In 2001, Microsoft launched a revolutionary product – SharePoint, and since then, it has been adding numerous features to it. Its popularity has increased ever since, and according to Microsoft, SharePoint has more than 200 million users.
Recently SharePoint communication site was made available for Office 365 for the SharePoint online users. So, now you get the option to select a Team site or Communication site.
Before knowing about the difference and what to choose, let us read about what team and communication sites are.
A SharePoint team site assists you and your team stay connected and share information daily. You can collaborate & store files, manage data, and much more. In addition, it is highly customizable to suit your needs.
A team site uses Microsoft 365 groups for permission.
It is a service that allows you to select a set of people to collaborate with and establish resources for them. Resources can include a document library, calendar, or outlook inbox, which can be shared with team members.
Here, you need not assign permission to each member manually because they get permission as soon as they are added to the group.
SharePoint communication site helps broadcast your message or information to a larger audience. Users can share reports, news, and other content using a communication site. Furthermore, users can create a new site or use default designs.
The communication site uses SharePoint groups for permission.
SharePoint groups work similarly to Microsoft 365 groups that automatically give permission to dedicated users. In SharePoint groups, permissions are free and configurable.
However, SharePoint groups cannot be used in collaboration with Office 365 products, and it gives permission only to SharePoint content.
The major difference between team site and communication site is the goals they are meant to serve:
Choose the SharePoint team site when you want to connect with team members, create & work on projects, exchange ideas, track status, and organize an event.
Every group member is an author who can create and edit work on a team site.
For example, a place for the sales team to manage and work on their proposal, or you want to create a new product and get a place to work on it together.
When you want to broadcast a message to a larger audience, share content only for viewing, or display services to people, you can create a SharePoint communication site.
In a communication site, the number of authors will be few, and there will be more readers.
For example, you have to share company news or organize internal communications.
A communication site is suitable when you have worked out all the behind-the-scenes aspects and are ready to share your features with everyone.
Here, a few people have access to create and edit content, and after that, it is presented to the organization or a bigger audience.
For instance, a travel team will discuss and organize everything in the backdrop but display every corporate travel detail to each employee through a communication site.
A team site should be created when you are working on a project that requires every team member’s involvement.
This site allows each member to create and edit content or project because it serves ‘behind-the-scenes’ aspects.
Let’s say your team has to work with Client A, you can create a team site, and each member can contribute to it.
When you have many projects and working teams, you need to create a team site for each of them because you don’t want your Client X to see the work of Client Y.
Moreover, team sites have by default enabled ‘external sharing,’ which can be altered by a SharePoint administrator.
However, you might be wondering how to manage multiple team sites, but you can manage and keep track of every team from the SharePoint start page.
It shows sites you are a member of, sites you visit often, sites you follow, and news suggestions from Microsoft Graph.
|Attributes||Team site||Communication site|
|Site creation||Admin or site owner||Admin or site owner|
|Authors||Each member in the group who create or edit content||Few members are authors, and a large group of members are viewers|
|Security and permissions||Microsoft 365 groups||SharePoint groups|
|External sharing||By default, external sharing is enabled (customizable)||By default, external sharing is disabled (customizable)|
|Private or public||It is public by default which allows addition of users at the time of site creation.||Sites are private by default as it has a few editors and more viewers.|
|Objective||Team collaboration Where you can collaborate, plan, create, and edit projects.||Share or tell a story Where you can broadcast content for people to view.|
|Number of sites||A lot of team sites can be created based on the number of projects and teams.||Fewer communication sites are made based on the functional area.|
|Is it multilingual?||No||Yes|
|Extra benefits||OneNote notebook, planner board, shared mailbox, shared calendar, and can connect with a Microsoft team.||Only a SharePoint communication site|
|Examples||Human resources team working togetherExtranet site to work with clientsDifferent leadership groupsProject team||Publish policies and procedureSharing guidelinesBroadcasting about upcoming events|
You can also take advantage of the SharePoint project management tool that helps organizations to manage documents, reports, and other essential content crucial for their business. In addition, it also allows users to manage site, product features, and configure workflows.
Microsoft regularly provides updates for the SharePoint team and SharePoint communication sites. Hence, it is beneficial to manage your business through SharePoint.
However, as discussed above, they both come with several distinct features and cater to different purposes. Hence, you can select them based on your business needs.