SharePoint hub sites new in Office 365

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In  2017 Microsoft announced SharePoint hub sites, a new building block of the intranet, to bring together related sites to roll up news and activity, to simplify search, and to create cohesion with shared navigation and look-and-feel.

 

The digital workplace is dynamic and ever changing. Business goals and team structures evolve and change – often frequently. SharePoint helps your organization adapt, by connecting your workplace with intelligent content management and intranets that give you the tools to share and work together, and to inform and engage people across the organization. And now it gets easier to organize your intranet dynamically.

 

You can associate multiple team sites and communication sites to model and promote an intranet that reflects the way your people organize. Hub sites provide common navigational structure, look and feel, and search across associated sites. Hub sites also aggregate news and activities from associated sites and display the roll-up on the hub site’s home page.

You can use SharePoint hub sites to organize concepts, teams, divisions, or resources throughout your businesses. Let’s dive into the details.

Create a cohesive set of related sites with shared navigation, look and feel

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A hub site brings consistency across sites from the top down. When a team site or communication site is associated to a hub site, it inherits common characteristics, including:

 

  • Navigation – Define top navigation in the hub site that is inherited by associated sites.
  • Theme – Define the look and feel of the hub site, and that theme remains consistent across associated sites.
  • Logo – A logo on a site is like the green sticker on a map that says, “You are here.” It’s an important identifier of the site you are visiting, and the information and people the site represents. A consistent logo defined by the hub site and used by associated sites says, “You are here, and you have not left.”

Roll up and present a consolidated view of news and activities

Throughout the lifecycle of your projects, your launches, your internal campaigns, it is important to increase visibility, awareness and discoverability beyond the core day-to-day people, and not expect everyone to have to drill into the various related sites, but more represent a clear, broad picture of what’s happening across sites, aka, what’s happening across projects and initiatives. Team sites and communication sites push content and information up to the hub site level with:

  • News aggregation –After you create and publish a news article on an associated site, the news article surfaces on SharePoint home, in the SharePoint mobile apps, and now on the hub site’s home page.
  • Combined site activities – It’s important to know what is happening within sites, so you can prioritize your focus and your time. Site activities are visible on a team site’s home page, and on the site’s card on SharePoint home. Now, site activities will roll up from each associated sites so that they are visible on the hub site’s home page, so you can see what happening across related sites, instead of having to view activity site by site.
  • Scoped search – When you search for content from a hub site, results include content from all associated sites. Because associated sites are related, search from the hub site home page increases relevance, and enhances content discovery.