Optimizing SharePoint Site Naming: Expert Guidelines
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SharePoint Online
Apr 29, 2024 8:08 AM

Optimizing SharePoint Site Naming: Expert Guidelines

by HubSite 365 about Ellen van Aken

Pro UserSharePoint OnlineLearning Selection

Unlocking SharePoint Site Naming Secrets: Real-World Insights & Best Practices

Key insights


  • Central site creation and formal naming conventions improve SharePoint site management.
  • Avoiding spaces, special characters, and long URLs in site names prevents issues and enhances user experience.
  • Numeric URLs, while unique, can be confusing and uninformative to users.
  • Incorporating short, meaningful abbreviations and identifiers in site names (like "p-ictprt" for a project in ICT) is effective for organization and user navigation.
  • Adjusting site names post-creation to something more intuitive helps maintain an information scent while keeping URLs manageable.

SharePoint Site Naming Conventions

Effective SharePoint site management is crucial for organizations to ensure a smooth and efficient digital workspace. A key aspect of this management is the adoption of proper site naming conventions, which play a significant role in the overall usability and maintenance of the SharePoint environment. These conventions help in organizing sites in a meaningful manner, making it easier for users to navigate and locate the information they need. By centralizing the creation of sites and implementing a formal naming convention, organizations can avoid the chaos of cluttered and confusing site directories. 

The blog post discusses the author's experiences with SharePoint site naming conventions across three different organizations, highlighting the importance of a well-thought-out naming strategy. Gregory Zelfond's SharePoint Maven newsletter inspired the author to share these insights, emphasizing the best practices for naming SharePoint sites. Through the author's journey, it becomes evident how varied naming conventions can impact the orderliness and usability of SharePoint environments.

Initially, the author encountered a lack of a formal naming convention, where sites were created centrally but lacked standardized names. This approach included short names without spaces or special characters and some meaningful abbreviations. Despite the large organization size, this method worked moderately well due to the limited use of SharePoint at the time.

  • Good practice: Central site creation, short names, no spaces or special characters.
  • Bad practice: No formal naming convention.

In the second intranet experience, the author faced significant challenges due to decentralized site creation and the absence of a naming convention. Site collections were managed by business owners, leading to complex site structures and issues with URL length. This organization later migrated to SharePoint Online and adopted a basic numeric naming convention, which, despite being organized, was not user-friendly.

  • Good practice: Transition to stand-alone sites, centralized site creation.
  • Bad practice: Long URLs, spaces in URLs, not meaningful to users.

The third and final experience showcases a structured approach with central site creation and a solid naming convention, significantly improving the system's organization and usability. This strategy involved using letters and abbreviations to denote the site's purpose and associated department, creating a more intuitive and manageable environment.

  • Good practice: Central site creation, formal naming convention, meaningful and short names.
  • Bad practice: Minimal, except for the occasional dash in the URL.


Read the full article SharePoint site naming conventions – my experience

SharePoint Online - Optimizing SharePoint Site Naming: Expert Guidelines


People also ask

What is the best practice for SharePoint site naming conventions?

The optimum approach for SharePoint site naming involves incorporating clear, consistent, and structured formats that reflect the site's purpose, content, or ownership. This could involve utilizing prefixes or suffixes that denote the department, location, or project focus. Standardizing these conventions enhances navigation and user comprehension across the SharePoint environment.

What is a good naming convention for your web page?

A sound naming convention for web pages entails using descriptive, concise, and easily understandable names that accurately reflect the web page's content or function. Including relevant keywords while avoiding complex abbreviations or codes can also improve SEO performance and user experience.

What are the naming policies for SharePoint?

SharePoint's naming policies typically mandate avoiding special characters, long names, or terms that could conflict with future SharePoint updates or features. Policy enforcement helps in maintaining a cleanly structured, manageable, and scalable SharePoint environment. These conventions are crucial for ensuring system compatibility and ease of management.

What is your document naming convention?

The best practices for document naming convention involve adopting a clear, descriptive, and consistent format that might include the document type, subject, and version or date information. This assists in quick identification, prevents document loss, and supports orderly storage and retrieval processes. Utilizing a logical structure for document names significantly improves document management effectiveness.



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