i am using SharePoint Online site. I want to replicate my live site to other testing site. i tried to save it as template but it did not allowed me. while searching i found out " if site has publishing enabled then that site cannot be saved as template".

Now i just want to know if i would disable the "
SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure" and "SharePoint Server Publishing" for time being to save the site as template. re-enabling the options, what will be the consequences on my current environment?

please help.

2 Answers 2


Very first thing, if you deactivate the publishing feature and create the template that is unsupported, which means you will not get the any help from Microsoft. One of the main reason is

This is because the publishing feature creates site elements that are not supported as part of a template, and these elements remain even when the feature is disabled.


Even you able to create the site template after disabling but chances are many things broke especially related to pages library. If you create a site from this template, you may encounter problems when you try to activate publishing on the new site

Read more here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2492356

I would recommend use the 3rd party tool to create a copy of site collection. i.e sharegate or metalogix as they offer trial.

  • Thanks waqas for this info.. i also wanted to understand when i disable the features from my live site to copy it on another link, when i'll re-enable that feature again on same live site, will that make any issue?
    – Kunal Rane
    Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 4:58
  • it is a bad idea to disable this feature on the live site as it will cause the major issue for the site collection, all option depending upon the publishing feature will throw the unexpected errors.
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 5:01

In these cases you should take a closer look at the open source Microsoft supported (but no guarantee) Patterns and Practices Provisioning Framework. It lets you develop a custom site in Office 365 SharePoint Online, and "copy and paste" it to another tenant. I've used it on our customer driven project where we developed in our Office 365 and provisioned it to Customer Office 365 with great success. See: https://dev.office.com/patterns-and-practices

One of the options is to brand the entire site without any changes to the standard master page, but there are a lot of other nice features as well.

PnP Remote Provisioning engine, which is part of the PnP Core component and can be used to remotely extract and provision standardized sites based on remote templates. This is typical requirement for enterprises and we have classically used technologies like site definitions, site templates or web templates to achieve this. During the call we cover the different classical options and why the remote provisioning model has significant advantages on classical feature framework based provisioning. PnP Remote Provisioning Engine is open source and developed together with the community with tens of individual contributors.

Learn more from the webcast Office Dev PnP Web Cast – Introduction to Office 365 Dev PnP Provisioning Engine

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