SharePoint team vs communication site web part options

Depending on whether your SharePoint site is built on a team site template (has a left-hand navigation menu) or a communication site template (no left-hand navigation menu) you will have different options available for web parts to be used on your site’s pages.

Part of this may be because communication sites are not built on Microsoft 365 groups which are required for creating assets like Planner plans. The Planner web part requires its hosting site to share a supporting Microsoft 365 group. You’ll also notice a much more limited selection of third-party (non-Microsoft) web parts available in communication sites.

Note
Even though communication sites aren’t built on Microsoft 365 groups, you can use pre-existing Microsoft 365 groups to grant access/membership to your communication site.

These web parts help remind us of the purpose behind each template. Team sites are meant to be used for collaboration – therefore we see much more collaborative tools available in this template. Communication sites, however, tend to be more consumer-oriented and don’t typically need the third-party apps or collaborative tools to share their documents, news, knowledge, etc. with consumers.

Team sites have the most web part options, including many third-party options. The following web parts are unique to team sites:

  • Asana
  • Bitbucket (and Bitbucket Server)
  • GitHub (and GitHub Enterprise)
  • Google Analytics
  • Incoming Webhook
  • JIRA
  • Office 365 Connectors
  • Planner
  • RSS
  • Salesforce
  • Stack Overflow
  • Trello
  • UserVoice
Web parts available in a team site | Click to enlarge

There are currently no web parts in communication sites that are not also available in team sites.

In the following table, you’ll find all of the default available web parts, their descriptions, and which template(s) they’re each available within.

Web partDescriptionTeamCommunication
AsanaTrack projects from start to finishX
Bing MapsDisplay a location on a map using Bing MapsXX
BitbucketManage and collaborate on your code projectsX
Bitbucket ServerManage and collaborate on your code projectsX
ButtonAdd a clickable button with a custom label and linkXX
Call to actionAdd call to action text and an image paired with a clickable buttonXX
Code SnippetAdd a Code Snippet to the pageXX
ConversationsShow conversations from a Yammer group, user, topic, or homeXX
Countdown TimerCount down or count up to an important eventXX
DividerAdd a line to divide areas on your pageXX
Document libraryShow a document library from this siteXX
EventsDisplay upcoming events from your sites in a layout you chooseXX
GitHubManage and collaborate on code projectsX
GitHub EnterpriseManage and collaborate on code projects hosted on a GitHub Enterprise instanceX
Google AnalyticsGet Google Analytics summary reportsX
Group calendarDisplay a calendar from one of your Office 365 groupsXX
HeroProminently display up to 5 pieces of content with links, images, pictures, or photos in a highly visual layoutXX
HighlightsShow highlights of Yammer conversationsXX
Image galleryShow several images, pictures or photos in a gallery layoutXX
Incoming WebhookSend data from a service to your Microsoft 365 Group in real timeX
JIRAGather, organize, and assign issues detected in your softwareX
Kindle Instant PreviewShow a preview of a Kindle bookXX
ListDisplay a list from this siteXX
List propertiesConnect to a list web part on the same page and dynamically display a selection from that listXX
MarkdownUse Markdown language to add and format textXX
Microsoft FormsAdd a survey to collect responses or show resultsXX
Microsoft PowerApps (Preview)Show a custom app created with PowerAppsXX
My feedDisplay a personalized feed of content and activitiesXX
NewsShow news posts from one or more sites in a variety of layouts. You can filter news and target news to key audiencesXX
Office 365 ConnectorsConnect with other services to show updates and notifications from themX
Organization chartShow an organization chart (org chart) with structure and connections for a selected personXX
Page propertiesShow details about your page like date, content type, or custom propertiesXX
PeopleDisplay selected people and their profilesXX
PlannerShow and work with a Planner board or chartsX
Power BIDisplay a Power BI reportXX
Quick chartShow data in a simple bar or pie chartXX
Quick linksShow a collection of links in a variety of layouts with options for icons, images, and audience targetingXX
Recent documentsDisplay recent documents for the current userXX
RSSGet RSS feeds for your groupX
SalesforceBuild relationships with your customersX
Saved for laterShow the current page viewer’s documents and pages that they saved for laterXX
Site activityShow site activity such as files uploaded or edited, lists created, and moreXX
SitesShow important or interesting sites on your pageXX
SpacerAdd vertical space between areas on the pageXX
Stack OverflowAsk and answer programming questionsX
StreamDisplay a Stream video or channelXX
TrelloManage Trello cards and tasks all in one placeX
TwitterDisplay a Twitter feedXX
UserVoiceCollect new customer ideas, and track and respond to customers’ problemsX
WeatherShow the current weather in a location you chooseXX
World clockShow one or more clocks with time zones you chooseXX
YouTubeShow a YouTube video on the pageXX
A table detailing available web parts and in which site template you can find them for use.

