I am setting up a sharepoint site (s) for my company, and are a little worried if it has been set up by best practice. I have a group site and a team site. The team site is basically the intranet-site where information/content is placed (there is also a couple of lists here), the group site is handeling all the company documents, the document library on the group site it set up with content types and metadata navigation.

A friend told me that this is not best practice. He told me that i should just use a team site and add a document center to the team site. I do not agree, because in my opinion a document center basically is a document library but with content types and metadata navigation etc... which i have already set up in the document library. However, i dont have enough knowledge to have any big opinions regarding this...

So my questions are: Whats the difference between document center and document library (a library with metadata navigation and content types set up)?

Is my solution a bad solution? It has to be a long term solution, and there will be 1000`s of documents. How many documents can a document library handle? Can a document center handle more?

Is it bad practice linking between a team and group site?

Is there any way to export the content types and import them to document center or a document library?

  • Hi, it sounds like you must be quite worried following your friend's comments. I don't exactly know what the best practise is, it will also depend on the size of the organisation and the number of documents they'll accumulate over time. Here are some links to a blog site I follow and trust, he has a lot of practical advice for document management too as well as this sort of 'information architecture' question which you have asked. Link 1: sharepointmaven.com/…
    – Tally
    Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 9:08
  • Using the Link above, scroll down to the bit where he describes the departmental sites - my firm's Sharepoint is deployed in this way; each department has it's own site collection, numerous Document Libraries, Lists, Task Lists etc are located in each department's site collection. We don't use a Document Centre, so I can't comment on that.
    – Tally
    Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 9:10

2 Answers 2


I have worked with SP for 10 years and I never saw a document centre that was either effective or pleasant to use for the end user. Keep this in mind since not everything that you find at your disposal is 100% up to the task. The document center has also lost steam since it is a very old template and it is somehow related to an alleged easier way to apply data retention. Now with SharePoint online and the data retention applicable from the security and compliance portal, which is even easier for both the admin and the end user, the document centre and the records centre have almost completely lost their charm.

However there is to say that any document library can host only 5000 files before creating problems. Which means you have to be able to plan for multiple document libraries and possible more sites than what you currently have. A good explanation of the document center is here (https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Use-a-Document-Center-site-06096070-d83f-45b8-b02d-ec7a4cf85cac), however, keep in mind that while document libraries are easier to explain to the average end user, with a document centre you will have to train users on what is a document ID, content types and all files will have the same features, where with different document libraries, each one can have different features. Everywhere you get the example of media files (audio/video) in the document center, however, those do not need check in and check out, versioning and approval.

From your description it looks like your company is small and your total number of documents is small, therefore the document library approach looks sufficient.

At the end of the day what matters is the user adoption (in my opinion) and it is pointless and time consuming to force users to adhere to things they are not necessarily into (document centre mechanism) when easier options are available. When documents and libraries become too much you could use a document centre to store the 'archived' docs.

About linking a team site and a group site I do not understand what you mean by 'linking' and is a group site an office 365 group with a site attached to it or is it something else?

  • Thanks for the reply, i really appreciate it, Susan! Sorry for the really bad explaination regarding: "Is it bad practice linking between a team and group site?" With this i mean: I ment SharePoint Communication site, not Group-site. There is a link in the navigation section on the SharePoint Communication-Site that is named: "Document Library" that redirects sharepoint users to the SharePoint Team site when clicked. The Team site contains the document library that has all the company documents.
    – guru
    Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 11:38
  • I basically want the SharePoint Communication-site to be the "masterpage" on mycompany.sharepoint.com, and link to all the other company sites. Is there any problems doing this? i want the site to be set up by "best practice".
    – guru
    Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 11:39
  • by Communication site do you mean this one pictured on the right?support.content.office.net/en-us/media/…
    – susan
    Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 12:20
  • That's correct!
    – guru
    Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 12:51
  • Not sure how you can place that site at the root (mycompany.sharepoint.com) since I used to believe the root site comes as a standard Team site, even tho you can place the 'new' pages in the standard site. It is not wrong to link, but that your 'Document' on siteA takes you automatically to documents in siteB by default is bizarre. The global navigation on top of the communication site is harder to manage than a normal site with publishing infrastructure turned on. You can still use new pages there but the top navigation bar is easier to use
    – susan
    Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 13:11

The difference between document library and document center:

In Document Center, the "Document Set" and "Link to a Document" content types and "Metadata navigation settings" are automatically added to OOB library.

In document library, there is no "Document Set" and "Link to a Document" content types and "Metadata navigation settings" by default. But you can add Document Set" and "Link to a Document" content types and "Metadata navigation settings" into the document library.

Your solution is not a bad solution. You can go on using it.

And you can keep up to 30 million files in one document library, but it is better to not doing that as it will affect SharePoint performance, and you have to do more administration task in the future.

In document center, we also can store 30 million files in one document library. It is the same.

For more detailed information, refer to the article below. SharePoint Online limits.


There is a similar post:


More reference:

Use a Document Center site.


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