Considerations for branding SharePoint Online

By - May 4, 2017

SharePoint branding can add a great deal of value by enhancing the companies’ user experience to increase the overall usability and likability of SharePoint. Providing a tailored brand to a new SharePoint implementation can increase usage by up to 30%. SharePoint Online customizations range from non-technical changes you can apply quickly in the browser using site commands or features to custom app development using developer tools:

  1. Customization using the browser: Use the browser-based settings in SharePoint Online to apply simpler customizations like changing title and logo, adding custom CSS, updating navigation links, applying a new site theme, changing the contents of a page, or changing views for lists and libraries. Browser-based customizations are the easiest to apply, and require minimal technical expertise.
  2. Customizations using supported tools and applications: You can use supported SharePoint tools to perform more extensive customizations. For example, Office applications like Access, Excel, and Visio help you create highly dynamic, data-rich pages on your site.
  3. Customizations using remote provisioning: Use custom CSOM code in apps for SharePoint to provision site collections, sites, and sub-sites with branding elements.
  4. Customizations using apps for SharePoint: The new Cloud App model in SharePoint Online enables you to add apps to your sites, and is the recommended replacement for Sandboxed solutions going forward. You can use existing third-party apps or build your own.

We recommend first trying browser based options such as changing the theme, colors, logo, title or look from the Site Settings page. Internal facing sites that aren’t being used to generate revenue really don’t need that much customization and are much easier to maintain over time.

NOTE: If possible, try to customize your site using custom CSS elements and themes rather than custom master pages. Custom master pages will block upgrade to the latest user interface experience when upgrades are rolled out to customers. To find out more about this or other ways that RSM can assist you with your Microsoft solution needs, contact RSM’s technology consulting professionals at 800.274.3978 or email us.

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