I am quite new to SharePoint and have been given an interesting problem to solve. My users have requested to each have a custom home page that they can customise with ease. The design I have been given is to have an almost blank page with space for 4 web-parts organised in a 2 by 2 fashion (2 web-parts by 2 web-parts) each with a big '+' button in witch to click to select and add a web-part of their choosing without having to play around with the ribbon. This is expected to look something like this:


Now when a user clicks a '+' a SharePoint dialog is to be displayed allowing the user to choose from all available web-parts. On selecting one the home page is refreshed and the widget is displayed in the selected zone.

I am currently trying to de-risk this request to see if it is possible to achieve in the time frame given. The problems I have at the moment are as follows:

  1. Programmatically getting a list of all available web-parts to display in the dialog.
  2. On the selection of the web-part programmatically adding that chosen webpart to the correct part of the home page without hard coding the type of webpart (so the code does not need to be changed when a new web-part is added to SharePoint for users to add).

I would really appreciate any help or advice on this. Thanks in advance and sorry if the question is well phrased, this is my question on this site!


1 Answer 1


I would recommend that you try to avoid "reinventing" how web part pages and sites work. First, try experimenting with OOB web part pages and web part zones (and how to configure them) and see how close that gets you to the required behaviour. I suspect it will be close enough to give you the user customization you are looking for. You could certainly come up with a page template that gives a two column layout with zones and the required page design without requiring custom code.

As far as the "each user has their own page" request - this sounds like they are really asking for MySites, although this provides rather more than just a single page. You can customize the look and feel of the profile page and MySites template and suggest that as a solution (SKU permitting) - it might actually be closer to what your users want.

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