Create Subsites in UW One Drive for Business

This article shows you how to create subsites under the top level site (aka root site) and use the full functionality of SharePoint 2013 Online to collaborate with your community at the University of Washington.

When you click OneDrive on the top blue navigation bar, you are in the top level site of your OneDrive for Business (OD4B) site collection. The home page of this site displays your documents, which makes it convenient and easy to share your documents with others at the University of Washington. This site is not designed to share a calendar, a task list or other content that you may want to share with a study group, research team or members of your department.


Top Level Site in OD4B Site Collection








About Sites and Site Collections

Site Collection

SiteCollectionA site collection is a hierarchical collection of one or more SharePoint sites that share settings, permissions and other assets.  You are the Administrator of your OD4B site collection and you have full control over your site collection.


A site is a SharePoint website within a site collection. Organizing related content and restricting access to specific groups of people are two common reasons for creating a new site.

For example, a group of graduate students may create a site for the purpose of organizing a team project. The site could contain files related to that project and a home page that displays a timeline consisting of key project milestones.  They would want to make sure that all the project team members can add, edit and delete (maybe even customize the site), but they may not want the rest of the UW community to see the content until it has been finalized and reviewed.

Site Contents

To view all the lists, libraries, apps and subsites of a particular site, on the top right of your site, select the cog on the top right of your site and then select Site Contents.


Select Site Contents to view contents of a site or add content








Site contents displays all of the Lists, Libraries, and other Apps in a site as well as the Subsites directly under this site. From this page you can add new lists, libraries or other apps as well as create new subsites under this site. The site contents page also provides useful links to Site Workflows, Settings and the Recycle Bin.


Site Contents













Creating a New Subsite

To create a new subsite, select new subsite. The New SharePoint Site page loads and presents you with eight site settings to configure. 


New SharePoint Site: TItle, URL, Template













New SharePoint Site: Permission, Navigation

















Set Up Groups for this Site

Whenever you create a subsite using unique permissions, the Set Up Groups for this Site page will load. You can use this page to specify who can access your site. You can create new SharePoint groups or re-use existing SharePoint groups. If you haven’t created any groups in OneDrive prior to this, you will create new groups because OneDrive for Business doesn’t include any groups by default. Until you add people to these groups you will be the only one with access to this site.

The Set Up Groups page follows the simple conventions listed below. Members of respective groups receive different permissions.

  • Visitors: Read
  • Members: Contribute
  • Owners: Full control

In the absence of your own group-naming convention, use the default convention of site title + group type (e.g. Team Project Visitors). Following a standard naming convention will make it easier to manage permissions over time because the groups will be listed by site and permissions.

For a detailed description of permissions and permission levels, refer to User permission and permission levels in SharePoint 2013 on Microsoft TechNet.


Visitors section of Set Up Groups for this Site. Members and Owners is also displayed on this page







Add People to Your Groups

The easiest and simplest way to add someone to a group is to type in their UW email address and then click the check name icon. If their email address is found it will be converted to their display name. Alternatively, you can click the address book icon, select Tenant and then use Find to locate them.

Using UW Groups with OneDrive for Business

To learn how to use UW Groups with OneDrive for Business, see Using UW Groups with UW OneDrive for Business.

Once you click OK on the Set Up Groups for this Site page you will have completed the initial configuration of your subsite. Sites that you have created are automatically added to the Sites I’m following list on your Sites page. If you want your visitors, members or owners to be able to find your site quickly on their Sites page, suggest that they follow your site.


Suggest that people Follow your site so it is listed on their sites page







Customizing Your Site using Site Settings

For a short description of settings discussed in this article, see the table below. 


Site Settings Page



















Brief Description of Highlighted Site Settings

Setting Description
People and Groups Allows you to manage the SharePoint groups in your site collection. You can add or remove people from groups and modify group settings. You can also create and delete groups.
Site Permissions Allows you to:

* inherit permissions or use unique permissions
* grant or remove permissions for people or groups
* check permissions
* configure the email address that should receive access requests view or    create permission levels

*Quick Launch Navigation along the left side of the page. Typically points to lists and libraries and apps on this site. You can also add lists and libraries to this navigation in the list and library settings. It is good to remove unused menu items.
*Top Link Bar Navigation along the top of the site that typically points to content in other sites. You can inherit the top link bar from a common parent in the site hierarchy to create common top link navigation across subsites.
Change the Look You can choose from 18 color and design schemes.
Manage Site Features Add different kinds of lists or libraries, change other site functionality. For example, if you activate the “Team Collaboration Lists” feature all the standard SharePoint list and library types become available for you to add to your site.
Go up to top level site settings  Settings that apply to all the sites in the site collection,  such as “Site Collection Features.
* When the site collection feature “Publishing Infrastructure,” is activated the Quick Launch and Top Link Bar settings are replaced with “Navigation” which provides some additional navigational functions (e.g. Drop down top menus).  



Description of the Eight Settings on the New SharePoint Site Page

Settings  Description 
Title  A short descriptive title. This will appear on the site navigation and on your Sites menu. You can change the title on the site settings page.  
Description  Optional – You can add or edit the description on the site settings page. 
Web Site Address   Do not use spaces since they will be filled with %20. Keep it short and simple, it should correlate to the title. This can be changed later but anyone who follows your site or links to your site will have to update their links.
Language  Choose what makes sense. This can be changed via site settings. 
Template Selection   The template choice provides a functional starting point for configuring a site. Site templates include lists, libraries, apps and other settings for the functionality they are trying to address. It is important to remember that it is just a starting point. The template cannot be changed later, but the resultant site can be customized.
Permissions  You can inherit the permissions from the site directly above your new subsite (parent site) or you can assign new permissions (unique). When creating a subsite under your OD4B top level site, remember to choose Use unique permissions. This can be changed later but when you break permission inheritance later, you will have to remove people and groups that were granted access via inheritance initially. 
Navigation - Display this site on the Quick Launch of the   Since there isn’t a top link bar or Quick Launch on the top level OD4B site choose No when you create a subsite under your toplevel OD4B site. If you are creating a subsite of a subsite you probably want to choose Yes so you have a common navigation experience across your subsites. This can be changed later. 
Navigation Inheritance - Use the top link bar from the parent site  Choose No for a subsite of your toplevel OD4B site. Choose Yes for subsites of subsites so all your subsites share the same top link bar. This can be changed later. 



Description of sites and site collections including a table describing site templates.

Instructions for creating and using SharePoint Groups to control access to site contents.
Select Permissions under the categories listed on the left side of the page.

You can also navigate directly to this post using this link:

Last modified: July 15, 2014