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I need a 5-6 level deep structure (hierarchy) in a publishing portal. Which way to choose is best practice.

  1. Creating publishing sites and sub-sites for each level? (Disadvantage of this: There are levels that has no content, so some sub-sites will have no content. What to do when user goes to subsites that has no content)

  2. Creating single publishing site and having folders in pages library. Creating a custom navigation bar and showing each folder as a level hierarchy, and access the pages in those folders as the content?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I prefer not to create sub-sites for navigational structure alone - mainly because it is hard to change the structure again. But you actually have some good alternatives when you are willing to create a custom navigation data source. Below are two options that will also not require you to create folders in your Pages library. They also make it harder to change the structure.

  1. Add a lookup column to the Pages library and let it lookup pages in the same library. Specify the parent page for each page in the publishing library. Then create a custom navigation data source that builds the navigation hierarchy from this information. You can in turn also add the parent page field to your Publishing page layouts to enable authors to easily place the new page in the hierarchy.

  2. Use the Managed Metadata service to build the navigation hierarchy with a term set and build a custom navigation data source for it. This approach for building a navigation hierarchy independent of the site structure is also the way Microsoft is going with SharePoint 2013.

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