Managing and Identifying SharePoint Site Owners

1/14/2019 UPDATE: I am in the process of releasing a new Site Owner solution which, in addition to working on SharePoint 2013-2019, will also include new management tools and Owner suggestions based on content creators. More details coming within 2 weeks!

If you’re like us you have struggled with this at one point or another: Who ‘owns’ a SharePoint site. We define the owner as the main business or technical contact for the site – the user responsible for the overall content, permissions, and management of the site. This is another area where SharePoint is lacking – sure there is an ‘Owners’ permission group – but that could have many users in it. It really does not identify the single point-of-contact we want to manage. When we set out to design our new templates one requirement was that we collect and display the site owner in the footer of every page so visitors had a way to identify and contact the site owner without a lot of difficulty or calling the helpdesk to inquire.

Our Site Owner control is deployed at the site collection level and is built-in to our site definition (you can also feature-staple it into existing site templates). Code in the master page renders the footer with the Site Owner stored in a property-bag:

When our users provision a new site, they are prompted to specify a Site Owner. The site cannot be provisioned without making a choice here:

Site Administrators can easily update this property at a later time via the Site Settings page:

Now this is all nice and good – users can identify the site owners and we reduced calls to our helpdesk and SharePoint support teams. But here is the cool bit. With a little PowerShell, we can instantly produce a report of all of the site owners (along with their site data) and marry that back to Active Directory to see if any of the users are disabled or deleted. This way we can make sure the Site Owner values are correctly populated and active users are managing these sites. Also great for sending out bulk-emails to the Site Owners when maintenance is required or changes are being deployed into their sites:

So there is our take on displaying and managing SharePoint Site Owners. Hope you found it interesting. Be sure to look for my tweets and blog updates from the SharePoint Connections Conference starting March 26th.


2 thoughts on “Managing and Identifying SharePoint Site Owners

  1. Hi, we have tested your solution on our DEV server; however, the site owner field appears to be optional, so you are still able to create a site without entering the required site owner information. Could we have installed this incorrectly? We are very interested in this solution if we can make this field required rather than optional. We are currently on version 2010 (standard). If we were to enable this solution in our 2010 environment (assuming we can get the site owner field to be required 🙂 , do you foresee any issues if/when we go to 2013?

    Thanks for your help! -Paula Crist

    • Hi Paula, At the moment the Site Owner value is not a required field. Some of this is due to the nature of how the data is being stored. The new site must be provisioned before the Site Owner can be selected because it is stored in the site property bag. I suppose if the user cancelled out of the process I could try to delete the newly created site but that might be slightly problematic. Would need to investigate the option. As far as 2013 goes – this solution is untested on that platform and very likely will not function (unless you are running a 2010 site on 2013). 2013 support is being considered.

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