Content Query Web Part and Links – Navigation Solution


This post details how to use a Content Query Web Part (CQWP) and a list to create a more visually appealing link solution for a site’s welcome page, or another web page in the site.  This solution may be useful for site owners and designers who are still working in a SharePoint 2010 environment.  In later SharePoint versions and Office 365, the Promoted Links Web Part and list can be used to achieve the same result, with a more dynamic user interface.

Note:  This blog assumes you know how to complete the following actions:  1) Create lists, 2) create new list columns, and 3) add web parts to web pages.

Tip:  The server image URLs for the images used in the screenshots are in the Images section at the bottom of the post.

Create a List:

Step Action
1 Create a list named Navigation Links (http://sitename/lists/navlinks) with the following fields:
1) Content Link (Hyperlink or Picture, format URL as image), 2) Content Image (Hyperlink or Picture, format URL as image), 3) Title (default), 4) Content Overview (SLT).1 CQWP Promoted Links Alternative
2 Add items to the list.  Once populated your list will look something like this.

NOTE:  To link to SharePoint images in the Layouts folder, enter the image URL as :  /_layouts/images/[filename.extension]

2 CQWP Promoted Links Alternative

CQWP Configuration:

Step Action
3 Add a CQWP to a site’s default page.  Leave the page in Edit mode.

3 CQWP Promoted Links Alternative

4 Click the web part’s drop down arrow, and then select Edit Web Part.

4 CQWP Promoted Links Alternative

5 Click the Query section plus sign.

5 CQWP Promoted Links Alternative

6 Select Show items from the following list and then click Browse.

6 CQWP Promoted Links Alternative

7 Select Navigation Links and then click Ok.

7 CQWP Links Navigation

8 In the Content Type section, in the Show items of this content type drop down, select List Content Types.

8 CQWP Links Navigation

9 Click the Presentation section plus sign.

9 CQWP Links Navigation

10 In the Grouping and Sorting section, make the following selections and changes:  A) Group items by Title, B) select Show groups in ascending order, C) select 2 for Number of columns, D) Sort items by Content Link, E) Show items in ascending order, F) and deselect Limit the number of items to display.

10 CQWP Links Navigation

11 In the Styles section, for Group style select Whitespace, and in Item style select Large Title.

11 CQWP Links Navigation

12 In the Fields to display columns, enter the Navigation Links columns:  A) Link field enter Content Link, B) Image field enter Content Image, C) Title field leave as Title, and D) Description field enter Content Overview.

12 CQWP Site Links Navigation

13 Click the Appearance section plus sign.

13 CQWP Site Links Navigation

14 In the Chrome Type drop down, select None.

NOTE:  This setting hides the web part’s title on the web page.

14 CQWP Site Links Navigation

15 Click Ok.

15 CQWP Site Links Navigation

16 On the Page tab, in the Edit group, click Stop Editing.

16 CQWP Site Links Navigation

17 The links appear on the default page.

17 CQWP Site Links Navigation

Images (Layouts) URLs:

CQWP Layouts Images


  • To sort links in a non-alphabetical order, add a column called Display Order to the list and in the CQWP settings, use the column to sort items by. The column type can either be a choice column with number selections, SLT, or Number column.

Additional Information


Solutions like this are available to Xgility managed services customers or as part of solutions built by our enterprise collaboration consulting team.  If you would like more information on our services please contact us.



Author:  Jenny Hersko

Security, Information Protection, and Governance in the Cloud

Trust in the cloud continues to grow as the capabilities of the cloud mature, in some cases, beyond what IT teams could accomplish On-Premise.


Information Protection

Take Windows Rights Management Services for example.  First introduced in Windows Server 2003, it gave administrators the ability to enforce company policy directly in file servers, emails, and documents in SharePoint.  If a document was marked read only, editing capability was restricted by Word.  Emails can be restricted and users could not forward or reply all.   Windows RMS adoption was low until it became Azure RMS, a service that could be activated by a few check boxes through your Azure portal connected to Office 365.



As with any collaboration platform, as users start adding content and permissions are granted, those in charge want to maintain rule and gather insight into the system to make sure everyone is using it effectively within company regulations.  In April of 2015, Microsoft published the Office 365 Management API and several software companies aligned their suite of compliance tools to gather insight to activity in Office 365.  Xgility has implemented products such as:

  • Metalogix – with ControlPoint and Sensitive Content Manager you have the ability to manage permissions and set activity alerts for behavior(s) such as downloads of suspicious amounts of files or actions based on specific content.
  • Varonis – to classify on premise file servers and SharePoint servers through agents. Now with support for Office 365 with their DatAdvantage product.
  • AvePoint – with DocuAve Online, you can report SharePoint Online permission abnormalities or unauthorized changes.

If you have Office 365, you have seen the evolution of compliance and audit capabilities in the service.  Now its own app in the launcher, the Office 365 Compliance Center has consolidated the DLP, reporting and industry compliance documents under one easy to navigate admin center (as long as you believe the new admin portal layout is easy to use).



As expected, Microsoft arrived later in market but is closing the feature gap with its recent announcement of Cloud App Security, a June 2016 addition to the E5 suite.  If you are an Office 365 admin, you can preview this service from the compliance center,  It turns on the service from another domain, which connects through the Office 365 Management API.  Cloud App Security can also discover other SaaS applications and apply a series of pre-configured policy templates.   Here is how Cloud App Security works:

Microsoft Office 365 Cloud App Security Process



So, a few years ago, most organizations were grappling with policy enforcement on local file servers.  Nowadays, as the Microsoft cloud matures, businesses can control user behavior with corporate data in non-sanctioned cloud storage:

Office 365 Cloud App Security Compliance Check

Look out savvy iCloud subscribers, your company is watching!


Ask us

Would you like information protection advice or more customer evidence?  Just this month, a mid-sized law firm stated how Office 365 is Protecting sensitive information: Kelley Drye believes that its data—and that of its clients—is even more secure today through Office 365 than it was before. “In the past, we didn’t have insight into what happened to information after we emailed it to outside parties. Now with Office 365, we have a better sense of who has access to matter-related information and who has looked at or modified it,” says Flournoy. “Having peace of mind that we’re protecting client information is extra important in our industry.”

If you want to continue the conversation about security please contact us.  Interested in a free trial of Office 365?  Get your Office 365 E5 trial subscription here.