Site and Site Collection Retention Policy in SharePoint 2013

One of the biggest problem we face in our SharePoint environment is site retention.  Whenever our users request us with new site collections/sites, we tend to ask to them to clear the security test and we create a new site collection or site.  The problem is, managing the site collections/sites.

Lots off users request sites for either long term projects, short term projects, team spaces, etc., and then they tend to forget to manage it.  These sites will reserve a big amount of space, in addition to that is a mailboxes if they have.

So finally, to resolve all the above issues (till certain point), SharePoint 2013 has came to rescue.  The new “thing” called SharePoint Server 2013 Site (or Site Collection) Policy.

As you can see from the above figure, it allows you to create a Site (or Site Collection) Policy which can be applied to restrict site’s long living life.

Site Closure and Deletion

The difference between site closure and site deletion is, site closure means that when the site is put into the closed mode, the site will NOT be active anymore, means the site is not being updated or being actively used.  You can also manually put the site on closure but to reopen the closed site, you will have to go through the site collection administrators.  When the site is being put onto the closure mode, the system will put site into read-only mode as well.  (in this case as well, only site collection administrators will be able to reopen the site).

Though the users/admins/developers can continue using the site as well as it’s contents, whereas site deletion means the site will be permanently deleted with all of it’s content.

Now, sometimes you will have to postpone the above activity, in that case, the site owner can manually delay the site deletion for a particular period of time (assign by the site policy), if not, then the e-mail would be sent to the site owners before deletion of the site and site will be deleted if no action taken.

By using the above technique, you can always apply site collection policies to each and every new site being requested, which will be deleted if not being used for a certain period of time, ensuring you will save space on your server.  This is also helpful when you want to create a site but doesn’t want to allow any changes.

You can put the site into the closure mode, making it a read-only site and avoid the deletion (I wouldn’t recommend that ), once you define the policy to be applied, you can either directly apply it using the publishing feature from the content hub or apply them during the site creation time where in users will have an option to select.  Check out the Configuring Self Service Site Creation in SharePoint 2013.

Once you set it up, you can go to Central Administration -> Self-Service Site Creation Administration and choose from below three options to make it available to the users.

Once applied, the users will be able to choose the policies while requesting a new site.

Thanks & have fun!!

Reference : Steven Boyle