Creating a Site

Learn how to use AEM create a site using site templates to define the style and structure of your site.


Before content authors can create pages with content, the site must first be created. This is generally performed by an AEM administrator who defines the initial structure of the site. Using site templates makes site creation fast and flexible.

The AEM Quick Site Creation tool allows non-developers to quickly create a new site from scratch by using site templates.

Once created, the Quick Site Creation tool also enables fast customization of the theme and styling of the AEM site (JavaScript, CSS, and static resources). This allows the front-end developer, who need zero knowledge of AEM, to work separately from and parallel to the content creators. The AEM administrator simply downloads the site theme and provides it to the front-end developer who customizes it using their favorite tools and then commits the changes to the AEM code repository, which is then deployed.

This document focuses on site creation using the Quick Site Creation tool. If you would like an overview of the site creation and customization workflow, please refer to the AEM Quick Site Creation Journey

Planning Site Structure

Take time to consider your site’s purpose and planned content well in advance. This will drive how you design the structure of the site. A good site structure supports easy navigation and content discovery for your site visitors as well as supports various AEM features such as multisite management and translation.


The WKND reference site provides a best-practices implementation of a fully-functional outdoor experiences brand website. Explore it to see how a well-built AEM site is structured.

Site Templates

Because site structure is so important to the success of a site, it is convenient to have predefined structures available to quickly deploy a new site based on a set of existing standards. Site templates are a way to combine basic site content into a convenient and reusable package.

Site templates generally contain base site content and structure as well as site styling information to get new site started quickly. Templates are powerful because they are reusable as well as customizable. And since you can have multiple templates available in your AEM installation, you have the flexibility to create different sites to meet various business needs.


For further detail on site templates, please review the Site Templates article.


The site template is not to be confused with page templates. Site templates define the overall structure of a site. A page template defines the structure and initial content of an individual page.

Creating a Site

Using a template to create a site is simple.

  1. Sign into your AEM authoring environment and navigate to the Sites console

    • https://<your-author-environment>
  2. Tap or click Create at the top-right of the screen and from the drop-down menu select Site from template.

    Creating a site from a template

  3. In the Create Site wizard, tap or click on an existing template in the left panel or on Import at the top of the left column to import a new template.

    Site creation wizard

    1. If you chose to import, in the file browser, locate the template you wish to use and tap or click Upload.

    2. Once uploaded, it appears in the list of available templates.

  4. When selecting a template, it reveals information about the template in the right column. With your desired template selected, tap or click Next.

    Select a template

  5. Provide a title for your site. A site name can be provided or will be generated from the title if omitted.

  6. Tap or click Create and the site is created from the site template.

    Details of the new site

  7. In the confirmation dialog that appears, tap or click Done.

    Success dialog

  8. In the sites console, the new site is visible and can be navigated to explore its basic structure as defined by the template.

    New site structure

Content authors can now begin authoring!

Site Customization

If your site requires customization beyond the templates available you have a number of options.

Any customization should be undertaken with the support of a development team.

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