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Upgrading your website and portal to SharePoint 2013 provides access to various new features and capabilities which require your consideration. This guide outlines the new features, what they mean and what you need to do.
Upgrading your site is the perfect opportunity to revisit and refresh your sites, particularly your portal, which is the hardest to maintain. Encouraging users to adopt collaboration tools is not an easy task, nor is it achieved overnight. While there’s a few important tasks you can do to encourage use we suggest starting with one thing - a simple content audit and review.
Your current portal likely has a lot of empty content areas and, like a garden, it needs tending! This is important. It’s overwhelming to users; getting users to return after they see sites that’s are blank or not being maintained is extremely difficult. You need to be aggressive. Focus only on content which exists, is relevant and will be actively maintained. Remove everything else until you are ready to use or adopt it.
This doesn't need to be an involved process. In 15 minutes you can easily identify areas which fit the above criteria. The fastest and safest approach is to simply hide stale content from the navigation, that way if you make a mistake nothing has been removed. If you prefer to delete the content, sites and list can be restored easily from the Recycle Bin for up to 30 days.
If the changes are consistent across your sites we can quickly apply them to all sites (using your your support hours).
Templates & New Features
You’ve no doubt noticed that we have not only migrated your sites but also extensively retrofitted and upgraded your content to take advantage of our new features and templates. You’ll see new features such as the school finder on the home page or the new schools directory page, or contact pages with a map for each location.
It wasn’t originally our intent to go this far, it’s a significant amount of effort but the site really looks and works all the better for it! We want you to have sites that are great looking, polished and easy to maintain.
The new templates ‘bake in’ make it easy to create great looking, mobile friendly sites. That said, they will never be as flexible and customised as something you build specifically for your needs.
Where you had existing content, such as the district school list, we’ve left it alone and added templates alongside. I wanted to call out a few you should specifically consider:
Depending on which you prefer you may want to hide one of the versions as they serve the same purpose:
Another area worth looking at is the User Directory which loads information direct from Active Directory. It’s a great way to make sure the websites are up todate. We’ve added them to your district and school pages but set the role to blank so they don’t expose any private data and to give you a chance to decide what you would like to display. You may also want to use them on the portal as a handy staff resource:
https://web2013demo.scholantis.com/About/Directory/ (populated example)
https://docs.scholantis.com/display/PUG2013/User+Directory (Scholantis guide)
Final Thoughts & More Resources
You may also want to review some other important improvements and changes: