New answers tagged site-template
Using PowerShell create a backup of existing site collection. Restore it as a new Site Collection. Write PowerShell script to iterate through the sub sites and delete all except the template site. Now take a backup of the new site collection so you can use it in future as a template.
For 2013, you need to go in to the 15 folder on the server, found here C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\Web Server Extensions\15 There you'll find the TEMPLATE folder (There should be on in the 14 folder too though..)
I think you are referencing to SharePoint filesytem which you can't access from SPD. You should open the drive in SharePoint server and traverse to C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\Web Server Extensions Now you can choose 14 hive and then Template
SharePoint Hosted App will work on the user and app permission, so its not allowed to created site collection, but you can try to create a powershell to create, and it the creation information is stored in the list then we can schedule the powershell to keeps on reading the list and created based on the provided information.
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