Using PowerShell to create new sites based on site-scoped WebTemplates

By on October 11, 2011,

WebTemplates are definitely a powerful new construct in our SharePoint 2010 toolbox.  WebTemplates definitely come in handy as they can be deployed as sandbox-compatible features.

Creating a site based on a web template is pretty straightforward via the UI. Basically it just shows up as another site template option. As a user creating a site, you’d never the know the difference between a farm-scoped or site-scoped WebTemplate. However, if you want to use PowerShell, you will notice that your PS scripts will take on a slightly different shape based on how the WebTemplate is scoped.

If the WebTemplate is deployed as a farm-scoped feature, then you can easily use New-SPWeb in the following manner:

new-spweb $url –template “{GUID}#WebTemplateName”


where GUID represents the parent feature ID.

If the WebTemplate is deployed as a site-scoped feature, then your PowerShell needs to be adjusted.  Otherwise, if you attempt to use new-spweb, you’ll get the following error message: Template is not found and is not applied.  This effectively means the cmdlet could not locate a farm-level template to apply to the new site.

For example…



There are two ways to circumvent this problem:

  1. Once the site is created, call ApplyWebTemplate
  2. Before the site created, grab a reference to the appropriate WebTemplate and provide it as a value to the SPWebCollection.Add method on the parent site.


Calling ApplyWebTemplate

$url = "http://sitecollection/site1"

$w = new-spweb $url



Calling SPWebCollection.Add

$url = "http://sitecollection"

$w = get-spweb $url

$template = $w.GetAvailableWebTemplates(1033) | ? { $ -eq "{GUID}#WebTemplateName" }

$w.Webs.Add("site1", "sample site 1", "sample description", 1033, $template, $false, $false)


The difference between the two methods basically boils down to the language selection for the new site. With the simple call to ApplyWebTemplate, the new site uses the same language as the parent. By grabbing the reference to the web template beforehand, you have more control.


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