Microsoft is restricted saving SharePoint 2013 Publishing sites as templates. Here is the information you can find on Microsoft Support pages (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2492356)
SharePoint does not support Save Site as Template option with the Publishing features turned on. The supported method to create templates for publishing sites is to use a site definition template and using a feature XML.
Creating templates by using site definition template will be discussed in another post. If you want to save publishing sites as templates there is a workaround.
Since its forbidden there is no “Save site as a template” link in “Site Settings” page of a publishing site. But you can get access to that page by using the following URL:
However this workaround can work on earlier versions of SharePoint, in SharePoint 2013 this URL will work perfectly only for sites that have the publishing features not activated. For publishing sites you’ll get an error states saving publishing sites as templates is not allowed.
What you can do in SharePoint 2013 is changing the value of a site property called “SaveSiteAsTemplateEnabled” to true. There are two ways to do that.
Using PowerShell script
$web = Get-SPWeb http://sharepoint_url/publishing_site $web.AllProperties["SaveSiteAsTemplateEnabled"] = "true" $web.Update()
Using SharePoint Designer
- Open your site with SharePoint Designer.
- Select “Site Options” under “Sites” tab.
- Select “SaveSiteAsTemplateEnabled” in Site Properties and click “Modify” button.
- Change the value of this setting to “true”.
Now you can access to the save site template page by /_layouts/savetmpl.aspx.