SharePoint hub sites updates, plus new page and web part improvements

Published Aug 21 2018 09:00 AM 30.7K Views

What is the one thing that we can guarantee is going to happen in every business? Change. And when it happens, you want to be in control of how it happens, and how efficiently you can make it happen – in style – while maintaining a level of automation to ensure certain aspects happen consistently. Your SharePoint intranet is your intranet to design and control.


To help, we’re getting ready to release updates to SharePoint hub sites, news, pages, and web parts:


  • Create more SharePoint hub sites – up to 100
  • Adjust sites automatically when they get associated to a SharePoint hub site
  • Modify the color of your site header
  • Spread news from anywhere
  • Page editing improvements
  • New web part layouts


Let’s dive into the details… plus FAQs and links to key, related resources at the end.


Create more SharePoint hub sites – up to 100

You can now create up to 100 SharePoint hub sites.


Before you make everything a hub, consider how your users will best organize and ultimately find people and information. The SharePoint hub site planning guide has a lot of best practices and guidance across structuring your information and logical organizational methods for organizing your sites across your intranet.


100 is the new 50, and we’re eager to know how you plan to use hub sites – more.


Adjust sites automatically when they get associated to a SharePoint hub site

When people in your organization create new SharePoint sites, you often need to ensure a level of consistency. You can use site designs and site scripts to automate provisioning new or existing modern SharePoint sites that use your own custom configurations. And this can be most critical when sites get associated to well-managed SharePoint hub sites.


Site scripting during hub site association – when a site gets associated to a hub site, it not only inherits the theme of the hub site, it can now be further configured using powerful site designs and site scripts to adjust and enforce permissions, apply shared metadata, preferred content management and policies.


Note: the site design, and associated site script, will need to already be published to the tenant. If you don’t wish to reuse this site design in self-service site creation be sure scope it to restrict visibility. You can learn more about site designs scoping here:


Read more about what capabilities recently became available - site scripts / site designs Summer 2018 update.


Modify the color of your site header

Don’t feel boxed in, especially when you want to express your site’s personality in more ways than one. We’re enabling a new option to modify the color of the site header region to provide more site theming flexibility. This Header emphasis will be based on the currently applied site theme color and can either be a lighter, softer color or a darker, stronger one. The site owner always has the option to set to gray or back to no emphasis. This new option sits within the change the look menu within the upper-right gear icon of a site.


You can now apply additional color with Header emphasis when you change the look of your SharePoint site.You can now apply additional color with Header emphasis when you change the look of your SharePoint site.

Note: this option currently only applies to SharePoint themes and not custom ones.


Spread news from anywhere

When you have news to share, you don’t want to be limited with how you can share news – especially when it exists from an external source. You, also, don’t want to hit that blocker of a page or news article being left in an edit state when the previous author forgot to click publish. SharePoint introduces new ways to distribute external news and editing improvements to keep the push of information flowing.


News links – you can share a link to items like existing news within your company, news from your public website, LinkedIn articles, and so on. Within your site, click New > News link (or from within the News web part), paste in the full URL from the original source and the service will automatically show an image, title, and description for the link when available. Each of these values can be edited by the author. Once you save it, the news article goes into the SharePoint news service as a new News article visible on the site, SharePoint home in Office 365, and the SharePoint mobile apps News tab. When a person clicks on a news link, and they will be taken to the original source to read the article.


Add a News link into the flow of the rest of your news to easily bring in  news and information from external sources.Add a News link into the flow of the rest of your news to easily bring in news and information from external sources.


Pages editing improvements

Be more aware of who is editing a page, and don't feel locked out. People who go to work on a SharePoint page will be able to see if someone else is already editing that page. They’ll be able to see who that person is and how to contact them. Additionally, to prevent unintentional page lockouts, we’ve added a 5-minute timeout if no changes are made and the page is left open in edit mode.


New web part layout options

As you are editing your news articles and pages, you’ll use web parts to arrange and present you’re the content in the context of your message. And it’s important to showcase that content in the most engaging way. Now, you’ll have additional choices to configure the layout.


The following key web parts will receive new options:


Quick links – the Quick links gets four new layouts (Buttons, Grid, List, & Tiles). You then choose your preferred icon from hundreds within the now built-in gallery of Office fabric icons (and they are searchable), or an image, to represent each link. Further, you can now choose whether you display descriptions for your links in some layouts.

