Modern SharePoint Online Sites overview


SharePoint has evolved quite a lot in time, adding more a more features to match customer’s needs. At some point the platform became quite complex for new comers with many different options… Microsoft did release the Modern SharePoint Online site experience to improve the overall experience of creating and using SharePoint Online. With this release, we have now the choice between two families of sites : Team and Communication sites.
The way for an organization to customize the experience is to create Site Designs under those families of sites to trigger automated actions after the site is created.

This particular change clearly aims to enlarge the site creator population within the organization.

So what is a Modern SharePoint Online site ?

Like any website, you will find a navigation bar and a home page where you can write text, add image and highlight dynamic content using WebParts (Upcomming events, highlighted documents, news and so on). A SharePoint Online site can also host documents libraries, lists and third-party apps.
One of the great benefit when using Modern SharePoint Online is that you can create modern, professional looking and responsive sites without a clue about web development. The quality of the controls has been seriously improved making Modern SharePoint Online sites features much easier to discover and configure from an end user perspective.

Those sites can be accessed securely from any device with a web browser connected to the internet.

And what are those sites families ?

When you create a site in SharePoint Online, it can be for many reasons. In the modern experience, the only question you have to answer is :

Do you want a place for a team to work or a place to broadcast information ?

To help you understand the impact of your answer, let’s have a deeper look at the two options :

Team Site

The first category corresponds to a Team Site, you choose it when you need to create a place for a group of people to work on documents, produce deliverable, manage tasks, track status or exchange ideas. This is the kind of site created when you create a Teams. This option will provide you with a SharePoint Online site with a template designed for collaboration. The home page will be provisioned with news, and a preview of the document library. This option will also provide an Office 365 groups that you can use with the other Office 365 services including Outlook, Planner, Yammer, Teams or even Power BI. This will help you to maximize the use of services while keeping a seamless experience for the working team. So, if you want the team to use Teams and planner for instance, you will be able to enable those services with those Office 365 groups.

Modern Team site home page
Modern Team site home page

Communication Site

The second option correspond to a Communication Site, you choose it when you want to broadcast a message, tell a story, share content for viewing (but not editing), or showcase services or people.
The difference is that you get a top navigation and the home page is much more visual driven. this option does not provide you with an Office 365 group, because the purpose is not direct collaboration.

Modern Communication site home page
Modern Communication site home page

If you need more information about out of the box Modern SharePoint Online sites, here is a link to HubSite Microsoft documentation that talks about those two sites families

See you in the blog section !

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