I have several similar SharePoint sites (running on WSS 3) and I have saved one of the sites as a template. I now want to make a different site (which already exists) have the same structure as this site--the same lists, document libraries, views, etc.

I know I can delete the existing site and then recreate it based on this template, but is there a way to apply this template to my existing site, so that it gets rid of its existing lists, etc., and replaces them with the ones from the template? I don't have any content in the site, and I don't want to keep any of the existing structures, so I don't care if anything gets swept away.

I may need to do this with a bunch of sites in the future, so being able to apply the template rather than recreating from scratch might be very helpful.

  • if you don't care about the existing stuff in the site being wiped out, what is the difference if the site gets removed and recreated? – MattB May 26 '10 at 16:47
  • @MattB: I guess there is no difference really for this site, but I might need to do this for some other sites that may have content in them, so if there was a way to apply a template, I figured I should learn how to do it. I don't want to delete and re-create the site only to have someone say "hey, why didn't you just apply the template"? :-) Guess I just want to make sure I'm not missing something obvious. – johnnyb10 May 26 '10 at 17:47

There is no way to apply a template (.STP) to an existing site. There isn't even an easy way (as far as I know) to apply a separate site definition template (the "site template" you choose on initial site setup) to an existing site. Even if you could do either, removing the existing site content would probably not be part of the process.

The closest thing I can think of that would accomplish what you want would be to create a new SharePoint Feature that contains the lists/etc. that you want, and enable that on the sites. You can even staple the Feature to specific site definition templates so that any site created with that template always has the Feature enabled. I don't think you can have a Feature delete existing lists on a site though.

  • That seems consistent with everything else I've found. Thanks! – johnnyb10 May 27 '10 at 13:34

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