SharePoint Online Administrator To Do List


Office 365/SharePoint Online is a SaaS (Software As A Service) offering of Microsoft, which leaves us to only consume the services offered by Office 365 without any control over the infrastructure. Although an administrator does not have to maintain the servers and patches or cumulative updates for SharePoint environment, there are significant tasks for which every Office 365 or SharePoint Online Administrator should take care. This article can be referred to as a “To do” list before starting any SharePoint portal development.

To Do #1 - Root Site Collection

The root site collection (https://[tenant] is available by default on any SharePoint tenant. By default, the root site is available as a Team site.

The Need for a Publishing Feature

Many organizations like to take advantages of the publishing features of SharePoint on root site. The publishing features support authoring and publishing of rich web pages, scheduled publishing, publishing workflows.

In order to take advantages of the publishing feature, the administrator has to activate it at 2 scopes.
  • Activate SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure feature at Site Collection scope
  • Activate SharePoint Server Publishing feature at the Site scope
Set the Time Zone

As the root site collection pre-exists in SharePoint tenant, by default it has US Pacific time zone. This might be because of Microsoft's time zone in the Redmond headquarters location.
  • If your organization has a different time zone than US Pacific, update it first. Otherwise, all of the SharePoint operations (created date, modified date) will be recorded as per US Pacific time zone.

  • The subsites created below  the root site inherit the time zone settings from the root site. Please note, changing the time zone at the root site will not change it to subsites. The timezone has to be set manually at each of the subsites. Considering this, it is better to set the time zone correct at first place (root site).
Follow the below steps to set the time zone,
  1. Open SharePoint online root site (https://[tenant]

  2. Click gear icon > Site settings.

  3. Under Site Administration, click Regional settings.

  4. Select your time zone from the drop-down.

  5. Click OK.
To Do #2 - Set Term Store Administrators

Term Store administrators are needed to be set explicitly. Even global administrator and SharePoint administrators are not Term Store administrators by default.
  1. From Office 365 App launcher, click Admin.

  2. Under Admin centers, click SharePoint. 

  3. Under SharePoint Admin Center, click Term Store.

  4. Under the Term Store Administrators section, add the names.

  5. Click Save.
To Do #3 - SharePoint Online Admin Center Settings
  1. Under SharePoint admin center, click Settings.

  2. Site Creation section allows users to create Office 356 group connected with SharePoint site. Allow or disallow this option depending upon your business needs or decisions.

  3. Under the Custom Script section, select Allow for both the options. 

By default, these options are turned off. Turning this on will help to Save Sites as template. Also, it allows to upload the master page and page layouts to the master page gallery. 

To Do #4 - External Sharing

External sharing will allow the content to be shared outside of your SharePoint tenant.
  1. Open SharePoint Admin Center.
  2. Select the site collection where external sharing needs to be enabled.
  3. From Ribbon, click Sharing.

  4. In the Sharing dialog, select the Sharing setting as required per site collection.

  5. Click Save.
To Do #5 - Logo and Theme

The organization logo and theme can be applied all across the Office 365 portal for visual consistency and branding.
  1. Open Office 365 Admin Center.

  2. Under Settings, click Organization profile.

  3. Under "Manage custom themes" for your organization, click Edit.

  4. In the dialog, select your organization's color theme. Upload logo and background image.

  5. Click Save.

As an Office 365 / SharePoint Online administrator, there are a few to-dos that need to be taken care of to set up the governance and avoid any future issues.