SPO: URL namespace for intranet related sites

Brass Contributor



We've got vast amounts of SPO sites that were created long before we got around to event think about URL naming conventions. So for our upcoming Intranet sites, we're in the risk of getting hit by site URL name collisions. 

How have other SPO admins handled this - have you for example prefix'ed intranet related sites with something (f.eks. example "i-", such that a site's URL will be "i-<sitename>") in the URL, so that intranet related sites gets their own name space?

Is is possible to gather sites under some other base than "/sites", for example "/home" or "/sites/intranet"?

3 Replies
I think I have already answered this in the question about naming conventions for Hubs. To add some more things here, remember that you can rename a SPO Site Today using the SPO Admin Center or PowerShell

@kenneho This is, of course, one of the reasons that governance should come first when you implement SharePoint Online! Naming collisions are inevitable if you don't plan! If you are not ready to build your intranet when you deploy, make a land grab for critical function names by creating communication sites for things like HR, Payroll, Benefits, IT, Finance, Legal, etc. This is what I do most often when I work with clients. Microsoft IT did it too.


But, when the ship has already sailed, you need to come up with another strategy. In some cases, we have worked with the site owner to "take back the name" by migrating their team content to a new URL (usually, the culprit is a team site created for a very small number of people so the impact is small), fully deleting the original site, and then re-using the URL for the intranet communication site. In other cases, we have had to come up with other URLs - different abbreviations, such as InformationTechnology or InfoTech or ITDept instead of IT. You could also use a prefix for the URL as you suggest, which could help users quickly identify whether a site is "official." This approach will be hard to enforce if you allow self-service site creation. If you don't allow users to create intranet sites on their own, you may not need this type of naming convention because you will have more control over the site names.


Your second paragraph is precisely where I'm at right now. I arrived to a tenant with around 18,000 sites, no control over them, and only about 5% are actively used.

I got to this post while searching for the "/portals/" namespace, which if I remember correctly comes from On-Premise SharePoint. SPO doesn't use that namespace. While using powershell to grant a user site collection admin access to all sites, the results displayed in the loop showed around 30 sites using "/portals/", If you try to navigate to them it gives a "script block not allowed" error, leading me to think they use a custom on-premise masterpage. All well and good, BUT none of those sites show up anywhere in the admin center. I didn't know those sites existed until I happened to bulk add a new admin to all sites and accidentally look at the results out of boredom...