Understanding Site Policies In SharePoint 2013

Since SharePoint sites can quickly grow large and be hard to control, you have to create new ones as you need them. However, it is going to be very infrequent that you will be deleting any of them. You can use site policies to help you monitor and control your SharePoint sites. Make sure there is a life cycle defined for a site so that it can be deleted or closed at a given point in time.

Should you close or delete such a site, then any sub sites of it will also be closed or deleted. The ability to close sites is a new concept offered in SharePoint 2013. When you close a site, you state that you no longer need it and it will be deleted at a given point based on scheduling.

The policies of a site specify the conditions for it to be closed or deleted by automation. There are 4 options that you can consider:

  • Don’t close or deleteĀ  – It will only allow closures or deletes if they are done manually by the owner
  • Delete automatically The policy can have an option that allows it to be deleted automatically. There has to be specific rules in place for when to delete it.
  • Close the site automatically This offers the same option as deleting but it is to close it and for how long it will remain closed before it is then automatically deleted. A site owner can manually re-open any site that is closed but not yet deleted.
  • Run a workflow to close and then delete automatically This allows for automation but specific information also has to be given regarding closing the site after the workflow has completely run. You can also configure it so that the workflow can be run again periodically even after the site is closed.

It is possible to create a site policy that can be applied to the root site in a collection site. However, once that site is closed, then it and all of the sub sites will be read only.

You will need to define the site policies from the root site of a collection. This can be done by going to the Site Policies page under the Site Collection Administration menu. You will be able to use those policies for all sites in the site collection. Owners of the sites can apply a policy by going to the Site Closure and Deletion page under the Site Settings menu. In order to successfully delete a site manually, the site owner needs to select Delete this Site from the Site Settings menu. On the Site Closure and Deletion page, you can see the sites that will be deleted automatically. There isn’t an option there for an owner of a site to delete it manually.

You can publish policies and share them across the various site collections if you would like to. There is more information offered about publishing content types and site policies in future sections.

The site policies are very valuable when you combine them with self-service site creation. A farm administrator can enable self-service on a web application. They can then specify the users that have to clarify a new site. This is accomplished by choosing a policy to apply to that site. The farm administrator will specify the site classification. It can be:

  • Hidden
  • Optional
  • Required

When the site policies are used in conjunction with self-service site creation, then users have more freedom. However, there is also the control over the sites and they can be deleted after a certain amount of time.