Microsoft has begun selectively rolling out an update to Office 365 specifically aimed at improving the SharePoint site creation experience.
The company recently blogged that the new update will “empower users to create their own sites and watch their productivity soar”.
The main benefit of the update is to allow end users to create ‘modern’ sites, even without the requirement of permissions to build Office 365 Groups. The previous SharePoint Online scheme meant Office 365 Groups were created automatically when a Communication Site or Team Site was added. This default setting could be disabled by an organisation’s IT department, leaving end users with the option to create only ‘classic’ SharePoint sites, which does not automatically create an Office 365 Group and do not scale well to mobile and other devices.
After the update users will be able to select ‘Create site’ from the Office 365 SharePoint home page. From there, they can create a modern SharePoint Online team site, receiving the full functionality of lists, libraries, a home page and standalone collections of sites. Users and admins can also create a communication site for broadcasting news, reports, and other information to their organisation, no matter what device their audience is on. Classic sites are generally limited to only displaying this kind of detail correctly in PC browsers.
Organisations will still be able to have control over how sites are created, with admins possessing the ability to ensure users stay within an organisation’s established preferences for governance. An updated Site Creation setting section within the SharePoint admin centre allows several options to route site creation through custom forms and logic, as well as enable or disable subsites or force classic and modern site creation options.
Microsoft is encouraging businesses to use new SharePoint hub sites following the update, which was first announced at Ignite 2017. The company points to the extra adaptability and flexibility of hub sites over traditional subsites. Existing team and communication sites can be converted into hub sites, and they can easily be adapted to reflect the way a business organises itself. As a fairly new feature, the company is hoping organisations will take advantage of these hub sites and give their user feedback on how they could be improved in future releases.
The update also adds self-service permissions for end users to change the default language of their SharePoint sites. This change means users will not be stuck with whatever default language is set at the organisational level, with SharePoint offering a choice of 50 different languages.
Some users and admins may already be able to access the new site creation and language settings as part of its targeted release beginning in late July 2018 and Microsoft has promised the Office 365 update with new SharePoint self-service features will be available to all users worldwide by the end of August.
Get more information about how Microsoft Office 365 and SharePoint can enhance communication and performance throughout your business by contacting our friendly customer service team at WM Reply.