Important points to know about Site Columns and Content Types in SharePoint 2013

In one of my recent projects of SharePoint Online (Office 365), I need to create the site architecture starting with creation of Site Columns and Site Content Types. To give you the glimpse of the project, it involved roll-up and roll-down of data from 300 sub-sites under the root site collection. So, I decided to use Content Search web-part which allows to roll-up the data and by modifying the queries, we can roll-down the data too.

What I learnt –

  1. Use OOTB site columns as much as possible, do not create your new site columns if already provided by SharePoint. However, if OOTB columns doesn’t suits your requirement, then you can create new custom column (For E.g. – OOTB “Due Date” columns is of Date type, so if you wish Date and Time type column then you cannot use this OOTB column)
  2.  Always create a separate group for your site columns and content types.This will help you to filter the columns and content types.
  3. Many times, we make columns as Hidden for one list/library and then try to add the same columns in other list/library which we find is not available. So, before adding a site column in any list/library or any content type, make sure that the column is not hidden at top level.
  4. After migration or after creating a site template, your site is not getting created (assuming your site having workflow also), then change your .wsp file to .cab file and check the XML files. Try to delete the duplicate entries of site columns and content types which are created twice.
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