SharePoint Site Types
See how other users use SharePoint Online to collaborate
There are different SharePoint Site types. Which is the right one for my team?
Four different site types currently exist in SharePoint Online at the University:
- Modern Team site (Connected to an Office 365 Group)
- Modern Team site (Not connected to an Office 365 Group)
- Communication site
- Classic site
The following guide will help you differentiate between these types of sites, either to recognise what type of site you already have, or to help suggest the right type of site for your team.
1. Modern Team site (Connected to an Office 365 Group)
A modern Team site allows you and your team to store and collaborate on files, create and manage lists of information, view links to important apps and web pages, and post news updates in the activity feed.
When connected to a Group, members of the site have access to a single collaboration space for the team, including:
A. Conversations: A shared inbox and calendar in Outlook
B. Documents: Shared file storage in SharePoint Online
C. Notebook: A shared OneNote notebook
D. Chat: A Microsoft Team space for real time communication
It is also possible to connect the site’s Group to other Office 365 apps, such as the task management tool Planner.
An example of the intended use of a modern Team site connected to a Group would be for a small to medium sized group of people or team working together to collaborate on a project or ongoing piece of work.
You can tell if a Team site is connected to an Office 365 Group by the ‘Private group’ or 'Public group' text underneath the site name on the homepage.
2. Modern Team site (Not connected to a Group)
A modern Team site not connected to an Office 365 Group is essentially the same template as the Team site described above, but is not connected to an Office 365 Group. It is for cases when users want just a SharePoint site without the bells and whistles of an Office 365 Group (Outlook, Teams, Planner).
- To request the creation of a modern Team site not connected to an Office 365 Group please contact IS Helpline, ensuring 'SharePoint Site Request' is included in the subject line.
An example of the intended use of a modern Team site not connected to a Group would be for a larger group of people or organisational department looking to create business process management solutions or records management functionality with granular permissions options.
3. Communication site
Whereas modern Team sites prioritise collaboration, SharePoint Communication sites are more for one-way information sharing and are most suitable for intranet landing pages, employee-facing departmental sites, or company news update portals.
- Communication sites are not linked to Outlook/Teams/Planner like Office 365 Group connected modern Team sites.
Visually, a Communication site appears as a widescreen page with no left-hand side navigation bar.
4. Classic site
At the University, new sites are no longer created using the legacy Classic format, but some existing Team sites are Classic types and will soon be transitioned to the modern experience.
|Classic||SharePoint Solutions Team||Many existing team sites at the University are Classic types and will soon be transitioned to the Modern experience. (New sites are no longer created using the Classic format.)|
|Modern Team Site (No Group)||SharePoint Solutions Team||A Modern team site not linked to a Group is suitable for intranet sites meant for wider audiences. (Current Classic sites will change to this format.)|
|Modern Team Site (Linked to a Group)||Self-Service||A Modern team site linked to a Group is ideal for collaboration with your team. Access is also provided to other tools/apps (such as Teams and Planner) through its connection to Office 365 Groups. Find out more information here.|
|Communication Site||Self-Service||A SharePoint Communication site is a great place to share information with others. You can share news, reports, and other information in a visually compelling format. Find out more information here.|
Still looking for more information on SharePoint Site types?
Building Your SharePoint Site
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University Branding Guidance
When building your SharePoint sites, do keep in mind the University's branding resource guide.
How is SharePoint used at the University?
With SharePoint Online, you can create highly functional intranet pages quickly without the need for writing code or other difficult customizations. With a mobile responsive design, these sites provide deeply engaging experiences for team collaboration and communication.
A SharePoint communication site is a great place to share information with others. You can share news, reports, statuses, and other information in a visually compelling format.
SharePoint Online provides a powerful means with which to work together. Rather than saving documents on multiple shared network drives, resulting in team members emailing back and forth and compromised version control, SharePoint allows for a centrally-managed document repository for optimised collaborative working.
- Version control and roll-back of documents, allowing changes to be easily tracked and reviewed
- Check in/check out functionality which prevents users overwriting one another
- Collaborative working (e.g. on policy documents etc.)
- Metadata and tagging to facilitate search and retrieval
SharePoint enables the automation of processes that would normally be done manually - taking a significant length of time or effort. Workflows are a tool within SharePoint which can support this.
A workflow is automated movement of documents or items through a sequence of actions or tasks that are related to a business process. For example, the automation of approving and reviewing documents.
Still not found what you're looking for?
Please contact IS Helpline, ensuring 'SharePoint' is included in the subject line.