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I am new to SharePoint website creation and branding and I need your advice.

For my first SharePoint site I have done the following:

1- Created/edited a master page.
2- Added CSS and JavaScript files.
3- Added images.
4- Added/edited web pages.
5- Added/edited SharePoint web parts.
6- Created lists and views.
7- Created workflows.
8- Edited the site settings (Themes, Navigation...).

I have done all these steps using the SharePoint ribbon and the SharePoint designer.

My questions are:

I- When do I need to create SharePoint features in visual studio, because all that I have done this far in this site will be different in the next site.

For example I created a workflow (Or master page, list, page...) in the SharePoint designer for a list in this site. Suppose that I have created it in a feature and deployed it, what it will benefit me?

II- This site is an intranet site for my company. When developing for customers do I need to package all my work in features to deploy them or can I use the SharePoint designer?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Moussa,

That all depends on your requirements and scenarios.. Let's say you have a website and you created some pages and webparts, did some branding and now you want to use this website for other SharePoint farm or same farm with different applications then you can SAVE SITE AS TEMPLATE and use the template to create new sites!

You can see what is included in Saving Site as Template

If its another deployment, other farm - you can do Granular Backup and Restore or Backup complete farm - that is one way of taking websites to other deployments!

So coming to Solution/Feature deployment - its just another way of deployment, people for ease create Custom Lists, their fields, default items using Event Receiver on FeatureActiviation or put default images,css files, javascript into 14 Hive/Layouts folder let's say... But that really depends on you which deployment plan fits your needs best.. In my opinion if there is any custom development like you have Visual Web Parts, Visual Studio Workflows, Event Receivers or something you can then go for Visual Studio feature/solution.. Here you can see, he is using solution/feature to deploy masterpage and changes in masterpage

But in your case I think best is to save the site as template and export the template and use anywhere else!

The answer may not be appropriate since its just based on my experience, and I am still learning :)

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