When editing the Quick links web part, you now have additional options for layout and design.When editing the Quick links web part, you now have additional options for layout and design.

  • Image Gallery – the Image gallery gets a new Brick layout to show images of varying aspect ratios; huff and puff – you can’t blow this one down. Once you’ve selected your desired set of images, SharePoint lays them out in an engaging way according to their size. Sorry, Mr. Wolf.
  • Hero – the Hero web part gets the ability to set a focal point on each image. You now have the ability to draw your site visitors eyes to the exact portion of the image that is most important, and this, too, carries over as the hero web part reflows to different screen sizes and within the SharePoint mobile app. Now that’s much more Hero’ic.
  • News – the News web part can now display all news in a carousel layout. You can encourage your site visitors to review your news more closely – giving them a moment to focus on each one before swiping to the next. Less news is sometimes more.


Learn more about using web parts on SharePoint Online pages.


Keep the conversation going year-round

In all, we encourage you to build out and organize your intranet. Establish the sites you need and ensure your users can create and distribute information easily. SharePoint bolsters the connective tissue across employee engagement experiences throughout your organization. And we are here to help. The SharePoint team is always open to feedback via UserVoice and continued dialog in the SharePoint community within the Microsoft Tech Community —and an eye on your tweets to @SharePoint.



—Mark Kashman, senior product manager for the SharePoint team



Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When will the above features and adjustments be available to Office 365 customer?

A: These updates will gradually roll out to Targeted Release customers in early September, and the roll out will be completed worldwide by the end of November.


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.


Key related resources



Valued Contributor
Great news Mark :) Hoping Pinning News and Save for Later (on the web) aren’t too far away...
Not applicable

Nice - keep these great updates coming! Will the main color / header emphasis impact the header color of the site when viewing in the SharePoint mobile app? We'd really like to control the color that shows up there, as right now we have some pretty funky color combinations between the header and our content.


 Awesome updates! Looking forward to implementing these in our tenant.


Thanks for update, looking forward to many of these features

Senior Member

Great new options on the updated web parts.  Any chance additional layout options for the Hero web part is on the drawing board?  For example:  4 equal sized image sections in addition to 6,8,10 image sections?

Occasional Contributor

Great update. Would be really good if we could use FontAwesome icons on the Quick Links tiles option!

Occasional Contributor

These are all very welcome updates! We're currently in the middle of our journey towards a modern intranet and are testing out the Sharepoint Online functionality as a potential solution.


One thing that is hindering us is understanding the solution for the company homepage itself. Traditionally, this was a Sharepoint page which was joined to subsites and subsites and subsites, etc. Standard user behaviour on the company homepage is to search for content that may be relevant to them, such as people policies - and in that solution, they would be able to find them. However, in this newer model the search can only include results from the hub - and for a large HR department, they would likely need their own hub! 


There doesn't seem to be any mention of the ability to adjust the scope of the modern search of a particular site to ALSO include results of other hubs/sites - and for that matter, people results. This is the main reason why we can't succeed with a Sharepoint intranet homepage - the fact that the search can only provide results within the controlled hub environment, and we don't want just 1 hub, nor do we want to replicate information just to support search.


I have read through the hub site planning document, but it avoids this question and assumes we have a separate intranet homepage solution somehow (

Valued Contributor
@Aaron Browning I would encourage you to repost your comments on the main SharePoint community where it will get much higher visibility and hopefully response. I am sure many community members have experienced similar issues. I think the hub site document doesn’t avoid the homepage question it’s more the case that a hub site is not the initial use case for a home page in the same way SharePoint Home is not a solution. At some point, I hope Microsoft will deliver a home / landing page solution ‘out of the box’ it is much requested. There are third party products that assist today. Good luck on your SharePoint journey!
Occasional Contributor

@John Wynne Thanks for the response! 

Valued Contributor
I’m hoping those FAQs on hub sites saying ‘no’ are top of mind to be delivered? They are FAQs for a reason :) I’m REALLY hoping that Microsoft Ignite will offer improved site association. This is such an obvious win for the team I’m hoping it’s top of mind @Mark Kashman.
Senior Member

Thanks @Mark Kashman very helpful information.  Do you perhaps have any info on Projects Online are moving away from the Classic Team site templates and getting with the modern look and feel?


