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Organize your intranet with SharePoint hub sites

As business goals and team structures evolve, so too must your sites and the content that lives within them. Ideas must flourish and grow, not become rigid or stale. SharePoint hub sites bring flexible, dynamic building blocks to your company intranet – connecting collaboration and communication. Associating sites together in a hub site enhances discovery and engagement with content, while creating a complete and consistent representation of your project, department or region.

 

Microsoft first disclosed SharePoint hub sites during Ignite 2017. And today, we are pleased to announce that they are now rolling out to Targeted Release customers in Office 365. We are encouraged by early adopter feedback and can’t wait for every customer to use and adopt them.

 

SharePoint hub sites bring the following new capabilities to you and your intranet:

 

  • Cross-site navigation – increase visibility of and navigation among associated sites
  • Content rollup – read aggregated news and discover related site activities
  • Consistent look-and-feel – establish a common theme to improve visitor awareness of connected sites
  • Scoped search – focus on finding content that resides within the hub site’s associated sites

SP-hub-sites_blog_001.pngThe Contoso Travel HR communication shown here as a part of the HR hub site, Web view on the left, within the SharePoint mobile app on the right.

Hub sites support good governance, giving admins a growth framework to maintain relationships between sites over time. They are easy for admins to establish and bring efficiencies for people who work inside and across the sites on a day-to-day basis. And when managing change within the business, it is easy to move a site from one hub site to another.

 

Getting started with SharePoint hub sites in Office 365

You can convert an existing communication site or modern team time into a hub site, or you can start with a brand-new modern site. We recommend selecting a communication site as the hub site. You can associate multiple team sites and communication sites to model and promote an intranet that reflects the way your people organize. It is easy for admins to create one or more hub sites. After a hub site is created, approved site owners can associate existing team sites and communication sites with the hub site.

 

Let’s dig into the details.

 

Use the SharePoint Online Management Shell to establish your hub sites

Admins, you are the enablers. And the SharePoint Online Management Shell (aka, PowerShell for SharePoint in Office 365) is your enabling tool of choice.

 

The PowerShell cmdlet you’ll want to get most familiar with is: Register-SPOHubSite https://contoso.sharepoint.com/sites/HR (where HR URL is the full-path address of the existing site that you want to convert into a hub site). You then will assign a unique security group to designate approved site owners that can associate sites to this new hub. You simply create a mail-enabled security group and add the users. You then run an additional PowerShell command to give that group permissions to associate their sites to the hub site.

 

Note: You must be a SharePoint administrator or above in Office 365 to create SharePoint hub sites. Site owners, however, can associate a SharePoint site with a hub site that already exists.

 

Learn more how admins create and manage hub sites.

 

Associating a site under a hub site

Once a hub site is established, it’s then a two-click process to associate to the hub site.

 

As the site owner, go to the site you want to have associated to the hub site. Click Settings (gear icon) > Site information > hub site association and select the desired hub.  You’ll only see the hubs you have permission to associate to. And then click Save. You will see the hub navigation appear above. The site itself will inherit the hub theme, and news and activities will begin to flow up to the hub site home page – along with a search crawl of content for any site associated to the hub site. And at any time, per a reorg or change in business direction, you can easily move sites between hub sites. This is the power of a dynamic intranet, one that can change and adapt with the ebb and flow of your ever-changing business landscape. Note: individual sites can only be associated to one hub site at a time.

SP-hub-sites_blog_002.pngSite owners can associate an existing team site or communication site with a hub site.

Note: Sites associated with a SharePoint hub site don't inherit the permissions of the hub site or any other sites associated with it. Each site, including the hub site, will retain their current permission settings. And as easy as it is to associate a site to a hub site, you, too, can dissaciate from one.

 

Learn more how to associate and dissociate your sites to and from hub sites.

 

Design your layout and choose you theme

Once the hub site has been established, you’ll then want to further set it up and refine it for that organization -- so the hub site carries the right name and logo, the preferred navigation elements, a preferred theme, and the desired layout for news, sites and highlighted content. And all will re-flow and present beautifully within the SharePoint mobile apps.

 

The SharePoint mobile apps will display hub sites, and their pages, news, and content, with smooth navigation between associated sites and the scoped search experience. Find what you need on the go and get going! Install or update the SharePoint mobile app today: aka.ms/getSPmobile.

 

Review best practices for setting up your hub site.

