I am going to integrate the following home and about page for the first time using SharePoint designer. As far as I know there are 3 types of pages.

  1. Master page

  2. Page layout that comes under master page?

  3. Site page that comes under page layout?

So if I understand correctly we first need to make master page, then page layout and then finally site page!?

Here is how my home page will look like. This is simple page with main menu, header image and text.


My about page will follow same theme as home page except it won't have header image. Here's how it will look like.


So now I want to know where do I start? I know that I need to use already existing master page like v4.master (I know minimal master page is also available). I am not concerned about the quick launch bar and ribbon at the moment.

My question is......do I need to define MAIN MENU inside master page OR page layout because it will be repeating in every page?

1 Answer 1


The purpose of the master page is to act as a framework for all other pages in the site. In that capacity, it should contain common elements, such as the general chrome of the site, a common header and usually a common footer and, by default, navigation like the main menu. It also usually includes any common javascript and CSS files.

As for a starting point, I would strongly recommend using one of the starter master pages that are on codeplex as they provide a very clean starting point and even include documentation in the page so that you know what each section is for and why it is there. Attempting to retrofit an existing page to a new layout often ends up in hours if not days of attempting to troubleshoot issues with the Ribbon.

Page Layouts are more specialized and generally only contain the least amount of HTML needed to define the layout of the page itself and any content zones used. They do not typically include navigation though I have seen one occasion where they did include the local navigation but that was a specialized case. Page Layouts are bound to content types and as such they usually also include the ability to edit any fields that are unique to that content type.

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