The question I get the most these days is, "what is this modern SharePoint you keep talking about?" It might sound like an oxymoron! All my SharePointy friends know about it, and debate the finer points over beer at SharePint, but to the casual user, or someone who's been working on premises, it may be a bit of a mystery. It's only available online (at the time of this writing anyway), and is slowly being phased in as developers build it out.


So here it is: Microsoft is on a mission to modernize SharePoint, to save it from fading into obscurity as a once innovative but now persnickety old war horse of a product. This article will explain how they're doing it, and why you might want to take a fresh look on this stalwart collaboration product.


Anything but SharePoint


SharePoint's "classic" user interface was introduced in late 2002. Since then, new features have been layered on top, staying within the constraints of that original foundation. Unlike guitars and whiskey, software doesn't improve with age. As a SharePoint consultant, clients often asked me to make it look like "anything but SharePoint".


A SharePoint Intranet arrived in pieces, like the parts of a house delivered to a building site, leaving customers to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars putting them together. Of course there will always be value in helping to design an Intranet that fits an organization's business and culture, but all too much time was spent applying arcane customization techniques that had accumulated over the years.


Microsoft was at a crossroads: overhaul the aging collaboration product, or watch it die a slow and painful death. So last year they started phasing in new "modern" SharePoint pages based on up-to-date web technology. These pages, and sites built from them, remove decades of frustration and are a pleasure to use.


Here is one of the modern sites, a Communication site, which would be used for publishing information on an Intranet. No customization or advanced configuration was needed. It would have taken a lot of work to make a classic SharePoint site look like this! Moreover, the site automatically adapts to a narrow phone screen, keeping the page readable without sideways scrolling on any screen size.Modern Communication Site


What is modern SharePoint?


Modern SharePoint is a whole new user experience. It's more than a fresh look, it's designed from the ground up to work on mobile devices, and it addresses dozens of nagging usability issues. So far, modern SharePoint exists only in SharePoint Online.


Lists and libraries have the new look; here is a classic document library next to a modern one so you can compare.



The difference is subtle, but the modern page is definitely easier to use, and allows more advanced filtering and bulk editing. Have you ever tried to move a file in SharePoint? It's nearly impossible in classic SharePoint, and is one of many things made easy in the modern version.


It's more dramatic on a small screen, like a smartphone. (The screen shot shows Chrome emulating an iPhone X).



Notice how the classic screen shrinks to fit, making for microscopic text and requiring a microscopic finger to tap. It's pretty much impossible to use. The modern screen is still fully functional; you can select files and do whatever you need to by tapping the screen with your normal sized finger.


The full impact of modern SharePoint is evident in the editable pages. This is where users can innovate by arranging web parts on a page to show just the information they want. That's a big part of SharePoint's popularity: any business user can create a web site in minutes! It's less compelling, however, if the site looks like it was designed to run on an early version of Internet Explorer. (Because … well … it was.)




To test it out, I put the same information into two team sites, one classic, one modern. Both sites have a news web part; in the classic site, the news feed has little social messages (I attached a picture); in the modern site, the news feed has SharePoint pages with news articles on them. Those articles are automatically fed into the SharePoint mobile app and SharePoint home pages. In the classic site, the calendar is stored in SharePoint and is pretty ugly, causing the dreaded horizontal scroll bar at the bottom. On the modern site, the calendar is stored in Exchange as part of an Office 365 group. Exchange calendars work much better than SharePoint calendars.


Now here are the same two pages in the iPhone X emulator:




Again, the classic page was shrunk to fit, and is way too small to use. The modern page was rearranged to fit.


In SharePoint Online, lists and libraries are modern by default; web part pages are modern if you create a "modern team site" or "communication site". You can also add new, modern pages to existing team sites (but not yet to classic "publishing sites"). Once a new page is set up, it can be set as the site home page, and the site will gain almost all the advantages of a fully modern team or communication site.


Top 10 Reasons to use Modern SP


Here are some reasons to check out Modern SharePoint:

  1. Sites are compelling: This is the most obvious advantage; it's no longer a goal to make it "not look like SharePoint", and in general, users will be happier with the results.

  2. Mobile friendly: It's pretty standard these days that web sites should work well on a mobile phone or tablet. Trying to do that in classic SharePoint was an exercise in frustration and sideways scrolling.

