Navigate among Site Collections
A SharePoint tutorial by Peter Kalmstrom
you are using several SharePoint
site collections, it is essential that the navigation between
them is quick and effortless.
In the demonstration below Peter Kalmstrom, Microsoft certified
SharePoint specialist and trainer, shows two ways to navigate
between site collections. The first method is only suitable
when the web application has few site collections, while
the second method can be used even if there are thousands
of site collections to navigate between.
The links method works in the same way for site collections
as links to sites within one collection.
The obvious disadvantage of this method is that the Global
Navigation links have to be added to the top-level site
of each site collection, either manually, by code or by
building a custom solution for the addition. Subsites can
inherit the navigation from the top-level site, but links
cannot be inherited between site collections.
- Click on EDIT LINKS in the Global Navigation.
- Paste or write in the path to the top-level site
in the site collection you want to link to.
- Do the same with all site collections you want to
- (Create a collective, not linked, caption and drag
the other links under it.)
Therefore the Links method is suitable only if you have
a few, maybe 3–4, site collections. When you have
more, you should instead use the Search method.
The second way of navigating between site collections is
to not link at all. Instead we will use the SharePoint Search
feature in an intelligent way.
There are two ways to use the Search feature:
- Copy the link to the Search page (without a search
term) and add it to the top-level site of the site collection
in the same way as in the Link method. This has to be
done manually for the top-level site in each site collection.
- Make a search center for all site collections within
a SharePoint farm or web application. That is the way
it is done by default in Office 365. Thus all users
can reach the center by selecting Search everything
in the search box dropdown in the top right corner.
To simplify the search you can also create a Search vertical
that shows only top-level sites in site collections.
Now the new Search vertical is displayed with the other
verticals on the Search result page, and when you click
on it only top-level sites will be shown.
- On the top-level site of a site collection, go to
Site settings and select Add a page.
- Give the new page a suitable name. Peter calls it
- Edit the web part of the new page.
- Click on Change query.
- Set the Property filter to "contentclass" and the
Manual value "STS_Site"
- Add the Property filter to the Query text.
- Apply the Query change.
- Publish the Web Part.
- To display the new Search vertical go into Site
settings and open the Search settings.
- Under Search navigation, click on Add link.
- Give the link a title and browse to the page you
just created ("Sites").
- Click OK.