Webinar Recap | Modern vs Classic

Thank you for your interest in, “Modern vs Classic: A SharePoint Battle Royale“. If you were able to join us for the webinar, we sincerely thank you for being there. We hope you had as much fun learning about the different kinds of SharePoint as our speakers Eric Overfiend & Kunaal Sharma did sharing their knowledge with you.
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We got a TON of questions during this session (we LOVE questions!) that we unfortunately didn’t get a chance to answer. So, Eric & Kunaal took some time to make sure they got you the answers you were looking for:
Q: They’ve just announced that they are turning off the ability to force only classic site creation at the tenant level — it MS truly committed to supporting classic going forward is the first of a “death by a thousand cuts” for classic in SP Online?
It has become crystal clear that Microsoft is pushing us towards Modern SharePoint including Communication Site, Modern Team Sites, and Hub Sites. They are starting to remove options to opt out of presenting modern experiences to end users. That being said, I see no evidence that Microsoft is looking to remove classic experiences any time soon. Classic experiences have not been deprecated. I do not believe there is new investments in classic experiences, and Microsoft would prefer we migrate to modern, for sure.
Q: $60,000 question: what capabilities do I have as a CONTRIBUTOR that I don’t have with classic (which ain’t very much)?
Custom scripting for sure, we used to have the script editor webpart that allowed for deep control. Pre-defined yet complex custom layouts. Full control of the page. Normally this would be relevant to the architects, designers, and developers, yet contributors are then provided a less tailored editing experience.
Q: Why not have Classic sites with Modern pages? Best of both worlds.
This is most definitely possible with one caveat on the experience the user will have. Out of the box, the overall interface is quite different and will give a different experience when going from Modern to Classic. Plan how you want to utilize each experience.
Q: How stable are modern site features?
In one sense, very stable. Modern sites work, and their functionality has a high SLA. We have not seen any particular issues. In another sense though, not so stable. By that I mean that modern is evolving rapidly. We are getting new webparts and features often. Modern webparts are also evolving, I see this a good thing.
Q: What full stack blog sites i can use in my tenant for my CEO?
There is no new “blog” site template. The current best practices is to create a communication site just for your CEO where they can post “news”. You can target this news via metadata as CEO blog content so that you can roll up and present this content elsewhere.
Q: Does it remain a Powershell exercise to restrict users ability to create Groups and Team Sites?
As far as I know, yes.
Q: We have over 1000 sites that are classic and we our users do not have an O365 Outlook license. We are still using on premise outlook which makes any of the features that are dependent on Outlook in the cloud just don’t work well. I am creating modern SharePoint site landing pages but they are so limited. Still no app parts for Discussion Boards, Issues and Tasks. Do you know if these app parts will be added to Modern Site pages within Classic sites.
It is my experience and belief that some of these classic features will not be included as native modern SharePoint webparts. I cannot state this for a fact, rather my experience. My suggestion is to look at the offerings with Office 365 as a whole and if you see a particular product that meets many of the aims of a classic component, more than likely that is Microsoft’s answer. As an example for Tasks, Planner may be a good replacement. For Discussions, Microsoft is pushing the use of either Microsoft Teams for Yammer.
You may find you are not going to get feature parity, some new features may offer many more options, yet do not offer an aspect you were used to. This will take research, planning, and training.
Q: Thoughts about ‘target audiencing’ not yet being available in modern navigation? And not yet available for ‘modern’ pages and ‘modern’ webparts? Though some individualization might become available via groups?
Audience targeting is on the road map but will the initial roll out will be limited to certain web parts and the navigation. You can control who sees what Sites via groups but at the moment you can not target which web parts or navigation items.
Q: Possible yet to define a custom theme (change the look) with colors, fonts, etc?
Yes you can. Though fonts are not available, you define your theme with three colors. Use the Fabric UI Theme Generator to set up a theme. It will ask your input on three colors; Primary, Body Text, Body Background. You can utilize your organization main color as the Primary, this gets used as accents through-out site.
Q: Can you talk about linking web parts please – i.e passing search results between web parts as input to display/lookups ?
