Using Custom Site Templates to provision new site Collections from SharePoint Admin Portal in SharePoint Online

One of the short-comings of SharePoint Online is its inability to provide an option for SharePoint Administrators to perform/avail a site backup.  Too often when we are done with a site and if we wish to have a backup of the site (just in case of restoring it or to create a new site based off on it.. ), its simply not possible in SharePoint Online.

The one other option available is to leverage the “Save as Site Template” option and create a copy of the site template (with/without data), which can then be re-used for provisioning new sub-sites within an existing top level site collection.  However, what if we need to provision a new site from the “SharePoint Admin Center” and use that custom site template?  (as you would have noticed that the “Provision new Site collection” menu doesn’t offer any option to list/pick any custom Site Template in its UI.)

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