SharePoint is a platform that enables you to create, share, and manage content in your organization. It can help you improve communication, collaboration, and productivity among your teams and stakeholders. However, working with SharePoint also requires some knowledge and skills to avoid some common mistakes that can affect your site’s functionality, security, or performance. In this article, we will discuss some of these mistakes you should avoid while working with SharePoint and how to avoid them.
Mistakes to Avoid while Working with SharePoint
Below, we will discuss the top 6 mistakes that developers often make when working with SharePoint, which can lead to low efficiency of the SharePoint site or a less visually appealing appearance.
Mistake 1: Editing Master Pages without Due Care:
Master Page allows you to customize the appearance and branding of your SharePoint environment to suit your organization’s needs and preferences. However, customizing master pages can also have negative consequences if you are not careful. You may introduce errors in the code or design that affect the functionality of your site, such as broken links, missing features, or incorrect formatting. You may also create compatibility issues that affect the performance of your site, such as slow loading times, browser errors, or security vulnerabilities.
To avoid these risks, you should always follow some best practices when customizing master pages.
First, you should always back up your master pages before making any changes. This way, you can restore them if something goes wrong or if you want to revert to the original version.
Second, you should always test your changes in a development environment before applying them to your production environment. This way, you can check for any errors or issues and fix them before they affect your live site.
Third, you should always follow the recommended guidelines for customizing master pages. These include using the Design Manager tool, avoiding hard-coded URLs or references, using compatible HTML and CSS code, and avoiding unnecessary customizations that may affect future updates or upgrades.
By following these best practices, you can customize master pages in SharePoint safely and effectively.
Mistake 2: Introducing new Web Parts without Testing:
Web parts are components that you can add to your SharePoint site pages to display various types of content, such as text, images, videos, charts, or documents. You can also use web parts to display data from lists, libraries, or external sources. Web parts can help you create engaging and dynamic pages that meet your business needs and user expectations.
Sometimes, you may add web parts that are incompatible with your site’s design or functionality, such as web parts that clash with your site’s color scheme, theme, or layout. You may also add web parts that affect your site’s performance or security, such as web parts that load slowly, consume too much bandwidth, or expose sensitive information.
Below we have some key factors which you should consider before adding a web part to your SharePoint site, that are:
Always test new web parts in a development environment before adding them.
They should be compatible with your site's theme and branding. This will help you to maintain a consistent and professional look for your site.
Do follow the instructions and the guidelines which are provided by the particular web part before installing and using them.
Mistake 3: Rewriting SharePoint Functionality from Scratch:
SharePoint is a platform that provides a rich set of features and capabilities that can help you achieve your business goals. However, some users may have the urge to create their own SharePoint functionality from scratch using custom code or third-party tools, instead of using what SharePoint already offers. This can result in creating solutions that are more complex than necessary, more difficult to maintain and update, or more vulnerable to security threats.
To avoid these problems, you should always try to leverage the existing SharePoint functionality as much as possible, and only use custom code or third-party tools when they are absolutely necessary. Moreover, you should use the SharePoint Framework (SPFx) for developing custom solutions, as it is the recommended way to extend SharePoint in a modern and secure way.
Mistake 4: Using SharePoint Designer in a Production Environment:
SharePoint Designer is a tool that enables you to create and modify SharePoint sites and workflows according to your needs. However, using SharePoint Designer in a production environment can also introduce errors or inconsistencies that can affect your site’s stability or performance negatively.
For example, you may accidentally delete or modify important files or settings, or create workflows that conflict with each other or with existing ones. To avoid the issues, you should always use SharePoint Designer in a development environment, where you can test your changes before applying them to the production environment.
It is important to limit access to authorized users only because using SharePoint Designer in a production environment can introduce errors or inconsistencies that affect your site’s stability or performance.
For example, unauthorized users may accidentally delete or modify important files or settings, or create workflows that conflict with each other or with existing ones. Moreover, only authorized users have the necessary skills and permissions to use SharePoint Designer properly.
Additionally, limiting access to SharePoint Designer can prevent access denied or permission errors that may occur when unauthorized users try to connect to the site. Therefore, you should restrict access to SharePoint Designer to authorized users only, who have the Use Remote Interfaces permission and are part of the Designers group or above.
Mistake 5: Being too relaxed with Permissions to Customize:
SharePoint enables you to grant different levels of permissions to users to control how they can access and modify your site’s content and appearance. However, giving too many permissions to users can also make your site vulnerable to unauthorized changes or malicious attacks.
For example, a user with Full Control permission can delete your site or change its settings without your consent. To prevent this, you should always follow the principle of least privilege, which means giving users only the minimum permissions they need to perform their tasks.
Moreover, you can assign permissions based on roles and responsibilities, which means grouping users with similar functions and giving them appropriate permissions. For example, you can create a SharePoint group for editors and give them Edit permission to create and edit content on your site.
You should monitor and audit user activity on your site, which means keeping track of who is accessing or changing your site and what actions they are taking. For example, you can use the audit log reports to view the history of user actions on your site.
Mistake 6: Not updating your SharePoint Environment:
SharePoint 2023 is the newest version of Microsoft’s platform for enterprise content management and collaboration. It provides new features and enhancements that can help you create, share, and manage content more efficiently.
For example, it supports hybrid scenarios that let you connect your on-premises and cloud environments, it has improved search capabilities that let you find relevant information faster, and it has modernized user interfaces that make your site more attractive and user-friendly.
However, if you don’t update your SharePoint environment regularly, you may not be able to take advantage of these benefits and expose your site to security risks or performance issues.
For example, you may encounter compatibility problems with other applications or services, you may face security vulnerabilities that can compromise your data or site integrity, or you may experience performance degradation or downtime that can affect your productivity or user satisfaction.
To avoid this mistake, you should keep track of the latest updates and patches for SharePoint and apply them as soon as possible. You can use the Microsoft Update service to automatically download and install the updates, or you can manually download and install them from the Microsoft Download Center.
SharePoint is a versatile platform that can help you manage and collaborate on content in your organization. However, to get the most out of SharePoint, you need to avoid some common mistakes that can affect your site’s functionality, security, or performance.
In this article, we discussed some of these mistakes and how to avoid them, such as using SharePoint Designer properly, following the principle of least privilege, assigning permissions based on roles and responsibilities, monitoring and auditing user activity, and updating your SharePoint environment regularly. By following these best practices, you can ensure that your SharePoint site is reliable, secure, and efficient.