What’s the Difference Between Modern Team Sites vs. Modern Communications Sites?

“Use Modern Team Sites for inner-loop collaboration and Modern Communication Sites for top-down sharing or telling a story.”

I understand the messaging from Microsoft, but I want to understand what is really different between these two modern site templates underneath the covers.  I thought that maybe there would be some silver bullet that would really differentiate the two.  Other than the security model, I couldn’t find much.  Here’s what I was able to find (along with links to references below).

Modern Team Sites

A Modern Team Site has:

  • An Microsoft 365 Group.  An O365 group has other components that come with it like Planner, Outlook distribution list, and more – and can connect to Microsoft Teams.  A Modern Communications Site will not have these or be able to connect to a Microsoft Team.
  • A SiteAssets library.  This has the site icon in it.  I don’t see a SiteAssets library as an “app” for a Modern Communications Site, but I don’t know if that matters.  Maybe it is there if you enable a feature.
    • UPDATE: The Site Assets library is created in a Modern Communications Site the first time you create a page that has an image (or maybe any other asset) that is uploaded.  Thanks for the tip, Kerry!
  • Left Nav.  I don’t know if you can enable this in a Modern Communications Site and I didn’t see a way to do so when I dug a little.
  • Show a summary of team members with a link to conversations(?).  I have seen documentation indicating this, but am not seeing this in my simple test.

Modern Communication Sites

A Modern Communications Site has:

  • Different designs you can choose from when provisioning the site.  A Modern Team Site does not (currently).
  • An Events list.  Granted, you could create one in the Modern Team Site.
  • Top Nav.  I don’t know if you can enable this in a Modern Team Site and I didn’t see a way to do so when I dug a little.

What Does All of This Mean?

If the features/details above don’t help you lean one way or another, just use Microsoft’s guidance.  If it leans more towards collaboration, choose a Modern Team Site.  If it leans more towards top-down sharing, choose a Modern Communications Site.

What’s Your Experience?

If you have found any other difference between these two site templates, we would love to hear from you!  Please leave a comment below.


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