• Home
  • Posts
  • SharePoint Online 101: Pros, Cons, and Plan 1 Vs Plan 2
SharePoint Online 101: Pros, Cons, and Plan 1 Vs Plan 2
microsoft sharepoint online plan 1 vs plan 2

Microsoft SharePoint Online revolutionized file sharing, cloud storage, and team collaboration. Over 200 million users and 80% of Fortune 500 companies rely on SharePoint. So if you’ve decided to move to SharePoint Online, you’re in good company. However, there have been multiple versions of SharePoint – On-premises, Server, Enterprise, and Online – and they’re often used interchangeably despite them having substantial differences. What is SharePoint Online and what are the key differences between the online and the on-premises versions? In this blog, we do a SharePoint Online deep dive – answering the what and why of SharePoint Online along with pointers to supercharge your usage. We also compare SharePoint Online Plan 1 Vs Plan 2 to help you pick the plan best suited for your organization

What is SharePoint Online?

SharePoint Online is a web-based, SaaS version of SharePoint that is included as part of a Microsoft Office 365 subscription. It is the cloud-based version of SharePoint, and it gives users the ability to collaborate on documents, create web pages, and share information.

Key Features

One of the key features of SharePoint Online is that it includes a web-based interface that makes it easy to use and access from any device with an internet connection. Another key feature is that it includes a variety of tools and features that make it easy to manage and share information. By using SharePoint, users can create an intranet that looks and feels like any other website. Subsites (or individual pages) can be created for specific departments or teams within the company. This secure space allows centralized access so users can view, edit, and share documents with ease.

SharePoint Online Plans: Plan 1 and Plan 2

SharePoint Online is not OneDrive or SharePoint Server, but is a separate hosted service. You can purchase it by itself or with a Microsoft 365 subscription. Available plans include:

  1. Plan 1 for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) at $5/month
  2. Plan 2 for enterprise customers at $10/month
  3. As a part of your Office 365 E3 subscription.

SharePoint Online Vs SharePoint On-premises (SharePoint Server, SharePoint Enterprise)

SharePoint Online is entirely hosted and was introduced by Microsoft keeping in mind the growing need for an accessible and multifunctional collaborative space for the modern distributed workplace. SharePoint On-premises also called SharePoint Server has two versions Standard and Enterprise. For On-Premises, intranet sites are licensed using a Server/CAL (Client Access License) model with an additional server fee.

What are the benefits of using a hosted version of SharePoint rather than deploying it on-premises? Below is a tabular comparison

ParametersSharePoint OnlineSharePoint On-Premises (Server - Standard/Enterprise)
InfrastructureHosted entirely on Microsoft cloud data centresHosted on your own dedicated onsite hardware. This includes a web front-end, SQL, and application servers.
AccessibilityAccessible from anywhere and on any device with a web browser and an internet connection. Data is stored on the cloud. Can connect external users.No browser-based accessibility. Data is stored on your local network. Connecting external users must be built and adjusted manually.
Integration & CustomizationSeamless integration with Microsoft Office 365 suite. In addition, can edit documents in the browser itself.
Can create custom web apps, but customization, in general, is limited.
Limited integration capability but high-level customization is possible. Ability to have high-level controls and customizations.
Collaborative MechanismsTeam collaboration groupware capabilities such as collaborative document editing (OneDrive for Business), Team sites, shared mailboxes, document libraries, project scheduling apps, and social collaboration (Yammer). Limited collaboration mechanisms as per your customizations
MaintenanceNo upkeep of hardware and automatic updates and installation of patchesYour team is responsible both for the maintenance of the hardware and of the software updates and patches
CostSubscription model - part of your Microsoft 365 plan. No investment in additional hardware, infrastructure, or maintenance.You have to bear the upfront cost of the server hardware, infrastructure, and upkeep of the same
ScalabilityScale at will - Microsoft will manage itScalability is your responsibility
Security & BackupIndustry-leading security standards - Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) and Azure Active Directory (AD) Premium. Adopts the Shared Responsibility Model. Microsoft is responsible for the host infrastructure, network controls, and apps. You are responsible for customer data, endpoint devices, and authentication at your end. You have the onus of protection from data loss, backup, and recovery of your data.You are responsible for the security of the entire stack - hardware infra, data security, authentication, and backup. Helpful if you have to comply with stringent data access controls and compliance requirements.