  3. Faster, everywhere: In Classic SharePoint, most of the page is created on the server, and the whole layout needs to be sent over the network for every page. That's the way the web worked in 2002. This creates a bottleneck in the servers, and leads to large network payloads. If the server is half way around the world, the speed of light slows things down even more.

    (SharePoint Friends, please do not mention the "minimal download strategy" at this point! Beer or preferably whiskey is required for that discussion!)

    In modern SharePoint, most of the page is created in the web browser. Big chunks of SharePoint (including the "SharePoint Framework") are stored outside of SharePoint servers, close to users around the world (on CDNs or  Content Delivery Networks). They are also easily cached right on your computer, so they run nearly as fast as a locally installed program. Pretty much only the content needs to be retrieved from the SharePoint servers.

  4. Backed by Groups: Classic SharePoint sites were self-contained, which meant using SharePoint lists and libraries for everything. That might seem clever, but let me tell you, a calendar or discussion hosted in a SharePoint list is not a good thing.

    If I had a dollar for every time I was asked, "how come my SharePoint calendar isn't the same as my Exchange calendar," I'd have a nice pile of cash. Well now they're the same! Modern SharePoint sites are backed by an Office 365 Group, which means they get a real Exchange calendar and shared mailbox, a real OneNote notebook, a Planner plan, and so on, in addition to lists and libraries. That greatly improves matters, and also lets you choose to work with all your calendars in Outlook, or all your notes in OneNote, across all sites and your own personal use.

  5. Flexible organization: Classic SharePoint is based on lots of small hierarchies called site collections. Each site collection has a top-level site, and can also have child sites, grandchildren, etc. These hierarchies are very inflexible, and notoriously difficult when organizations change.

    For example, suppose a product moves from Division A to Division B in a company, and the product site is in the Division A site collection. Your SharePoint person is about to have a bad day. There is no easy way to make the change and he or she will end up re-creating everything in a new site over in the Division B site collection. Unless they have another reorg first.Modern sites use a concept called "hubs" where sites are more loosely connected. The product site can just be switched from the Division A to the Division B hub, and it will get the navigation, search, and look of a Division B site.  Its URL won't even change, so favorites and links won't break.

    A consequence of this is that the new world of SharePoint is flat. SharePoint installations that have a flat structure with lots of single-site collections will have a lot easier time modernizing.

  6. List and Library improvements: There have been many list improvements, including easier filtering, conditional formatting, and attention views, which once and for all provide a sensible way to show items that are missing required information. Modern lists also (finally!) address the dreaded "5,000 item view limit" that has frustrated SharePoint users for years. It does this by automatically creating indexes as they're needed, based on user interaction. It's not perfect, but for most situations it removes this perennial pain point.

    In addition, the forms and workflow applied to lists and libraries is being modernized. PowerApps is slowly getting closer to parity with the legacy InfoPath forms designer, and Flow (and its big sibling Azure Logic Apps) are replacing SharePoint's built in workflow options. The biggest advantage of these new tools is that they're not locked into SharePoint; they can work with all sorts of cloud services, both within Office 365 and beyond.

    If you have an investment in InfoPath and SharePoint workflow, don't worry! InfoPath and the old workflow engines aren't going away any time soon. However you'll need to live with their limitations, as they're pretty much on life support at this point.

  7. Expose new features: Microsoft has introduced a number of cool new features that only work on Modern sites. These include:

    • Site classification and labels, so users can see when they're on a site that contains sensitive information, and  easily label the contents for compliance reasons

    • News feeds which automatically distribute links to pages (articles) across the sites in a hub and to the SharePoint mobile app and home page

    • New web parts: There are a ton of cool new web parts that only work on modern pages. Sandra Ussia has great information on the new web parts on her blog (Part 1 and Part 2). Tracy van der Schyff has written a lot of them up on her blog as well.

      In general, Microsoft's web parts either work in classic or modern pages but not both. The only web parts that work both places are those written by 3rd parties (like you!) for the new SharePoint Framework, which allows developers to target both modern and classic pages with a single code base.

  8. Easier to configure: Some classic web parts were easy enough to deal with, but others required arcane knowledge of XSL style sheets, display templates, and other outmoded web technology. The new web parts are much easier and more intuitive to set up, and don't require any special technical know-how.

    The modern team site page was a lot easier to set up than the classic one, mainly due to quirks in the old UI that often refuses to cooperate.