 

Up next

To learn more about creating, using and benefitting from SharePoint hub sites, please join us in one or all these related upcoming events:

 

  • AMA | “SharePoint hub sites AMA” within the Microsoft Tech Community - the SharePoint product team will be online for an hour of Q&A and feedback.
  • WEBINAR ON-DEMAND | “Intranet strategy and planning with SharePoint hub sites & Office 365” – In this insightful LIVE Show, Andy Talbot joined Mark Kashman (senior product manager from the SharePoint team), Sue Hanley (SharePoint Consultant (MVP)) and Sam Marshall (ClearBox Consulting – owner) for the launch and strategic overview of SharePoint hub sites. The first segment of the webinar provides a detailed view into the core scenarios and capabilities of SharePoint hub sites, plus demo the user and admin experiences when working in and with hub sites. The second segment is devoted to a real-world discussion to uncover best practices, insights, and gotchas for decision makers & intranet-owners as you prepare to transform where you are and where you want to be! See a ton and take a bunch of notes to accelerate your digital workplace of now.
    • WHEN | Wednesday, March 28st, 2018, 8am – 9am PT (5pm – 6pm UTC)
    • ON-DEMAND NOW (login in to view, signup is free)
  • BIG EVENT | SharePoint Conference North America (#SPC18) - This is a premier opportunity to hear experts from Microsoft and around the world share their experience and knowledge. We will share best practices and future enhancements across the whole of SharePoint and related technologies – including what’s coming next for hub sites.
    • 100+ Microsoft & MVP speakers, 160+ sessions, 1 big keynote with Jeff Teper (CVP) and 1 giant SharePint.
    • WHEN | May 21-23 – Las Vegas, NV
    • Watch the keynote (now on-demand; register to watch for free): https://aka.ms/watch/SPVS).
  • GUIDANCE | SharePoint hub sites planning guide https://aka.ms/PlanningSPhubsites

SharePoint hub sites are designed to extend the reach of your information and to bolster the connective tissue each organization brings across the company. We are on this intranet journey through Web’space and time together. And we’re just getting started. (set your phasers to “fun”)

 

We are always open to feedback via UserVoice and continued dialog in the SharePoint community in the Microsoft Tech Community —and an eye on your tweets to @SharePoint. Let us know.

 

—Mark Kashman, senior product manager for the SharePoint team

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When can I expect to be able to create SharePoint hub sites in my Office 365 environment?

UPDATED [5.7.2018] | A: SharePoint hub sites have now been rolled out to 100% worldwide in Office 365, including enterprise, education and government customers. Also, the SharePoint mobile apps have been updated in the production versions to fully support them.

 

Q: Can I associate one SharePoint hub site to another hub site?

A: No, you won't be able to associate a SharePoint hub site to another hub site.

 

Q: Can a team site or a communication site be associated to more than one SharePoint hub site?

A: No. It will only be possible to associate a site to one hub site at a time. It is possible to link to various non-associated sites in the top navigation. And it will be possible, within seconds, to associate and/or disassociate a site as the business changes.

 

Q: Can a hub site replace my current organizational portal?

A: Hub sites are designed to let you dynamically organize closely related sites, bringing together similar projects, and binding related assets, and presenting common activity. Customers with portals that include customization beyond the web parts and extensions that SharePoint Framework currently supports are likely to continue using the SharePoint publishing infrastructure, which continues to be fully supported both in SharePoint Server on-premises and SharePoint Online.

 

Q: When should I use a team site, and when should I use a communication site?

A: Your SharePoint team site lets you share content, knowledge, news and apps with your group as collaborate on a project. A communication site lets you tell your story, share your work, and showcase your product across the organization.

 

P.S.

Extra credit for making it this far: a screenshot showing what a SharePoint team site when associated to a HR hub site:

SP-hub-sites_blog_003.png

 

P.S.S.

Thanks for finding out what all the hub hub hub site hubbub is all about! :)

P.S.S.S.

[Small update: we have our winner. Congrats, Pavan! And thanks all for playing]

First person to tweet the exact sentence below in quotes to me (@mkashman) and @SharePoint gets a free SWAG combo kit – a SharePoint Monkey, a Microsoft Graph hat, a Microsoft pen and a pair of SharePoint socks. GO!

“My heart beats a mighty lub’dub over all the hubbub and the Hubba hub hub of #SharePoint hub sites! @mkashman @SharePoint”

99 Comments
Valued Contributor
Congratulations on the launch of Hub Sites!
Anonymous
Not applicable

Link to the documentation isn't working, showing that it's on a permissions based site.

Established Member

My heart beats a mighty lub’dub over all the hubbub and the Hubba hub hub of #SharePoint hub sites! @mkashman @SharePoint

Microsoft

Hi @Anonymous - working on it. Most are working, and seems the "create a hub site" one is throwing a 404 - we'll get it working. Thanks for the click and eyeballs. #seesomethingsaysomething ;)

Established Member

“My heart beats a mighty lub’dub over all the hubbub and the Hubba hub hub of #SharePoint hub sites! @mkashman @SharePoint”

Microsoft

Hi @Troy Phillips. Thx for playing. We got our winner earlier via Twitter. There will be tons more if you're joinin in the #SPC18 fun in Vegas (May.21-23); www.sharepointna.com if curious/interested. 

