SharePoint Online: A guide to creating a site template

Templates allow us to take an initial design or concept and build upon it. This is the same when we look at SharePoint site templates. We receive an initial base site, from which we can expand and tweak to suit our needs- saving time in the long run.


  • Access to Microsoft SharePoint
  • An existing site to turn into a template


  • Open site
  • Navigate to site contents
  • Open site settings
  • Select “Save site as template”
  • Fill required fields
  • Select OK

Please note that to do the following, you’ll require an account with administrative privileges. If you have one, you can follow through with the image guided walkthrough at the end of the blog. Before then however, we’ll first be discussing what a site template is, and why you should be using them.

Quick links:

Site templates in SharePoint Online

What is a site template 

To explain SharePoint Online’s site templates, we must first understand what a typical template is. Templates serve as portable models which can be reused to save time and produce a large number of similar products quickly. In terms of SharePoint site, you can think of a template as being a customisable base site, with all the tedious work pre-done. You just need to tweak what’s already there to fit your purposes.

Why I should use a site template 

  • Save time
  • Portable to other sites/projects
  • Cut costs with reduced workloads

Creating a site template in SharePoint Online

Step 1 – Open your SharePoint Online site 

  • As you may have guessed: if you wish to turn a site into a site template, you must first open it up.

Step 2 – Open site settings 

  • As you may have guessed: if you wish to turn a site into a site template, you must first open it up.

Step 3 – Choose to save your site as a template 

  • Under the “Site actions” category you should spot the option “Save site as template” (it’s usually the second option). Select it to proceed.

Step 4 – Fill out the template form fields

  • Before you lie three fields. File name, template name and template description.
    • File name refers to the name of the template file that will be exported
    • Template name refers to the name of the template stored within the file
    • Template description refers to the information you can provide about the template
    • You may also check the “Include content” box if you have read the highlighted information and feel comfortable in doing so

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Jack Mitchell

Jack Mitchell has been the Operations manager at telecoms and MSP Optionbox for more than 4 years. He has played a crucial role in the company, from marketing to helpdesk, and ensures that the IT requirements of over 300 clients are continuously met. With his innate passion for technology and troubleshooting and a particular interest in Apple products, Jack now delivers the most comprehensive tech guides to make your life easier. You can connect with Jack on LinkedIn.

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