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I am about to create a new customized master page that will be used on a portal based on the "my site" template. I am wondering what the best way would be to provision the master page.

Edit: We are using SharePoint 2013 on-premise, and our requirement is to have complete custom master pages.

Should I use the old school way with using features, or should I use some other technique?

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    It depends on the version of SharePoint (2007, 2010, 2013, Online) you are working with – user2536 Oct 29 '15 at 13:31
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    What is your requirement? A complete custom master page. Or the modified seattle master page. – Niranjan Kulkarni Oct 29 '15 at 14:30
  • Please be more comprehensive, mention which version of SharePoint you're using and what are the requirements. Also point out what type of provisioning strategy you're about to take for the rest of the project. – Pouyan Oct 29 '15 at 15:48
  • Hi. It is SharePoint 2013 On-Premise. I am little undecided about the provisioning as of yet. Previously I have been using features and modules, but I am hearing these days that features should be avoided. Requirement is complete custom master page. – Ilyas Oct 29 '15 at 15:52
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To provision the master page, you can use the old school method of applying the master page on the root site and all sub sites using the feature activation event. Also, don't forget to add an event receiver to apply the master page for newly created sites. This can be triggered on a web provisioning event.

Beware that you will have to re-engineer the whole approach or solution while you go cloud.

If you want to be cloud proof, you will have to plan for remote event receivers and deployment of files using add-ins. There is a microsoft solution pack on how this can be done which gives you good insight.

You can think about your approach based on the situation.

Hope this helps :)

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If you are working with SharePoint 2013/Online then you can easily add a HTML master page using Design Manager/ SharePoint Designer and SP will generate the relevant .master file based on your design.

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