It’s easy enough to create a new site template in SharePoint, but these templates can only be saved in the top level web sites template gallery and applied to sub sites only.
To add a new option to the list of choices when creating a top level website you need to create a “Site Definition”.
This is a far more difficult task but there is a way you can add a site template file (.stp) to the list of Site Definitions using the stsadm.exe command line utility:
1. Create a MOSS Site
2. Click on “Site Settings” at the top of the page.
3. under the “Look and Feel” heading click on “Save site as template”
5. Give the template a File Name, Title and Description. Also select if you want the content of the template site included (documents etc).
6. Click “OK”
7. on the following page click on the “site template gallery” link
8. Right click on the name of the template and select “Save target as”
9. Save the file to your local computer
10. Copy the file to your Front end web server (preferably onto your c:\ drive)
11. Click on Start > Run and type “cmd” then hit “Enter”
12. Change to the following directory in the command prompt window:
c:\program files\common files\microsoft shared\web server extensions\12\bin
13. Type the following command:
stsadm.exe -o addtemplate – filename “c:\sitetemplate.stp” -title “Site Template”
14. Hit “enter”
15. Type “iisreset” and hit enter
Now your site template will appear in the site definitions list when creating a new top-level website.
Go Custom Template
Your new site will be available select that