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I have created a custom page layout which is based on Welcome Page Content Type. When I add it to first page of a Publishing Site, it still shows the default text (information) which was there before changing page layout. As soon as I add a web part zone to it, it shows the default text. When I remove the web part zones and deploy and add it to a page it is empty. How do I can add web part zone to my page layout and make it empty? thanks

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Can you explain a bit what default text is shown? –  sssreddy Feb 13 '13 at 3:35
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2 Answers

Make sure that you're provisioned page layout is not unghosted (= customized) and only deployed through a WSP using a module referencing it as default text / unchanging page layouts are more than often the symptom of a customized file (SharePoint designer anyone ?) eg:

 <Module Name="PageLayouts" Url="_catalogs/masterpage" Path="PageLayouts" RootWebOnly="TRUE">

    <File Url="your-custom-page-layout.aspx" Type="GhostableInLibrary" IgnoreIfAlreadyExists="TRUE">
      <Property Name="ContentType" Value="$Resources:cmscore,contenttype_pagelayout_name;" />
      <Property Name="Title" Value="Your page layout title" />
      <Property Name="MasterPageDescription" Value="..." />
      <Property Name="PublishingPreviewImage" Value="~SiteCollection/_catalogs/masterpage/$Resources:core,Culture;/Preview Images/WelcomeSplash.png, ~SiteCollection/_catalogs/masterpage/$Resources:core,Culture;/Preview Images/WelcomeSplash.png"/>

    </File>

GhostableInLibrary is the key to have your fill relying on its initial definition in the 12/14/15 hive.

Within your page layout, any webpart zone will be consumed and used as defined.

eg (see at top & bottom, the 2 custom WPZ defined):

<%@ Page language="C#" Inherits="APB.SharePoint.Core.UI.PageLayouts.PageLayoutBase,APB.SharePoint.Core, Version=1.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=0e9e449d7f998c48" %>
<%@ Register Tagprefix="sp" Namespace="Microsoft.SharePoint.WebControls" Assembly="Microsoft.SharePoint, Version=15.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c" %> 
<%@ Register Tagprefix="sp" Namespace="Microsoft.SharePoint.Publishing.WebControls" Assembly="Microsoft.SharePoint.Publishing, Version=15.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c"  %>
<%@ Register TagPrefix="sp" Namespace="Microsoft.SharePoint.WebPartPages" Assembly="Microsoft.SharePoint, Version=15.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c" %>

<asp:Content ContentPlaceholderID="PlaceHolderPageTitle" runat="server"><sp:FieldValue FieldName="Title" runat="server"/></asp:Content>
<asp:Content ContentPlaceholderID="PlaceHolderPageTitleInTitleArea" runat="server"><sp:FieldValue FieldName="Title" runat="server"/></asp:Content>

<asp:Content ContentPlaceholderID="PlaceHolderMain" runat="server">

    <sp:WebPartZone runat="server" NoTableWrapping="true" AllowPersonalization="false" ID="WebPartZoneHeader" PartChromeType="None" Title="WebParts Zone Header" Orientation="Vertical" />              

    <%-- Display Mode ============================================================================================== --%>
    <sp:EditModePanel runat="server" PageDisplayMode="Display">
        <h2><sp:FieldValue runat="server" FieldName="Title" EnableViewState="False"/></h2>
        <sp:FieldValue runat="server" FieldName="PublishingPageContent" EnableViewState="False"/>
    </sp:EditModePanel>
    <%-- /Display Mode ============================================================================================= --%>

    <%-- Authoring Mode ============================================================================================ --%>
    <sp:EditModePanel runat="server">
        <h3>Page Content:</h3>
        <sp:TextField runat="server" FieldName="Title"/>
        <sp:RichHtmlField FieldName="PublishingPageContent" InputFieldLabel="Main Content" HasInitialFocus="True" MinimumEditHeight="400px" runat="server"/>
    </sp:EditModePanel>
    <%-- /Authoring Mode =========================================================================================== --%>

    <sp:WebPartZone runat="server" NoTableWrapping="true" AllowPersonalization="false" ID="WebPartZoneFooter" PartChromeType="None" Title="WebParts Zone Footer" Orientation="Vertical" />              

</asp:Content>

The page layout is for SharePoint 2013 but you can easily change the reference for 2010. it's just given as demonstration of having a custom webpart zone within a custom page layout.

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What I meant was why when I change the page layout the site still shows the old content. It gets new layout but still shows old content (the default content when you create a publishing page for example). the content are web parts why they are there even when you change the page layout. I have now found out that it because the site definition of the site has a feature which adds these web parts, so it does not depend on the page layout. –  Medes Feb 14 '13 at 8:08
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Thanks for the follow up, also, any field will be retained across page layout changes so if your content type A has field F1 and F2 and your content type B has field F1, F3 you'll retain the information from F1 when changing page layout (at the end, all list item are stored within one table with all fields declared...) –  Francois Verbeeck Feb 14 '13 at 12:43
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Can you please check if you have mapped the ContentPlaceHolders correctly.

The names of the ContentPlaceHolders in the page layouts should map to the relevant placeholder in the master page.

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Yes I have mapped them correctly –  Medes Feb 19 '13 at 14:45
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