The beauty of SharePoint and Office 365 is that these applications are not just about documents. In case you want to retain and maintain knowledge in your organization, you can also capture it in the form of blogs, hosted in your SharePoint and Office 365. There are a few ways to do this, so let me explain to you the options you have for authoring blogs in SharePoint and Office 365, as well as the pros and cons of each.
Option 1: Blog site template in SharePoint
One option that has been out there for a while is the Blog site template in SharePoint. It creates a subsite in your environment that serves as a dedicated blog site. It does look and feel like typical blogging platforms where posts appear in chronological order. There are a few styling options available, and you can manage categories, and users can like or comment on posts as well. I documented how this works in greater detail in this post of mine.
- Looks and feels like typical blogging platforms
- Outdated look and feel (uses classic, not modern site template)
- Limited selections of styles
Option 2: Office 365 Delve Blog functionality
Another way to author blogs is via Office 365 Delve. It is very easy to miss because it appears at the bottom of user’s Delve profile. This excellent post from Benjamin Niaulin explains pretty well the technical architecture (special site collections being created) to house Delve Blog posts.
That said, while I describe it all here for you, I want to be loud and clear about this option:
Don’t use this option to create blogs!
It is buggy, not user-friendly, and more of a personal blog option than a company-wide one. To satisfy your curiosity, here are instructions on how to create a blog post using this option:
- From your own Delve Profile page…
- Click on New post in the Blog section
- It is pretty self-explanatory – you can add title, text, images, etc.
- Once done, you can click on your name…
- …to see all the existing blog posts.
- Modern page experience
- That’s all – no more pros :cry:
- Not centralized like Option 1 (all posts appear under each user’s Delve profile and not on a single, centrally-accessible site somewhere)
- Not possible to organize by categories/topics one usually would expect to see on a Blog
- This option seems to have been abandoned and forgotten – there have not been any changes or improvements to it since it was introduced years ago.
Option 3: News Web Part feature
There is another excellent way to organize Blogs, and that would be via a News Web Part. I documented this a while back. The idea is that you will have a dedicated site where you will have the News Web Part embedded into the page. Every blog post is a separate modern page. All the pages are organized in a Site Pages library, and you can also add custom metadata (think blog categories) to organize your pages (blog posts).
- Central site/page for blog content
- Modern look and feel
- Modern styling options
- Ability to create and re-use a page template for blog posts
- Ability to organize pages (blog posts) in any order via News Web Part properties
- Built-in ability to “Like” and “Comment” on posts
- Ability to email posts (pages) from within SharePoint
- Can’t think of any, to be honest, we don’t need to be all negative, you know.
And the winner is… Well, we do not need to do Oscar style drama here, it is pretty clear that Option 3 (News Web Part) is my favorite. It combines the best of Options 1 and 2 and mitigates the cons of each. Use it, it is @#$% awesome!