  9. More secure: Classic SharePoint sites would run any JavaScript you might want to put there; they even provided web parts for that purpose (the Script Editor Web Part and Content Editor Web Parts). That might seem benign enough, but in today's world you can't be too careful.

    For example, suppose Joe E. is an administrator of a SharePoint site. (Nobody knows, but the E is for "Evil!"). Joe writes some script and puts it on the home page of his site. Then he gets the CEO to visit the page. When she does, Joe's script now has all of her permissions, and can do anything the CEO could have done on the SharePoint farm (or, more specifically, in the web application). Maybe his script approves a workflow, or gathers confidential information using SharePoint search. Bad. News.

    Modern sites are more locked down than that. There are limits to how much you can lock down the script on any web site, but by default you can't just drop a script on the page. IT can easily set it up so Joe and his Evil siblings can't add arbitrary script to the pages.

  10. Future Investment: Microsoft has been very clear that they're not turning off classic sites any time soon, but let's face it, classic sites are just on life support at this point. Any work you put into a classic site is work you may want to redo later on. If you're building a new web part, configuring the way a list is shown, or just setting up a web part page, why not do it the modern way so you can take advantage of Microsoft's investments in the future?

  11. Teams: So much for the top 10, I thought of another one! There's been a ton of enthusiasm recently over Microsoft Teams, a new collaboration tool that's centered on persistent chat. Teams brings together nearly all of Office 365 under a single "pane of glass."This brings up more questions, like, "Should we use Teams or a SharePoint Team Site", or "Won't Microsoft Teams put SharePoint out of business?"

    These questions are based on a common misconception that it's an either/or situation. Did you know that every Microsoft Team has a SharePoint team site, and that a Team can be easily added to a modern SharePoint Team Site? These products aren't competing, they're converging!
    If you're using teams, try this: go into the Files tab, click "View in SharePoint", and you'll be on that SharePoint site. Now go to the site's home page, and copy its URL to your clipboard. Back in a Teams channel, click "+" to add a tab, and paste in the URL. There it is - the SharePoint site in Teams. SharePoint even hides the site navigation so it fits into Teams' navigation scheme. This integration is likely to improve, with easier connections and more feature integration over time.


How do I get there?


If you have an Office 365 subscription (and permission to do so), you can go modern right now! Just go to the SharePoint Home page and click "+ Create Site" to create a modern Communication or Team site.

If you have an existing site in SharePoint Online, you probably already have modern lists and libraries. If the site doesn't use the Publishing feature (such as a Team site), just create a new page (in the "Site Pages" library) and by default it will be modern. Easy peasy. This article has a lot more advice on converting sites from classic to modern.

Microsoft hasn't tackled Publishing sites … yet. There's a lot to be modernized in SharePoint!

Modern Migration


A lot of customers are migrating to SharePoint Online to get out of the complex business of managing a SharePoint farm. It makes sense to leave that part to Microsoft, and never need to install another upgrade. But after that migration, all the SharePoint sites are still classic.

Will there be a second migration then, from classic to modern? Some enterprises may want to do that, and others may just go modern on new sites.

There are a lot of things to consider in a modern migration, especially in sites that were customized. The biggest challenge will surely be where child sites (and granchildren, etc.) are used, since modern SharePoint only works on the root of each site collection, and Microsoft is moving toward a flat, one-site-per-collection structure (see item 5 above). Maybe some of the migration companies will come up with a solution for that!


I hope this was useful, either as a way to learn about modern SharePoint, or as something to pass on to your colleagues who ask about it. It really is the most often-asked technology question I get!

Thanks for reading!


(cross-posted from Bob German's Vantage Point)


Very good. MS please do more of these kinds of articles. Pratical, in the weeds. Less Marketing hype. Puts a lot of the pieces together.

Really great article Bob!

Frequent Visitor

All the changes are welcome great article, the roadmap is exciting.  one fundamental issue though, from my experience in Higher education the biggest blocker to SP adoption is the inability to move and copy files and folders (easily) inside SP, and between desktop (mac & PC) and SP.  Ironically for most users this is all they want to do, but its made very hard to do so users give up and move to other platforms & methods (googledrive or dropbox). Functionality has been added to do this within libraries in the same site but in most organisations staff have to work across multiple SP sites. who decided that not being able to drag a folder in and out of a SharePoint library is a good idea? MS please help.

p.s. MS planner commenting functionality completely killed its adoption in our org


Great article! Thanks so much for writing and sharing this -- also for the useful resources that you included.


