As we are writing our governance plan, I am not find many examples of SOPs for deleting a site.

We are a small operation and will want to review each delete manually, so what are the gotchas to consider before pulling the plug on a site?

My thoughts are:

  1. Ensure our criteria for deleting a site are met (business rules like site age, inactivity, lack of purpose, expiration date reach, etc)
  2. Contact the site owner and get a response in writing that we will delete their site
  3. Backup any data
  4. Confirm any groups created in the site aren't being use by another site (learned this the hard way)
  5. Check the site usage report (if inactivity is the issue)
  6. Confirm any alerts on the site are invalid
  7. Confirm no sub sites are available or needed.
  • 1
    good question, I'd also add a critereon like validate that the business rules for deletion make sense. They might in your environment but I wouldn't let the business delete a site based on those rules – Jim B Dec 31 '09 at 19:05
  • Right, business rules in item 1 are definitely per outfit. We won't use the auto delete, but other companies may. It is also a lot more difficult to get a site as we don't allow users to create their own. – MrChrister Dec 31 '09 at 19:09

These seem pretty good, and go beyond Microsoft's governance recommendation for site deletion.

The only thing I might add would be checking any web parts that might be accessing or putting data on the site to be deleted. For example, there is a custom workflow on codeplex that allows you to copy items into a list on another site. Some of the web parts that do cross-site data rollups/etc. may also give you issues.

One other thing to check out would be the MS IT Site Delete Capture tool available from CodePlex. This basically acts as an administrative "site recycle bin" that allows you to quickly restore an accidentally deleted site.

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