Are subsites getting deprecated in SPO?

Copper Contributor

Are subsites getting deprecated in SPO? With focus on hubsites, will MS keep subsites or remove them? Asking because I am creating a solution that uses subsites.

15 Replies
Subsites are "deprecated" in that they are not recommended by Microsoft. Subsites are difficult to manage, so it makes a bit of sense.

Thank you @Trevor Seward for the response! Yeah I was told this by a client today that it was deprecated and that put me on the back foot. Thank you for the confirmation that it is recommended not to use.

Well, I would say that te recommendation is to go to a "Flat" architecture whenever is possible...deprecated has not been said yet by Microsoft

Is there any evidence that Microsoft are going to ‘actually’ deprecate subsites, or is there an element of reading between the lines here?  I can see that hub sites have a roll to play as they offer valuable cross-site publishing which has been problematic in the past, but subsites offer site columns, metadata navigation, and permission inheritance.  All the features of subsites have not be made available in other ways if you flatten the structure to use site collections alone..  As an example, if you have a site collection for each and every project in an organisation, there is massive administration overhead compared to each project being a subsite of a ‘programme’ site collection.

@MichM any classic feature, e.g. metadata navigation, is "deprecated" (hence being called 'classic'). Hub sites are adding permission-push down soon.


And remember, deprecated means "may be removed in the future/no new features being developed" and not "removed".

@Trevor Seward I was told by a Program Manager at Microsoft Ignite that there are no plans to get rid of subsites. 


There are lots of use cases where subsites are mandatory. 
Here is one:

- Company wide site (communication site), used for announcements

- Department sites (Team sites accessible only for team members)

Give me a solution to display department wide announcement in company wide site. 

My suggestion: Create subsites for each department. 


If we go for flat structure, are we going to create two site collections for same department? Remember, there will be divisions in each department. 


Subsites are MANDATORY !!!!!

Again, "rid of/removal" is not the same thing as "deprecated" or "not recommended". Comm sites can't be subsites, for example.

But yes, we approach it in the flat model where you'll have a public Comm site for xyz department/division/etc. and a Team site for the internal collaboration of that group. We then leverage hub sites to connect them as appropriate, which also has News rollup functionality.

This also simplifies the permission story and should be less confusing to end users.

@Trevor Seward Comm sites can not be subsites

I have created Communication sites as subsites. (There is a way) :smile:


I'm surprised on having public comm sites for each department, each division, each team, ....... !!!!!

Let's assume the department IT. 

It will have minimum 5 divisions, each division will have minimum 5 team and each team will have minimum 5 sub teams. 

In this case, 1+5x5x5 = 126 public comm sites just for IT !!!!! :suprised:

[I'm poor in Mathematics, pardon me for any miscalculations :cry:]

There's a way via PnP, but you need to step back and think about why Microsoft chose not to put it in the UI -- much like saving objects as templates. It isn't there for a reason.

I have to ask, why are you concerned about the number of sites in your tenant? Given you'll likely never come close to the limit...

Again, this is a re-do of information architecture. Subsites have always been poor IA, confusing where permissions were applied at, etc. A flat architecture aims to resolve these issues. You might even re-think why you're needing to create a public site per team -- could they just have their own pages on a single site with appropriate access controls? Again, it's about rethinking IA.

You can use Azure Workspaces to also control access across a broad number of sites ( -- self-service, even.

@Trevor Seward Based on your responses I see that you are worried about permissions. Unfortunately we did not find any issues with that. :smile:


Azure !? 

There are organizations where SharePoint Admins do not have access to such level. :unamused:


One site for every team!? 

Sorry! Each team produces more content. They need own space to publish their articles. It will be cumbersome if we provide one site for all. (No, No for item level permission. not at all)


Already users are thinking to move their content to CONFLUENCE because of classic SharePoint. 

We(IT) got great relief after seeing Modern site features. Users are liking it. 

I request Microsoft, not to deprecate subsites. 


And they even promised that metadata navigation is coming to modern sites but you are claiming that it will be deprecated !!!!! :cry: 

Fingers crossed :unamused:

Subsites aren't the preferred IA at this point. You're welcome to argue until you're blue in the face, of course.

Azure access can be delegated -- Azure has very fine grained roles, fortunately.

Hi, Is there any reference on Microsoft Site that suggests best practices is a flat structure over nested?
That would help



Check below documentation which will help you to understand the need to flat topologies & how to design flat topology:

Information Architecture - Site Topology  

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after reading these over, I have to say that flattening out and migrating subsites to their own site collection has been rewarding. Permissions are simplified, content organized and easily movable from one hub to another (or left on their own)... Thanks Trevor and Ganeshsanap for your replies, they helped me a few years ago..

@Jonathan Herschel You're welcome! Glad it helped you.

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