What happened to all the templates in SharePoint 2013?

The old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” really could benefit the technology community at times.  Our SharePoint Consultants point to some of the seemingly unnecessary changes from Microsoft’s SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013 to be a perfect case in point.

One of the most annoying modifications is that SharePoint 2010 standard site templates are mostly deprecated in SharePoint 2013, leaving users scratching their heads to find similar functions to fill the void. So what happened to them all?

TechNet offers a comprehensive list of which sites are no longer being used, along with the reasons for the change.  There were several functions that were handy in SharePoint 2010 that no longer exist. This was especially true with the Meeting Workspace sites, which were incredibly beneficial for collecting information and materials for meetings and storing them in one centralized place.

A New Direction For Microsoft?

When you look at the reasoning behind these changes, you’ll notice a pattern of other products fulfilling these roles. Document Workspaces are now falling under the branch of Office 365, and Meeting sites are replaced by more collaborative features in Lync 2013. The features between multiple products are starting to get a bit more blurred – Microsoft most likely envisions the ideal collaboration working environment where each of these tools work together in harmony.

For some clients, these changes are not a good solution because they still want to have a similar functionality to their older sites.  It takes valuable time and resources to figure out how to best leverage SharePoint to empower businesses.  What should organizations do to adjust and adapt?

Our SharePoint Experts recommend users to recreate a similar template to the 2010 site template, and then add it to the gallery. This allows preservation with the older style function, just in a newer environment. One caveat this solution presents: it takes a bit more time to design, but in the long term, it should save your organization valuable efforts by keeping comparable business practices.

We want to know: what changes from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013 have you experienced? Comment below!

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