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Change Tenant Root into a Communication Site

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Yannick Reekmans
MVP

Will it be possible to change the tenant root site collection into a Communication Site? It seems to be the perfect spot for a new companywide site/intranet that could benefit highly from the new features.

 

It would be nice for users to set a SharePoint site as the landing page after login, currently only a fixed set of locations are possible but not a specific SharePoint sitecollection. Any plans for this?

32 Replies
I'd like to know this as well as I'm still debating if our "new" intranet will consist of one big sitecollection container (e.g. the default root) or multiple SiteCollection (=new communication sites)

I imagine this make for an interesting debate going forward! Lots of organizations still are looking for the classic traditional intranet experience with a News/publishing homepage experience and then a nicely organized collection of sites/pages to share and publish corporate assets. The new Communications Site will push people to rethink if they want a traditional expeirence or instead if they want to try using the Communications Site as the root intranet and then have navigation that takes employees to other content areas (sub-sites) or other site collections as microsites. Interestingly, the larger the organization, the harder it is to have one giant intranet that perfectly caputres everything and the reality is there is a large ecosystem of sites that contain critical information, assets and applications for employees. 

Also following this thread, much effort is pushed at SharePoint Home, however, it doesnt allow you to tailor what would traditionally be needed to be a true corporate intranet home.

I have every intention of using a Communications Site as the corporate home page, however, we have 40 GB of content all built out under a publishing root site collection, and no chance we can move all of it to recreate.

At this point, I am considering a Javascript redirect to a new Comm Site as a "makeshift" replacement without moving what exists. Not pretty, but will probably suffice.
Highlighted

This is something I am eagerly awaiting for! I need to update our root site, and don't want to have to do it twice - once now, and then again when I can convert to communication site

I would like this too for our Root site, as we are changing over to Sharepoint for our Intranet!

Just imagine being able to set a SharePoint communcation site as the Office 365 landing page, then being able to add this app launcher as a single modern webpart:

 

365.PNG

 

Would be a great tool for us to introduce and push SharePoint to our O365 customer

I think in the future it will be possible to set a SPO Page as landing page in Office 365...not so sure about the WebPart

There's a Uservoice request for this. Please can I encourage as many people as possible to cast their vote to bump it up the the agenda with the Microsoft Developers https://sharepoint.uservoice.com/forums/329214-sites-and-collaboration/suggestions/20308864-set-comm... This is a really important feature for many of us who want to embrace the new Communication sites . 

I have a classic root in a government space that cannot be changed. I can build communication site collections off that root. So “https://******.sharepoint.com/sites/home” is created as a communication site and much more attractive than building a modern page off the root of a classic site. We have several other communication sites with that same look for branding/navigation consistency. One of the communication sites is a redesign of the homepage. So now I want that communication redesign to be the root at “https://******.sharepoint.com” without latency on the redirect.

For more information, I just opened a question here:
https://sharepoint.stackexchange.com/questions/248101/redirect-from-the-root-home-to-a-collaboration...

Any help would be much appreciated!

Solution
We've just announced that we will be supporting this, in a limited scope, by end of this year. Please check out this blog post https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Microsoft-SharePoint-Blog/Build-your-modern-intranet-with-Sha... and this tweet thread: https://twitter.com/dcpadur/status/1044954711349055490
Wow, this is much needed! Any update on feature roll out?

Love the excitement around this feature. We've identified a few issues and are working hard to get this out to everyone ASAP. We are now targeting Q1 CY2019 timeframe for roll out. 

 

Thank you !

I was looking on the roadmap and I don't see this on it, then again I may just be missing it. I know for our org, this is a top priority, so is there any more of an update on the progress for updating the root site collection?

 

I know, Q1 CY2019 still has quite a few days left in it, but I am so excited by this, it will go a long way of helping us get the rest of the company using SharePoint more.

  1. Open your ‘Pages’ library; (on root)
  2. Go to the ‘Libary Settings’;
  3. Add the ‘Link to a document’ content type to the library;
  4. Create a ‘Link to a document’ item;
  5. Enter the url of an existing ‘Communication Site’;
  6. Give it a name;
  7. Save it;
  8. Try if it’s is working;
  9. And comes the trick: Set this ‘link document’ as Homepage!

If you want to change anything on the rootsite you can use ‘https://<TenantName>.sharepoint.com/SitePages/Forms/AllPages.aspx’

or wait for other great releases like the modern mega menu Navigation ;)

https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Microsoft-SharePoint-Blog/Build-your-modern-intranet-with-Sha...

