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Targeted Links in a Modern SharePoint UI

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Recently I was advising a client on building out intranet-style content on SharePoint Online. I walked them through communication sites and modern team sites, demonstrated the mobile-friendly responsive rendering, the ease of editing, and so on. Then came the killer question: "how do I target my navigation links to different users?"

This might well be on Microsoft's product backlog... but at the time of writing, there's no support for audience targeting with communication sites or modern team sites. So how do we use targeted navigation without losing the benefits of the modern UI? After a bit of trial-and-error we came up with a working solution using modern pages within classic SharePoint sites. There are quite a few gotchas, hence this post.
Step 1: Create a suitable site Create or locate a classic SharePoint site (e.g. using the Team Site - SharePoint Online configuration template).

Gotcha #1: Don't use a publishing site template, or you won't be creating …