5 Reasons to Move from Classic to Modern SharePoint

by Esther Daga

Have you made the move to modern SharePoint? If you haven’t yet, here are 5 reasons why you should consider it.

Why migrate from SharePoint Classic to Modern?

Since Microsoft introduced SharePoint modern experience in 2016, organizations have wondered why they need to migrate their intranet, which was developed initially as a classic SharePoint site, to the modern experience on SharePoint Online. When companies decide to migrate to SharePoint Online from SharePoint on-premises, it’s a question that often arises. And now, with the SharePoint 2013 end of life in April 2023, the question is top of mind for many Communications, Marketing, HR, and IT teams. While upgrading from classic to modern is not “mandatory,” it’s highly recommended.

EN - Whitepaper : How to Move From Classic to Modern SharePoint

What is the difference between classic and modern?

Information Architecture

Classic SharePoint architecture uses a hierarchical system of site collections and subsites, with inherited navigation, permissions, and site designs. Once created, this structure can be inflexible and difficult to maintain. In the modern SharePoint experience, every site is a site collection and can be associated with a hub, a flat collection of sites that share navigation, branding, and other elements. This type of structure is far more flexible and adaptive to the changing needs of your organization.


The site structure of modern SharePoint, with hubs and associated sites, is more straightforward for users to navigate than the hierarchical structure of classic.

Mobile Devices

SharePoint modern offers site themes and responsive designs that look great on any device – including mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

The modern experience has changed from publishing sites to communication sites, making it easier to create beautiful, dynamic, and performant sites and pages that are mobile-ready.


In the modern experience, Microsoft Search replaces SharePoint Search. The search box is at the top of the SharePoint page, and Microsoft Search is personal and contextual. Microsoft Search also includes additional functionalities.

Sharing and Permissions

SharePoint modern also uses Microsoft 365 Groups that include extra benefits, including a group email address and other tools such as a group calendar, notebook, Planner, and a team site. It also gives added flexibility with group permissions.


It has faster page rendering in the users’ browser.

5 Critical Reasons to Switch Soon

1.       Microsoft Updates

Microsoft updates will be deployed on the modern experience. The publishing experience will not advance and will become obsolete over time.

2.       Page Changes

Changing the appearance of pages is easier in SharePoint modern (add, move, and remove web parts)

3.       Performance

The modern experience brings a new architecture, HTML standards are better respected, and page loading is progressive.

4.       Powell Templates

Powell Intranet is compatible with both classic SharePoint & modern, but our ready-to-use site templates (deployable in 3 clicks) are built with the modern experience.

5.       Responsive

Unlike in modern, Some SharePoint content in publishing is not responsive

How can you switch from classic to modern in SharePoint?

If your intranet site is based on classic, and you want to migrate to modern SharePoint, you may wonder if it is necessary to migrate all your pages. It’s an expensive undertaking if you have a few hundred pages. The good news is that you don’t have to!

You have three migration options; complete, partial, or none.

We’ve helped many customers migrate from their classic SharePoint to modern, and this is what they chose:

Complete Migration

Migrate all of your created content to modern. 10% of our customers choose this option.

Partial Migration

Migrate some of your created content (e.g. content from the previous x months) to modern. 60% of our customers choose this option.

No Migration

Do not migrate content, but keep the classic SharePoint site in the background. With Powell Intranet search web parts, you can display your content modern. 30% of our customers choose this hybrid option.

What else do you need to consider?

Migrating to the modern experience is not the be-all and end-all. SharePoint intranets built in the modern experience can still fail. What do we mean by failure? That the intranet does not fulfill its purpose, meet user expectations, or solve the right problems.

Here are some questions to ask if you want to build a better intranet while migrating from classic to modern.

  • Will my SharePoint intranet be engaging and user-friendly?
  • How can I focus on end-user and business needs?
  • Is the contributor experience adapted to different skill levels?
  • Will each department benefit from the intranet?
  • Can employees easily find what they are looking for?

Not sure where to start in answering these questions? Then we have the guide for you.

Building an Effective Intranet While Migrating to SharePoint Online

When you download the e-book, you’ll learn:

  • Why it’s time to move from SharePoint on-premise to online and from classic sites to the modern experience.
  • Why traditional SharePoint intranets fail and how to make yours a success.
  • How Powell Intranet can help you build an intranet on SharePoint online that makes the most of the modern experience.

EN - Whitepaper : How to Move From Classic to Modern SharePoint

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