Now that Hub Sites are gaining mainstream popularity, I get this question quite a bit. Just like in the past, we wondered how many site collections to create, we now wonder how many Hub Sites a company shall have. Well, as with many things in life, there is no right or wrong answer, but with this post, I would like to share my observations and opinion.
What is a Hub Site?
For us to answer the question about the number of Hub Sites, one must understand what Hub Sites are and what makes advantages of a Hub are. I documented what Hub Sites are here and what are its benefits here.
How many Hub Sites shall we have in SharePoint?
I would say the most significant drivers in the decision to create a Hub Site with its associated sites for a company or a department or a business unit are Common Navigation and Hub Search. The answer to how many, though, depends on such factors as the size of the organization and its org chart.
If you are a small business, you might need just one (1) Hub called Intranet (of course, you can call it whatever you want). So you will have a main Landing Page (site) built using the Communication site template, register this site a Hub Site, and then have other department or team sites connected (associated) to the hub. This setup will allow you to easily search within a Hub, have one common navigation among all sites and common theme/branding.
Of course, nothing prevents you from creating additional hubs if necessary. You might have, say, a Client/Projects Hub containing various client and project sites, just for the sake of separating/organizing content from the rest of your Intranet.
If you are a medium or large-size organization, it is unlikely that one hub will be enough. It is not uncommon for departments in large companies to have many, many sites. Example: I just recently worked with a Human Resources team in a large medical company, and they had twelve (12!) SharePoint sites they were using within HR. One Communication Site that serves as the main entry page/site, a few sites for storing Employee Records, several Office 365 Group sites for collaboration and projects, and so on. So they have their own HR Hub, which allows them to connect (stitch) all these sites together into one eco-system.
So obviously, in large organizations, where you will end up with literally hundreds and thousands of sites floating around, it is not practical to have just one hub. You will have many. How the Hub architecture will be defined will depend on your company’s org chart, how content needs to be organized, how you want the users to navigate to those sites.
Beware of Hub Sites limitations!
One thing to keep in mind as you define your Hub Site Architecture are the limitations we currently have with Hubs.
- You can only have a max of 2,000 Hubs total in your tenant – as of the writing of this post (reference)
- You cannot nest a hub within a hub
- The site can only be connected to one hub at a time