That's a pretty nifty redirect solution. Thanks for sharing !


@DC Padur wrote:
We've just announced that we will be supporting this, in a limited scope, by end of this year. Please check out this blog post https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Microsoft-SharePoint-Blog/Build-your-modern-intranet-with-Sha... and this tweet thread: https://twitter.com/dcpadur/status/1044954711349055490

@DC Padur any updates? This is truly needed to be able to make a transition of our and others intranets instead of migrating content. Pls advise!

@Nicklas Lundqvist 

 

The feature took longer than expected to ship. We are just a couple of weeks away from starting the roll out. Please see https://twitter.com/dcpadur/status/1118367712177205248

@DC Padur great to see :D

 

One follow up question, is this cmdlet limited to the root site of the whole tenant or can I use it to convert other old sites? I.e sites that have acted as "old time hub's"?

I can notice the documentation mentions a current restriction around sites where the classic publishing feature has been enabled.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powershell/module/sharepoint-online/Enable-SPOCommSite?view=sharepo...

 

Typically, we have enabled the feature.  Does anybody know if this limitation is here to stay?  I assume the PowerShell will just not work for sites where the feature was previously enabled?

 

@Nicklas Lundqvist 

 

@Paul Mitchell 

 

Yes. That limitation is not going away in the near future. There is another feature we've announced that would let you move an existing comm site to the root location of the tenant. See this: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/roadmap?featureid=51259

 

 

@Nicklas Lundqvist : For now its limited to the root site.

Thank you for the link to the new feature.

Do you know what would happen to the sub-sites if we moved an existing comms site to the root location?  Currently we have a ‘classic’ root site and a number of ‘modern’ sub-sites.

@DC Padur 

@DC Padur thx for the update. Which way would you go about with getting a modern site as the root site? I.e would you convert the current one or would you change a modern communication site to be the root? Are there any caveats to have in mind?

@DC Padur I saw in the roadmap that it's being pushed back to Q4?

 

There are a ton of development projects that we have been keeping on the back burner waiting for this. I know there was a ton of excitement regarding Home sites, but I know for us, implementing Home sites without having the root as a Communications site is going to slow down our development and use of SharePoint.

@Jens Balondo I know this might be a simple question, however now that I have implemented your change what is the easiest way to get to the Root site of the tenant again in the event I need to make changes to this site and/or change the 'Link to a document' URL?  BTW, thank you for this solutions, as it is a very simple solution to the root site not being converted to a communications site problem.

Haha, I should read your answer more thoroughly! no need to respond to my previous question! Doh!

I'm currently trying to do our Intranet architecture for O365 and want to have a communication site as the root site. I've created one and want to make this my root site. We have several other sites already under the old classic root site so need to know when we will be able to have this capability.

@Anne Kelley 

There is a feature in the Microsoft Office 365 roadmap to convert a tenant home site to a communications site.  It is targeted to be released at the end of this year.  See https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/roadmap?filters=&searchterms=46338.  I imagine it will be demo'd at Ignite.

 

The site-swap code which allows an existing Communication site to be moved to the tenant root is apparently rolling out now to tenants with between 1,000 - 10,000 licences. See O365 Message centre message MC189866 dated September 6 2019 and is meant to be completed worldwide by end of October.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any information on how we can tell whether the code is available in our tenant, apart from attempting to implement the code.  This is not something I want to do, I have to put this type of change through my organisation's change management processes, communicate to users about upcoming change etc. 

Perhaps I've missed a message somewhere.

Has anyone else found any articles on how we can tell whether the Powershell cmdlet Invoke-SPOSiteSwap will work in our tenant without having to give it a try?

@Mary F Harvey  thanks for the info. I have tried several times recently to do the Site Swap but I get the message that it's not available for my tenant as of yet. Our licensing is >10K. I don't understand why this isn't being rolled out to everyone. This is a MAJOR deal. The whole thing with O365 is this modern experience and to not be able to have the root site be set as a Modern site to start building off of it is painful and hard to plan for when MS doesn't even have a plan for implementation of this feature for large clients.

Hi @Anne Kelley,  Size of a tenant does not determine when updates are applied, but rather when the infrastructure that hosts your tenant and others is scheduled to be updated.  However, I would have thought this would have been deployed to almost everyone by now.  You might want to open a support ticket and see if you can find out if there is any issue with the update to your tenant.

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