How to enable and use audience targeting for SharePoint pages and news

anonymous person with binoculars looking through stacked books

Note: This article pertains specifically to SharePoint Online (M365).

Audience targeting can be used to surface relevant information and resources to specific groups of people throughout SharePoint. This post will focus specifically on enabling audience targeting on your site’s pages and news so that you can create individualized experiences for users based on their identity or role.

The overall process consists of three steps:

  1. Enable the audience targeting ability for all content in your Site Pages library.
  2. Specify the appropriate audience(s) for specific pages/news items within the library.
  3. Modify any existing web parts (news or highlighted content web parts) to enable audience targeting (simply meaning to utilize any audience targeting configurations that have been specified for the content surfacing in that web part).

Step 3 is not required if you only wish to have audience targeting “seen” on the SharePoint start page, mobile app, or other non-customized areas where news may surface.

How audience targeting works

If you specify an audience for content, it will be shown in relevant areas (SharePoint start page, mobile app, news or highlighted content web parts using audience targeting, etc.) to members of the audiences only. This is not a security feature – the content is still discoverable by other users – just not surfaced upfront conveniently for them.

If you are a member of an audience specified on a news piece, you’ll see that news wherever it’s being called up. If you’re not, you won’t see it but can still search or browse to find it.

If no audience is specified for an item, it will be shown to all users. Or if a web part (such as a news web part) has disabled audience targeting, any specified audiences on individual pieces will be disregarded and the content will be shown to all through that particular web part.

Here are the detailed steps to set up audience targeting:

Enable audience targeting for Site Pages (and news)

1. Go to your Site Contents > Site Pages library

2. Select the settings gear > Library settings

Click to enlarge

3. Choose Audience targeting settings

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4. Check the box for Enable audience targeting and then click OK.

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Specify an audience for SharePoint pages or news

1. Now return to your Site Pages library and select a page or news item to which you wish to add audience targeting.

Click to enlarge

2. Open the details pane (i icon) in the upper right

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3. In the Properties section, enter up to 50 M365 Group names, user names or emails, etc. to whom the selected content should be targeted. Notice it also adds the specified audience in a column in the library. Your additions are saved automatically.

Click to enlarge

Modify web parts to utilize audience targeting where available

1. Edit the page on which you’ve placed a news or highlighted content web part.

2. Click the edit icon (pencil) on the particular web part for which you’re enabling audience targeting.

Click to enlarge

3. In the Filters section, toggle Enable audience targeting on.
(Note: News source must be This site or Select sites. Recommended for current user doesn’t have audience targeting settings).

Click to enlarge

4. Republish your page when ready.

This can take some time to fully update in your site, so check back after a while to confirm functionality.

After completing these three sections, you’ve now

  • allowed content within the pages/news library to be used in audience targeting scenarios,
  • chosen specific pieces to which you’ll apply audience targeting,
  • and modified the web parts where content will surface to utilize those pieces’ audience settings when appropriate.

Check out this article for more information on SharePoint audience targeting, including more than pages and news.

Content and script editor web parts missing in SharePoint

Missing two of your favorite web parts? Don’t fret.

