Create a Template from an Existing SharePoint 2010 Team Site

The process for creating your own site template in SharePoint 2010 is ridiculously easy. Make sure you have your site configured the way you want it, and when you’re ready to create your site template, follow these steps:

  1. Browse to the site that you want to use to make your site template and then choose Site Actions→Site Settings.

  2. In the Site Actions section, click the Save Site as Template link.

    You can also perform this task in SharePoint Designer 2010.

    The Save Site as Template option is available only for sites that don’t use publishing. When you enable publishing features, this option is no longer available.

    You can bypass this restriction and create a site template of publishing sites. The results are difficult to troubleshoot. In other words, everything may look fine on the surface and then you discover the site isn’t working properly later. Publishing sites have their own process for templating for a reason.

  3. Enter the filename for your site template in the File Name field.

    You can use any name you want. SharePoint appends the file extension .wsp to your filename.

  4. Enter the template name and description in the Template Name and Template Description fields, respectively.

    The template name and description are visible in the Site Template gallery.

  5. (Optional) Include the site’s content, such as list items and files in document libraries, by selecting the Include Content check box.

  6. Click OK.

SharePoint saves your site as a site template in the User Solution gallery. This gallery is where your site templates and any custom features you create are saved. You can browse to the User Solution gallery, download your site template file, and share it with other people. By uploading the file into the User Solution gallery of their sites, they can use your site template to create new sites.

Here is a custom site template in the Solution gallery.

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Please note that site templates are used only to create a new site. No link exists between your site template and the new site. Updating your site template doesn’t update any sites you’ve created already with the site template.

You can also create templates of your lists and libraries. If you don’t need your entire site but want a single list or library, create a template. Your templates appear alongside Microsoft’s list and library templates and can be used to create new lists and libraries. Save a library as a template in the library’s Settings page.

Site templates created by end users are saved as WSP files, which is a Microsoft cabinet file. The .wsp file extension is also used for custom solutions. Previous versions of SharePoint used the .stp file extension. Now all site templates and custom solutions share the same file extension.