A complete guide to duplicating SharePoint Online sites

SharePoint doesn’t provide a built-in feature to duplicate sites. However, there are workarounds available to help you transfer site contents to another site, such as templates and third-party tools. Keep reading for more details on duplicating SharePoint Online sites.

How to Duplicate a SharePoint Site

  • In your SharePoint site, click the gear icon at the top to open Settings.
  • Click “Site contents.”
  • Click “Return to classic Sharepoint” in the bottom left.
  • Click the gear icon at the top to open Settings.
  • Click “Site Information.”
  • Click “View all site settings.”
  • Under “Site Actions”, click on “Save site as template.”
  • Fill out the information.
  • Click “OK.”
  • Go to Home and click “Create site.”
  • Select a type of site.
  • Fill out the site information.
  • Click “Next.”
  • Now click “Finish.”
  • Click “Browse templates.”
  • Click “From your organization.”
  • Select the template and click “Use template.”
  • Now navigate to “Site contents” > “New SharePoint site.”
  • Fill out the information.
  • Finally, click “Create.”

Best methods for duplicating SharePoint Online sites:

  1. Duplicate a SharePoint site by using “Save site as template”
  2. Duplicate a SharePoint site by using page templates to manually import site contents
  3. Duplicate a SharePoint site by using third-party tools
  • Get SharePoint from $6.00 per month with Microsoft 365 Business Basic.

Here I have outlined a few different points for you to duplicate a site. These are not ideal; you’d much rather have a dedicated tool within SharePoint to help duplicate a site. However, as that’s currently not possible, here we are. Follow through to see which one is the most applicable to you.

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Method 1: Duplicate a SharePoint Online site using “Save site as template”

Configuring and configuring sites in SharePoint Online may be a time-consuming process, and when you need to build a new site, it may be quicker to duplicate an existing one rather than beginning from scratch. While there is no “copy” capability, templates based on current sites may be used to establish a new site using a custom template. Follow the step by step by step process below to see how you can achieve this.

Important: The “Save site as template” option is only available for classic sites, not modern sites. To use the classic experience, click the gear icon at the top and select “Site contents” then click “Return to classic Sharepoint” in the bottom left. You will also need to be a site collection admin.

  • Get SharePoint from $6.00 per month with Microsoft 365 Business Basic.

How to duplicate a SharePoint Online site using “Save site as template”

  • First sign in to Office 365.
  • Use the app launcher and navigate to “SharePoint”, and click on it.
  • In SharePoint go to your site.
  • Now click on “Settings”.
  • Now Select “Site Information” from the menu.
  • Click the ” View all site settings options.
  • Under “Site Actions”, click on “Save site as template”.
  • Fill out the information such as the name of the template, file name, and description.
  • Click on “OK” to create the template.
  • Go back to the main Sharepoint dashboard and click on “Create site”.
  • Select the site you need for instance teams or communication.
  • Fill out the site information.
  • Click on “Next”.
  • Now click on “Finish”.
  • Click on “Browse templates”.
  • Click on “From your organization”.
  • Select the template and click on “Use template”.
  • Now navigate to “Site contents > New SharePoint site”.
  • Fill out the information that correlates with the template.
  • Finally, click on “Create”.

Quite a lengthy process is required to help duplicate the site. Site contents will override the current contents on the new site. This may cause a few issues if you have a lot of custom coding or custom or CSS embeds. These may look improper on the site so ensure you spend some time ensuring all is correct before you publish. Links will change to reflect the new site you have.

Understanding the distinction between sites and site collections is critical since a site collection cannot be used to construct a template. To duplicate a site collection, you must first back up and restore it. Sites, on the other hand, are simple to replicate using templates. At the very least, it’s simple after you figure out how to do it because the procedure isn’t as straightforward as it should be.

Step by step breakdown:

Use your account details or if you have a current Skype account with the Office account in question, you can use this.

  • Use the app launcher and navigate to “SharePoint”, and click on it.

You can access the SharePoint application however this is for individuals who only have a SharePoint plan, A larger group of individuals have SharePoint in Office 365.

