One simple view to improve SharePoint page and site management

Adding a few key columns to the All Pages view in the Site Pages library in modern SharePoint sites can be a game changer for Site Owners when it comes to de-bugging and content management. This is especially important for communication sites that are part of an intranet.

promoting an idea / raising awareness / lightbulb / technology users
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In the past two months, I’ve had several people ask me a lot of different questions about problems that they were having in SharePoint online sites. Have you had these issues?

  • Pages not showing up in search;
  • News articles visible to some users, but not others;
  • Confusion over which pages are news versus regular pages.

Solving these issues is relatively easy – they are almost always because someone has forgotten to publish the pages they have edited. It’s a little easier to remember to Republish when you are on the page-making edits. But don’t forget, if you change metadata on a page from the Site Pages view, you are also unpublishing the page. So, you need to remember to republish pages every time you make an update!

Here’s the summary of what you need to do:

  1. Set the All Pages view in the Site Pages library to be the default view.
  2. Add Promoted State to the view.
  3. Add Version to the view.
  4. Optional: Hide Created and Created by and also add Checked Out to.
  5. Group by Promoted State.
  6. Save the view.

Why Bother? Promoted State and Version Provide Critical Insights

These two fields tell you a lot about your site content – and help explain why content may not be showing up in search or metadata may not be available to use in a Filter.

  • Promoted State tells you the type of page. Being able to distinguish News and “regular” site pages can help with content management. That’s why I like to Group by Promoted State.
    • Promoted State = 0 is a Site Page
    • Promoted State = 2 is a News Page
  • Version tells you whether a page is unpublished or checked out. If the version number ends in .0, the page is published. If the version number ends in anything other than .0, the page is not published. 1.0 is published; 1.2 is not. Only Editors can see the updates made to an unpublished page. Visitors can only see the last published page. Search only finds content on published pages, so until you publish your page, you can’t use the metadata for the page in Highlighted Content or a search-based web part. Scanning the All Pages view for unpublished pages is the quickest way to solve most search-related site issues!
  • A page with a version of 0.x has never been published. This means that no one other than Owners and Members can see the page – Visitors cannot. The only pages that should permanently remain with a version of 0.x are pages in the Templates folder.

How-to steps for success

  • How to Add Promoted State. Add this column by selecting + sign next to the last column displayed in the header for the view. Then select Show/hide columns. Scroll down to Promoted State and check the box and click Apply. Then be sure to use Save As to save this column to the All Pages view. This is a “modern” column so the way to add it to the view is not the same as “classic” columns. While you are there, you may see a few other columns that you want to show in your view.
  • How to Add Version. Add this column by selecting Edit current view from the view dropdown. Scroll down to Version and click the selection box. Save the view. This is a “classic” column that is added to the view from the Edit current view selection. If you add Promoted State first, you will see it in the “classic” edit mode. However, it won’t show up until you add it from the modern interface.
  • How to Group by Promoted State. Before you do this step, add some content pages. Then, from the All Pages view, click the drop down next to Promoted State and select Group by Promoted State. Be sure to Save As the All Pages view. Note: if you add any additional fields or make any other edits to the view, you will need to do the Group By step again.

Looking for More Tips?

If you are looking for more tips and best practices for content and news pages in SharePoint Online, please join me at Microsoft Ignite for my 20-minute theater session: (THR1072) Content that delivers: tips to create awesome SharePoint pages and news. I’m also delivering a 45-minute session about designing great intranets called: (BRK2225) The Key to Intranet Success is People: How to keep people at the center of your digital workplace initiatives.

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