Make sure the site collection feature “SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure” is activated

Make sure the site feature “SharePoint Server Publishing” is activated

Still not there? Check “Settings” in the admin center to see if custom scripts are allowed on personal and self-service created sites (allow both). This can take up to 24 hours to take effect.

If you can’t wait (and you’re using SharePoint Online), use PowerShell to make the change immediately, changing my site details to your own

$adminUPN="nate@sharepointlibrarian.com"
$orgName="sharepointlibrarian"
$UserCredential = Get-Credential -UserName $adminUPN -Message "Enter password"
Connect-SPOService -URL https://sharepointlibrarian-admin.sharepoint.com -Credential $userCredential
Set-SPOsite https://sharepointlibrarian.sharepoint.com -DenyAddAndCustomizePages 0

Repeat the last line for each site on which you need to quickly activate this setting. For example, I would run it again on https://sharepointlibrarian1.sharepoint.com/sites/AnotherSite

Your web parts should have now returned! Good luck.

SharePoint’s Content Query Web Part (CQWP) is missing!

Applies to: SharePoint Server/on-prem

I love SharePoint’s Content Query Web Part (CQWP) – but if you’re missing a feature in your site collection(s), you may not have it! Luckily you can get it back in just four clicks.

  • Go to Site Settings
  • Click “Site Collection Features” under “Site Collection Administration” (Note: Must have full control or site collection administrator permissions to see this option)
  • Activate “SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure
  • Now your CQWP should be available as a web part under Content Rollup.

If you need to activate the SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure across all site collections in a web app, I recommend checking out 
Salaudeen Rajack’s site, SharePointDiary.com, for instructions on doing this via PowerShell.

How to give SharePoint link lists a professional look out-of-the-box using the icon library

In the modern SharePoint experience, you can clean up ordinary link lists with very little effort, thanks to SharePoint’s icon library.

chrome_2018-10-23_15-30-53

Whether you need a Teams icon (teams), dog (fangbody), tooth (teeth) or football (football), you can search for icons and use those for adding visual cues and iconography to your sites. Here’s how you can implement this on your page(s):

Continue reading “How to give SharePoint link lists a professional look out-of-the-box using the icon library”

How to create a SharePoint modal pop-up message on page load

2018-05-15_07-55-34

This solution involves two files:

  • The aspx page that holds the content of the pop-up
  • The script that loads the aspx page in a modal dialog upon page load
  1. Save this .aspx page to your “Site Pages” directory.
    -OR-
    Copy and paste the following into a new .aspx page in your Site Pages or Pages (Settings wheel –> Site Contents –> Site Pages or Pages) directory:

    Wrap this block in style tags:
    [code]
    h1 {
    color: #ed7522;
    text-align: center;
    }
    h2 {
    color: #ed7522;
    text-align: center;
    }
    p {
    color: #1f2844;
    font-size: 1em;
    }
    input {
    font-family: “Segoe UI”;
    font-size: 1em;
    }
    [/code]
    Paste directly beneath (no additional tags):
    [code]

    [/code]

  2. Modify the content in the aspx page beneath the modal-content div and above the input tag to include your own images, formatting and message text.
  3. Save this javascript file to your Site Assets (Settings wheel –> Site Contents –> Site Assets) or scripts folder
    -OR-
    Copy and paste the following into a new javascript file in your Site Assets:

    Note: Wrap the following in script tags:
    [code] _spBodyOnLoadFunctionNames.push(‘showPopup’);
    function showPopup() {
    var options = {
    title: “Notice“,
    url: “https://sharepointlibrarian.sharepoint.com/SitePages/HomePopUp.aspx” };
    SP.UI.ModalDialog.showModalDialog(options);
    }
    [/code]
  4. Update the script to include the URL of your newly saved aspx page and a title for the pop-up window (optional).
  5. Add a content editor web part to the page on which you’d like the pop-up.
    1. Edit page
      editpage
    2. Add web part
      insert web part
    3. Edit web part
      editwebpart
    4. Paste URL to the javascript file in your Site Assets and click “OK”
      content editor pop up
    5. Save page/stop editing
      stopediting

That’s it! Your pop-up should now function upon page load. When/if you wish to “turn off” the pop-up without deleting the files (so you can reuse later easily) just add “//” before line 7 in the javascript file and save to “comment out” the function. This prevents the pop-up from loading. When you’re ready to use the pop-up again just remove the two slashes and save.
comment out

I recommend using SharePoint Designer to easily access and modify the ASPX page and/or javascript file.

