“Save Site As a Template” link not appears in site settings page if you create your site as a publishing web site
Microsoft disabled this link and as i understand after do some search there is a problem occurring if you save site as template then try to use out side the same site collection because all publishing pages uses some content types and these content types not exists in the other sites collection so this is the problem !
I didn’t try this you can try and give us here your feedback.
All explanation above means you can save site as a template if it will be in the same site collection , and you must know Microsoft not remove the functionality , it just remove the link so we will make it appear again !!
You must understand that all SharePoint portals based on features , so you must understand also that publishing web is some additional features and site settings menu is a part of Publishing feature
So we will go to modify its XML to view this link its easy ! let’s do it
1-open features folder from C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\TEMPLATE\FEATURES\Publishing
2-open PublishingSiteSettings.xml file
3-you will find this tag that hide “save site as a template” we will go to comment it (be aware when you work with something like this the better thing is comment not delete because maybe something happened so you can back without losses ! 😀 )
4-Now we will add this tag that will view the link rather than the above
<UrlAction Url=”_layouts/savetmpl.aspx” />
5-open site settings page and you will the link
That’s all , and if you want to add any link in any place like this you can do a custom sharepoint feature with the same type and add your links , we will describe how to create a custom sharepoint features and it’s type later