Which Version is Right For You? SharePoint Online Plan 1 or Plan 2

Both SharePoint Plan 1 and Plan 2 offer the same core features, such as document management, task management, intranets, and extranets. The main difference between the two plans is that Plan 2 includes additional features, such as enterprise search, business intelligence, and workflow capabilities. If you are looking for a simple way to share documents and collaborate with teams, then Plan 1 may be right for you. However, if you are looking for a more robust solution that includes advanced data security, privacy, and compliance features, then Plan 2 may be a better option.

SharePoint Online Plan 1 Vs Plan 2

ParameterSharePoint Online Plan 1SharePoint Online Plan 2
SharePoint OnlineYesYes
OneDrive / ListsYesYes
Storage1TB / userUnlimited
App Catalog and MarketplaceYesYes
Collaboration: Team Sites, External sharingYesYes
SearchStandardEnterprise search
ComplianceNoE-discovery, ACM, Advanced DLP, In-place holds
Business IntelligenceView-only Access, InfoPath Forms, Excel, and Visio Services Create, edit, and view Access, InfoPath Forms, Excel, and Visio Services.
PowerPivot and PowerView access

How to Migrate from SharePoint On-premise to Online

Some points to note when migrating from SharePoint On-premise to Online.

  • Many SharePoint on-premises versions have or will reach end-of-life, such as SharePoint 2013, and SharePoint 2019 in 2026. Such organizations may be compelled to migrate to SharePoint Online.
  • The SharePoint Migration Tool is a free and easy-to-use tool to migrate data from SharePoint on-premises. It supports migration from SharePoint Server 2010, 2013, and 2016 and SharePoint Foundation 2010 and 2013.
  • Planning is critical to successful SharePoint data migration. The SharePoint Migration Assessment Tool (SMAT) is a simple command-line tool that helps assess readiness and identify potential issues.
  • Start with analyzing the SharePoint farm to get a listing of web applications, site collections, sites, and subsites. Scope the data that needs to be migrated. Then create the new site structure and map on-premises constructs to SharePoint online constructs. For example, web applications to SharePoint Online site collections.
  • Understand how settings and permissions will behave in the new environment. Check that you have the requisite permissions before starting the migration

Pointers to Optimize SharePoint Online

SharePoint Online is a powerful tool that can help businesses improve collaboration and productivity. Here are a few pointers to optimize your usage:

  1. Harness Search: The search function is very powerful. You can use it to find people, documents, and information quickly and easily.
  2. Organize Documents: SharePoint Online allows you to create libraries for your documents. Make sure you take advantage of this feature by keeping your documents well organized.
  3. Optimize Communication: It includes several communication tools, such as blogs, wikis, and discussion boards. Use these tools to keep your team informed about what is going on. This will help improve communication and collaboration among team members.
  4. Use the Security Features: SharePoint Online includes several security features, such as permissions and auditing. Make sure you take advantage of these features to keep your data safe and secure.
  5. Utilize Training Resources: Microsoft offers a variety of training resources, such as online courses and tutorials. These resources can help you learn how to use SharePoint effectively.
  6. Secure SharePoint from Data Loss: Native SharePoint backup options are built for archival and cannot provide unlimited point-in-time recovery. SaaS data loss is prevalent – 81% of companies have lost Microsoft Office 365 data and only 15% were able to recover that data without the use of a 3rd party backup service (ESG). Only cloud-to-cloud backup with unlimited retention can guarantee fast and accurate data recovery when struck with malware, ransomware, accidental/malicious deletion, or device/sync errors. CloudAlly Backup for SharePoint offers enterprise-grade automated backup and restore for Sharepoint and OneDrive data, Groups and Teams. Recover seamlessly from data loss and ensure regulatory compliance.

Watch how Canada’s fastest-growing MSP recovered their client’s Microsoft 365 SharePoint data after a ransomware attack

Join the 16K++ Customers who Secure their SharePoint Data with CloudAlly.

Start a Free 14-day Trial Now!

Try a hands-on Interactive Product Tour

Right Here and Right Now!

Most Popular Articles

Thought Leader Podcasts

Get Insights from the leading IT influencers