A better way to display “today’s events” from multiple calendars in SharePoint on your intranet home page

today at LMH

Below on the left are two traditional, out-of-the-box solutions for showing Today’s events in SharePoint. Notice how both take up a lot of extra space repeating today’s date (which we don’t need to see at all in a web part called “Today’s Events”) or showing gray space where there are no events. Soak that in – prime real estate on your home page goes to non-existent events. These also may require overlays and other manual labor processes that need adjusted every time a calendar is added or removed.

But on the right is what you could have. It uses search instead and displays events from all calendars a user has access to in one place. It shows only the necessary information on the home page and links to full details. And with a little CSS included in this post, it can look polished and themed. Imagine all you could do with that saved space on your home page…

Also seen above: Adding local weather to your SharePoint intranet home page
and a “this week’s menu” button for your intranet

Continue reading “A better way to display “today’s events” from multiple calendars in SharePoint on your intranet home page”

Adding local weather to your SharePoint intranet home page

Update 5/9/2019: AccuWeather has discontinued their widget. Watch
https://www.accuweather.com/en/free-weather-widgets for updates.

weatherI jokingly said at a recent presentation that I thought adding weather to our intranet’s home page was a good idea for employees like me who work in the basement and don’t see much of “the outside.” But it can also help with planning and decisions depending on your industry and daily routines.

Accuweather has a free script for a widget you can use that resizes perfectly on different screen sizes. I’m impressed with its simplicity and how dynamic it is.

All you need is a script editor where you’re placing the weather on your page and the following script from Accuweather.com. This script will work as-is from a straight copy and paste, but you should generate your own code from their website to paste after the closing style tag so that when clicked, users will be taken to more info specific to their location instead of mine. You can start from scratch on their site, just be sure to add the “style” tag and content below before the script they generate for you. This will get rid of a rather pesky button they include.

Embed quizzes and/or results in SharePoint using Microsoft Forms

Asset 1quiz.pngThis morning I looked around for either pure javascript or custom service solutions for trivia or quiz embeds for SharePoint. The out-of-the-box survey web part wouldn’t allow the kind of features I needed such as showing a message upon submission about correct and incorrect answers, and I wanted something more robust than a newsfeed or Yammer quiz. I also wanted users to easily be able to change their own quiz questions and answers and no high-maintenance code solution was going to cut it.

What I learned? There aren’t a lot of free solutions out there for quick quiz creation and embedding in SharePoint. And the ones that are out there don’t look the greatest. Then I remembered Microsoft Forms has a quiz function! Don’t these look great? Even better – you can embed in SharePoint Server/On-Prem or SharePoint Online/O365!

sidebyside

Microsoft Form’s quiz capabilities are incredible. In five minutes you can create a quiz that looks good, is easy to update and has features ordinarily only available with a premium subscription through other services. And as seen above, you can embed the results as well, making voting fun or showing a group how everyone is performing as a whole on a topic quiz. Here are some of the great features you get with Microsoft Forms:

Continue reading “Embed quizzes and/or results in SharePoint using Microsoft Forms”

Upgrade your image slider on SharePoint

Your image slider is okay. But you’d like it better if it had a makeover (50 points to whoever can guess the commercial reference).

This post will show you how you can take your out-of-the-box content search web part slideshow from this:

2018-03-24_17-10-39

to this:

2018-03-24_17-26-46

This solution supports multi-line descriptions that don’t get cut off. It gets rid of that dreadful partially transparent overlay and gives you more of your photo uninhibited by messy design. It’s more modern, lighter and sure to impress. At the end, be sure to adjust the CSS to match your own color scheme and size needs.

Continue reading “Upgrade your image slider on SharePoint”