SharePoint Online: Create Site Collection from Custom Template

Requirement: Create Site Collection with Custom Template in SharePoint Online

SharePoint Online: Create Site Collection from Custom Template
Creating subsites from a custom template is quite straightforward as in my another post: SharePoint Online: Create Subsite from Template using PowerShell. But if you want to create a site collection based on a custom site template, You have to follow below steps: Assuming you have saved a site as template and the Site Template WSP file is ready, here are the steps to create site collection with custom template in SharePoint Online:

Step 1: Create New Site Collection without Specifying Site Template
Let's create a new site collection with "Select a Template Later" option.
  • Go to your SharePoint Online Admin Center >> Click on "Site Collections" link from left navigation.
  • In the toolbar, Click on "New" >> Private site collection.
  • Provide the URL and other parameters to create the Site Collection. In the "Template Selection" section select "Custom" tab and pick "<Select a template later...>".
  • Click "OK" to start creating a site collection. Wait for a minute for the site collection to appear in the site collections page.
Step 2: Upload and Activate the Custom Site Template to the New Site Collection
Once the site collection is created from the above steps, Browse to your new Site Collection. You'll be asked to select a site template.
  • Click on the "Solution Gallery" link from the page.
  • Click on the "Upload Solution" button in the ribbon.
  • Browse and select the site template WSP file and Click on "OK" to upload the site template.
  • Once uploaded, Click on "Activate" button in the ribbon.
Step 3: Set the Site Template for the New Site Collection
  • Navigate to your new Site Collection again. You'll get a page to select a site template this time as well.
  • In the "Template Selection", Click on the "Custom" tab. Pick your custom template and Click on "OK" button to assign the site template to your site collection.
  • You'll get "Working on it" message and it takes a while. Once the site template is assigned, SharePoint Online takes You'll be taken to "Set Up Groups for this Site" page, Select group names and click on "OK" to complete the process.

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