Good Morning, I need some input from the SharePoint community. After several years of evangelizing, I am finally getting some divisions that would like to setup shop in SharePoint. I am trying to decide on Site Collection vs. Sub-Site. They would like to keep Management, Administration, and Supervisory data segregated with some overlap (see image).

My question to you is: should this be separate site collections, or should I use sub-sites and lock it down the further up the chain of command we get?

The Ideal Structure

Thanks, Nick

1 Answer 1


I recently set this up for work and this is how we are managing everything:

  • There's a Sub-site which works as the "Home" for everyone in the company.
  • Each Department gets their own subsite within this home site and the links to these subsites is in the top navigation.
  • Within each department, there are the following permission groups:
    • {department} Owner -- A designated "manager" to help me manage the permissions of each department
    • {department} Members -- Everyone that is a member of the department
    • A "All users" group (from the "Home" site level) which is all non-external users.
  • Each department has 2 Document libraries:
    • Public {department} files -- Owners & Members have edit permissions; the "All Users" group has read access
    • Private {department} files -- Owners & Members have edit permissions; the "All Users" group does not have permissions for this library.

As we continue to develop and grow the SharePoint site, we intend to try and consistently use these permission groups to keep everything clean and easy to manage.

  • yes, sounds familiar to me. We've rolled out something similar. We also declined site collections because we didn't want to do several brandings. And we've wanted to avoid cross-site-scripting.
    – Celophysis
    Apr 24, 2018 at 14:10
  • 1
    Thank you for the feedback. I have already gone down the road of using Site Collections, and I have worked out most of the branding issues (that took the most time while working on the original launch). I am using Managed Metadata Navigation for my top nav bar, but I am going to need to do some coding to keep these in sync as we move forward.
    – Nick
    Apr 24, 2018 at 17:03

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