Hi @John Wynne - we just showed pinning news for the first time at #MSIgnite18 - which translates to "coming in the coming months.' And "save for later" on Web is now out (and you probably knew that before this "sorta-late" reply.


And know that we take the "grow up from hub sites" story very seriously. We're putting the stake in the ground that people can and should build their modern intranet on SharePoint in Office 365 (with this new resource as a start with the what's possible today: ; plus roadmap items that further the story in the coming months (audience targeting for news/pages, improvements to navigation (mega-menu, audience targeting/trimming), a more parent navigation element, improved root site experiences, ...). And know that any site can be lightly linked to from any nav, just not officially associated which brings connections that are hard if it were to be associated to more than one, beyond a link in nav.


Cheers for now - always more coming,



Hi @Deleted - it's an area of investigation for sure - to get it right for what we offer out of the box and for what and how you can configure more custom. It's certainly know, and looping in @Nate Clinton as a general nudge/FYI. :) Nate, matching site header colors between Web and mobile.





Hi @Karin Kamps - you should see @John Sanders drawing board (he owns SP webparts all up), and he's connected with a few of our customers who have customized their own Hero webparts - with success - and out of this learning and nodding of what we should own next. We first started with a little look and feel polish with how you could set the focal point. And today you can adjust how many items appear when editing the layout, but not yet of equal size. With John here, you can consider the feedback sent to the right person. Thanks for your interest in what we're up to. Cheers, Mark.


Hi @Aaron Browning - we hear you. Truly. We're hard at work to put and keep this stake in the ground: give the ability to build your modern intranet on SharePoint in Office 365 (new resource page beyond the hub site planning guide; released at MS Ignite 2018: Plus broader investments on Microsoft Search - as you can read here:

Looping in @Naomi Moneypenny per search - and know it's top of mind to enable a consistent search experience from all site levels and beyond SharePoint (, Bing or Business, Office apps, etc.).





Hi @Andrew Jackson. I don't have any specific information about Project Online moving to modern, only to say that as any other site collection that gets created, we aim for these site to be more modern and group-connected over time. Looping in @Kippi Lundgren from the Project team that may have additional insights per your question (do Project Online sites go modern?).

Valued Contributor
@Mark Kashman, thank you for taking the time to provide detailed responses across my comments here in the Community. Much appreciate the direct and thoughtful feedback. I am truly amazed at the depth, breadth and reach of the announcements from Ignite 18 across SharePoint and Microsoft 365 as a whole. I genuinely look forward to the delivery of these features and enjoy the passion and commitment you guys put into the service. I hope too all have plenty of R+R to recharge after the achievements of Ignite. Best Regards J

@Mark Kashman, @Deleted... got it!


@Karin Kamps - can you help me understand the layouts you're picturing, maybe draw it on a whiteboard and post it up, or shoot it to me via email? josander [@] Microsoft [dot] com? While Hero supports up to five images today, with a modern page, you can create many layouts to share content and links to 6, 8, or 10 places. But I'm not sure I can imagine how they'd all look in one large block of images and text.



Occasional Visitor

Does anyone  knows when the new web parts will be available on the tenants ?

I'm looking forwarding to have web parts to publish external RSS at modern page on Sharepoint online

Thanks  from Brazil 


Occasional Contributor

Mega Menu's available in Q1 2019.

Occasional Contributor

Should a "News Link" allow linking to outside, 3rd party content? I am trying to link to an article on the web. I click New > News link, then paste the URL into the "Link" field. The rest of the fields in the side panel fill (image, title, summary), but when I try to commit the article and save it, I get a "Sorry, something went wrong" error at the top. The news link still does show up in my SitePages directory, but clicking on it takes me to the error page reporting a "No Component ID" error. What am I missing?


@Tim Rohr - Sounds like we might have a bug.


I assume you have permission to create pages on the site in question (since you can see the News link option). Have permissions been customized on your site by chance (e.g. you don't have access to SiteAssets or something similar)? Can you create regular news posts?


Can you shoot me an email with more details (like the URL you're linking to, screenshot).


Sounds like we were able to retrieve the content from the target article, but are having an error trying to save it on your site. 

Occasional Contributor

Any chance of a hub-wide Calendar update?  

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