Modern SharePoint

Modern SharePoint Branding Resources

One of the big changes between classic SharePoint and Modern SharePoint’s is the approach and method used to brand sites.  There are two levels of branding, one easy approach for basic branding and a more advanced feature currently needing developer skills.

This wireframe shows the areas that can be customised in red. In this example I have included a mix of layouts, the top section has two column web-part zones (66%/33%) and the lower row is using 3 columns.


Change the Look

In SharePoint Online Modern Sites, click the Cog and choose ‘Change the Look’. From here you can choose from a list of predefined themes. The colour pallet can be adjusted and you have the ability to set the background colour of the title elements.

Logo and Title

Clicking the Cog icon and choosing “Site Information” allows you to change the logo and title of a site.

It should also be noted that if the SharePoint Site is a Hub Site, the theme from Change the Look and the Logo and Title will be inherited to any connected sites.


Many SharePoint web-parts include layout options to future refine your designs. For example:

Hero web-part layout options


News web-part layout optionsNews-webpart

Banner images

SharePoint pages including site pages, news and events include an optional banner image. SharePoint expects these images to be 16:9 to ensure the best auto scaling. This is important when rolling up content e.g. a news post image will auto scale when displayed in a rollup web part such as the news or highlighted content web-parts.


SPFx Application Customizer

Microsoft provides the ability to customise the header and footer areas of Modern SharePoint using the SharePoint Framework (SPFx). This approach also allows for custom CSS files that can over-ride the out of the box style sheet to do things like changing the web-part title styles.

The SharePoint Starter Kit provides examples of how to do this.


If you’re looking for design ideas, take a look at the Microsoft Ignite 2018 Modern SharePoint Look Book full of banding and layout examples.

Before you settle on a design, play with the web-parts and layouts. Microsoft provides a range of web-part and layout options that make it easy to create a visually appealing site. They also make it more difficult to create truly one off designs. Don’t try to fight it!





Creating a SharePoint Hub Site

Hub Site functionality is rolling out to “Targeted Release” Office 365 customers now, so it I thought I’d give it a quick test.

Step 1: Check you are on “Targeted Release” in the Office 365 Admin Console > Settings > Organisation Profile.

Step 2: Go to SharePoint Home from the App Launcher and create a new Communication Site. Microsoft recommends using a Modern Communication site.

Step 3: Register the new Communication site as a Hub Site (via PowerShell)

Step 4: Create a new Modern Team or Communications site to test with

Step 5: In the new site, choose ‘Site Information’ from the settings cog (top right) and select the Hub Site created in step 2 and 3.

To test the functionality I created a news article in the site I created in step 4 and after a few minutes the news article appeared in the Hub Site.








SharePoint Hub Sites Coming soon

Microsoft has officially announced Hub Sites via the Office 365 Message Centre, the first real news since Ignite in 2017. Hub Sites are designed to dynamically connect closely release sites, bring together similar projects, manage related assets and present activities in a single place.

Hub Sites address one of the big pieces of the puzzle when it comes to building a modern SharePoint environment. Modern Communication and Team sites can be associated with a Hub Site, providing a way to present content from these sites in a single place.

  • Roll up news from Communication sites
  • Consolidated view of site activities from associated sites
  • Search scoped to the sites associated with the Hub Site
  • Display ‘site cards’ similar to the SharePoint home page (click SharePoint from the Office 365 App Launcher)

Sites that are associated with a Hub Site can inherit configuration including:

  • Navigation
  • Theme
  • Logo

Some additional details of Hub Sites is included in the FAQ’s and Hub Sites blog comments:

  • Hub Sites can’t be associated with other Hub Sites
  • Hub Sites are create by a SharePoint Admin
  • Site Owners can join a Modern Team or Communication site to a Hub Site
  • You can unjoin from one Hub Site and join another easily
  • Permissions do not flow down from Hub Sites
  • News cannot be filtered. All News rolls up at this stage
  • The SharePoint Mobile App will be updated to support Hub Sites

There isn’t much documentation on Hub Sites available yet, but Microsoft are set to release new resources over the next few weeks including general documentation for setup and configuration, along with intranet strategy and planning resources. This documentation is general released at the same time the feature starts rolling out.

The new capabilities Hub Sites bring to SharePoint Online will encourage more organisations to consider Modern SharePoint over Classic.

This Webinar by Mark Kashman, is a great overview of Hub Sites

Hub Sites are due to start rolling out at the end of March 2018 with all organisations having this feature by the end of May 2018.