Nice so you want to quickly take a site you have made and create a repeatable site template from it. Great did you know that you can do this with SharePoint Designer, no code, no powershell, no fuss. Yep. Here is the simple steps to create, publish, and re-use.
NOTE: you must be the Site Collection Administrator, and you must have the use of SharePoint Designer Enabled. Also doing this to sites that have custom web parts or custom solutions is still supported, just those customizations need to be portable and support being reused in this manner.
Creating a SharePoint 2010 Site Template using SharePoint Designer
First launch SharePoint Designer, and open the site you want to create the template from.
You will now see on the SharePoint Designer Ribbon the Manage area
You will see the option to “Save as Template”
When you click that you will have the SharePoint Site Settings > Save as Template Page open. See below:
You now need to give it a File Name
Please use your preferred naming convention….please be intuitive to the template type and name.
This should be informative. Please keep in mind that this is the name folks will see in the New Site Creation window, so keep your naming accurate and not folksy.
This is not a must, but will be the description on the New Site Creation window, so informative and providing a clear understanding of function and usage would be ideal.
Determine to Include Content.
Not recommended if you have over 100 mb of content, I like to do this if I have landing page images, or announcements. Now if you have sensitive or PII this should be NO. Judgment call here folks, just don’t make all users have to delete data to use.
Success……Now lets go to the Solution Gallery to see the template.
Editing, Deleting, and Retracting SharePoint 2010 Site Templates
From the Solution Gallery you can now Retract/Deactivate the site template if you made an error or the site does not create as expected.
Save your Solution out
You can also save out the template by clicking on the Name of the template, you will be prompted to SAVE the filename.wsp file out.
Select the Edit to change the Name
To Deactivate simply click on the edit option, see the Deactivate dropdown….here you go.
Reactivate or delete
Once deactivated, you can now delete or re-activate. Your Call….
Uploading an new SharePoint 2010 Solution or Site Template (wsp)
You will see from the Solution Gallery of the Site Collection, the option on the Ribbon
This gives you the ability to Upload a new wsp solution, or yes folks go check out the Office.com website for solutions.
Upload just like you do any document into SharePoint
Now you see it in the system, now you can Activate. Simple click.
It is available for use.
Easy Pease, creating simple site templates for reuse can be a quick and easy way to make life easy and repeatable.
So you can see using SharePoint Designer, you can quickly create a Site Template, or even bring over one from another Farm or SharePoint instance. Have fun and try it out.