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Guys i need some advice with a branding project ive been working on. Im pretty new to all this so please bear with me. Ill give you some background first.

Ive created a master page deployed it successfully and am able to create sites and pages which inherit from this master page. Ive been working on the layout of a couple of pages using spd2010. Ive created webpartzones and successfully added web parts. Now i want to create something that is reusable across all sites. What do i need to do to be able to create a new page that automatically has the layout and all the webpartzones and webparts added automatically.

any help would be appreciated

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4 Answers 4

Are you working with a foundation based site that is using the Wiki layout or are you using page layouts that are a part of the publishing infrastructure? If you are using foundation pages (sitepages) then you are more out of luck because you cannot save a particular page layout, but as mentioned you can create a site template. That can only be used to create a new sub site though, not just a page.

If on the other hand you are using publishing pages, then you can create custom page layouts, add web part zones, and even preload the zones with specific web parts. That would be the easiest route.

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By 'Reusable across all sites', if you mean all subsites then you just need to enable your layout to be used across all sites. On the Site Actions menu , point to Site Settings, and then click Modify All Site Settings. On the Site Settings page, in the Look and Feel section, click Page layouts and site templates, and then do one or all of the following:

In the Page Layouts section, do one of the following:

  • To enable a subsite to use any layout, select Pages in this site can use any layout.
  • To select only preferred page layouts that subsites can use, select Pages in this site can only use the following layouts. Additional options appear just below the Pages in this site can only use the following layouts check box.

If you want to be able to use across site collections, then you should package your artifacts(master page,layout,css,images,scripts etc) into a solution.This article will help you with step by step procedure:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg447066.aspx

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The best practices solution here would be to package your masterpage, page layouts, and other branding artifacts into a Visual Studio Solution that can then be activated on any site collection to apply the applicable masterpage(s)--remember that search centers use a different masterpage than team sites, etc.

The disadvantage to the approach your're taking (as well as the recommended site template approach) is that you will lack any ability to centrally manage the branding solution. If six months from now you discover that you have to make an update to the branding, masterpage, or page layout, you'll have to manually make those changes on every site that those files are on. With a solution, you can push an update that will automatically update all areas where those artifacts are used.

SPD has some very useful capabilities, but the ability to manage masterpages and page layouts is often one that's misused. It's one of those 'just because you can, doesn't mean you should' issues. It seems like a great idea now, but it'll bite you in a year when you have to go back and update all of those files and references manually.

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On the page that you've built out, you can go to Site Actions > Site Settings > Save site as template. This will create a reusable site template including all of your customizations that will appear when a user clicks Site Actions > New Site.

Save Site as Template

WARNING: This does not work with Publishing sites. Templates for Publishing sites are not supported by Microsoft.

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