Creating site collections from a SharePoint Site Template in SharePoint Online is little more involved than creating sites. The article below guides you through with the steps to create an entire site collection based on a custom site template. 

Scenario:  

You have a site (e.g. department or project) that we would like to be its own site collection instead of just a subsite.  

Process:  

The process of creating a new site collection based on the custom site template involves the following steps: 

  1. Create the Site Template for the site you would like to use to create the Site Collection. 
  2. The Site Template is then saved in “Solutions” under Site Settings. 
  3. Navigate to the root (top-level site) of the site collection where you created the site and download the template from the “Solutions” library. 

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Now let’s create a new site collection:

4. Navigate to the SharePoint Admin Center.

5. Click on New > Private Site Collection

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6. Provide details for the new Site Collection.

7. Under the Template Selection section, select Custom tab and choose <Select template later…>

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8. Click OK to create the new Site Collection. Note, it should take about 1-2 minutes to create.

9. Once completed, the Site will appear in the list.  Click on the new site collection created.

10. In the pop-up, click on URL again.  This will take you to the template selection screen.

11. Click on the Solution Gallery option as illustrated below.

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12. The Solution Upload screen will open. Click on Upload Solution.

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13. Browse to the downloaded template file. Click OK.

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14. Click on Activate.

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15. Repeat this process starting from step 10 on wards by going to the URL of our new Site Collection. This time, select the Custom tab and choose the template we just uploaded and activated. Click OK.

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16. The Template will be now applied to the newly created site collection. A ‘Working on it…’ message will be displayed. It might take 5-7 min before it proceeds to the next step.

17. NOTE: If the ‘Working on it…’ message appears for an extensive amount of time, manually force the process by adding  _layouts/15/permsetup.aspx at the        end of the new site collection url.  It should read something like this: https://<SiteURL>.sharepoint.com/sites/CustomSite/_layouts/15/permsetup.aspx.

18. New Site Collection based on the custom Site Template is now created and working!!!

Have questions? Need help building a scalable platform? Send us an email at info@peters.com or call 630.832.0075 to start the conversation.