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SharePoint is not about templates!

Every once in a while, I get an email from users asking me to sell them a SharePoint site template I developed for one of my previous clients. I politely decline the request. It is not because I do not want to help. I am Jewish, so trust me, I won’t pass an opportunity to make an extra buck if I could. But there are plenty of reasons why you should never purchase any SharePoint site templates. Let me explain.

Reason # 1: Most templates are “frozen in time”

Most templates out there still utilize the classic look and feel. So it won’t do you any good to go back in history. It is 2019, and you better have all your sites as modern.

Reason # 2: Templates do not have taxonomy built-in

A template is just a template. All it is it’s a collection of web parts prepackaged for you on a site/page. If you want to use Term Store metadata – that won’t be part of the template and has to be created and mapped separately.

Reason # 3: Security is not part of the template

Security/Permissions cannot be replicated as part of the template. It is just the structure of a site and its look and feel that can be “templatized”. So if you need to create unique permissions for your folders or document libraries – you will need to do so manually.


Reason # 4: You can create your own site template in a heartbeat

True, when we still had classic Wiki pages in SharePoint, editing one required a user to have a Ph.D. degree. Not anymore. With modern sites/pages – it is power to the users – you can literally create a nice-looking and sexy site in a matter of minutes!

Reason # 5: It is all about your business requirements

Henry Ford famously said in 1909 when trying to scale the production of Model T car that “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.” But it is not 1909, it is 2019, and it is all about customization and personalization now. So do yourself and your team members a favor. If you want your site to “stick” and user adoption to succeed, spend some time gathering requirements and build the site yourself!

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