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Relation hierarchy with hubs site (and Hub sites in Hub site)

Updated: May 31, 2022

We often talk about the importance of flat structure and using metadata to but contexts to content. Why would you use hub sites or even hub sites in a hub site?

Let us first look at what hub sites are and what they can give you. We often use hub sites to create easier navigation and relationship and/or categorisation between sites.

There are three key features that hub sites give you:

  • Shared navigation and branding for all sites connected to the hub site

  • Search for content inside the hub site and all sites connected to the hub site

  • Roll-up of content from connected sites to the hub sites (e.g., show news posted in a site connected to the hub site)

Hub sites allow organisations to have “hubs” of sites where employees can find related sites and content with a shared navigation. As mentioned earlier hub sites are also a great way to categorise sites where there is a relation between them. As an example, in figure 1, we have all sites related to sales connected to the sales hub, and HR related sites connected to the HR hub site.

Illustration of sites connected to hub sites
Figure 1: Sites connected to hub sites

This allows employees to navigate all sales sites, where they can go to the Sales hub site to search and discover content from all sales sites connected to the Sales hub site. This provides a better contextual overview for users, with this example being sales.

Other great benefits of hub sites are that you can change hub site relation. This is not like the old days when we used subsites that are tightly connected to the parent site. We often see requirements where a need is to change the hub site relation over the lifetime of teams and sites. This could be re-organisations, projects that are finished etc.

Hub sites in hub site

Now you know what hub sites are, then you probably also understand that hub sites in hub site, are hub sites connected to another hub site. Let’s look at figure 2 where we have another level of hub sites.

Illustration of hub site, connected with hub sites and sites
Figure 2: Hub sites in hub site

The benefit with this structure is that employees will get a shared navigation for sales, where they can discover popular documents from both Europe and US. They can even search for content related to sales that will include all sites connected to Sales, Europe, and US. This also allows them to discover and search content only related to e.g., Europe, users simply need to navigate to the Europe hub site. Where they can search or discover content from the Europe hub site and all teams and sites connected to the Europe hub site.

Please feel free to contact us if you need help with your structure and information management in Microsoft 365. You may also want to check out some of the below blog posts:

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