Occasional Contributor

Nice to see that !

I just rushed to see them working on my tenant and it worked, but only for a few minutes :-(

Everything then disapeared :-(

 

But nice to see this feature we're really waiting for !!

Just a bit sad to see the new menu bar above the top placeholder area... This means top placeholder is juste between 2 native components letting less liberty for customization ;-)

Occasional Contributor

Excellent concept to group & enhance collaboration 

Occasional Visitor

Awesome to see this come through today!  I have been watching like a hawk for the release.  I ran the command  against two sites a few hours back and have yet to see any changes.  I tried against the root site collection and a modern communication site collection. They both show up as registered hub sites with get-spohubsite and we are set to targeted release as an organization.   

 

Any ideas why the hub site nav and hub site settings features would be absent from both of these site collections? 

 

spohubsite.png

Valued Contributor
@Chris Carruthers I asked a similar question which @Mark Kashman kindly answered on Twitter. It seems that although the PowerShell commands run in seconds, the service update which delivers the navigation and site settings is running behind. So we are in a short term interim period where not everything is showing up. This should resolve hopefully soon. Best wishes.
Anonymous
Not applicable

Ah, that answers my question as well. So we wait!

@Chris Carruthers probably is not yet rolled out on your tenant, retry later.

Regular Visitor

Is it possible that creating hub sites works fine but associating communication sites does not work: Neither does the link show up in the communication site information menu, nor does the PowerShell command work right now (Germany, targeted release tenants).

Regular Visitor
Hello. Thanks for this great news. I am wondering: "Does an old style team site inherit of the modern hub site style once associated to a hub sites?" If so, it opens the gate to some very nice projects. I'll be waiting for an answer to move forward on that topic. Looking forward to getting an answer. Cheers! Christophe
Occasional Contributor

#awsome, been waiting for this...:)

Valued Contributor

Same problem as others have mentioned.  Created several Comm Sites, ran PowerShell to designate one of them a hub, ran PowerShell to associate sites together.  

 

But visually nothing has actually changed on any of the sites.   On Targeted Release for Everyone.  

Contributor

Will there be a easy way to tell if this has hit our tenant?  

Occasional Contributor

@Rick DeFoe : from what i know, after you've registered your site as a hub, you should see the hub nav bar on the top of the screen with the hub site name on the left of the bar.

If you don't have the bar, then the function has probably not been rolled to your tenant

Valued Contributor
I’m guessing this will be number one topic on tomorrow’s AMA! We’ll get there.
Senior Member

Awesome to see this feature coming  ! Thank you

Microsoft

@Chris Carruthers/@John Wynne we've started rolling it out but you might not still have the UX. Stay tuned its coming soon. 

Microsoft

@Marco Schmucker The PowerShell commands are available but the UX is still rolling out. After you create the hub, check the hub site to see if the hub
features like the hub navigation is displayed. 

First - congratulations for release! Sencond - condolence for me (and some of my client) we need to meet and learn/teach again... :)
Occasional Visitor

 Just to clarify there should be no reason to re-run the PS commands, simply wait for the new UX to drop on my tenant, correct? 

Microsoft

@Chris Carruthers correct. :)

I've run the Powershell (you know how I feel about that @Melissa Torres!) and I have a new Hub Site. I've associated one other "modern" site with it. 

  1. After I set a new theme on the Hub Site, is there a lag before I see it on the associated site(s)?
  2. I have two different browser tabs open to the Hub Site. I manually added a link to the associated site in one tab, but don't see it in the other, even after a Ctrl-F5. My guess is something is cached that shouldn't be.
  3. I published a News item in the associated site, but don't see it in the Hub Site. What's the delay supposed to be there? Are all News items rolled up?

Looking forward to working with clients on this!

 

M.

Occasional Visitor

What web part is on the screenshot of the team site? Specifically, the "team resources" list with custom icons near the top right corner.

Microsoft

@Marc Anderson Thanks for being an early adopter! I hear you on the use of PowerShell. On your questions:

1. Yes it's not automatic, can take up to 2 hours.
2. Correct it is due to caching. We're working on addressing this issue of switching between tabs. 
3. We use search to rollup content from the associated sites so it's subject to that, and yes all news items rollup. 

Microsoft

@Lucas K, its the Quick Links web part. 

Occasional Visitor

I'm jealous of everyone who have had it hit their tenant.  Still waiting for it to hit mine. 

 

One more thing I haven't read about yet was the support of converting a root site collection to a hub site.  If it is supported (command went through so it looks like it might be) are there any limitations?  Will I get the ability to have full width pages?

Occasional Contributor

I am able to run cmdlets on dev tenant successfully but nothing visible as such related to Hub Site

Frequent Contributor

Great to see Hub sites functionality coming to SharePoint. Also ran the PowerShell commands for a couple of sites in my Targeted Release Office 365 tenant and still waiting till it shows up in the UI.

