I am trying sharepoint in a small developing environment. I have a master frontpage that use a specific layout defined in a custom masterpage (master-front.master). It look like this

| left box | content box | right box |

and that frontpage will have subsites that I want to use another custom masterpage (master-main.master) that look like this:

| left box | content box |

But I cannot get it to work.

Under "Frontpage" I have a subsite called "Organization" where I have manually set the secondary masterpage. When I create i new subsite under "Frontpage" it gets the default sharepoint masterpage. But I want anything under "Frontpage" to use master-main.master.

Is there something I am missing?

1 Answer 1


Yes.. You're missing the whole concept of Master Pages and specifically Page Layout.

First of all, turn on Publishing Features.

Secondly, you dont really want to sepearte master pages, but you want 1 Master page with two different Page Layouts. Read more about the concept here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms543497(v=office.14).aspx

  • Arh... thanks ... I have mistaken the whole concept. I am used to TYPO3. This is a but more complicated. Commented Jan 8, 2013 at 18:00
  • I hope you will help me answer this: If I am understanding you right, I will only need to create ONE masterpage and then X numbers of page layouts. Where the masterpage defines the global elements such as logo and top menu, and the page layout defines what I would call a Main Area? Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 7:42
  • Hi Morten. Yes, your understanding is 100% correct. A Master page is used to define the global look and feel including top navigation, left nav, styles, icons etc, and a Page layout is there to setup the different Web part zones. You can have two different page layouts for example with Layout 1 being a 3 column 2 rows layout and Layout 2 a 2 column setup. Hope that makes sense.
    – Fox
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 11:24

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