4 Important Content Management Tips for SharePoint Online

SharePoint Content Management Don’t Have to Be a Big Headache 

A lot of organizations, there is a huge push to begin utilizing SharePoint Online as the dominant content management system. If you’ve already invested in Office 365, SharePoint is easier for low-cost storage and easy remote access. 

Yet, there’s more to migrating to Microsoft’s SharePoint Online than a point and click migration. Time and time again we see the users get frustrated or annoyed as they try to maneuver deep folder structures in SharePoint.  

Their frustration is understandable but if they were able to do was take their current file share mess and move it to a web-based file share mess.  

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Here are the things to think about before you use Microsoft’s SharePoint Online for content management. 

  1. Don’t migrate all over from your file share

Past users are famous for that “CYA” habit, keep it all just in case we need it. However, the other side of that coin is the liability. Everything you keep can now easily appear in eDiscovery. Let’s take the chance to clean things up and only bring over what we really need.

  • Only migrate active documents. You don’t really need those old log files from 10 years ago. Don’t bring back content if you don’t even know what it is. If you have a resistant user, you can always provide the file share in “read-only” status for a while. 
  • Migrate the new version of the documents. Microsoft’s SharePoint uses version history, so moving on means you don’t need to use the v1, v2, and v3.  
  • Consider security. You can you grant read-only access in a scenario where you were previously copying these documents for others to view? Again, we don’t want multiple versions in the same document. Try to focus on one version only. 
  1. Don’t keep the same file structure

Whether you are transferring from a legacy file share or SharePoint On-Premises, it properly organizing documents that comes down into security. In SharePoint, we avoid setting security in deep folder structures and try to save it at the site or document library level. It’s important to consider new ways of organizing your content. 

  • Move out of your tradition department-based file structure. Make cross-functional groups that span departments when it makes sense. Project sites are a good example of a way to construct this. Think about who owns the content and who needs to devour the content and use that to make your site and library architecture. 
  • Use content types for well-format documents (i.e. policies and procedures). Set yourself up to create an improved search page with a custom refinement panel. If your past users can shop on amazon.com, then they can simply use a search page with clarifications for policies and procedures that are labeled with a document type, department, language, etc. 
  • Array your content between publishing sites vs collaboration. Use modern communication site templates when you have a lot of readers and a little donor. Use Microsoft Teams (backed by SharePoint modern team sites) when you need to collude. 
  1. Plan for large lists and libraries

SharePoint Online supports more than 5,000 items or more, but you really need to plan for the capacity. If you have a scenario where you’ve not been able to break your project into multiple sites or document libraries, you’ll have a few things to take into consideration:

  • In modern lists and libraries, for lists over 2,500 items or more, indexes will be created automatically – but it is only up to 20,000 items. On the long run, auto-indexing will work above 20,000 items as well. 
  • If you, however, are using a third-party migration tool, there have been reports that indexing is not really complete prior to hitting 20,000 items. You may want to run a test to ensure the indexing is set up prior to migrating the full set of content into the library. 
  • Construct archiving tools to help and see if the data cannot be expired. 
  1. Plan your Retention Policies & Data Loss Prevention

Making changes to the versioning settings are rolling out across Microsoft’s SharePoint Online. From now on, versioning will be available by default in every library across both SharePoint and OneDrive. As an administrator, you cannot allow anything less than 100 versions per document files. Naturally, this brings up storage problems.

  • These policies will probably allow you to automatically delete a document after a certain time or make sure that it won’t be deleted prior to its needed/specified retention. 
  • Here’s a new one. You can also set confinement on the policies on both Teams and Groups now! You can Review this as part of your entire content strategy if you are planning to use Teams for collaboration. 
  • For those are concerned about transferring content to the cloud due to compliance, you can make sure to take advantage of the policies for doing a manually labeling (E3) or doing an automatically detecting (E5) documents that have sensitive information or personal content. 


As we discussed above it is written that SharePoint has 4 things to think before using SharePoint online. First is ( DON’T MIGRATE EVERYTHING) you need only to migrate active documents, second ( DON’T KEEP THE SAME FILE STRUCTURE) you need to organize your content very well, third ( PLAN FOR LARGE LISTS AND LIBRARIES ) SharePoint has its capacity you really need to plan for your project to put it in multiple libraries, and last ( PLAN YOUR RETENTION POLICIES & DATA LOSS PREVENTION ) you can make sure to take advantage of the policies for doing a manually labeling (E3) or doing an automatically detecting (E5) documents that have sensitive information or personal content. 

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