SharePoint Online: Create Site Collection from Custom Template

Requirement: Create a Site Collection with Custom Template in SharePoint Online.

SharePoint Online: Create Site Collection from Custom Template

A custom site template is a pre-configured set of components, settings and features that can be used as the foundation for a new site collection. Creating subsites from a custom template is quite straightforward, as in my other 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 the below steps: Assuming you have saved a site as a template and the Site Template WSP file is ready, here are the steps to create a site collection with a custom template in SharePoint Online:

Step 1: Create New Site Collection without Specifying the Site Template

Let’s create a new site collection with the “Select a Template Later” option.

  1. Go to your SharePoint Online Admin Center >> Click on the “Site Collections” link from the left navigation.
  2. In the toolbar, click on “New” >> Private site collection.
  3. Provide the URL and other parameters to create the Site Collection. In the “Template Selection” section, select the “Custom” tab and pick “<Select a template later…>”.
  4. Click “OK” to start creating a site collection. Wait for a minute for the site collection to appear on 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 your new Site Collection. You’ll be asked to select a site template.

  1. Click on the “Solution Gallery” link from the page.
  2. Click on the “Upload Solution” button in the ribbon.
  3. Browse and select the site template WSP file and Click on “OK” to upload the site template.
  4. Once uploaded, click on the “Activate” button in the ribbon.

Step 3: Set the Site Template for the New Site Collection

  1. Navigate to your new Site Collection again. You’ll get a page to select a site template this time as well.
  2. In the “Template Selection”, Click on the “Custom” tab. Pick your custom template and click on the “OK” button to assign the site template to your site collection.
  3. You’ll get a “Working on it” message, and it takes a while. Once the site template is assigned, SharePoint Online takes You’ll be taken to the “Set Up Groups for this Site” page, Select group names, and click on “OK” to complete the process.

Once the site collection has been created, you can begin customizing it by adding content, configuring settings and enabling features as needed.

In conclusion, creating a site collection from a custom template in SharePoint Online is a quick and easy process that can be used to create new site collections that are pre-configured with the components, settings and features that you need. By using custom templates, you can streamline the process of creating new site collections and ensure that each site collection is set up with the right components to support their goals and needs.

Salaudeen Rajack

Salaudeen Rajack - SharePoint Expert with Two decades of SharePoint Experience. Love to Share my knowledge and experience with the SharePoint community, through real-time articles!

3 thoughts on “SharePoint Online: Create Site Collection from Custom Template

  • Hi, I am following this great article and I am stuck, Custom tab is not appearing in template selection. Kindly guide me, how can I get the custom tab?

  • Great article, unfortunately, no longer relevant. Looks like you cannot do this with a modern sharepoint site. There is no longer an option to save a site as a template. Even the create site screen, when you select other templates, it says it will be created as a 2013 site. Please advise!

  • Great article! So, it looks like any permission changes made in the template, to the default SharePoint groups, are not retained in the sites that you create from that template. Does that sound about right?


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