Your device.
  3. Browse to and select the Solid_Waste_Landfill_Facilities_LA file from the Sample_Data folder you unzipped earlier.

    To use your own CSV file, see Publish a CSV file.

  4. For How would you like to add this file?, choose Add Solid_Waste_Landfill_Facilities_LA.csv and create a hosted feature layer or table and click Next.
    Publish the CSV as a hosted table.
  5. Review the fields included and click Next.

    If the field types can be identified, they are set automatically. You can remove fields, change the display name of the field, and change the field type.

  6. In Location settings, verify that Latitude and longitude is selected and that the Location fields show the Latitude and Longitude fields.

    Location fields

    The Location type field indicates the type of location-based data that you're providing, such as street addresses or latitude-longitude coordinates. In this case, the CSV file includes both United States address data and latitude-longitude coordinates. Latitude and Longitude were chosen because they don't cost credits to map. Adding an item from a file of addresses using the Addresses or Places option will use the ArcGIS Online World Geocoding Service to find corresponding locations. By default, ArcGIS Online geocodes addresses based on your organization's region. Using this service will also consume credits.

  7. Click Next.
  8. Accept the default title. Type tags to describe the item. If you're using the Solid_Waste_Landfill_Facilities_LA file, type solid waste.

    Tags can be useful for more efficient management of content in your organization. For tips, see the Using tags effectively blog article.

    You'll publish this file as a hosted feature layer. Publishing the first hosted layer in your organization will also enable the credit tools so you can see how the credit reports work later.

  9. Click Save.

    The data file and the new hosted feature layer are added to My Content. The item page appears for the hosted feature layer. You can add a summary, description, and other information by clicking Edit in each editable section. To learn best practices for sharing content and creating compelling and authoritative item details, see Best practices for sharing. For now, you'll share the item with your organization.

    By default, the hosted feature layer can only be accessed by the person who published it or by an administrator. Your colleagues will need to use this layer, so you'll share the hosted feature layer with your organization.

  10. Click Share.

    The Share window has options to share the item with everyone, your organization, or your group.

  11. Choose the option to share the item with your organization.

    Share window

  12. Click Save.

You've created a group with which you shared public web apps and maps to feature on your home page. You also created and shared your own content for members of your organization to access. You're almost ready to add members to the organization.