In SharePoint 2003 an administrator could create a new site collection without having to select a template. The link to the new site collection could then be emailed to the new owner and on their first visit to the new URL they could select a template. This option disappeared in 2007. It’s back in 2010! (but with a very interesting difference… see below…)
Note: This only works from Central Administration when creating a new site collection. It is not available when creating sub sites within an existing site.
When creating a site in Central Administration:
When first visiting the new URL:
In 2003 you had to select a template before continuing. Now in 2010 you actually have a functioning, but template-less, site. See the Site Actions, View All Site Content and Recycle Bin options? They all work even though a template has not been selected yet.
The new (template-less) site defaults to /_layouts/templatepick.aspx as a home page. There is no default.aspx page or Site Pages library yet.
As a test I went to Central Administration and created a new site collection with this template option. I then went to the site and ignored the request to pick a template and went and changed the site title, the theme, activated the “Team Collaboration Lists” feature and added a Links List for “Vendors”. I then returned to templatepick.aspx page and selected a template. It all seems to work fine.
So now we can:
- Let the new site owner pick their own template
- Preload lists and libraries
- Preselect a theme
Let us know if you find any issues with this…
A final note…
If the template can be picked at a later time, can it now be changed? Sorry, but no. If you return to /_layouts/templatepick.aspx and try to select a different template you will get: