Everyone knows that Communication sites are awesome. Easy to use, responsive by default and don’t look at all like SharePoint.

As a concept, they sound very attractive and probably many of you considered them for your intranet. But the devil is in the detail, right? So, are those new shiny sites ready to be considered as a successor to almighty Publishing Portal? The answer, as always is – “It depends”.

Let’s consider a common set of requirements for an intranet:

  • works on mobile devices,
  • matches corporate identity (branding)
  • easy to maintain and update,
  • integrates with other platforms (including social media)
  • allows for content personalisation,
  • news, events, conversations, likes, comments etc. etc.

Most of those requirements can be met using out-of-the-box features available on Communication sites. And it doesn’t take long to build something that can be shown to your users. No development required. Looking for inspiration – check the look book  (https://sharepointlookbook.azurewebsites.net/ ) to discover you could use a web part in a way you haven’t thought about before.

So what’s the catch? Well, there is one and quite a big one. Branding. If a heavy branding is a “must have” requirement then Communication sites are not ready for your intranet yet.

There are some options for branding available – custom theme or a logo but other changes are currently not supported. There is more coming and hopefully in the near future we’ll be able to create less “generic” sites. For now, there is plenty of other functionality available and I would encourage everyone to experiment and find out all the wonderful things you can do with SharePoint.