Space templates in Confluence: Copy Page Tree as a workaround

Confluence offers templates for pages but not for spaces

When we speak with customers about which content they maintain and how it is structured in Confluence, we are frequently confronted with a demand that sounds trivial but cannot be implemented with in-house means. There are no templates for spaces that you can use when creating new spaces. A new space should include template pages, often with specific content or even with specific information architecture.

The problem is that Confluence offers numerous templates for pages but not for spaces. Administrators can define who can access newly created spaces by default (Default Space Permissions) but cannot define which pages should be in the space. You have to employ a workaround to implement this feature.

Atlassian is no longer developing the Copy Space Plugin

Until recently, Atlassian provided a tool for this feature: The Copy Space Plugin. The expansion did precisely what the name suggests. Space administrators could copy an existing space along with all of its content. They could also select whether to copy comments, attachments and labels.

As a result, space templates could be managed easily. You could structure a space to make it have everything you wanted in a new standard space. This space was not released for work in Confluence and was not filled with content. It was only used as a copy template. Whenever you needed to create a new space, all you had to do was clone the template space. Foolproof and super easy.

Unfortunately, Atlassian is no longer developing the plugin as of Confluence version 5.6 (even though it has been downloaded several thousand times and is still being actively used in more than 3,500 instances). The last Confluence version officially compatible with the extension is Confluence 5.5.7. A shame since the plugin was free and filled a gap that users thought should be a standard feature. If you download the most recent JAR file from the Atlassian Marketplace, you can install the plugin in a new Confluence version and will see that it still works. However, larger companies will want to be careful doing this. Who wants to base their business processes on a plugin that is no longer officially supported?

The Copy Page Tree plugin solves that problem

You do not have to abandon space templates just because Atlassian has retired its Copy Space Plugin. This is because there is another plugin that has this feature: the extension Copy Page Tree by Artemis Software. Pages and all their sub-pages and content can be copied using this plugin across all spaces.

You have to maintain a page tree in a space with this solution as well. It should not be changed and can be used as a template. (When in doubt, simply remove the writing permissions for the page thread). Once a new space has been created, the page thread must be copied and pasted using the Copy Page Tree plugin. With a few clicks, a new space can be filled with a set of template pages.

The Copy Page Tree plugin is not free but is priced very reasonably. The expansion costs $99 for 100 users. Moreover, it can be used effectively in many other cases. Maintaining space templates is definitely one of the most helpful use examples.

We are your Confluence partner!

Do you need support with structuring Confluence, setting up information architecture or using helpful add-ons for sustainably maintaining your content? //SEIBERT/MEDIA offers a structure workshop for Confluence where we will work with you to determine your requirements and develop solutions. You can find additional information about this offer here: Professional Confluence Structure Workshop.

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