I have a client that I've been working for that has a front facing MOSS2007 site, and wants another one. I originally did the work by using SD2007, creating a master page, and then creating a bunch of ASPX pages and everything worked dandy - then they came back and told me that they wanted to be able to edit the pages through sharepoint itself.

So, everything I did was useless, and now I'm starting with a clean publishing site. I've taken a copy of the stock "default.master" and renamed it to "custom.master". I can customize the master through SD2007. There's also a custom stylesheet.

The problem I am facing now is how to hide all of the sharepoint widgets for anoymous users to make it look like a regular internet site, ALA: http://www.ferrari.com/English/Pages/Home.aspx, or something similar, but still give the users the ability to edit the content within the body of the page by visiting the sharepoint site IE, allitems.aspx, and logging in.

The specifically noted they wanted webpart pages, but the site template I am working from is so very custom.. I just don't know where to start.

Any advice would be greatly.. greatly appreciated.

2 Answers 2


There are many ways that you can approach this issue and it all comes down to what the desired functionality and behavior is for both the user and the content editor.

One of the most common ways I have done this in the past is to use one master page that has all the publishing controls still in it. By default you have to be logged into a site for it to display these controls if the site is created to be anonymous accessible. Now you may ask, so how do I give the editors the ability to login without making that available to everyone.

You have two options when using one master page for this. You can either direct the editors to the _layouts/settings.aspx page of the site which will prompt them to login first. Once they have logged in they can navigate to the site pages and work.

The second option to avoid having to send them to the settings page is to hide an easter egg type login concept into your site. Basically take an image or area of the page and make it a link to the sign in button that comes in a publishing site.

Both of these options allow you to continue your branding adventure with one master page.

In conjunction with the master page (custom.master) you will need some custom CSS files which you can reference in your master page. You can also create custom web part pages as page layouts for use in your site.

Hope that helps!

  • Cathy: The first option is the one that I'm going with. My client is fine with having to visit settings.aspx to log in. The problem I am having is that when I go to a page based on the master with the publishing controls in it, I still have the sign in bar, the menu along the top, etc. Is securitytrimmedcontrol the best way to hide those widgets for anonymous users? Nov 9, 2011 at 16:21
  • I like Cathy's approach. Take a look at this article also (part 2 especially): msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee354191%28v=office.12%29.aspx Nov 9, 2011 at 16:54

I would recommend you using two different master pages :

  1. Authoring Master Page (Contains the html for Publishing controls) so that authors can edit the pages.

  2. Front End Master Page (No authoring mark up)

Create a HttpModule which checks, say if Front End Feature is activated then Front End Master Page should be used and vice versa.

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