All Roads Lead Home | Having a homesite just got more important

An intranet homepage is no novel concept; we’ve been building them for clients for decades. It acts as a home base for the organization’s intranet, a jumping-off point, and a place to share important global information and news. A homesite is arguably one of the most important pages on a corporate intranet, so you can see why Microsoft is encouraging (ahem, forcing) us to get on the bandwagon. The ‘homesite’ we’re focused on for this post is what Microsoft launched back in 2019; essentially, the SharePoint homesite is their declaration of the intranet homepage.  

So what makes a homesite so important? And why must you have one if you’d like to take advantage of Microsoft Viva? Let’s dive in…  

A SharePoint homesite is essentially just a communication site, but with what Microsoft deems “superpowers.” But to us, four pillars make a homesite valuable. 

Homesite Example Image: Microsoft 

Search  

A homesite is crucial to search because it empowers your team to search the entire intranet. Standard SharePoint pages only allow you to search that specific site’s content.   

News  

Your homesite is the organizational news source. Because a homesite is automatically set as the organizational source, any news created from that site becomes official organizational news that takes priority.   

  

Global Navigation  

The reality is, if you don’t want to use the homesite for what it’s designed for (which we’re not sure why you wouldn’t btw), you must have it if you want to set the global navigation for your organization. The App Bar on the left (global navigation) is now a default part of your site, and there’s no getting rid of it. And the only way to set that navigation currently is from the homesite. For tips on best practices for the App Bar navigation, check out Microsoft’s documentation.   

  

Viva  

A homesite becomes interesting with Viva for several reasons, but specifically because of the dashboard. You set and configure the dashboard on your homesite. From your homesite, you can set your dashboard tiles, and there’s a dashboard webpart where you can add it to your homepage. Plus, Viva Connections mobile’s “resources” section is essentially the global nav from your homesite.   

Your homesite also aggregates the Teams Homesite App, empowering your users to consume your intranet content in their flow of work, right inside Microsoft Teams.  

Homesite App in Teams Image: Microsoft 

While these four pillars are key, there are many ways a homesite can help improve your employee’s digital experience. So, if you haven’t set your homesite yet, follow Microsoft’s step-by-step primer.   

*Note: Make sure that you have no compliance policies attached to your site.   

Want to dive deeper into planning your homesite? Check out Microsoft’s Guide or chat with a PixelMill SharePoint architect today!   

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