This is the fifth article in the SharePoint Online planning guide for Office 365 for professionals and small businesses. It explains the monitoring and maintenance tasks that site collection administrators and site owners can perform. By performing these tasks, administrators and owners can enhance the user experience on sites, and help the site collection run at peak efficiency.
In this article
Who should read this article?
You should read this article if you are a site collection administrator or a site owner for a SharePoint Online site for Microsoft Office 365 for professionals and small businesses. This article describes how you can monitor storage and optimize site performance.
Monitor site collection storage
When you sign up to use SharePoint Online, your organization and each licensed user is allocated storage space. This storage will be consumed when you create your public Website, and when users upload documents or create content on internal team sites. If you approach your allocated storage limit, you have three options:
- Move content to another location to free space.
- Delete content or sites to free space.
- Buy more space from Microsoft or your Office 365 partner.
It is important to monitor how much space is being used so that you do not exceed your allocation.
For more information about how to plan sites in your site collection, see Step 2: Plan the structure and content for your Team site and Governance 101: Best practices for creating and managing team sites.
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Manage user permissions
When the Microsoft Online Services administrator subscribes to SharePoint Online by using the Office 365 portal, the process to migrate users and groups in the company to SharePoint Online begins. After users and groups have been migrated, the administrator designates a primary site collection administrator to manage the site collection. This person is a user who has administrative permissions. At any time after this, the new administrator can begin to manage user permissions.
We recommend that site administrators create a permissions strategy that supports the goals for the sites and site collection. Site administrators should then implement and enforce that strategy in a consistent manner. If you do not develop a permissions strategy, you may find that permissions management becomes a time-consuming activity and that it provokes user frustration. It is a good idea to document the permissions strategy and encourage site users to read and understand it. With proper guidance and a well-defined process, users understand permissions better, and have the access they need to be effective. For more information about how to create an effective permissions strategy, see Plan your permissions strategy.
After the permissions strategy is defined, the site collection administrator can assign the users who were migrated into SharePoint Online to different permission groups in any site in the site collection. In addition, the site collection administrator can—and should— specify additional site collection administrators as backup administrators in case the primary administrator is unavailable to manage the site collection.
To modify user or administrator permissions, or to set up groups, click Site Actions, and then Site Settings. Use the options under Users and Permissions.
For more information about planning permissions, changing permission levels, or creating SharePoint security groups, see the Permissions management articles in the SharePoint Online Help.
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Plan for lists and libraries with many items
When a list or library has many items, you must carefully plan, organize, and account for how data is accessed. By using key features of lists and libraries such as list view throttles and column indexing, you can make sure that users can find information quickly without adversely affecting site performance. Decisions that you make when you set up the site directly affect the performance of any SharePoint site, especially one that contains lists and libraries with many items.
For more information about how to plan for list and libraries with many items, see Manage lists and libraries with many items. We strongly recommend that all site owners and site collection administrators understand best practices and limits for setting up lists and libraries.
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Plan search features to help users find content
Your users are more likely to want to use SharePoint Online when they can easily find the information they need.
How content becomes available in search
The search service is scheduled to crawl SharePoint Online content every five minutes. After an item is added to a SharePoint Online site, there will be a period of time before it is indexed and returned in search results. This amount of time varies based on current user activities. Tasks like site migration, upgrade, and maintenance increase the load on the indexing pipeline. New content items should typically display in search results within an hour
Improving search results
There are a variety of things you can do as a site owner to improve the user search experience. Some of the content management features discussed in this article, such as content types and managed metadata, can help make content more discoverable to search. You can also perform specific search-related configurations to improve search, such as setting up search scopes, and configuring keywords, and Best Bets. You can also choose to remove specific sites or lists and libraries from search results so that content in these locations does not display in search results. This can be helpful if you want to remove sensitive content or obsolete content from search results.
Search scopes A search scope defines a subset of information in the search index. For example, if you have a site collection with many sites, you could set up a search scope for the Search box on sites that allows users to focus a search on a particular location or set of content.
Typically, search scopes encompass specific topics and content sources that are important and common to users in the organization. For example, you could create a search scope for all items related to a specific project or for all items related to a specific group in the organization such as Finance or Marketing. You can also create a search scope that includes several other scopes.
Keywords and Best Bets Another way you can help users find content is by using keywords and Best Bets. You can highlight important information in search results for site users by using keywords and Best Bets. When a user enters a pre-configured keyword term into the search box, Best Bets are marked by a yellow star and are displayed prominently at the top of the core search results page. Keywords can be used in queries from the Search box.
Keywords and Best Bets are stored in their own database tables, so they become effective immediately. By defining commonly-used search terms as keywords you can provide a standard glossary of names, processes, and concepts that are part of the "common knowledge" shared by members of an organization.
For example, you want to point newly hired employees to a site containing information about how to obtain training on tools and processes. You could define the keyword “training” or the names of your internal tools with the URL of the site that contains the information. Each time new employees search for the name of the tool or for “training” the correct Web site would appear as a Best Bet at the top of search results.
Controlling what content is searchable
If there are specific sites, lists, or libraries that contain content you want to exclude from search results you can do this by removing these locations from search. For more information about controlling what content is searchable, see the article Enable content to be searchable.
For more information about how to plan and use search scopes, or how to use keywords and Best Bets see the Search articles in SharePoint Online Help.
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The Recycle Bin and quota
Because the Recycle Bin is shared through a site collection, and because the contents of the recycle bin count against your total storage quota, it may be helpful to note that both the first stage (the End User Recycle Bin) and the second stage (the Site Collection Recycle Bin) have the following behavior:
- If a file is left in the first stage Recycle Bin for 30 days, it will be automatically emptied.
- Similarly, if a file sits in the Site Collection Administration, or second stage, Recycle Bin for 30 days, it will be emptied.
For more information about working with the Recycle Bin, see Manage the Recycle Bin of a SharePoint site.
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Plan to capture process knowledge
As site users work with sites and site contents, their skills and knowledge will grow. However, that growing knowledge can remain isolated with single individuals. By using blogs and wikis to capture and share this knowledge as it evolves, you can help transfer the learning throughout the organization.
For example, a site might use a wiki to collect information about a company project, or about how to work with a specialized customer relationship management system.
For more information about blogs, see Create a blog.
For more information about wikis, see Create and edit wiki pages by using the browser.
Previous article in this planning guide: Step 4: Train and support users
Main planning guide article: SharePoint Online planning guide for Office 365 for professionals and small businesses
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