When you use a fully qualified domain name (FQDN) or a custom host header to visit a Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Web site or a Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 Web site from the server that is hosting the Web site, you receive a blank page.
Note You only receive a blank page if you try to visit the Web site directly from the server. If you visit the Web site from a client computer, you can view the Web site.
This problem occurs when the Web site uses Windows Integrated Authentication and the Web site has a name that is mapped to the local loop back address.
I’ve created a site that serves as a service portal. It requires a customer to login, so when accessing the home page, when not authenticated, you’ll get redirected to the login page. On the site anonymous access is enabled as the customers don’t need to login to SharePoint itself.
When I access the home page from the localhost or any other machine in the intranet everything works fine. (Going to http://sharepoint/ and this will automatically redirect to http://sharepoint/SitePages/Home.aspx)
When trying to access the SharePoint from the outside e.g. http://helpdesk.company.com. I get the following page: http://helpdesk.company.com/_layouts/15/start.aspx#/SitePages/Home.aspx.
This page appears to be empty and when clicking the Home link, I remain on this page.
When I remove /_layouts/15/start.aspx# from the URL it navigates to the correct page where I putted my web parts.
Its purpose is to speed things up by loading as little resources as possible.
Minimal download strategy (MDS) is new web technology used in SharePoint 2013 to save the bandwidth traffic and quick render the pages to the clients.
MDS technique use a single .aspx page (/_Layouts/start.aspx) for your pages, with the actual URL encoded in the text following the hashmark (‘#’).
When navigating from page to page, only the changes between two compatible pages will be downloaded. Fewer bytes will be downloaded and the page will appear more quickly and avoid calling the server to download objects.
To enable and disable the feature:
Site settings > under Site Actions section > manage site feature