I have always said that the choice of the site template is one of the most important choices that you make for your client.

Case in Point:

After struggling with the "Publishing Portal" template, I recently chose to use the "Collaboration Portal" template for a site that is going to be internet facing. I began testing Anonymous access last week and (to my dismay) discovered that the Anonymous user had access to areas of the site like "pages/forms/allitems.aspx".

I tested this access on several other public MOSS sites and did not have the same access. The main difference is the Site Template.

After testing a clean "Publishing Portal" I have found that anonymous users do not have access to the "system pages", yet on the "Collaboration Portal", they do.

This caused me a great deal of concern as it was my idea (well…Richard’s actually J) to use the Collaboration template. (But I chose to do it!)

So here’s the deal according to the grand pooba of SharePoint.

We have a special SharePoint Feature in the product affectionately referred to as the "Lockdown feature." This feature, when activated, changes the "Limited Access" permission level, removing a couple of rights, including the View Form Pages right. In order to activate the feature, you can use the following stsadm command:

stsadm -o activatefeature -url <site collection url> -filename ViewFormPagesLockDown\feature.xml

Note that if you already have anonymous access enabled on your site collection, you’ll need to disable it and re-enable it. Go to _layouts/setanon.aspx, switch anonymous access off, click OK, then set it to on.

NOTE: This works both ways since this is a site collection feature. If you create a Publishing Site and then add a collaboration site underneath (like a blog). You will not be able to enable the anonymous users to post comments (or do much else other than look at your home page!)