I wish we could get confirmation on the future of InfoPath; I read the following in this redmondmag article:


The idea that InfoPath will live on as a tool for SharePoint Server 2019 also was affirmed by Vlad Catrinescu, a Microsoft MVP and president of vNext Solutions, in an Oct. 2 Crow Canyon Softwaretalk, which is available on demand here. Catrinescu said that while not much is known about SharePoint Server 2019, "we know for sure that InfoPath will be back."


Thanks again for your excellent article -- I'll be looking for more content from you!

Senior Member

Such a great article! Thanks!

Awesome article ! Many thanks Bob !

Occasional Contributor

Wow! Thanks for the article!

Frequent Contributor

Great practical article Bob! Great comparison between the classic and the modern SharePoint.

Occasional Contributor

Useful as just in the process of restructuring our Intranet.


One thing that's got me really bugged though is why images that are put on sites/pages using the modern Image Web part cant be hyperlinked? Doesn't this functionality go back to the stone age of the web? Would be grateful if someone could explain the rationale behind that decision and/or when hyperlinking of individual images will become available (I can't yet see it in road map documentation).



Umm... I thought an answer to  the above question would be easily forthcoming. Anyone out there able to assist?

Frequent Visitor

@Tom Resing fantastic news...our organisation is still on classic view, but I have just had a play and that works a treat. can you tell me are there any plans to allow dragging of folders from a library to a local desktop device? I know you can copy to onedrive , then sync that to local device.

all the best


Senior Member

Very useful article. My concern about the introduction of the modern SharePoint is that it is missing functionality making it necessary to revert back to the classic view. This makes it a frustrating experience for users. As an example, if a user wants to share a document stored in a SharePoint library with a colleagues in a Yammer group then they can copy a link and paste it into Yammer but it doesn't display in a friendly format, or you go into the classic experience where there is an option to post the document into Yammer in a much friendlier format. Another piece of functionality our users often ask for is the usage statistics for pages or documents - again it isn't currently possible to obtain these in the modern experience and therefore necessary to switch back to classic.  


@Joe Grant, great to hear!

Have you tried sync with a library? That was added to OneDrive.exe last year. It also works with OneDrive's Files on Demand in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

Occasional Contributor

This is a helpful article.  Thanks for bringing all together. 


My BIGGEST complaint with modern is your last section...Modern basically requires a whole migration to get classic, customized sites into modern.  If a company migrated to classic sites a year ago (before modern had come very far) with the hopes of never doing another migration now that they had made it to the cloud (e.g. version upgrades from SP2007-2010), microsoft has now functionally made a new version in the cloud that does not have a clean migration path:sleepy_face:  Hugely disappointing! 


Also, "a pleasure to use" is an overstatement.  #8 is right, it is easier, and it does have more modern web features, but in its simplicity (and security) it can be very limiting.  The rich text/content formatting and site customization options (extensions, etc) are still limited and a work in progress. 


Regarding #5, flat can be good, except when layers of nesting are desired.  MS should enable nesting hub sites.  That would be best of both worlds (flexibility and capacity for scalable hierarchy)!! 


Regarding #9, do you have link to article with more info on this (what is restricted and what is allowed, and/or what alternatives may be provided for js customizations or features)? 


It is a promising improvement, but still some frustrating limitations--and the migration thing is worst of them all!!!

Not applicable

This is awesome! thanks!


Great article Bob! Agree with some of the other statements from @Chad Miller, but overall the feel and ease of use is out weighing a few of those limitations.


One question @Bob German or @Tom Resing - when can we build site collections traditionally (Not Groups) that show as Modern by default?


And, oh by the way, on your calendar comment - one of the repeating complaints I get from 10,000 users (talk about a pile of cash) is "All day events show with the wrong date in SharePoint". So even if it is a Groups Calendar backed by Outlook/Exchange, the web part becomes a non-starter when every event can't be counted on to show the correct "date" of the event.


@Chad Miller, did you know all sites have modern experiences in lists, libraries and site contents no matter when they were created? All sites also have modern pages available and you can set a modern page as the home page of the site.

@Rob Bowman, that tip might fill part of your need for a site that's not connected to a group. @Sean Squires may be able to add more on future site template updates. 

@John Sanders might be interested in your feedback on the all day events in the calendar web part. I hadn't heard that before.