  • In SharePoint go to your site.

In this example, the site above called “Blog Demo” will be used to create the preview.

  • Now click on “Settings”.
  • Now Select “Site Information” from the menu.
  • Click “View all site settings” located above the delete option.
  • Under “Site Actions”, click on “Save site as template”.
  • Fill out the information such as the name of the template, file name, and description.
  • Click on “OK” to create the template.
  • Go back to the main Sharepoint dashboard and click on “Create site”.
  • Select the site you need for instance teams or communication.
  • Fill out the site information.
  • Click on “Next”.
  • Now click on “Finish”.
  • Click on “Browse templates”.
  • Click on “From your organization”.
  • Select the template and click on “Use template”.
  • Now navigate to “Site contents > New SharePoint site”.
  • Fill out the information that correlates with the template.
  • Finally, click on “Create”

Ensure you have publishing features enabled

Publishing features are a must requirement if you have any chance of using the template feature. As the publishing activate script is default deactivated you need to reset it to ensure it’s active to apply new scripts to the new site. Follow through to activate this particular setting in SharePoint.

  • First sign in to Office 365.
  • Use the app launcher and navigate to “SharePoint”, and click on it.
  • In SharePoint go to your site.
  • Now click on “Settings”.
  • Now Select “Site Information” from the menu.
  • Click the ” View all site settings options.
  • On the “Site Settings page under Site Collection Administration”, select “Site collection features”.
  • Scroll down to “SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure” and click Activate on the “Site Collection Features page.”

Once this is activated you will be able to use the site’s template as normal. When publishing features are enabled, subsites immediately inherit them. If you built a site before enabling the publishing features, you must manually enable it at the site level.


Method 2: Duplicate a SharePoint Online site by using page templates to manually import site contents

Similar to the “Duplicate using “Save site as template” method this method relies on the creation and migration of templates to help create the site as a whole. Unlike the previous one, this one saves individual pages as templates, think of method one as skinning the book as a whole, this method skins each page and refines the process that mitigates some of the more prominent shortcomings issued by method one.

How to duplicate a SharePoint Online site by using page templates to manually import site contents

  • First sign in to Office 365.
  • Use the app launcher and navigate to “SharePoint”, and click on it.
  • In SharePoint go to your site.
  • Use the navigation to navigate to the correct page.
  • Click on “Edit”.
  • Next to the tab which says “Save as draft”, click on it and select “Save as template”.
  • Now click on “Save page template”.
  • Now click on “Site contents” > “Site pages”.

Now click on “Copy to” after selecting your template folder.

  • Now go to your new site.
  • Click on “New” > “Page”.
  • Select the template you made from the previous site.
  • Finally, Then click on “Create”.

The preceding steps describe how to save a new page as a template. But suppose you’ve previously constructed a page and want to make it a template. How do you go about doing this? That is precisely why I went through the “behind the scenes” methods outlined above.


Method 3: Duplicate a SharePoint Online site by using third-party tools

Using a third-party tool like ShareGate built to work with SharePoint will allow you to effortlessly migrate sites across or even duplicate them. Just follow the steps and you’ll be able to migrate sites within moments. This basically makes a direct copy on a new patch so issues persistent from methods one and 2 will not be much of a concern on this one.

How to duplicate a SharePoint Online site by using third-party tools

  • Choose the site that you wish to copy.
  • Duplicate Site Collection should be selected. In the fast actions panel, find duplicate-site-collection-icon.png.
  • Choose your favorite selections.
  • Duplicate-button.png should be clicked.
  • The job will now be executed.
  • Tasks allow you to retrieve the results at any moment.
    • See Outcomes for further details on the results.

That’s it for this Blog. Thank you for taking time out to read our content, please feel free to email our team about how it went if you followed the steps or if you need more help with the questions we answered in this Blog.

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Saajid Gangat

Saajid Gangat has been a researcher and content writer at Business Tech Planet since 2021. Saajid is a tech-savvy writer with expertise in web and graphic design and has extensive knowledge of Microsoft 365, Adobe, Shopify, WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and more! You can connect with Saajid on Linkedin.

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