Earlier this year, Microsoft started rolling out a wide range of SharePoint community sites where one could find a great place to share information with others. Since the announcement, these new communication sites have been rolling out to Office 365 customers and they are a great new feature to start taking advantage of. Right from news to reports, statuses and other information in a visually compelling format. Communication sites, in general, are beautiful, mobile and super easy to use right out of the gate. Microsoft’s team did a fantastic job in terms of layout. I mean you don’t require any kind of degree in SharePoint to figure out what to do, how to add content and sections and multiple columns.
Let’s Get Started
In the following post, I would like to shed some light on certain things to keep in mind while getting started with these communication sites.
SharePoint Communication sites are very simple especially when it comes to getting started. All you just need to have is the right permission so that you can simply click ‘Create Site’ and choose the new Communication site option or connect with a reliable SharePoint consulting service provider.
Right after you will be welcomed with three choices: Topic, Showcase or Blank. This is the moment where you can create a site right from the scratch.
Topic – The topic site is a great option when you want to share quite a bit of information, such as a mixture of events, news, imagery, pages, and documents.
Showcase – This kind of template is more visual. Henceforth, it is better suited to more imaginary based communication or to ‘showcase’ a specific event or product – such as an annual conference, Christmas party or a product launch.
Making use of the web parts – The topic and showcase templates are just for getting you started with the communication sites. However, you still have an option to remove sections, add new sections or edit it. A template is something that gives you a starting block from which one can work. We would definitely recommend starting with a template so that you can see how editing works.
Each panel of the site is made up of web parts that you can choose and input onto the page. The company has created such pre-built so that anyone can quickly create the layout without much need of writing the code. All he needs to do is writing the steps add the text, imaginary or information into these parts. If there are web parts that do not exist that you require then these can be built through custom development to create custom web parts that are specific to your organization.
Pages – Don’t worry about the pages, they are created in quite a similar way to the homepage with the help of available web parts, making it very quick to create a news article simply by adding imagery, quotes, links etc. These pages can then be surfaced on the homepage so that new announcements can be prioritized on the homepage, automatically pulling through imagery.
Documents – Lastly, you can even create as well as store documents like you would in traditional SharePoint Team sites. While communication sites wouldn’t be the place to take advantage of advanced document management capabilities, it does allow you to link and share documents relating to the communication site. You can still also use Microsoft Flow to automate certain tasks and processes.
And you are done!