How to Promote SharePoint Sites during an Office 365 Migration

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Many times when a business is ready to make the move to Office 365, they will first want to analyze the current active SharePoint 2010 site collections and content to figure out what needs to be moved and what needs to be cleaned out. Some of the sites, lists or libraries have probably not been used for ages or have since outlived their usefulness and it is often preferable to archive these site objects before the big move. 

On the other hand, you might also find some site collections are now much larger than they should be. Therefore, some site collections might now have tons of subsites and those subsites might also have child sites and so on. We all know how messy SharePoint can get sometimes! 

Promote SharePoint Sites during an Office 365 Migration

A great tool for analyzing your Site Collection structure is Sharegate Management’s “Find" screen. In order to get your first overview, use the “Explore” tile: you will be able to see your site collection tree and quickly gather information regarding the children of your top level site, their size and much more. If you come to discover that a subsite has multiple children, you may wish to promote this subsite to a top level site to keep your SharePoint environment in accordance with your business governance plan.

In addition, promoting some subsites to top level sites within your new Office 365 environment would make the navigation across your SharePoint sites much easier for end-users. The management of permissions for Site Collection administrators will also be facilitated.

Once you have identified the subsites you wish to promote, you can simply use the Migration tile and you are good to go.

From Subsite to Top Level Site

How to Promote SharePoint Sites in Office 365

From the main menu, use Copy Site Objects to connect to both your source and destination environments. It's easy as pie, you'll need to:

  1. First, connect using your source subsite URL. 
  2. Then, connect to the URL of your newly created Top-level site. 
 

Make sure you have site collection administrator rights, both for your source and destination sites. These permissions are required to read all the required information at the source and to update the destination environment accordingly.

The actual promotion process is very simple. If the child site has custom permissions, all the permissions are located at the subsite level and Sharegate will migrate all the dependencies accordingly.

However, if your subsite permissions are inherited from the parent at your source, Sharegate will simply use the destination groups. Thus, if your destination’s newly created top site level doesn't have the same groups and permission levels, you'll want to migrate them prior of promoting your subsite. That way the same permissions will apply. 

You can get more detail on how permissions will be managed by Sharegate in this article.  

You may also want to perform some Groups and users mappings, permission levels mappings, Site templates mappings ... This article will guide you through recommend steps to perform in order to run a smooth migration.

Once all those steps above are completed, you simply need to select "Current site" located at the bottom of the left Navigation pane. 

How to Promote SharePoint Sites in Office 365

From there, simply drag and drop your subsite from the left window (source) to the right window (destination). As soon as you'll do so, a "Copy Options" window will prompt. What's important here is to check the "Merge" radio button instead of the "subsite" so you tell Sharegate to merge your subsite into your newly created top-site level instead of copying it as a subsite of it.

How to Promote SharePoint Sites in Office 365
You get more details on other copy options here.
While the copy is running, the copied site objects and items will be displayed. Should anything come up, errors and warnings will also be displayed within Sharegate’s reporting section. You can access this section simply by clicking on "Show details". 

How to Promote SharePoint Sites in Office 365

There you go! Once the migration ends, you’ll have a brand new Site collection in your O365 space for your colleagues to easily work with. Got any question? Feel free to ask them in the comment section below.

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