3 recommended updates: Set default page templates in SharePoint Online

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Version 20.07.02

Microsoft MVP Jasper Oosterveld on default page templates and two new analytics features for SharePoint Online, and an increase to the file upload limit for SharePoint, OneDrive, and Teams files.

ShareGate’s easy-to-use SaaS tools enable organizations to achieve more than ever before with Microsoft cloud technologies. In our ongoing series, Jasper Oosterveld brings you up to speed on the latest and greatest from the world of Microsoft 365.

I hope you enjoyed the last one—where I discussed the ability to hide/show Microsoft 365 groups in Outlook and the Address Book, two new features that make it easier to find new information in Microsoft Teams, and mobile video sharing from Yammer.

Let’s move on to the latest installment!

In this release, you’ll find my opinion on the ability to set default page templates in SharePoint, two new analytics features for SharePoint, and an increase to the file upload limit for SharePoint, OneDrive, and Teams files.

Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at 3 recommended updates that you should know about now.

Set default page templates in SharePoint Online

Modern SharePoint pages are the best thing that ever happened to SharePoint content management. The adoption rate is higher, less training is needed, and they’re responsive and integrated with the free Microsoft SharePoint mobile app. And creating and sharing news pages has never been easier!

Microsoft introduced page templates a while back, and now another great update for managing page templates is on the way: SharePoint site owners will soon be able to set the default template in the page template picker.

Image of the new option to "Set default selection" for a page template.

This feature will allow site owners to set a page template as the default when a user creates a new page or news post on the site. The default template will be selected when the template picker is open, but users can select a different template to use before they create their page.

Microsoft 365 Roadmap, Featured ID: 64529
Screenshot of the template picker with the default template pre-selected.

The default template is pre-selected when an editor opens the template picker.

Microsoft also created an additional entry point to edit or delete templates from within the template picker. Previously, this action was only available in the template library.

All and all, another great update! That said, I’m still waiting for a SharePoint hub template feature that will allow hub owners to push down their modern SharePoint page templates.

Good to know:

  • Start updating your user training and documentation.
  • Check out Microsoft’s support documentation to learn more about creating and using page templates in SharePoint.

Microsoft started rolling the update out to Targeted Release customers in mid-June 2020. Standard Release customers should have received the update by the end of June 2020 and the rollout is expected to be completed by mid-July 2020.

Two new analytics features for SharePoint Online

I’ve always had a soft spot for analytics in SharePoint. That’s because I understand the importance of analyzing the usage of your SharePoint portals. Companies put a lot of time and money into building SharePoint portals; they want to know how their colleagues are using something they put so much effort into.

Unfortunately, analytics has never been SharePoint’s strong suit. But things are getting better! The first update introduces an “Avg time spent per user” report to the Site usage analytics interface.

You can now get reports with aggregated data on the amount of time that users are spending on your intranet sites.

Microsoft 365 Roadmap, Featured ID: 57159

The new report shows the trend line for the time users spent on SharePoint site pages and news posts for 7- and 30-day time periods. The average metric is calculated by comparing the total time spent on that page with the number of unique visitors on that page in the given timeframe.

Currently, this report doesn’t provide the average value for a 90-day period and does not support lists, documents, or administrative pages (such as the site usage or site permissions page). Mobile app views are currently not incorporated in this report, either.

In this example, the report shows that the average user spent 6 minutes and 45 seconds actively engaged with the site during a 7-day period—a 40% decrease from the prior 7-day period.

Image showing 7-day trend line for time users spent actively engaging with the site.

The second update provides site owners and members of SharePoint hub sites with analytics for their hubs. Each hub’s analytics page will display cumulative analytics for all sites that are part of the hub.

Hub owners can now analyze aggregate usage analytics for their SharePoint hub sites, including all associated sites. Going to the Site usage page for a hub site will automatically display usage data (including total visits, unique viewers, top sites, popular content) for all associated sites in the hub.

Microsoft 365 Roadmap, Featured ID: 57160

To view these reports, site owners or members need to go to the hub site for which they want to see usage data > click on the settings gear icon > and then select Site usage data.

By default, users will see analytics for all sites in the hub. If they want, they can choose to only see data for the hub site:

screenshot of option view site usage data analytics for this site only.

Good to know:

Microsoft started rolling out the “Avg time spent per user” report feature in mid-June 2020 and expects to be completed by mid-July 2020. The cumulative analytics for SharePoint hubs started rolling out in late June 2020 and should be completed by the end of July 2020.

SharePoint, OneDrive, and Teams file upload limit increased to 100GB

This update was announced during the 2019 European SharePoint Conference.

As requirements grow, so, too, must the content service that you depend on for your day-to-day content and files use. We are increasing the file upload limit in Office 365 to 100GB (up from 15GB). That means you can bring bigger files into SharePoint document libraries, OneDrive, and Teams files—all based on the same, robust content store.

Microsoft 365 Roadmap, Featured ID: 49368

At the time, I took to Twitter to question who actually needs to upload and store such large files on their OneDrive accounts. My community peers were quick to point me towards video editors and graphic designers, who regularly work with large AutoCAD and Photoshop files.

For people in these scenarios, this is good news! Personally, I don’t think I will be uploading files this large. But nonetheless, a nice update!

Good to know:

  • End users will no longer receive errors when trying to upload a file larger than 15GB, but less than 100GB. This will enable productivity, storage, and protection for large files in your organization.
  • If your tenant has large files that you haven’t been able to upload before, it’s recommended that you test a few large files. There are many factors that may impact your upload—including bandwidth, location, or other network traffic.
  • Before uploading, review Microsoft’s support documentation on invalid file names and file types in OneDrive and SharePoint.
  • Start updating your user training and documentation and prepare your employees by sending out a news post announcing this update and its benefits.

This update is available now.

SharePoint for the win!

My highlights for this edition of 3 recommended updates have to be the analytics updates for SharePoint Online. Simply because we need more analytics!

One of the requests we frequently get from our customers at InSpark is the ability to see how colleagues arrive on a SharePoint (news) page, as well as their actions after reading the SharePoint (news) page. We solved this with Azure Insights, but let’s be fair: This needs to be an out-of-the-box feature. Fingers crossed!

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