My initial impressions of setting up New SharePoint Home site

My initial impressions of setting up New SharePoint Home site

Long awaited SharePoint Home Site feature is generally available now. Let’s have a look at what’s in store with this initial release of SharePoint Home site feature.

What is SharePoint Home Site?

New SharePoint Online home site is an intelligent root site for your Modern Intranet. According to Official Microsoft blog post, SharePoint Home Site is a

landing site for your organisation that bring together news, events, content, conversations and video to deliver an engaging experience that reflects your voice, your priorities, and your brand.

The underlying site template is the modern communication site. Up until now the SharePoint site collection at the office365 tenant root used to be the landing page for company’s intranet. So, if a modern SharePoint functionality needs to be applied then the only way was a create a new SharePoint page and make it a Home page of the site. Alternatively, you would have built a communication site and swapped the classic SharePoint root site using ‘Site Swap’ feature which was released not long ago. But the SharePoint Home Site gives you additional

With the introduction of new SharePoint home site, admins can now create an entire new shiny modern communication site with organisation-wide search scope, authoritative news and events and swap it to office 365 tenant root.

In a nutshell, SharePoint Home Site is the Landing site for your SharePoint Intranet. Let's look at the some of the features available in this release SharePoint Home Site.

Home button in SharePoint mobile app

A dedicated home button will allow one touch access to your home site in the SharePoint mobile app as illustrated by sample screenshot from Microsoft documentation.

home-site-fre.png

Note: SharePoint Home button is not live at the time of publishing this article.

Organisation-wide News

SharePoint home site gives a more personalised experience to the users. Users can access an organisational news source, by default. News published to the home site is visually marked to indicate it is organisation wide news. As shown in the screenshot below, News Articles published to the home site is visually marked to indicate it is organisation wide news.

1.png

If you now try Get-SPOOrgNewsSite command, you will see your new root site set as Organisational news.

Organisation-wide Search Scope

SharePoint Home site defaults to an enterprise-wide Microsoft Search scope, from the search box in the suite bar. In the screenshot below you will notice that the search box says, ‘Search in SharePoint’.

Organisation Wide Search.png

Now that we had a look at some of the key features of SharePoint Home Site, let's see how to create a new Landing Site for your Intelligent SharePoint Online Intranet.

How to create a new modern SPO home site?

To create a SPO home site, you first need to set up a new communication site and customise it as per your organisational goals and end user experience.

For me, I created a new communication site and added a Megamenu, News and Site Footer.

Set a site as your home site

Once you have created and customised your new SPO home site (aka communication site) you can now swap it with the existing root site. You need to have admin privilege to be able to do it.

First, connect to the SPO global admin portal using Connect-SPOService command. System will prompt you on screen for credentials.

Connect_SPOService.png

Second, you need to do a Site Swap using Invoke-SPOSiteSwap command.

Invoke-SPOSiteSwap.png

Enter the URLs for the site swap as below:

SourceURL – This is the new site that you want to swap with your old tenant classic root. If TargetURL is the tenant root then SourceURL must be an existing Modern Communication site, Modern Team Site or Classic Team Site.

TargetURL – This is your existing Classic root site in the Office 365 tenant

ArchiveURL – location to archive existing root content. Must not currently exist even in deleted sites Recycle bin. If it does use Remove-SPODeletedSite cmdlet to permanently remove the deleted site.

Wait for couple of minutes. Typically it will take less than 5 minutes .

Note that while your site is swapped there is no actual content being moved around. Having said that the content is re-crawled after the move to rebuild the search index so that could take some time.

Once done, just Invoke Set-SPOhomesite command where the HomeSiteURL is the URL of your new homesite.

SetSPOHomeSite.png

Enjoy your new SharePoint Home Site.

In the coming weeks, I will publish more articles here to share my experiences setting up and using SharePoint home site feature.

The following resources are used in writing this article.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/SharePoint/home-site - Puja Dhanetwal | Office 365 Trainer & Consultant @ Modern Work Group

PS: Contact us at Modern Work Group if you need any assistance with customised business solutions or user training to drive adoption your Office 365 platform.

This article is first published on Modern Work Group blog on 9th June 2020.

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