We're in the process of migrating to SharePoint Online from SharePoint 2007. It's become painfully clear that the way we architected our environment is not really jibing with SharePoint Online. We have a site collection that has almost 2000 subsites and it's uncovered some serious performance issues. As I understand it, my options for navigation are as follows (preference is bolded)--

  • Structured Navigation -- painfully slow, not really an option. 57 second load time!
  • Manually updated list of sites on the parent page -- please don't make me do this. It's bound to get out of sync and users will not be able to find the sites.
  • Search-based web part -- this seems like an option, but I can't come up with anything that looks nice and it seems to have some irritating limitations like no more than 50 results per page.
  • Somehow recreate the list that exists on the Site Contents (viewlists.aspx) page on my parent landing page. This list looks perfect and I'd love it if I could recreate it as is, but the problem is I have no idea how to do that. I'm also failing to understand why this would load so snappy but Structured Navigation would load so slowly -- seems like they're doing the same thing.

Can anyone help me out with this?

Update: So I've decided to create an "app part" using the Javascript object model and I'm actually making some pretty good headway. At the moment I've got the collection of subwebs loaded into a var called webCollection and I've got them displaying as options in a box. The only reason they ended up there is because that was the sample code that I had to work with :) I'd ideally like them in a nicer looking list, similar to the viewlists.aspx page with clickable links. Can someone help me figure out modify my existing code? Here are the relevant bits --


function GetSubwebsToDisplaySuccess(sender, args) {
    // Success getting the subwebs. Set references to the subweb
    // elements and the list of available subwebs.
    var subwebEnumerator = webCollection.getEnumerator();
    var selectSubwebBox = document.getElementById("listItemSubwebBox");
    if (selectSubwebBox.hasChildNodes()) {
        while (selectSubwebBox.childNodes.length >= 1) {
    // Traverse the elements of the collection, and load the name of
    // each list into the dropdown list box.
    while (subwebEnumerator.moveNext()) {
        var selectOption = document.createElement("option");
        selectOption.value = subwebEnumerator.get_current().get_title();
        selectOption.innerText = subwebEnumerator.get_current().get_title();


    <select id="listItemSubwebBox"></select>

LATEST UPDATE: I'm now at the point where I have a <table> of <a> elements of all my subsites! The last piece I'm struggling with is the default sizing of the app part iFrame. I need to autosize to the height/width of the table, but can't figure out how to do so. I may start a new question for this.

1 Answer 1


All viewlists.aspx does is calls this code:

SPWebCollection webs = Web.GetSubwebsForCurrentUser();
if (!HasNonAppSubwebs(webs))
        <tr><td colspan="4" class="ms-textLarge"><SharePoint:EncodedLiteral runat="server" text="<%$Resources:wss,allapps_nosubsites%>" EncodeMethod='HtmlEncodeAllowSimpleTextFormatting'/></td></tr>
foreach (SPWeb webToDisplay in webs)
    if (webToDisplay.IsAppWeb)
    string imageUrl;
    string toolTip;
    string webId;
    Pair webImageData = SPUtility.MapWebToIcon(webToDisplay);
    imageUrl = (string)(webImageData.First);
    toolTip = SPHttpUtility.HtmlEncode((string)(webImageData.Second));
    string destUrl = SPHttpUtility.UrlPathEncode(webToDisplay.Url + "/",true);
    string webLinkId = "webUrl-" + webToDisplay.ID.ToString();
    if (draggableContentIds.Length > 1)
        draggableContentIds += ",";
    draggableContentIds += "\"" + webLinkId + "\"";

You can create a Visual SandBox WebPart, and add it to your parent landing page. Which will display same list.

  • Thanks a ton. I'll see if I can figure this out tomorrow. Any theories as to why this would be so much faster than allowing Structured Navigation to load the subsites list? I'm afraid that when I finally do get this webpart built that it too will be slow and I'll really just be out of luck.
    – pk01
    Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 21:37
  • I'll gladly can make a solution and post it here. Let me know if need it.
    – dotsa
    Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 21:49
  • It'd be nice for sure. I'm spinning up an instance of SharePoint Foundation in Azure to start building out my development environment. I suppose if you build it, I'd love to see the full solution file so that I can learn the ins and outs of a basic Visual Sandbox WebPart. I'm also researching the whole Napa Cloud App route, but I'm not sure how to convert what you've posted here into that style project. I guess it's all .js?
    – pk01
    Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 22:02
  • I can't decide if the struggles I've had getting the results of Web.GetSubwebsForCurrentUser() to show up in a SharePoint App Part are funny or sad. I'm not a web developer, so obviously I can expect somewhat of a learning curve, but the stuff I'm running into seems sort of ridiculous.
    – pk01
    Commented Jun 4, 2015 at 16:34

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