Create Sites using Fast Site Collection feature in SharePoint Server 2016

Fast Site Collection Creation is a new feature in SharePoint 2016, that enables Site Collections to be created in a much faster way that in previous versions.

This feature actually uses a copy of a site template which is stored in the content database, with all the site’s features already enabled.
If a SharePoint administrator has a requirement for creating 50 Team Sites, enabling Fast Site Collection creation is a time saver in the long run.

⚠️ When we enable a template, we enable it for a particular content database. Meaning outside this database, it will not be a template for Fast Site Collection creation.

In today’s post, we will:

  • Enable Fast Site Collection creation, 
  • Create the Master template,
  • Create a Site Collection using this master template,
  • Time comparaison between a Site Collection created with/without Site Master… 😨



Enable templates for Fast Site Collection creation

Before being able to use this feature, we need to enable it.

Open the SharePoint Management Shell, or any editor you like with the SharePoint snapin added.
Here I’m using Visual Studio Code (I just love it!)

Let’s have a look at the PowerShell cmdlet for this feature


Site Master cmdlets

Now let’s think about which Site template we wish to enable for fast creation.

To get a list of all the Site Templates (in “15” compatibility mode) and their ID (name) , let’s run:

Get-SPWebTemplate | Where-Object {$_.CompatibilityLevel -eq "15"}

Get a list of Site Templates

The most popular is obviously the Team Site (STS#0), and a random pick could be…. a News Site! (SPSNHOME#0)
So let’s go ahead, and enable those two (2) templates for Fast Site Collection creation using the Enable-SPWebTemplateForSiteMaster cmdlet.

Enable-SPWebTemplateForSiteMaster -Template "STS#0" -CompatibilityLevel "15"
Enable-SPWebTemplateForSiteMaster -Template "SPSNHOME#0" -CompatibilityLevel "15"

Enable Team Site & New Site for fast creation

OK, what’s next?
Well, we need to “store” those 2 templates in the content database!



Create the Site Master in the Content Database

Now that we have enabled those 2 templates for fast creation, we need to store them in the content database.
From the new cmdlets, we have New-SPSiteMaster. And that’s the one we’ll use.

I have a Web Application named “Demo”, and its associated database is “SP2016_Demo_WADB”

New-SPSiteMaster -ContentDatabase "SP2016_Demo_WADB" -Template "STS#0"

Site Master created for Team Site template

Note: I’ve done the same for the News Site on the same content DB, you don’t need to watch again 😉

Let’s check what we’ve got using the Get-SPSiteMaster cmdlet:

Get-SPSiteMaster -ContentDatabase "SP2016_Demo_WADB"

Site Master on Demo CDB

We can also notice the two (2) Site Master templates in Central Admin


Site Master in All Site Collections




Create Site Collection(s) using Site Master

The only difference when creating a Team Site with PowerShell now, is the parameter -CreateFromSiteMaster.

Below, I have inserted the Measure-Command to see how long it will take for the Site Collection to be created 😏

Measure-Command { $newSPSite = @{
    Url                  = ""
    OwnerAlias           = "pwsh\SPInstall"
    CreateFromSiteMaster = $true
    Name                 = "My Fast Team Site"
    Template             = "STS#0"
    ContentDatabase      = "SP2016_Demo_WADB"
    New-SPSite @newSPSite }


Notice on line 4? CreateFromSiteMaster is set to $true, so that’s where the template will be “pulled” from.

Now let’s run that and… 🎉


Time elapsed when creating site


Let’s create our News Site to see how long it takes…. 24 seconds!


Fast NEWS site created



Comparaison by creating multiple Site Collections

I never watched Star Wars (what???? I know…I know…) but it would be a good moment to play the Imperial March now 🙂

First test, let’s create 20 Site Collections (mix of Team Sites & News Sites) using the Fast Site Collection creation


Csv file for “Demo” Web Application

$CsvFile = Import-Csv "C:\users\$env:USERNAME\desktop\sites.csv"

#Create the Site Collections
Measure-Command { foreach ($row in $CsvFile) {
        $newSPSiteSplat = @{
            Url                = $row.Url
            OwnerAlias         = $row.OwnerAlias
            Name               = $row.Name
            CompatibilityLevel = $row.CompLevel
            Template           = $row.Template
            ContentDatabase    = $row.ContentDB
        New-SPSite @newSPSiteSplat

Create 20 Site Collections using Site Master


Step 2, create another 20 Site Collections (on another Web Application & Content DB with no Site Master) not using the Fast Site Collection creation feature.


Csv file for “Portal” Web Application



No fast site creation


Not a big difference in my dev. environment (~2 mins), but give it a try, and let me know!


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