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So am I have been working on SharePoint for a little while now, but I am just starting to getting into the design/look and feel aspect. As my company is getting ready to move to 2013 I wanted to revamp the home page to be more user friendly. I am throwing myself head first into creating master pages and page layouts and I am wondering on how to get the web part zones onto the page. I have attached an image put together depicting how I wish for the home page to look over all.

enter image description here

Black Boxes: are what I have made and inputed into the Master Page

Red Boxes: are web where I want to put the webpart zones.

Our current home page is made entirely out of webparts so I do not plan on haveing any text inputted into content body. So do I even need the content body? Does the page layout get loaded into the content body?

Overall my question is: What is the best way to go about putting in webpart zones so that it plays nice with the MasterPage and users can use the master page with out page layouts?

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You can't have a page without a page layout. Every page in SharePoint depends on the Page Layout which can't live without a master page. The best option you have is to copy a Page Layout close to what you're trying to accomplish and give it a unique name. Don't edit the default page layouts since they may change during a CU update or a Service Pack.

Study the source code and you'll soon find the web part zones that the page layout uses. Combine web part zones like a the long deprecated table html layout, and build your page layout the way you need it to be. I'm not telling you to use tables instead of divs, but it helps to think of them as tables.

Since you already know what you're trying to accomplish I think you'll get where you want within eight hours. If you run into trouble, ask Google or ping me and I'll try to help.

Good Luck!

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    Thanks for the advice/pointing me in the right direction. Ill defiantly dissect the source code of the existing page layouts sometime this weekend! – Jeffrey Quinn Apr 9 '15 at 17:54

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