SharePoint Online: How to Create a Classic Site Collection?

Requirement: Create a classic team site collection in SharePoint Online.

How to Create a Classic Team Site in SharePoint Online?

A site collection is a top-level site in SharePoint Online that contains a hierarchy of subsites. It is a container for all the sites, lists, libraries, and other content that make up a logical group of information. You can create a site collection for a department, a project, or any other purpose that requires a separate area for storing and organizing content.

You may want to create a classic style SharePoint Online site collection, maybe because your organization hasn’t adapted to the modern experience or because you want some of the default functionality from the older UI experience. Here is how to create a classic site collection in SharePoint Online:

SharePoint Online: Create a Classic Site Collection

To create a classic site collection in SharePoint Online, do the following:

  1. Go to the SharePoint admin center, Expand Sites >> Active Sites >> Click on the “Create” button in the toolbar. On the Create Site page, click on “Other options”.sharepoint online create a classic site
  2. In the Create Site page, click on the “Choose a template” drop-down and select “More Templates”.sharepoint online create classic team site
  3. This takes you to the classic site collection creation page. Go ahead and enter your site collection details, select the template as “Team site (classic experience)”, and then click on the “OK” button once done.
    create classic team site sharepoint online powershell

Create a Classic Team Site in SharePoint Online using PowerShell

Similarly, To create a classic site in SharePoint Online using PowerShell, Use: The New-SPOSite cmdlet with the template as “STS#0”. Here is an example of creating a classic team site:

#Connect to SharePoint Online
$Credential = Get-credential 
Connect-SPOService -url https://crescent-admin.sharepoint.com -Credential $Credential

#sharepoint online create classic site powershell
New-SPOSite -Url https://crescent.sharepoint.com/sites/marketing -Owner salaudeen@crescent.com -StorageQuota 1000 -Title "Marketing Team Site" -Template STS#0 

Wait for a minute, and this creates a new site collection in SharePoint Online.
sharepoint online create classic team site

SharePoint Online: PnP PowerShell to Create a Classic Site

Here is how to create a classic site using PnP PowerShell in SharePoint Online:

#Define Parameters
$AdminCenterURL = "https://crescent-admin.sharepoint.com"
$SiteURL = "https://crescent.sharepoint.com/sites/migration"
$SiteTitle = "Crescent Migration Hub"
$SiteOwner = "Salaudeen@crescent.com"
$Template = "STS#0" #Classic Team Site
$Timezone = 24 #Abudhabi

Try
{
    #Connect to Tenant Admin
    Connect-PnPOnline -URL $AdminCenterURL -Interactive
    
    #Check if site exists already
    $Site = Get-PnPTenantSite | Where {$_.Url -eq $SiteURL}

    If ($Site -eq $null)
    {
        #sharepoint online pnp powershell create site collection
        New-PnPTenantSite -Url $SiteURL -Owner $SiteOwner -Title $SiteTitle -Template $Template -TimeZone $TimeZone -RemoveDeletedSite
        write-host "Site Collection $($SiteURL) Created Successfully!" -foregroundcolor Green
    }
    else
    {
        write-host "Site $($SiteURL) exists already!" -foregroundcolor Yellow
    }
}
catch {
    write-host "Error: $($_.Exception.Message)" -foregroundcolor Red
}

Conclusion

In conclusion, creating a classic site collection in SharePoint Online is a straightforward process that can be done by following a few simple steps. It’s important to note that Microsoft is moving away from the Classic Experience and encouraging the use of modern experience. So, it may be worth considering before creating a classic site collection. To create a modern team site in SharePoint Online, refer: SharePoint Online: How to Create a Site Collection using PowerShell?

What is a SharePoint Classic site?

A SharePoint Classic site is a type of SharePoint site that uses the classic experience. It is characterized by its use of site themes, alternate CSS, and master pages for branding, and its support for features like SharePoint groups and web parts like Document Libraries.

Can you change a classic SharePoint site to Modern?

Yes, you can transform a classic SharePoint site into a modern one by connecting it to a Microsoft 365 group. Navigate to the classic site, click on the settings gear, and choose “Connect to a new Office 365 Group.” This will launch a wizard that guides you through connecting the site to the Office 365 group. Once connected, the site will be transformed into a modern site! More here: How to convert a classic site to a Modern site in SharePoint Online?

Why would I use a Classic site?

Some users and organizations prefer the familiarity and customization options offered by Classic sites. Classic sites also work better with certain third-party add-ins.

Is Microsoft phasing out Classic sites?

Microsoft is promoting Modern sites, but Classic sites are still supported for now. There is no official announcement of retirement.

What are some limitations of SharePoint Online Classic sites?

Classic sites may not support some of the newer SharePoint Online features and integrations, such as improved search capabilities, modern lists and libraries, and seamless integration with Microsoft 365 apps. Additionally, the user interface in Classic sites is not as intuitive as in modern sites, which might affect user adoption and satisfaction.

Can I customize the look and feel of my SharePoint Online Classic site?

Yes, you can customize your Classic site by choosing a different theme, changing the site logo, header, and navigation, adding or removing web parts on pages, and creating custom page layouts and master pages.

How do you tell if a SharePoint site is modern or classic in PowerShell?

You can check the site template using PowerShell to determine whether a SharePoint site is modern or classic. The classic site uses “STS#0” as the template. Alternatively, you can check if the Template is not “GROUP#0” or “STS#3” or “SITEPAGEPUBLISHING#0” which are for Modern Team Site with Connected Office 365 Group, Modern Team Site with No Office 365 Group, and Modern Communications Site respectively!

Salaudeen Rajack

Salaudeen Rajack - Information Technology Expert with Two-decades of hands-on experience, specializing in SharePoint, PowerShell, Microsoft 365, and related products. He has held various positions including SharePoint Architect, Administrator, Developer and consultant, has helped many organizations to implement and optimize SharePoint solutions. Known for his deep technical expertise, He's passionate about sharing the knowledge and insights to help others, through the real-world articles!

2 thoughts on “SharePoint Online: How to Create a Classic Site Collection?

  • Good reading!
    But looks like the site with classic experience (and container of other site) cannot be created anymore: when “More templates” is selected and next page correcly filled, pressing the button of confirm it show a countdown and then redirect to the ‘modern’ templates.
    Can you please validate this? (Tryed to different tenants)
    Looks like they don’t works anymore since 01/01/21

    Reply
    • Confirmed the above approach still works! After filling the fields in the classic site creation page and pressing the “OK”, It gives you the redirect notification. However, the site is created – but the “Active sites” list doesn’t show the newly created classic site. You can directly hit the URL to verify.

      Reply

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