Difference Between Clone and Template In VMware

Clone Template
Clone creates an exact copy of a running Virtual Machine at the time of cloning process Template acts as a baseline image for a Virtual Machine with the predefined configurations as per your organization’s standards.
Cloning a Virtual Machine creates an exact duplicate copy of the Virtual Machine with the same configuration and installed software without performing any additional settings. Create a template to create a master image of aVirtual Machine from which you can deploy multiple virtual machines
You can create a clone of an existing installed and configured running Virtual Machine by right-clicking on it and selecting Clone. You can create a template by converting a Virtual Machine to a template, cloning a Virtual Machine to a template, or cloning another template.
VM clones are best suited in test and development environments where you want to create, test and work; with exact copies of production servers without disturbing production servers by creating a clone of the production virtual machine. Templates are best suited for production environments where you want the mass deployment of Virtual Machines along with the installed OS, basic software, and configured settings such as the security policy of your organization, as a base VM. Once a template is deployed, you can install software depending on the role of the server for example IIS or Database.
VM Clones are not suited for mass deployment of Virtual Machines. Templates are best suited for Mass Deployment of Virtual Machines.
You cannot convert back the cloned Virtual Machine. You can convert the template back to Virtual Machine to update the base template with the latest released patches and updates and to install or upgrade any software and again convert back to the template to be used for future deployment of Virtual Machines with the latest patches.
A Cloned Virtual Machine can be powered on. Templates cannot be powered on.
You cannot clone a Virtual Machine if you have connected directly to an ESX/ESXi host using a vSphere Client. You cannot create a template of a Virtual Machine if you have connected directly to an ESX/ESXi host using vSphere Client.
You can customize the guest operating system of the clone to change the Virtual Machine name, network settings, and other properties. This prevents conflicts that can occur if a Virtual Machine and a clone with identical guest operating system settings are deployed simultaneously. You can also customize the guest operating system while deploying from a template.
A Clone of a Virtual Machine can be created when the Virtual Machine is powered on Convert virtual Machine to the template cannot be performed, when Virtual machine is powered on.  Only Clone to Template can be performed when the Virtual Machine is powered on.

Check How to Create Template