Updates to SharePoint self-service site creation

July 26, 2018

Empower users to create their own sites and watch their productivity soar.

Beginning in late July of 2018, we’ll begin rolling out several improvements to the SharePoint site creation experience – to empower more users and provide the right controls to admins. Included in this update are the ability to:

  • Allow users to create modern team sites even when Office 365 Group creation is disabled for them
  • Select the default language for sites at the time they’re created
  • Enable or disable admin settings to allow or disallow self-service site creation, including subsites

Let’s dive into the details…

SharePoint admins, or Office 365 global admin, can allow their users to create SharePoint sites. They can determine what kind of sites they can create; by default, users can create communication sites and team sites (that include Office 365 groups). Previously, if Office 365 Groups creation was disabled for a set of users, those users were only able to create “classic” SharePoint team sites.

With this update, when these users click Create site from the SharePoint home page in Office 365, they’ll be able to create a modern SharePoint team site (that is not connected to an Office 365 group) or a communication site. The modern sites they create will have the modern user experiences for the home page, lists, libraries – and they are their own standalone site collections.

SSSC_graphic_001.pngIf a user is not enabled to create an Office 365 group, they can still create modern SharePoint sites.

Learn more about managing site creation in SharePoint Online.

A big part of business diversity is language. As companies grow across geographies, and work groups and people become more and more diverse, so, too, must the sites that support their content collaboration.

Now people can select the desired language for their site when they create it.

From the SharePoint home page, click Create site. As you name your site, select whether it’s public or private within your organization, etc. – you can now select a default language from 50 available languages. And this language can be different from the organization’s default language set at the organization level.

SSSC_graphic_002.pngSite creators can select a language for their site at the same time they create it.

From an admin perspective, IT establishes both who can create Office 365 Groups and who can create SharePoint sites. With the introduction of a modern site design that does not require an Office 365 group, admins can now further enable individuals while staying within the established governance preferences of the business. This capability is reflected in an updated Site Creation settings section within the SharePoint admin center in Office 365. It, too, adjusts the choices admins have for enabling or disabling SharePoint subsites.

Site Creation updates

When you visit the SharePoint admin center in Office 365, you’ll notice the updated choices within the Settings tab (currently only visible within the classic interface of this admin center). We’ve simplified the experience by removing the hybrid option of classic and modern; the service no longer reverts to classic for some users if your goal is modern experiences for all sites. Now, if you enable users to click Create site from the SharePoint home page, you choose either modern sites or classic sites. And still, admins can route site creation through custom forms and logic if implemented or required.

The real value being that now you can allow more of your users to create modern team sites even if they are not enabled to create Office 365 Groups, all while keeping your governance plan intact.

SSSC_graphic_003.pngNew Site Creation and Subsite Creation options will appear in the SharePoint admin center in Office 365.

Subsite Creation updates

We encourage people to consider using SharePoint hub sites going forward. In the past, many organizations used subsites to create nested zones for various teams to work. However, subsites give little room for flexibility and changes to the business across projects and teams. In contrast, hub sites were designed for change and adaptability, to help organize all your sites throughout your intranet.

If your organization still uses or requires subsites, they continue to be supported. And when created, they will have a modern look & feel – yet still nested within a parent site. Simply select Team site among the list of classic site templates when you create a new subsite from the Site contents page.

We’ve made some updates to address site and information architecture as it evolves for you going forward. In the past, subsite creation settings were enabled for all SharePoint Online sites and could be disabled for Office 365 group-connected team sites. Now, admins control if, how, and where subsite creation works – by selecting one of these three options (see figure 3 above):

  • Hide the Subsite command (no matter if a site is modern or classic)
  • Show the Subsite command only within classic sites
  • Show the Subsite command for all sites

SSSC_graphic_004.pngIf subsites are enabled, you create them from the Site contents page and select the “Team site” template to get the modern look and feel.

Note: The New > Subsite option only appears as a menu option from the Site contents page of a site (accessed via the upper-right gear icon > Site contents).

Learn more about managing site creation for SharePoint in Office 365. And learn more about how to plan for SharePoint hub sites and consider moving your information architecture away from nested subsites to a more flexible, flattened structure.

We encourage you to review your current site creation settings and adjust to the desired configuration for your organization.

We want to empower you and every person on your team to achieve more. Let us know what you need next. We are always open to feedback via UserVoice and continued dialog in the SharePoint community in the Microsoft Tech Community —and we always have an eye on tweets to @SharePoint. Let us know.


Mark Kashman, senior product manager – SharePoint / Microsoft [@mkashman]

Q: When can I expect the new self-service site creation features to roll out to Office 365 customers?

A: These self-service site creation features will begin to roll out to all Targeted Release customers in late July 2018. We then are targeting end of August 2018 for complete worldwide roll out into production.

Q: Can I change the default site language after the site has been created?

A: No, this is an absolute site property, previously set by the tenant language by default. By providing this option in the updated site creation flow, your users can set an alternate language at that time, but it cannot be changed after creation.

Q: I like Easter eggs. Can I learn some fun self-service site creation trivia, so I can play to win a SharePoint and OneDrive hoodie (see Easter egg giveaway rules* below)?

  • Trivia 1: When a user’s Azure Active Directory EnableGroupCreation property is set to disabled, IT can still empower them to create modern SharePoint sites.
  • Trivia2: If subsite creation is enabled, a user will still use the classic createnewsbweb.aspx form when creating a subsite.
  • Trivia 3: Modern sites not connected to an Office 365 group, and subsites going forward, use the same STS#3 template, giving them both the latest modern sites experiences (home page, lists and libraries, etc.).

*EASTER EGG GIVEAWAY RULES | If you’re answer is “Yes” to this last FAQ, and you wish to play, tweet me (@mkashman) your best, silly sentence that uses all three bolded Easter eggs from within the guts of self-service site creation: EnableGroupCreation, createnewsbweb.aspx, and STS#3 – plus you must include this hashtag: #SPSSSC. The person whose fabulously creative tweeted sentence that gets the most likes in one day wins the SharePoint and OneDrive hoodie. Get creative. Have fun. Go!