This is called Dynamic Data, has was recently released to the SharePoint Framework.
Q: What’s example of a ‘page layout” in modern?
Page layouts would be options you choose from when creating a new page. Currently when you create a new page in modern SharePoint, you are provide a canvas to add sections, rows, columns, and webparts/components. Custom page layouts would allow administrators to create pre-defined page structures to provide more content assistance for content authors.
Q: How about Project summary wp in Modern?
Nothing that I am aware of. The recommendation is to move to Planner. This does not help with existing content unfortunately.
Q: Don’t you thing the big top banner is really a bad design?
I would not say bad design, rather not always the best use of space. I am looking forward to more control of the header.
Q: Some customers have international portals — what can we tell them if they rely heavily on the Variations feature in On-Prem since it is not in SPO? How do we deal with multi-language in Modern?
There currently is not a good answer to this problem. It is definitely top of mind for SharePoint engineering I have to venture. Based on user voice, I am hopeful we will see an answer soon.
I have seen some sophisticated custom solutions around multi-lingual that includes custom extensions and processes for page redirection. I would not recommend this on a shoestring budget though, there are many moving parts.
Q: The formatting choices are a little limited with Modern web parts. Is there a way to format modern web pages content using css? If so, why do we do this?
Supported by Microsoft? Nothing out side of theme-ing. I have seen organizations use SharePoint Framework extensions, in particular application customizers to inject their own CSS. Please note this is not supported by Microsoft meaning your custom CSS may break if Microsoft where to change the selectors you use to style SharePoint.
Q: At SharePoint Saturday San Diego, Dan Holme mentioned the MegaMenu for navigation in O365, but I can’t find that in my tenant. Announced at MSIgnite
As far as I am aware, this has not yet been made generally available to all tenants. Hopefully it ships real soon.
Q: Web part connections in modern?
Dynamic data, see above.
Q: How about calendar webpart in modern?
Another gap.
Q: In ‘modern’ pages, seems to encourage longer scrolling pages. Is there a way to do page anchors bookmarks yet? So can jump visitor to a specific page > specific spot on the page.
There isn’t anything available out of the box for this. ***A idea would be to see what sort of information is being displayed and seeing if you can create pages for them. The local navigation is always fixed and that provides users easy access to to navigable items.
Q: Do you have any recommendations regarding best practice for security, AAD groups, AD groups, O365 groups, SP Groups?
That is a big question, I like it. I prefer AAD groups in general, O365 groups are special groups within AAD. It is also unfortunately a “it depends” question. I do not have a tight answer.
Q: What is the good blog site i can use with modern?
There isn’t a blog feature available via, but the News feature can be used for this purpose.
Q: When will flow support “State machine workflows”?
My understanding of this, no, Flow is not designed that way. You can create logic paths and multiple trigger points along the way, but it is not a state machine the way I see it.
Q: How do you open power app form in popup window?
I am not aware of a way to do this.
Q: Any webparts for People search and org chart with Modern sites?
Not out of the box that I am aware of. The Sharepoint Starter Kit does have these though.
Q: In ‘modern’ pages, seems to encourage longer scrolling pages. Is there a way to do page anchors / bookmarks yet? So can jump visitor to a specific page > specific spot on the page
Via a custom webpart, I could see that being possible. You could create an anchor tag webpart that could include a title as well, allowing you to create points to jump to a page. Nothing OOTB I am aware of.
Q: Can you create a classic page inside a modern site?
No you cannot create a classic page within a modern site. You can create classic sub webs though.
Didn’t get a chance to catch our session live? We’ve got you covered.
This session:
Here at PixelMill, we’re all about constant improvement. We thrive on finding unique ways to embrace new opportunities, and Microsoft has certainly given us a lot to work with this year, in particular, Modern Experiences. We know change is often met with both excitement and hesitation and that’s where PixelMill wants to help ease your mind.
Join Eric Overfield (President/Co-Founder of PixelMill and Microsoft MVP + RD) and the PixelMill team for a free webinar where we will break down the differences between modern and classic experiences. We’ll share use cases, design options, best practices, and the perks and limitations of both to help you better understand the options, aiding you in making an informed decision about the path you choose to take on your SharePoint journey.

Stay tuned for an announcement about our February webinar!

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