Hello world! A blog post was long due now!
I think I must have missed the Hub Sites in SharePoint buzz but a blog from my side anyhow.
What is a Hub Site?
Firstly, it is not a template like Communication or Team site, you can register an existing team site or communication site as a Hub Site so if you want to create a Hub site from scratch please create a site preferably a modern one and then register it as Hub Site which can only be done SharePoint Admin in Central Admin link.
Hub site is used to facilitate Intranet in organizations which can have other sites as “Association” or “Navigation” links. You can roll up information from associated and linked sites to the main Hub site by using Apps available.
You can think this of a container site but physically it does not contain any sites but can only be associated.
What makes it unique?
Something like this was not available before but I believe everyone wanted something like this as working with Site Collections and the Sub sites structure is rigid and difficult to change later on.
Hub sites introduce us a flat structure which can be moved easily as sites are just associated and not created under them.
So, uniqueness is in the flat structure which can be implemented easily.
Difference between the Hub site-based structure and the traditional structure is as below
Hub sites vs Sub sites
|Hub site based||Traditional – Site collections – sub sites|
|Flat structure||Hierarchy based structure|
|Sites are associated and not created under it||Sites are created under a main site|
|Access permissions do not have any impact in||Access permissions are inherited by default or needs to be managed separately|
|Easy to move around sites and change structure or associations||No easy ways to change the structure|
How to utilize or use Hub Sites?
Hub site should be used to bunch sites together, create an intranet or roll up information together. Bunching or associating sites together should be done based on departments, organizations, key features, team or based on keywords or location etc. or if you want to roll up specific information from different sources.
Hub site can only be really useful if you will be rolling up information and two most easy ways to use OOB of Apps called “Highlighted Content” and “Sites” which can fetch different information from associated sites and show them beautifully.
On modern pages just add a section layout and then select add App using “+” symbol and select Highlighted Content or Sites depending on your needs, I would recommend Highlighted Content as it is really powerful and can roll up almost all data. Refer to screenshots below
As you can view you have following options
- Select a source: can select all hub sites or some or specific one
- Type of source: can be document, news, lists etc.
- Filter and sort to organize your content
- Different options for a Layout to support your needs
Other things you should consider while creating and managing Hub sites:
- Naming convention of Hub sites so that it can be easily recognized
- Name information which needs to roll up also properly so that easy to roll up later
- Consider the audience before you start creating hub sites
- Consider search scopes while deciding on the association of Hub sites
- Also note that you can put a link to non-associated site
How to create Hub sites?
As pointed out earlier there is no template like Hub Site, you have to create a site collection using template either team site or communication. Communication template is recommended one from Microsoft.
Create a site a then select option mark it is a Hub site, you need to SharePoint admin to do all this
After the site is created you can register this as Hub site
Once this is done you can view extra navigation at the top