What is a SharePoint Home Site and Why You Should Use It

Updated: Jun 26, 2020

SharePoint home sites are a new feature that was scheduled to finish rolling out to all customers end of May 2020. The title of "home site" has caused a lot of confusion and questions from customers on how this differs from their root site or their intranet home that sits on /sites/intranet/, I have answers to those commonly asked questions below.

What is a Home Site?

A SharePoint home site is really no more than a feature that you can apply on a modern communication site. It isn't a type of site, like a communication or team site, a home site is a feature that you set on one site in your tenant to allow a set of settings. This means you can set your root site or separate intranet site as your home site as long as they are a modern communication site, classic sites and team sites will not work.

When you set a site as a home site it will do the following to the site:

  • Adds a home icon to the mobile app that links to your home site

  • Adds your branding to the mobile app. Before setting a home site, the News, Find, and Me tabs in the SharePoint mobile app were set to the SharePoint teal backgrounds. After setting a home site it sets the colors to the colors in your company's theme

How to Set Up a Home Site?

After you have your modern communication site set up, follow the steps below to enable it as a home site:

  1. Download SharePoint Online Management Shell.

  2. Replace <tenant-name> and <home-site-url> below and run the code:

Connect-SPOService -Url https://<tenant-name>-admin.sharepoint.com/
Set-SPOHomeSite -HomeSiteUrl <home-site-url>

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why should I set my modern root site to a home site?

A: The biggest benefit is what you get from the mobile app perspective. With getting the home icon and branding on the mobile app it provides a more cohesive experience from desktop to mobile.

Q: What if we don't use our home site as an organization news site?

A: Since a home site by default enables the organization news site setting you can also remove this setting by running Remove-SPOOrgNewsSite:

Remove-SPOOrgNewsSite -OrgNewsSiteUrl <home-site-url>

Q: Will setting a site as a home site change the site url?

A: No, if your home site's url is https://<tenant>.sharepoint.com/sites/intranet/ it will stay https://<tenant>.sharepoint.com/sites/intranet/

Q: What if my root site is classic?

A: If your root site is classic you cannot set it as a home site but you can still set a separate modern communication site as your home site. If your root site is classic and you want to modernize it you can follow these instructions to do so.

If you have any questions or need help implementing this for your organization, please contact us!

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