Use the SharePoint Topic, Showcase, and Blank communication site templates

A SharePoint communication site is a great place to broadcast information to others. Share news, reports, status updates, and more in a visually appealing format. Use communication sites to engage and inform broad audiences.

  • Create portals, department, or project-specific sites

  • Share company news, announcements, and events

  • Engage dozens, or thousands, of viewers

If you need a site for collaborating with your team, use a team site instead. 

Basic communication site template options

When you create a communication site in SharePoint, you can start with a blank site or choose one of the other site templates, each of which comes with a default set of web parts. Some of the communication site template options are:

  • Topic to share information such as news, events, and other content.

  • Showcase to use photos or images to showcase a product, team, or event.

  • Blank to create your own design.

Note: The Topic site is the default SharePoint communication site.

SharePoint communication site topic design

SharePoint communication site showcase design

Follow the steps below to create, customize, and share a communication site.

Start by creating a new communication site. By default, you will get a new Topic site template. 

To browse more communication site templates, select Settings and then Site templates to view template options.

Image of the SharePoint site template picker

Note: The Topic site template will be used by default if no template is applied.

1. Topic site contents

When you choose the Topic site template, you get a home page that includes several web parts ready for you to customize. The web parts included by default on a Communication site that uses the Topic design are:

  • Hero: Use the Hero web part to bring focus and visual interest to your page. You can display up to five items in the Hero web part, and you can add compelling images to draw attention to each. For more information, see Use the Hero web part on a modern page.

    Hero web part on Communication site

  • News: You can keep your team in the loop as well as engage them with important or interesting stories by using the News web part. For more information, see Use News Headlines and News List web parts on a modern page.

    Default News on Group team site

  • Events: Display upcoming events using the events web part. For more information, see Use the Events web part.

    SharePoint Events Web Part

  • Documents: displays the default document library on your home page where you can open and edit documents directly. You may prefer to add the Highlighted content web part that lets you dynamically show documents from a library, site, site collection, or all sites. For more information, see Use the Highlighted content web part.

2. Showcase site contents

The Showcase site template also comes with a home page that includes several web parts ready for you to customize. Here are the web parts included by default on a Communication site that uses the Showcase design:

  • Hero: Use the Hero web part to bring focus and visual interest to your page. With the Showcase design, you can choose from two layouts, Tile and Layer, and add compelling images to draw attention to each item. For more information, see Use the Hero web part on a modern page.

    SharePoint hero web part

  • Image gallery: Use the Image gallery web part to share collections of pictures on a page. For more information, see Use the Image Gallery web part.

    SharePoint Image Gallery web part

3. Blank site contents

When you start with a blank communication site, there's no need to remove web parts you don't need. Just choose your page layout and add the web parts you want.

SharePoint communicatoin site blank design

Customize your site's look, site navigation, web parts, and content to fit the needs of your viewers and of the organization. When making customizations, ensure the site is in edit mode by selecting Edit in the top right of the site. As you work, Save as a draft, or Republish changes to make edits visible to viewers.

Share your site with others after you've customized your site, reviewed for accuracy, and published the final draft. 

  1. Select Share site from the right hand corner.

  2. Get help managing your site by adding site owners and members who will have permission to edit site content.

  3. In the Share site pane, enter the names of people you want to share the site with. You can choose Everyone (except external users) if you would like everyone in your organization to have access to the site. The default permission level is Read only.

    Adding a person in the Share site pane

  4. Enter an optional message to send with the email notification that will be sent when the site is shared, or clear the Send email checkbox if you don't want to send an email.

  5. Select Share.

After you create and launch your site, the next important phase is maintaining site content. Ensure you have a plan to keep content and web parts up to date. 

Site maintenance best practices:

  • Plan for site maintenance - Establish a schedule to review the site content as often as needed to ensure content is still accurate and relevant.

  • Regularly post news - Distribute the latest announcements, information, and status across the organization.  Learn how to add a News post on a team site or communication site, and show others who will be posting announcements how they can use SharePoint news.

  • Check links and web parts - Keep links and web parts updated to ensure you are leveraging the full value of your site.

  • Use analytics to improve engagement - View site usage by using the built-in usage data report to get information on popular content, site visits, and more.

  • Periodically review your site settings - Once you've created a site in SharePoint, you can make changes to the settings, site information, and permissions for the site.

Learn more about communication sites and SharePoint

Learn more about planning, building, and maintaining SharePoint sites.

See more SharePoint site templates.

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