University of Southampton


How do I create a site in SharePoint Online?

  1. First read our best practice guidance on SharePoint (below)
  2. Go to the SharePoint homepage -
  3. Click the Create Site button at the top of the page and complete the fields
  4. We recommend you 'follow' the site once created so that it's easy to find again (link in the top right of your site once it's created)
  5. More information can be found in this guidance from microsoft

Best practice when creating a SharePoint site

When creating a new space within SharePoint please keep in mind the following best practice principles

  1. First establish whether you need to create a SharePoint site, answer these questions:
    1. Is there an existing SharePoint Online site that has a similar purpose and audience? (maybe your content can be part of that e.g. in a separate document library)
    2. Are you clear on the purpose and audience of your site? (not having an idea of these will make it difficult to create your site)
  2. Ensure you are selecting the correct type of site
    1. There are currently 2 types of SharePoint site, Communication and Team.
    2. Communication sites are used to convey information to a wide audience, they are rarely used for collaboration. These are broadly equivalent to the old
    3. Team sites are used for collaborative working, they are equivalent to - iSolutions has built a templated Team Site for committees to use see this article for details
  3. Name your site appropriately
    1. There are limited options to categorise your site, so being clear with the name is vital
    2. Your name should be clear but make use of well known initialisms or shorthand to prevent an excessively long title (you should not misrepresent or mislead with your site name)
    3. Whilst the name can be changed in future the URL (web address) cannot, without manually moving the content (iSolutions can help with this if needed)
    4. Names should not mislead or contain potentially offensive terms
    5. An example of a bad site name would be "Faculty Education Committee" or "Research Group 1"
    6. An example of a good site name would be "FEPS Education Committee" (there isn't an agreed short-hand for committee but this may reduce to cte in future, for instance), or "Accessibility Project Group 1"
  4. Classify your site correctly
    1. There are several different data privacy classifications, make sure you select the one that applies to your site.
    2. Generally you will select the classification that corresponds to the most sensitive item within the site
    3. If you're unsure, please contact the information security team
    4. You also set whether your site is 'private' or 'public', you would almost never select 'public'. 'Private' means that people can find your site but not access it, they can request access from the owners. 'Public' means anyone can join your site and become a member without your authorisation.
  5. We recommend you 'follow' the site once created so that it's easy to find again (link in the top right of your site once it's created)
  6. Additional resources to help you make the most of SharePoint Online
    1. LinkedIn Learning
    2. Microsoft Training Center

 Team site icon


Communication site icon    

Animation showing how  to 'follow' a site  

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