The following screenshots are based on SharePoint 2010 but the way to do the operation is the same with SharePoint 2007.
SharePoint can be used for Public Internet facing web sites. Internet web sites are mostly available for anonymous users. By default, SharePoint ask for credentials, which is not the expected behavior for these Internet sites.
SharePoint can be easily opened to anonymous users. Just follow these steps:
Enable anonymous access for the web application
As authentication settings are active at web application level, you have to go to the Central Administration > Application Management
Select the Web Application you want to use and click on Authentication Providers
The default authentication provider is Windows. Click on default and you will be able to manage some settings for this provider.
One of them is Anonymous access. Check the corresponding check box and now you can set some permissions for anonymous users.
Global permissions for anonymous users
Back to the Web applications list. Click on Anonymous Policy.
You can now set global permissions for anonymous users.
Allow anonymous users to access your site
Go to your public web site.
Depending on your architecture, login prompt is display or not. When you are authenticated with an account that has access to site settings, click on Site Permissions.
Because you have activated the anonymous access at Web application level, you have a button in the ribbon named Anonymous access.
Select the permissions for the anonymous access
That’s all! Now anonymous users can access your SharePoint site! That’s the first step in implementing Web Content Management using SharePoint.
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