Classic and Modern SharePoint How to choose

Classic and Modern SharePoint: How to choose?

Classic and Modern SharePoint: How to choose?

SharePoint has always served as a great collaboration platform for the past many years and it has come up with the latest features with every rollout. But SharePoint has never been known for easy work and this is especially true when it is about creating page content or the structure of it.

I have often received requests from my clients to either create a more professional page or create a different layout for the page. The layouts that are provided by SharePoint often leave a lot of desire for those who are interested in creating something new and fresh.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Sharepoint

Modern sites in SharePoint are the latest trend and come up with nice usability features when compared to the classic sites.

So, if you are planning to create a new SharePoint intranet from scratch or a new website, then one thing that you need to consider is which site to go with –Modern interface or Classic interface?

SharePoint’s Classic user interface was introduced in the year 2002 and since then it has come up with many features that have layered on top. It is developed on the ASP.Net platform and the requests are sent to the server and then the responses are sent to the client. This means that whenever a user clicks, the page post backs to the server and it responds back with HTML. This round trip takes a long time and make the user experience much slower.

Classic SharePoint offers Minimal Download Strategy that helps to reduce the load time by sending only the delta changes to the server when the user navigates. These changes include the difference between the current page and the page that is requested.  But MDS is very limited to and cannot be effectively used by the publishing sites.

On the other hand, Modern SharePoint offers a Modern User Interface that includes the pages based on modern website standards. The pages are developed by using JavaScript that renders very fast and also offers a responsive experience for the mobile users.

The typical classic SharePoint development:

This starts with developing the custom master pages and the custom page layouts, it gives more control over script execution and placement of elements. However, any newer controls or updates cannot be introduced through the default master page from Microsoft.

  1. Custom master pages are not suggested by Microsoft in SharePoint and should be avoided.
  2. Any updates from Microsoft to SharePoint would affect the structure and placement of controls in the master pages.
  3. Custom master pages will need additional maintenance and upgrades in order to match with the out of the box pages.
  4. There are many third party solution accelerators that will help you to develop your SharePoint sites fast.
  5. The classic web parts support JSLink for customizations of list/form
  6. Recently the classic SharePoint sites offer Modern UI for site content pages or list/library.

The Modern SharePoint development:

In modern SharePoint, most of the pages are created in the web browser and are stored outside the SharePoint services close to the users so that they can be easily cached and can run as fast as any locally installed program. Microsoft has come up with some new features that work only on Modern sites:

  1. The sites are responsive out of the box and the modern web parts also support responsiveness.
  2. The sites don’t support custom page layouts and custom master pages
  3. The out of the box page layouts available are limited, but can meet specific purpose
  4. The custom web parts are built as SPFx web parts
  5. The development is client side that uses JavaScript frameworks like React JS and Angular JS.

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