SharePoint Online hub sites namespace and structure

SharePoint Online hub sites namespace and structure

For my company’s upcoming intranet based on SharePoint Online (SPO), we’ve looked into ways to organize our sites. As I haven’t found much online information on the subject, I though I’d share a couple of points here.

Namespacing

First, let’s discuss namespacing. We’ve had SPO around for a long time, long before we got around to manage it properly, so we have numerous sites with vastly different URLs and contents. As our intranet will consist of just a subset of all our SPO sites, we figured we’d create a unique namespace for our sites. So we decided to prefix all our intranet related sites with a unique “key”, such as this:

https://acme.sharepoint.com/sites/myacme

This way, we know that all sites with URL prefixed with “myacme” is a part of our company’s intranet.

Site categories

We’ve organized sites into different categories, such as these:

  • https://acme.sharepoint.com/sites/myacme_org_<unit> (ex: https://acme.sharepoint.com/sites/myacme_org_departmentA), for sites related to specific organizational units. These sites are for public-facing information, i.e. information that’s available to employees outside of, in this example, “Department A”.
  • https://acme.sharepoint.com/sites/myacme_topic_<theme> (ex: https://acme.sharepoint.com/sites/myacme_topic_parking), for sites related to common functions etc such as parking, IT support, and so forth.
  • https://acme.sharepoint.com/sites/myacme_internal_<unit> (ex: https://acme.sharepoint.com/sites/myacme_internal_departmentA), for internal information (specifically news and events) within our units and departments.

Hub site URLs

We decided not to plan all sites and hub site connections up front, but rather start with communication sites and let things evolve into hub sites and hub sites associations as needed. So for any given communication site we set up, it may or may not become a hub site and may or may not be associated with a hub site some time in the future.

To allow for our sites to evolve over time, we decided that a site’s URL would not indicate whether the site is a hub site or not, or whether it’s associated with a hub site. So all sites follow the above mention URL pattern, and we’re thus not bound by the site’s URL in terms of migrating it to a hub site, or associate it with a hub site, or any other re-organizing we may find fit in the future.

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