Site templates are coming to SharePoint Online

Site templates are coming to SharePoint Online

Microsoft is introducing scenario-based site templates in SharePoint online. This new SharePoint release of scenario-based site templates will help you expand what’s possible with content, pages, and web parts while helping you quickly get started building your own site.

Each template contains pre-populated content and web parts that are fully customizable to meet the needs of your organization. This feature is rolling out on SharePoint Online web and mobile.

This feature is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 70574.

How this will affect your organization

Users will be able to benefit from the ability to browse, preview, and apply site templates to a new or existing SharePoint site. Users can select a site template that meets organizational business objectives and best fits the site goal while ensuring a higher level of consistency throughout their organization. They can then review pre-populated content and customize the site to address their needs.

This feature is by default ON with no admin control.

Apply a template to an existing site

Users can choose to browse site templates and can apply a template to an existing site at any time by accessing the template gallery from Site Settings and then Apply a site template.

Apply a template when you create a new site

If a site owner is visiting their new site for the first time, they may see a message asking if they want to use a template that will take them to the site templates gallery.

Choose or Select a site template in SharePoint online modern experience
Select a site template in SharePoint online
Preview and apply selected site template to SharePoint online modern experience site
Preview and apply selected site template

When you apply a template to an existing site, your content will not automatically merge with the new template. Instead, a new default home page will be created along with other new content. Existing pages, libraries, and lists will be saved and can be accessed in Site contents.

Available scenario-based site templates

Communication site templates
Site templateDescription
DepartmentEngage and connect viewers with departmental news, highlight upcoming events, and provide easy access to frequently accessed files.
Leadership connectionBuild organizational culture by connecting leadership and team members through engaging in conversation, news, and events.
Learning centralProvide an internal landing experience for your organization that serves as the single place where events, news, and extra-curricular resources are showcased.
New employee onboardingStreamline and refine new hire onboarding by engaging and guiding new employees through your onboarding process.
ShowcaseSpotlight a product, event, or team using visual content like images and video. 
TopicEngage viewers with informative content like news, announcements, and events. 
BlankCreate your own custom site starting with a blank home page. 
Team site templates
Site templateDescription
Event planningCoordinate and plan event details with your team. Use ready-made event recap and event status news post templates to quickly get your team up to date.
Project managementCreate a collaboration space for your team where you can access frequent tools, share project updates, post meeting notes, and upload team documents.
Training and coursesPrepare course participants and students for specific learning opportunities by sharing course resources, news, and events.
Training and development teamBrainstorm and plan opportunities to help others learn and grow.
Team collaborationManage projects, share content, and stay connected with your team.
From your organization

Site templates created by your organization, also known as third-party templates, can be found in the tab titled From your organization when selecting a site template. Customization instructions will vary depending on the site template design.

  • 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 will be replaced by the Apply a site template entry point in the Settings panel.
  • In this new site template experience, a progress screen is displayed while the site template is being applied instead of a notification bar.
  • Today, the new site template experience cannot be disabled and you cannot view template version history but will be included in future updates.

Release Timeline

Targeted Release (Selected users and organization): Microsoft will begin rollout in late June (previously late May).

Standard Release: Rolling out in late August (previously late July).

What you need to do to prepare

  1. Share this template guide with end-users: Learn how to apply and customize SharePoint site templates.
  2. For tips on improving and customizing your site, review the SharePoint Next steps panel.
    • The Next steps experience currently exists on Team sites and is now being introduced to Communication sites.
  3. For admins using custom site templates (previously known as site designs and sometimes called third-party templates), review learn how to create a custom site template and site script.

5 thoughts on “Site templates are coming to SharePoint Online

    1. This feature is by default ON with no admin control. So, there is no way to turn this OFF. Best way is to limit permissions to create sites to set of users & educate them to not use any pre-defined site templates.


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