What is the best practice for migrating sites from 2013 (on-prem) to SharePoint online Modern Sites?

Option 1: Create a new classic site in Online, and migrate the on-prem site to that classic site in 0365. Use the migration tool to switch libraries to modern view. Then, use O365 tools to add an O365 Group, etc.

Option 2: Create a new Modern Site in O365, and use the migration tool to migrate the 2013 site straight to the Modern site.

Option 3: Create a new Modern Site, and selectively migrate only user created document libraries/lists to the modern site.

In the above #2 seems like the most straightforward way, but since classic pages can't be migrated anyway, it seems like a bit of unneeded content will be moved, such as site assets. #3 would address this, but it adds a good bit of work.

Any thoughts on migrating from on-prem classic to O365 modern?

edit: these are standard team sites in 2013, not wikis, etc.

1 Answer 1


It is difficult to answer because it largely depends on how much time do you budget for this job and how much of the old SharePoint is in a format that you cannot transfer into modern experience (for example an Enterprise Wiki, a lot of Wiki Pages etc).

In my experience migration is a chance to find better ways to restructure data so Option 3 would be my way, unless you have other deadlines. Unlike the past, where every migration could be seen as a way to re-structure (2007 to 2010, 2010 to 2013) this one is definitive, you are not going to migrate again so it is worth to plan it carefully and do it as manually as possible.

Edited to add: In my recent experience the modern pages while being very catchy and a good selling point of modern sites, are also slower in loading. I have been confirmed this by a Microsoft Engineer that told me the modern pages have more javascript to load than a Wiki page with the same content. I am also noticing that if you write a lot on a modern page it is hard to type (the actual typed text appears a while after you actually type it, something that never happened to me before in a Wiki page) so keep that in mind if you plan to re-create in modern pages, the old Wiki landing pages. Even if you copy-paste, it could be not as straightforward as it seems, also considering that you will not get to keep the old text styles, images will need to be entered in a different box and not inside the text box.

Sometimes due to the mentioned problems, I still use a Wiki page on a modern site, when the final effect looks better than the modern page (example displaying a classic calendar in a classic calendar way)

If you only plan to move files and lists your job is easier.

  • Thanks, I edited my post to indicate that these are standard team sites that are being migrated (not wikis, blogs, etc.). And, I 100% understand about restructuring, but this is in regards to trying to migrate "as-is".
    – Mike2500
    Jun 4, 2019 at 13:29
  • Standard Team sites have at least one landing page (home.aspx), I have edited my main reply now
    – susan
    Jun 4, 2019 at 14:00

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