Creating sites from templates

Office 365 / SharePoint Blog

Today I finally made the templates for the “public” versions of our departmental sites. We have team sites that are private, accessible only by the people who work in those departments or committees.

We created a publicly accessible portal page that linked to each of the private sites, but that created error screens for anyone who wanted to visit a site run by their peers. This was not a very pleasant user experience, so the solution we came up with is university-accessible sites.

Today I made the templates for both the departments and the committees. We had designed them late last year, and were waiting for data to implement them now. I received that data today, and we plan to populate the sites on March 4th, with the help of an army of SharePoint Coordinators.

The department sites include two apps: Location Finder, and Visio. I had to remove them from the base site template and put in placeholder images before I could save out and deploy the department templates. Creating these sites was a fairly simple process, and took about 5-10 minutes per site. Of course, needing to do 30 sites meant this took several hours, and all I really got accomplished today was changing the name of the site, and updating permissions.

None of the content has been placed on the sites yet, but the sites are looking really good. I will post instructions on how to create site templates, and creating new sites using SharePoint Designer 2013.

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