Occasional Contributor

@Tom Resing - yeah, we are using modern list/libraries (not too much on modern pages yet--branding, customization and content formatting limitations:slightly_frowning_face:).  Our users are still having some confusion (somewhat like @David Doig's comments above) going back and forth between modern/classic for certain features but gradually getting people sold on advantages of modern.  But, yeah, it is good that we can at least take advantage of some modern features on classic sites.  Still doesn't change my thoughts on my comments above, but my frustration would be all the more if we couldn't even use modern list/library/pages on classic sites.  I was surprised to see @Bob German's comment that modern pages weren't yet available on classic publishing sites.  I thought we had done that but I guess the only places we had tried were classic team sites.  


Somewhat tangential but still related to modern features, has anyone seen the Compact List view (reducing padding/margins) on Modern list views in your tenant?  I thought that was supposed to have rolled out in September but still don't see it in our tenant.  


@Graham McHugh I wish I could comment on InfoPath in SP2019 right now but I can’t. This question and many others will be answered at the SharePoint Conference North America on May 21-23,!/ ! Thanks for your patience and I'm glad you enjoyed the article!


Thanks for that, @Bob German -- I'll try to get out to that conference!


Best regards,




@Tom Resing to your tip regarding all sites have modern pages - That is what we are doing currently, due to not having the ability to create modern sites during the building of a traditional site collection. - The issue there is that we are giving these sites out to a few thousand individuals, globally, who are not necessarily SharePoint knowledgeable enough to know how to take advantage of Modern pages. It is left to my small team to either educate them or somehow catch the site during our automated site creation process, and make it a modern home page.


It will due in the meantime, but really would like to have the stock site collection be created with a modern homepage.

Occasional Contributor

This article is quite inaccurate as shows one, very bright side of Modern SharePoint sites. Unfortunately Modern SharePoint sites are immature at the moment, which can impact user adoption and impact costs of customization. It is worth to take a look at some limitations or ‘features’ of Modern SharePoint sites.


Below I have listed just few things, I have found surprising or annoying.



  • List view – you don’t have for instance grouped metadata totals. Yes, you can develop your own modern web part with SharePoint Framework.
  • Mixed user experience on ‘classic sites’ – list views are modern, but everything else is classic. Confusing.
  • Branding is fairly limited at the moment, there is new JSON schema, but still it only allows to change colors.
  • Navigation – you can edit and sort, but that is all. It is fairly limited on mobile devices and very hard to use. Not possible to replace with anything else at the moment.
  • Different way of creating modern sites – you can do that through Office 365 groups or Teams. They are not listed in SharePoint in SharePoint administration site collection list.
  • Different way of managing access to site – through Office 365 Groups. Can be confusing for SharePoint users and business administrators.
  • Microsoft Teams – Yes, content is stored on modern SharePoint site including Team’s Wiki. And Wiki is .mhtlm page…which cannot be viewed from SharePoint site. Only from Teams client. It really was nasty surprise for me. I hope Microsoft would fix it.

Customization and Development

You can take a look at customization limitation here:

  • Little support for Application Lifecycle Management for SharePoint Framework – it is work in progress. I think, that SharePoint PnP team do a lot of good things around it. We will see.
  • Office UI Fabric – recommended as JavaScript UI Framework for SharePoint Framework - have many bugs, and does not develop as fast as other similar ones. A lot of information is outdated on the Office UI Fabrice page. Overall not so bad, but not really impressive comparing with others. Needs improvement – means ‘Hey Microsoft, you should invest more money in this!’.
    Unfortunately you really have no choice as all SharePoint Modern sites are built around Office UI Fabric. (and seems slow)
  • You need many tools to develop solutions. If you just need web part – you are lucky. You can use Visual Studio Code or something like that and that is all. If you need some more complicated logic behind, or long running operation (like creating few artefacts in SharePoint), you need some more tools, like Microsoft Flow, or Visual Studio (not Visual Studio Code) to develop e.g. SharePoint Add-In.
  • You never know if Microsoft is not going to abandon idea of SharePoint Framework like it did with e.g. jslink, Autohosted Add-Ins, sandboxed solutions and few more things.

Good things

Overall experience with Modern SharePoint sites is better than with classic ones, and I hope Microsoft is not going to abandon Modern SharePoint sites in the favor of something like ‘Most Modern SharePoint Site, but Completely Different’.

There are also some useful things like, right pane where you can fill e.g. document properties to be able to check it in.

