SharePoint Page Templates Have Finally Arrived, Here's How to Use Them

Posted on by Jasper Oosterveld in SharePoint Online

Since the introduction of SharePoint news, for the modern SharePoint experience, our customers have been asking for the ability to create templates. Unfortunately, this option wasn’t available. There was a workaround though.

You could create a copy of an existing news post:

The major downside of this workaround is usability. Business users have to browse to an existing news post, that’s not always easy to find, to create a duplicate. Business users want to create a news post, based upon a template, from the add a news post experience. You also have to realize it’s not easy, for the less technical folks, to build a news post with all the available web parts and sections. Although the experience can be user-friendly, it’s doesn’t implicate everyone is able to create beautiful news pages.

Template will finally solve this problem and they are starting to become available. This new SharePoint feature is, for now, only available for Targeted Release tenants. Let’s take a closer look at the new feature.

Three templates

The create a news post menu has a new look & feel:

 

Microsoft provides us with three templates:

  1. Blank
  2. Visual
  3. Basic text

You can create a news post based on one of these three templates. Let’s use the visual template:

 

Imagine, you want to provide your sales department with a template to quickly and easily announce sales-related items. You start with the canvas and build your template; this is easily accomplished by using the out-of-the-box SharePoint web parts. For example:

Are you done? Click on the arrow next to save as draft and click on save as template:

Confirm your new template and you are ready to go! Let’s go back to the home page and create a news post:

 

After completing these steps, the template is now available on the SharePoint site where we created the template. The template is saved within a brand new folder in the site pages library. Guess what’s it called? You guessed right. It’s called templates.

Conclusion

I really like the new template feature. That said, there is one important thing you have to be aware of: templates are created at the site level. There is, at least for now, no SharePoint hub integration available. You would have to create a page template for each site. I am very positive this is high on the priority list for Microsoft. Let’s keep our eyes open with the SharePoint Conference coming up near the end of May.

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