Enterprise wiki site collection template which work on the new experience (modern interface)

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On each sharepoint project i worked on i always add an Enterprise wiki site collection, as it is a very powerful template to build an intranet knowledge base for our customers, as follow:-


I do these main steps on the enterprise wiki site collection:-

1) i add some metadata site columns to the enterprise wiki page layout and content type. so users can link the wiki page to multiple metadata columns (which are Type, Security & customer in my case).

2) using sharepoint designer, i define a cusotm page layout which contain these custom metadata columns. the wiki pages' page layout will be as follow:-


3) i enable the metadata navigation for the wiki page library, so users can filter and search the wiki pages using the metadata columns, as follow:-

I did this inside sharepoint online, on-premises 2013 & on-premises 2016. but one drawback i am currently facing inside my sharepoint online, is that the Enterprise wiki site collection does not have Modern/New experience. Where all the above features (providing custom page layout, enable metadata navigation/filtering and viewing the wiki page itself) which I have implemented will be rendered in the classic experience.


So can anyone advice on these 3 questions:-

1. Can we enable the New/Modern experience for our Enterprise wiki site collection and its features? so i can view, edit & search the wiki pages using the New/Modern experience ?

2. If the answer to my first question is No. Then are there other templates which i can use to build a SharePoint online enterprise wiki site collection (with similar functionalists to my current site collections) which have modern/New experience?

3. If the answer to my second question is No, then will choosing the classic Enterprise wiki site collection to create a new sharepoint online site a correct decision to take? or this template might be depreciated in the near future? or there is not any problem if we use this classic enterprise wiki template, to create a new SP online site?


10 Replies
You can basically get this same outcome with a communication site. You can add your metadata to the Site Pages library and show the metadata on the page using the Page Properties web part. Furthermore, you can use Highlighted Content to connect pages together to show “related pages” by filtering on a page property. This will actually create a more engaging experience than the classic wiki page. You can create a navigational experience for the site using a view of the site pages library on the home page of the site and also add Highlighted Content to show pages targeted to the current user (coming soon) or trending/popular pages. Once you have a page layout you like, you can save it as a page template. This feature (page template) may not be in your tenant yet but it is rolling out now. I think you will find modern pages so much better than the classic wiki pages and they work on mobile too. Try this and let me know if you have questions.
@susanHanley is correct. And I've used her process on my O365 User site. You do not need a new site, but you will need all new pages. Unfortunately you can't "convert" wiki pages to site pages. Here's my example:

On my User site, I have a site column for "O365App" so I can tag things as SharePoint, Teams, Planner, etc. Since my content is posted both as pages (tips & tricks, links to resources, MVP blog posts, Microsoft documentation) and as documents (mostly presentations from conferences I've attended), I've added that column to both the site pages AND document libraries and tagged content appropriately. I have a page for each application and on each page, I have highlighted content web parts that shows all the content from my site that I've tagged for that application. Actually, I have 2 web parts because I want to segregate out the conference presentations from the pages/posts.

So now users can come to my site and choose how to find information. They can go to the SharePoint page or the Teams page or the Planner page and browse through all the stuff I've posted about that topic OR they can search for a topic.

@Rachel Davis 

thanks for the reply. but not sure what do you exactly mean by "User site"? are you talking about onedrive site?

@Susan Hanley 

Ok thanks for the detailed reply. I think i will test your appraoch. as seems using the old/traditional enterprise wiki site collection will not have any future improvement.

Sorry, that's just our nickname for the site. The full name is "O365 Collaboration User Adoption" site. We call it the User site for short. It's a modern, group-enabled Team site.
Wiki PAGES will not have any future improvement, but if you use MODERN pages - even on a traditional site, the vast majority of the new features will work. Certainly the things that Susan and I have mentioned will work. We have thousands of traditional sites and subsites. We are not migrating them to new Team or Communication sites. But we are modernizing them by using modern pages, etc.

Migrating is a pain as it means directing users to a new URL and breaking any links or bookmarks that come to the existing site. I would just rebuild your existing site with modern pages. You can build the modern pages in the background and simply not put out the navigation link until you're ready. When you're ready, rename the existing home page "home-OLD", then name your new modern page as home.aspx and set as the site home page. Voila!

Then, when user goes to their existing bookmark for the home page to your site, it will still work. As will any links that other people have made to your site.

You'll have to decide how to handle all the old wiki pages and that may depend on how many there are. Maybe you
I would still recommend converting the site to a modern site, but it is a choice, as you suggest. My general feeling is that you want to bite the bullet and upgrade wherever possible. It may be painful for a short time, but I think it creates a more future-proof environment.

@Susan Hanley  I have yet to have anyone give me a good business justification for going through the pain and expense of migrating a classic site to a communication site. A group enabled Team site is one thing, but not a communication site. The functionality is almost identical, certainly for what this guy is asking about. I would argue that a classic site has MORE options for list types than a communication site which is limited to a custom list and an event list.


If you have solid functional reasons for migrating my classic sites to a communication site, I'd love to hear them and take them back to my IT. But for now, if I can do all the things you talk about on my current site without the pain of migrating, why should I do it or put my users through that hassle?

I think the best reason is future-proofing and not having a site that is half-classic and half-modern. And I'm seeing some training issues for site owners of these franken-sites. It's clear that net new sites should be modern. For legacy team sites, the answer is "it depends."
FYI - Per Microsoft, We're not deprecating the "classic" experience; both "classic" and "modern" will coexist."