Blog: branding custom intranet portal

Branding Custom Intranet Portals in SharePoint Online

Organizations can utilize SharePoint custom intranet portal to make their business processes easier and organized. Like any other resources, getting a unique look is an important feature everyone will want. This blog talks about crucial information regarding the branding of a custom intranet portal in a SharePoint Online environment. We will talk about 3 main areas in the branding process. Priority is to know the things you should avoid doing for the best results. Next is to have a good understanding of the general requirements. Finally, know the general principles you should follow to ensure that the results are not just good looking but meaningful.

Do Not Do List

When planning to brand a custom intranet portal in SharePoint environment you should ensure few things. Don’t attempt the three things listed below:

  1. Customize branding for personal sites.
  2. Override branding of the Office 365 Suite Bar.
  3. Use custom master pages to implement your custom branding by default.

Branding Requirements

The main idea behind the branding process is to achieve a good uniqueness overall. With proper branding, you can reflect your corporate brand and values across the portal in an impressive way. This is critical for enterprises. Main branding requirements for a portal come under 3 areas: Look, layout, and functionality.

Customizing the looks includes implementing a color scheme, custom logo, changing the look of the navigation controls, and sign-in page. When it comes to changing the layout, its all about making it ‘responsive’, showing a custom footer, and the overall layout of information spread across pages. Functionality can be improved by adding web parts to pages, and by customizing the portal navigation behavior.

General Principles

  • As the SharePoint Online service is constantly improving, developers handling the branding process should rely on those customization approaches that are supported.
  • Avoid customizing master pages, as any future updates may affect its structure and result in incorrect behavior.
  • Customized branding of OneDrive for business sites are not supported.
  • SharePoint Online Portals are part of the overall Office 365 ecosystem.
  • Consider the significant differences between the branding approaches of Classic and Modern sites and pages.
  • Make a deep awareness about recommendations from Microsoft regarding Navigation Solutions and Performance Guidance for SharePoint Online Portals.

Wait for the next part for more information on branding custom intranet portals in a SharePoint Online environment.


Alex K Joseph