Microsoft Office SharePoint Server does not support export/import of subsites with Publishing templates

Applies to: SharePoint Server 2010SharePoint Server 2013

Source: Microsoft Support

RAPID PUBLISHING


RAPID PUBLISHING ARTICLES PROVIDE INFORMATION DIRECTLY FROM WITHIN THE MICROSOFT SUPPORT ORGANIZATION. THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS CREATED IN RESPONSE TO EMERGING OR UNIQUE TOPICS, OR IS INTENDED SUPPLEMENT OTHER KNOWLEDGE BASE INFORMATION.

Symptom


Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007/2010/2013 does not support migrations of subsites into root sites or root sites into subsites in site collections that have the Publishing features turned on.

Cause


The reason for this limitation is that the Publishing features store vital information such as page layouts, and various properties such as information about variation, reusable content and so on, in the root site of a site collection.

There is sometimes a business need to move parts of an existing site collection into a new site collection by exporting parts of the content using STSADM -o export / import or using Sharepoint Management Shell Cmdlets such as Export-SPWeb and Import-SPWeb

This migration of subsites into root sites of a site collection is supported for all subsites which do not have features enabled that store information outside the exported scope. 

Resolution


Valid migration scenarios when using the Publishing features are the following:
  • Export the site collection starting at the root site and then import it as the root site into a new site collection
  • Export subsites of the site collection and then import them as subsites into an existing site collection that has the Publishing features enabled
Some manual work may be required to ensure master pages and page layouts that are in use in the subsites are copied over to the new site collection. 

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