Rich Text Editor looks familiar and yes, this is The Best JavaScript RTE – CKEditor. As CKEditor offers a lot of customization options, I hope Microsoft is going to give us ability to use them. (By the way, if you visit Warsaw, Poland you can meet with developers of CKEditor. I am sure they will help you if you have any questions).

This is not the end of the story of the SharePoint Modern sites. This just the begging, I hope.
Yes, take a look at SharePoint modern sites, knowing that they are not perfect and have some limitations. You can be better prepared for user adoption, customization, development etc.


@Bob German - 'More Secure’ – Joe E. as Administrator can actually do even nastier things in SharePoint Modern sites in many different ways. So the whole story is just fake. If you have Joe E. as administrator you should replace him with Joe T. (everybody knows that T is for “Trusted”). That solves the problem.






@Radosław Szymczak thanks very much for your detailed comment! I agree that it's a work in progress. Please post/vote for these great suggestions on UserVoice, they really do listen to that! ( 

I also share your hope that they don't change direction again, and I'm feeling confident they will stay the course. The last time they redid the whole page structure was in 2002! Microsoft itself is building on SPFx with tons of web parts and whole modern page experience, and I think that's a sign of its longevity.

Regarding the "more secure" comment, if you figure out how to tell Joe E from Joe T, please let me know! Tripwire reports that insider threats are behind most security breeches (, I know it's not perfect but it's certainly an improvement; in my (personal) opinion, the add-in model showed that a more secure approach was so cumbersome it stifled adoption. That's why I said "more secure" not "completely secure" ... it's all relative!



Frequent Contributor

Well done, @Bob German...glad to be one of your 'sharepointy' friends. Have fun at MVP Summit this week! 

Occasional Contributor

Great Article! Can anyone throw lights on future of ribbons. What will be alternative to custom actions in Document Library ribbons in Modern sites.

New Contributor

Thanks @nilesh kodulkar - The list and doc library ribbons become menus in the modern UI. I'm not sure about the rationale but I suspect a simpler menu is easier to make responsive; as the screen shrinks, top-level choices move under an ellipsis "..." menu. URL based custom actions that worked in Classic mode actually still work in modern, but become menu options instead of ribbon buttons. See for more details!

Regular Visitor

This is an amazing article, We are working on ne implementations and migrations, and this article can help a lot. Thanks


Any new improvements around ADA standards?  

Regular Visitor

Great and detailed article. 

Thank you @Bob German.

Occasional Visitor

Thank you for this piece, I found it very helpful.

Occasional Contributor

Great article, and compelling arguments for Modern SharePoint. Our customers are keen to take advantage of it, but a lot is still only available with Classic SharePoint, so a mixture is likely to be needed for some time to come.


Calendars is where I'd most like to see some focus. Yes, a modern team site gets an Exchange Calendar, but it's only available to interact with in Outlook, and not in SharePoint. Even MS Teams doesn't provide an interface for the group calendar. A robust extendable SharePoint calendar interface is an essential feature that needs to be enhanced and not deprecated. 



Occasional Contributor

Thanks, informative & to the point.


The modern UI is intriguing. Unfortunately development by Microsoft has been extremely slow. The experience is handicapped by its lack of support for calendars. The problems with list functionality (column totals dont display properly etc.) mean that frequently our users have to switch back to Classic view in order to perform their tasks. These problems have been in existence for some time now. When will Microsoft understand that simply slapping a fresh coat of paint on something is not a solution to problems within their software. 

At this point and for the foreseeable future i am discouraging use of the modern interface and locking users in to the classic experience whenever possible in order to deliver a consistent experience. I have lost faith in Microsoft's ability to deliver a working solution. My biggest question is why release a handicapped product before it is ready? And when is Microsoft going to get it together and finish the work on the new UI? Should we all just put off any new Sharepoint site until MS commits and does their job or move to a better solution hosted by another provider entirely. After 10 years I am quite frankly ready to say goodbye to Sharepoint.  

Occasional Contributor

I hear ya Rod, but I'm not ready to give up on SharePoint. The modern interface is essential to keeping SharePoint relevant, and there's so many exciting things going with it. But it does seem like it's being pushed out way ahead of being ready.

The modern list interface has been out for a long time, and as you point out, column totals are still missing. And at the moment, something as important as list content types is broken in the modern list interface. Microsoft has a natural tendency to get bored with the old stuff, and focus on the new (e.g. Teams), not accounting for the fact that SharePoint is being used as a mission critical application by many organizations. Microsoft: please put more resources on modern SharePoint. 

