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I'm creating a site using Sharepoint 2010. I have a root site with multiple sub-sites so that all sub-sites have the exact same structure (same lists, same pages), only their data is different. I can use site template to create all the sub sites but every time I have to make a change in the structure I'll have to change all my sites instead of making the change only in one place. Another option is to create the lists and pages in the root site and filter all the views in the pages according to some session parameter which will be different in each sub site (maybe I don't even need sub sites and I'll set the session parameter in the login the the site). What is the best practice in this case?

Thanks in advance

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Not sure there is a specific answer to this one but it is something I have done several times over in both ways.

The number of items is probably the first consideration - if the combined site would contain lists/libraries with many thousands of items then you may be better splitting them up into sub-sites.

The next thing I usually figure out is permissions - sub-sites make sense where permissions are involved.

If neither of the above apply then consolidating to a single site and filtering based on metadata is a nice option. I also create parameterised pages and views to again ensure consistency and ease of maintenance.

If you do end up with multiple sub-sites then content types can certainly make you life easier and splitting out XSLT into a separate file means you can change views from a single place too.

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