Some time ago I wrote a post: 15 things to know about creating SharePoint News
By now it is 16 things, because posts with numbers are cursed, as my fellow bloggers will know 😁
In the mean time I have learned a few more things, so it is time for an update.
1. The news publishers in your organization may appreciate guidelines
With all the options SharePoint has to offer, in web parts, columns, fonts and font colours, you may want to provide your News publishers with a few writing and design guidelines. This will help create some consistency across your intranet.
I have shared my last organization’s guidelines in an earlier post: Writing SharePoint news posts (our way). This post was pretty popular so I guess it fills a need.
2. Be aware of when to use which image source
I have tried every option and made an overview in this post: Images in SharePoint news and pages.
- Using an image from Web Search and Upload will create a new folder and file in your Site Assets library. All other options do not.
- You have most control using Upload or Site, as you will know where the image is stored and you will be able to re-use it easily
- Stock Images and Organizational Assets are the best options when you care about respecting intellectual property, assuming someone is in charge of maintenance of Organizational Assets
3. In some cases the header image is not visible
I have written about troubleshooting images. These are a few common causes:
- The “Plain” page template (no image) is used
- Readers have no permission to view the picture, for instance because it lives in someone’s OneDrive
- The image has been moved or deleted
- On Yammer, in some cases when the post has been promoted to Yammer – see point 4.
4. Promoting a post to Yammer may not show it as nice as you expect
How your News post looks on Yammer is depending on
- Where the header image lives – please read this post for details
- Whether the News is published in a Classic Team site, a Modern Team Site or a Communication site, as explained in this post.
5. The Description field can be used for several purposes
The Description is a field that you can find in the Page Details. It is easily overlooked, and you do not have to use it, but it can be quite powerful.
- Create a summary of your post. This will be displayed under the title of the post and will show your readers quickly what the post is about. You will have to make an effort, as by default the first part of the body text will be displayed.
The Description will also be shown in the Newsletter and in Search results.
- Hide key words that will be used in Search results. It is best if you add these keywords as far to the bottom of the description as possible, to avoid it showing up in the news overviews.
Read more about it: 7 things to know about the Description field (by now it is 8…sigh 😊)
6. You can add a publication date on the post or page itself
The publication date of a News article will be visible on the News web part, (if you have that enabled), but when you open a News post you do not see the publishing date. You may want to add the date from the web part settings in the header (1), then toggle on the “show published date” button (2) and then the date will be shown underneath the title and author (3). I have not found a way to enable this by default. Please let me know if there is an easy way to make this the standard.
Adding the publication date is a good practice for intranet pages with a longer lifespan.
7. You can manage comments on your posts and pages
Your readers can respond to posts by clicking the Like button or adding a comment. Notifications will be sent via email to you. If this gets a little overwhelming or distracting, my post 4 ways to manage comments on SharePoint news or pages may help you.
8. If you are publishing “on behalf of” an Author, here’s some ways to redirect comments to them
By default, Likes and Comments are sent to the person who has published the post. There is no standard option to redirect them to the person who is the intellectual owner (as opposed to the publisher) of the post.
I have come up with a few workarounds in this post: Diverting SharePoint news comments to the Author.
9. In some cases you will NOT see “See All” on the News web part
Sometimes the “See all” link, which you will need to see more news items and in order to create a Newsletter, is not visible:
- When you have less than 5 published News posts
- When you use the Hub News display
- When you have hidden the “Title and Commands” in the web part settings.
You can read more about it in my post SharePoint Holmes and the Disappearing Digest link.
10. The Carousel display still has usability limitations
Even Microsoft, who are big on inclusive design, have not managed to come up with a good Carousel. It also does not display any indication of the content of the article apart from the title. You can read my rant in this post: Can you get a text preview in a SharePoint News Carousel?
As SharePoint is evolving, we keep finding out more and more things about it, so please stay tuned and keep asking me questions, so SharePoint Holmes and I can investigate!
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