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Types of SharePoint sites

Microsoft SharePoint offers a wide variety of sites to fulfill business objectives ranging from document storage to communicating department initiatives. Below is an outline for various SharePoint sites and their unique advantages. 

Team Sites:

Team sites allow members to collaborate on projects, events, or ideas by connecting them to the content, information, and web apps they need. On a team site home page, you can view links to valuable team files, web apps, and pages as well as view recent site changes in the activity feed. Team sites are integrated by default within a wide range of Microsoft collaboration tools such as Microsoft Planner and Microsoft Teams. 

SharePoint team sites page

Site Header 

Along the top of the team site, you will see a header consisting of a site name, site logo, and whether the site is public (anyone in the organization can view) or private (only specific members can view). Site members with edit permissions will also see a “New” button, which will allow them to add a new list, document library, page, news post, or web app.  

SharePoint site header

Left-hand Navigation and Search Pane 

At the top left of the site, you will see a search box where you can search for files stored within the team site. Under the search box will see links to the default team document library, team OneNote notebook, site pages, site contents, site recycle bin and custom links.  

SharePoint navigation bar


Best for: Central location for team collaboration and document storage. 

Permissions: Includes Office 365 group permissions, along with default SharePoint group and permission levels. 

Content Authors: All members who can create and edit content are content authors. 

Availability: Can be created by site owner or administrator as a site collection or subsite. 

Use Cases:  

  • Project team working together to share ideas and manage tasks 
  • Team storing important documents for current project

Project Web App Sites: 

Project sites allow for collaborative space for working with project managers and tracking project deadlines. Project sites can keep status, communication, and artifacts relevant to the project in one place. These sites also include many project visualization templates, such as a common team calendar, which enhance the project management experience. 

SharePoint Project Web App design 


Best for: Tracking project deadlines and collaborating with project managers 

Permissions: Default SharePoint permissions 

Content Authors: All members who can create and edit content are content authors. 

Availability: Can be created by site owner or administrator as a site collection or subsite. 

Use Cases:  

  • Project team working together to finish a project by a certain deadline.  
  • Tracking project tasks visually. 


Communication Sites: 

Communication sites are used for sharing information in a visually compelling format with features such as news posts, reports, events, statuses and lists. These sites are great for displaying information to a broad audience with a few members contributing to the content. When creating a team site, you can start with a blank site or choose a template (showcase or topic) site design that comes with a default set of web parts.  

Topic Site Design 

The Topic site design focuses on sharing important information such as news and events regarding a subject. 

SharePoint topic site design

Showcase Site Design 

The Showcase site design focuses on sharing information such as product or team images in an effective manner. 

SharePoint Showcase Site Design


Best for: Showcasing content including announcements, articles, services, and people effectively. 

Permissions: Default SharePoint permission levels. 

Content Authors: Small number of authors and a larger number of viewers. 

Availability: Can be created by site owner or SharePoint administrator only as a site collection. 

Use Cases:  

  • Site showcasing new department initiative. 
  • Intranet site for HR department including news posts from various employees. 

Hub Sites: 

Hub sites are used for showcasing, connecting, and organizing a wide variety of related sites into a central site. By connecting a family of team and communication sites together, discovering related content such as news and various site activities is made easier. Sites associated with a SharePoint hub site will have a hub site navigation bar added to the top of the site.  

SharePoint Hub sites


Best for: Central site used to display and navigate to related team and communication sites.  

Permissions: Default SharePoint permission levels. 

Content Authors: Hub site owner defines the hub navigation and theme. Hub site members create content on the hub site. Site owners and members of sites associated with the parent hub site create content on their respective sites. 

Availability: Can be created by Global administrator or SharePoint administrator. 

Use Cases:  

  • University hub that provides navigation to different departments, such as Accounting, Information Technology, and Finance. 
  • Specific hub site that groups the communication and team sites for a specific location (Busch Campus) 
  • Sales hub that provides enterprise resources to the sales organization and connect them to various communication sites 

Although SharePoint sites allow for advanced customization based on a variety of needs, there are limitations to the content management system. Below are a few to keep in mind:  

  • Sites are limited to being shared internally among the organization with the correct permission level to view.   
  • Embedding custom scripts to alter site behavior or appearance is not supported.  
  • Resizing of imported images is currently not supported. 
  • News posts can only feature a single author.  
  • Adding images to text boxes are not supported. 
  • For storage of confidential documents, please use Perceptive Content (formerly ImageNow).  
  • Teams chats cannot be embedded onto SharePoint pages. 

Additional Resources about SharePoint Online Sites: