|You might not see this feature yet. Some functionality is introduced gradually to organizations that have set up the Targeted release options in Microsoft 365.
Imagine you’re working on a project that needs a new SharePoint site to track deadlines, record progress, and serve as a central place to collaborate with your team. Perhaps you’ve been tasked with creating an onboarding portal for your organization complete with new hire checklists and key information to help them get started. Maybe you’re leading a training series where you need to store course files and post class announcements. Where do you begin when it comes to designing sites for these scenarios?
Now you have a starting point! We’ve made it even easier to begin on the right foot with site templates that are available to you in SharePoint. SharePoint site templates are flexible enough to address a variety of needs, make it easy to create and populate site content, and show you what’s possible. These complement those found in the SharePoint lookbook, which has been and continues to be an amazing source of inspiration for modern experiences you can build with out-of-the-box SharePoint components.
Through customer conversations and user research, we identified 9 scenarios to start with that benefit from having a robust SharePoint site template. SharePoint customers can take advantage of the following SharePoint site templates:
Communication site templates
- Department - Engage and connect viewers with departmental news and resources.
- Leadership connection - Build community by connecting leadership and team members.
- Learning central – Showcase learning and training opportunities.
- New employee onboarding - Streamline and refine new hire onboarding process.
- Crisis management - Share news and connect people to resources in a crisis.
Team site templates
- Event planning - Coordinate and plan event details with your team.
- Project management - Create a collaboration space for your project team.
- Training and courses - Prepare course participants for learning opportunities.
- Training and development team - Plan opportunities to help others learn and grow.
We will continue to build on these options in the future to address even more common scenarios.
How to apply a template and what to expect
SharePoint site templates will be automatically available in SharePoint tenants and can be applied by users with site owner permissions or higher. Whether you’re creating a new site or applying a template to an existing site, navigate to Settings and then select Apply a site template.
Our site templates currently offer the following features:
- Can be applied immediately after site creation or can be applied to existing sites.
- Fully customizable home pages that come with pre-populated content and web parts.
- News post templates that help users quickly and consistently publish news.
- Pre-built pages, lists, and document library folders that make it easy to build sites and inspire your own custom content.
- Each template has its own customization guidance to help site owners and editors get started.
What about my existing site designs?
If you’ve used site designs in the past, that experience has been incorporated into the site templates experience and will be referred to as site templates moving forward.
The Site designs entry point will be replaced by the Apply a site template entry point in the Site settings panel. You’ll find your organization’s existing site templates on the “From your organization” tab in the template gallery.
Additionally, as part of the new site template experience, a progress screen is displayed while the site template is being applied instead of a notification bar.
Learn more about how to create custom site templates for your organization using site scripts.
Site template FAQs
Q: What happens when I apply a template to a site that is associated with a hub site?
A: If your site is associated with a hub, the site will inherit the theme from the hub. When you apply a template, it will automatically use the theme from the template, but will update to the hub's theme shortly after republishing.
Q: How can I undo a template I just applied?
A: There is no automatic method to undo the application of a site template. However, there is nothing that a template does that can't be manually applied or deleted. For example, pages and navigational elements can be deleted and themes can be update.
Q: I don't want to use a template. How can I quickly create a site?
A: There are several resources to inspire your next SharePoint site - like the SharePoint look book and Guided walkthroughs.
Q: How can I update the theme of the site template to a theme that has not been defined by my organization?
A: For themes that don't fit into your organization's custom or pre-defined themes, you can change the look of your site in the Settings panel to manually update the theme.
Q: What happened to Site designs in the Settings panel?
A: In previous versions of SharePoint, site templates were called site designs but will be referred to as site templates moving forward. The Site designs entry point has been replaced by the Apply a site template entry point in the Settings panel.
Q: How can I create custom site templates for my organization?
A: You can create site templates to provide reusable lists, themes, layouts, pages, or custom actions so that your users can quickly build new SharePoint sites with the features they need. Learn more about how to create custom site templates for your organization.
Q: How can I learn more about how to customize site templates created by my organization?
A: Site templates provided by your organization will appear in the From your organization tab when selecting a template type. Customization instructions will vary depending on the site template design. Review customization resources below to learn more about site personalization options.
Apply and customize SharePoint site templates
SharePoint site design and site script overview
SharePoint Roadmap Pitstop April 2021 (microsoft.com)