 

Requesting a quicker way of knowing whether a feature is available per tenant: Don't try and error whether a feature is available, simply check whether your SharePoint Online is running at the minimal version level

Instead of checking whether a specific version is available and working per tenant, it would be easier for me to simply check whether my tenant is at the right "patch" level. Is that possible, e.g. by a list of features per SharePoint Online version and being able to compare it with your SharePoint Online version?

 

So, is it possible that Microsoft in the future will provide information regarding the version number of your SharePoint Online tenant and a list of features that have been rolled out per version? E.g. is there a list which version has features like the Hub Sites and the ability as an admin (or regular user) to view the version of the SharePoint UI you are using, for example having it listed in the Modern SharePoint Admin Center?

Maybe the same way like when using Office 365 ProPlus, you can see which release channel (annual, semi-annual, insider) you are connected to, which version has been installed on your PC (example in the picture below) and online Microsoft provides a list of which features are available in which version of Office 365 ProPlus / Version and build numbers of update channel releases

 

Office 365 ProPlus version example.png

Anonymous
Not applicable

Looks like our tenant was rolled back. Get-SPOHubSite is no longer recognized.

Occasional Visitor

@Anonymous Same here. Suddenly the navigation was gone.

 

@Chris Carruthers It did worked yesterday on our tenant with the root Site Collection. But i did not tested the full width page.

Occasional Contributor

@Adriano Kaiser Same here. We had it yesterday, now gone. :-(

Microsoft

@Adriano Kaiser@Chris Carruthers@Niclas Carlsson and @Anonymous. If you're tenant is in Targeted Release, you should be good now with both creating hub sites and seeing the UX. 

Anonymous
Not applicable

@Melissa Torres is that targeted release for the entire org (i.e. is that required)? We are still not seeing it for users who are currently selected for targeted release.

@Anonymous: This is an admin function, and it requires Targeted Release for the tenant.


Valued Contributor

Our Hub sites fully activated today, and they are quite awesome.  We've already converted a multi-regional news service into a Hub with a collection of Comm Sites.  They dont address the full enterprise navigation "problems", but they help a little bit.

 

The next things we need - ability to associate sites to multiple hubs (e.g. Europe News) can rollup to the Global News Hub AND the Europe Operating Company Hub.  This request is coming super fast after we've shown the capability

Valued Contributor

 One request, we are trying to put together a global menu with SPFX to deploy in the "Top" placeholder of sites.  With Hub Sites, the menu bar actually loads above the "Top" div.  

 

It would be really nice if this Hub menu appeared below the "Top" placeholder

 

2018-03-27 15_42_22-Home.png

Occasional Contributor

Really nice that it has been released to all targeted release tenants. I have one question regarding the shared hub navigation in mobile view and apps. It seems like it's not there yet?

 

/Niclas

Occasional Contributor

@Brent Ellis

On my tenant the hub nav bar is now below the top placeholder !!

Had the same comment when i got a first glance at the feature !

 

Regular Visitor

In our tenant, the News Aggregation Webpart Shows only placeholder Texts, not the real values.

Is this because of search crawls?

 

"Titel des Nachrichtenartikels

@Brent Ellis I just checked my tenant, and the HubNav is directly below the Top placeholder (and above mainContent). I'm 99.9% certain we have nothing going on which would move it.

 

2018-03-28_15-58-54.jpg

Occasional Contributor

Yet another somewhat pointless layer on top of what is already a confusing mess. Why don't you guys focus on fixing the countless bugs and deficiencies in what's already being used and IMPROVING the product, instead of continually throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks? 

Valued Contributor

@Marc Anderson, thanks Marc, can confirm, my environment now has this hub below the Top (hooray!)

Microsoft

@Niclas Carlsson - it's out for iOS as an update, and coming very soon for Android.

@Mark Kashman @Melissa Torres Several of us have noticed when we narrow our browsers, the Hub Site nav disappears. It doesn't seem to land in the waffle, the hamburger, the ellipses, or anywhere. What's the intended behavior? 

Occasional Contributor

Finally it's fine to see the Hub Sites at work, but I have some questions:

  • cache: it takes really a long time to see changes to themes or to reorganization of content
  • SharePoint home page: is there a way to recognize hub sites from others?
  • global hub site navigations. It will be nice a behaviuor like the one we have with Publishing sites, with the possibility to automatically add (and hide and reorganize) connected sites and security trimming
  • higlighted content webpart: custom managed properties and refinablestring ar not recognized as filter or sorter
  • social bar: a rollup counter will be available? as well a most liked sort order?

Thanks.

Microsoft

@Marc Anderson, a fix for the hub nav missing on smaller screens is on its way. The hub nav will collapse into the hamburger menu.