Occasional Contributor

I and my team would really like column totals as well.  Over 300 have asked for it on uservoice here - (go add your vote).  MS said they were considering building this functionality "soon," (and that was almost 18 months ago).  Either they decided not to and didn't update the item, or their definition of soon and mine are a little different.

Regular Visitor

Thanks @Bob German really good article , our organisation unfortunately moved to SharePoint Online and adopted classic sites, which is now providing a bit of a headache when trying to launch further 365 tools like Planner & Teams which spin up modern sites regardless. Any recommendations on how to manage sprawl here, or is it a case of trying to spec out another wholesale migration from Classic to Modern? 

Occasional Contributor

Hi Robert, our organization is in the same boat.  The best thing I've seen from microsoft so far about transitioning from Classic to Modern was the strategy they shared at Ignite - basically determining hub site architecture, get those created then associate sites to those until you replace them with modern sites.  See around minute 25-30 on this session -


It's comical really (and frightening) that Msft woke up 10 years too late and realized SP might need to be a bit more modern. A competent company would have started modernizing it as soon as it was launched, and not dumped an unfinished, untested and incompatible "modern ui" on their many paying customers. I don't buy the argument that it would take "too much work" to overhaul "this old warhorse".  The simple truth is SP is not a revenue generator so it has never got the resources or attention given other money makers in the Msft catalog. It only survived because Msft thought it might be of some use when they realized (again 10 years late) that they should offer some cloud solutions. It's a starved, stepchild product and behaves like one. Sadly, the modern ui illustrates that fact rather than disproves it.

Senior Member

Hi there,

In Modern-UI, how to have:
- Borders around Web Parts so visually they are separated from each other?
- Web part title background color?


Occasional Visitor

We've just upgraded from 2013 to Online and implemented a library with "New experience". The user expects to search for a document, then be able to get a link to it for sharing. This is possible in Online / Classic experience. However, in New experience, there is no way to access any "share" functionality from the search results screen. This is a major regression since it means search cannot be used in many situations.


Is this the normal behaviour, and if so are there any workarounds within the New experience?

Occasional Contributor

Hi John. Agreed. After entering keywords and pressing enter, you can select an individual file, but the Share button that you'd expect to see on the toolbar is missing. I added this request to SharePoint UserVoice, and you can add your vote:

Frequent Contributor

Hi Bob and thanks for an informative article,


I see many compelling reasons to use modern experience over classoc. However, sadly, performance isn't one of them.


At least for our tenant classic experience is much faster than modern. It doesn't matter which browser we're using, which device, on what network or if it is a newly created site with very few documents and no customizations or a large document library with multiple managed columns: If the library is accessed in modern view it typically takes 2-4 times as long to load as when accessed in classic mode.


I've tried to problem solve this together with Senior MS escalation engineers with no success, in fact they say it is to be expected due to the "improved" GUI and lack of 30 docs limit in modern experience.


I'd really love to see modern pages "run nearly as fast as a locally installed program" but as it currently performs for us we're nowhere near that situation. In fact it is a major blocker for user adoption.


If you have any ideas or tips on how to troubleshoot this then I'd be very grateful

Frequent Contributor

@Bob GermanHi again, If you (or anyone else for that matter) have any ideas on how to deal with our modern pages performance issues I would greatly appreciated it.



Occasional Visitor

Well explained, Thank you, Bob!

Occasional Visitor

One major problem with Modern SharePoint is the lack of Gantt views. Will they be added in a future release? Without Gannt views, the value of SharePoint is significantly reduced.

New Contributor

I find the new experience to be nothing more than a dumb'd down version of a once robust application, that could be tailored to fit the specific needs of a given organization. With the so-called "modern"(???) experience, it seems like MS is dictating how we work with SharePoint, by limiting, and flat out prohibiting, much of the customization's and features that are available in classic SP.


I don't understand why so much effort was put into ensuring that users no longer have control over their SP environment?  Soooooo much has been removed, and replaced with "a ton of cool new web parts" like YouTube, the weather, a countdown timer, a world clock, Twitter, and Stream, that certainly are cool, but are more suited for a teenager's Facebook page, then in a business environment (I don't know how we ever survived without a countdown timer!).


All of these cool new web parts and features come a tremendous cost, and unfortunately, if you wish to continue to use SharePoint, it's a cost you cannot avoid.