What is a SharePoint Hub Site in Office 365?

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SharePoint hub sites allow you to organize your intranet by combining multiple team sites and communication sites together in SharePoint. Hub sites give common navigational structure, look and feel and search across associated sites. One can organize concepts, teams, divisions or resources throughout your organization by making use of SharePoint Online hub sites in Office 365. Additionally, it makes easier for you to:

  • Search across all the relevant associated sites
  • Determine talented content including news and other site activities
  • Apply common navigation and branding across associated sites

Define Hub sites?

Hub sites are regarded as the newest intranet building block in Office 365. They are easily available to all Office 365 customers such as enterprise, education and government. In the current era of modern SharePoint, each unit of work receives a separate site collection. Hub sites help us to eliminate the inflexibility and governance limitations of dreaded subsites, while giving a way to replicate one of the major advantages of subsites- a way to build a shared experience among related sites. Hub sites allow us to kill subsites, but not without proper planning.

SharePoint Hub Site in Office 365:

Due to the advent of SharePoint Online and Office 365, we witnessed numerous companies including small businesses adopt SharePoint. This helped most of the medium and small sized businesses to get away with only 1 or 2 site collections. The question was raised that what made a single site collection really attractive which helped in building common navigation between all the subsites. In addition to this, it helped in developing site templates and even reusing them.

Subsite vs. Site Collection approach has always been an argument when it comes to the SharePoint community as each approach had its own pros and cons. This gave popularity to flat architecture with the rollout of Office 365 Groups and Communication Sites. A new site collection is provisioned each time when you create Office 365 Groups and Communication Sites. So, you want it or not you are compelled to use a flat architecture.

Here the challenge was how to bring them all together through common navigation. This is where Hub Sites made an entry. Hub sites can be contemplated as a phenomenal approach to tie together all the autonomous site collections under a single navigation umbrella.

Creation of Hub Sites:

Hub sites can be created with the help of the below mentioned steps:

Step 1: You are required to choose a site that will be the main hub- this is the place where you will be managing the global menu (consider it as an elder sister)

Step 2: You are required to align other site collections to the hub site (consider this as brothers and sisters joining the elder sister)

Characteristics of Hub sites:

When a team site or communication site is associated with a hub site, it automatically inherits some common attributes and characteristics such as:

Navigation: It determines the top navigation in the hub site that is inherited by the associated sites.

Theme: It determines the appearance of the hub site and the entire theme remains similar across all the associated sites.

Logo: A logo on a site can be referred to the green sticker on a map that reads “you are here”. It is an essential identifier of the site that you are visiting along with the information and people that the site represents. Basically, the logo defined by the hub site and used by associated sites refers to, “you are here and you haven’t left.”

Conclusion:

From the aforementioned discussion, it can be stated that the SharePoint Hub site is a collection of sites that are connected to a master site where all the connected sites can be easily navigated and effectively managed. Basically, the concept of SharePoint hub sites came up as the building block of the intranet, to bring together relevant sites to roll up news and activities to ease search and create consistency with shared navigation and look and feel.

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