I am using Office 365 SharePoint online and have created a "template" subsite and would like to make a copy of the subsite including all structure and documents.
It seems the Microsoft has removed the "Save as Template" feature.
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This issue most frequently occurs because the Community Sites Feature site feature, the SharePoint Server Publishing site feature, or the SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure site collection feature is currently enabled or was previously enabled for the affected site.
SharePoint doesn’t support creating a template from a site where publishing or community features were enabled. 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. This also includes templates that were created through SharePoint Designer.
Although this option is not supported by Microsoft it still works very well in some specific scenarios. To Save the site as a template you can follow this steps.
Note: If you have apps downloaded from the store they could prevent you to save the site as a template if you are facing this scenario you will need to uninstall the apps first.
for more details please check the link below.
Save publishing site as a template
Save Site As Template still available in SharePoint Online for
Team Sitewith the
SharePoint Server Publishingfeature is enabled.
If your current site is matching one of the above, you still missing the
Save Site As Template.
So Make sure that The
Custom Script capabilities in
Admin Center is enabled by doing the following:
Note: Changes to the above settings might take up 24 hours to take effect!
Check also Missing Save Site As Template in SharePoint
As per my experience, Both workaround will work for you but a site with publishing feature on will not be supported this operation.
If you have this requirement quite often then you need to think about to invest a 3rd party tool which will help you to move / copy a site collection / sub site. You can try ShareGate or metalogix or many others. You can try their trial version.
Of you can try the SharePoint PNP powerShell which required a little bit effort but it is do able.