“Do the sites that I delete go into a Recycle Bin as well?” I have heard that question enough times now that it prompted me to make a screencast (link listed at the bottom) about just that. The answer by the way is No. While deleted items from lists and libraries and even deleted lists and libraries themselves end up in SharePoint’s recycle bin, deleted sites do not go to the recycle bin. They’re just… well Gone… deleted from the database completely.
Not to worry, there’s still hope. Microsoft’s internal IT team came up with a solution to this and created a mechanism to backup any site just before it’s deleted. They have made this solution freely available online at http://www.codeplex.com/governance/Release/ProjectReleases.aspx?ReleaseId=3830 (location shown in picture below)
If you implement the solution properly, the whole process happens automatically and is hidden from the user’s perspective. After the site is archived and deleted, the administrator for the site gets an alert telling her that the site has been deleted and archived.