After the recent additions of Modern Team sites and Community sites I’ve been missing the option to create new style site collections. Today however I managed to get this to work.

I started by creating a modern sub site from the communication site.

Then I created a new site collection (https:/ / but I didn’t select a starting template. During this post I used /sites/later, but of course the real aim is to do the same at https:/ /

Office 365 - SharePoint Online - Creating a site collection with new style pages Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft SharePoint Online sitecollectionnotemplate

Then in my communication site I collected all the features that have been enabled:

[code lang=text]
<br />PS U:\> Get-PnPFeature

DisplayName DefinitionId
———– ————
DocumentLibraryInstance b77b6484-364e-4356-8c72-1bb55b81c6b3
FollowingContent a7a2793e-67cd-4dc1-9fd0-43f61581207a
SitePages b6917cb1-93a0-4b97-a84d-7cf49975d4ec
AccSvcAddAccessApp d2b9ec23-526b-42c5-87b6-852bd83e0364
WorkflowTask 57311b7a-9afd-4ff0-866e-9393ad6647b1
MUIWeb 9eabd738-48b1-4a40-a109-aa75458ed7ea
WorkflowServiceStore 2c63df2b-ceab-42c6-aeff-b3968162d4b1
CustomList 00bfea71-de22-43b2-a848-c05709900100
DocumentLibrary 00bfea71-e717-4e80-aa17-d0c71b360101
EventsList 00bfea71-ec85-4903-972d-ebe475780106
IPFSWebFeatures a0e5a010-1329-49d4-9e09-f280cdbed37d
SitePagePublishing f39dad74-ea79-46ef-9ef7-fe2370754f6f



Then in my new site collection I enabled all the features that are enabled in the communication sites:

[code lang=text]
<br />Enable-PnPFeature b77b6484-364e-4356-8c72-1bb55b81c6b3
Enable-PnPFeature a7a2793e-67cd-4dc1-9fd0-43f61581207a
Enable-PnPFeature b6917cb1-93a0-4b97-a84d-7cf49975d4ec
Enable-PnPFeature d2b9ec23-526b-42c5-87b6-852bd83e0364
Enable-PnPFeature 57311b7a-9afd-4ff0-866e-9393ad6647b1
Enable-PnPFeature 9eabd738-48b1-4a40-a109-aa75458ed7ea
Enable-PnPFeature 2c63df2b-ceab-42c6-aeff-b3968162d4b1
Enable-PnPFeature 00bfea71-de22-43b2-a848-c05709900100
Enable-PnPFeature 00bfea71-e717-4e80-aa17-d0c71b360101
Enable-PnPFeature 00bfea71-ec85-4903-972d-ebe475780106
Enable-PnPFeature a0e5a010-1329-49d4-9e09-f280cdbed37d
Enable-PnPFeature f39dad74-ea79-46ef-9ef7-fe2370754f6f


I must say now I was really surprised as I visited my new site collection:

Office 365 - SharePoint Online - Creating a site collection with new style pages Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft SharePoint Online newsite


Ok, this doesn’t give me a full communication site but at least I’ve got my new modern look and feel on the site.

PS U:\> Get-PnPTenantSite

Url Template Lcid
— ——– —-
https:/ / EHS#1 1033
https:/ / SRCHCEN#0 1033
https:/ / APPCATALOG#0 1033
https:/ / 1033
https:/ / SPSMSITEHOST#0 1033

So it looks like there is no base template used by my site. Time to run a quick check by extracting the site as a template using PnP PowerShell.

Then when I checked with Get-PnPProvisioningTemplate I found that my Communication site was using the SITEPAGEPUBLISHING#0 as its base template where the new site collection was using STS#-1 as its site template.

So then I tried creating a site collection with the right template first:

[code lang=text]
<br />New-PnPTenantSite -Title “PowerShellCommSite” -Url /sites/powershellsite -Template SITEPAGEPUBLISHING#0 -Owner -TimeZone 0


But that resulted in

New-PnPTenantSite : The web template SITEPAGEPUBLISHING#0 is not available for sites on this tenant.
At line:1 char:1
+ New-PnPTenantSite -Title “PowerShellCommSite” -Url /sites/powershells …
+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
+ CategoryInfo : WriteError: (:) [New-PnPTenantSite], ServerException
+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : EXCEPTION,SharePointPnP.PowerShell.Commands.NewTenantSite


Ok, so I can’t create new sites directly from PowerShell yet.

Removing the left hand navigation

As mentioned in the comments below by Clifton  it would be possible to remove the left hand navigation by turning on the Publishing Infrastructure, then remove the links in Site Settings -> Structural Navigation -> Current Navigation.

I’m however not sure if this is a good step, as the publishing features would create old style elements in my new style site collection.


With the above method I ended up with an almost communication site. I can now get users to go to a modern looking root site collection of the tenant at https:/ / without having to direct them to a site collection located in /teams or /sites

I would expect that Microsoft will soon make the root site collection template available for the modern templates, but at least I’ve now got my workaround in place.

Avatar for Pieter Veenstra

By Pieter Veenstra

Business Applications and Office Apps & Services Microsoft MVP working as a Microsoft Productivity Principal Consultant at HybrIT Services. You can contact me using

6 thoughts on “Office 365 – SharePoint Online – Creating a site collection with new style pages”
  1. Actually you can get rid of the left hand navigation. Not a best practice, but a temporary workaround; turn on Publishing Infrastructure, then remove the links in Structural Navigation -> Current Navigation.

    1. Thank you for your comment. You are right, that might be the last piece of the puzzle, however I’m not sure if I really want to enable publishing features as they are related to the old style sites.

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