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Big Differences between Site Templates and Site Definitions

  Asked By: Jonah    Date: Jul 22    Category: Sharepoint    Views: 6541

Say I want to take one of the out of the box templates and deploy them
many times over but with a few minor customizations (like adding a few
web parts to the home page by default). Two reasonable approaches
would be a custom site definition and a site template.

Am I right in thinking that after the sites are provisioned, they are
identical in either scenario?

Am I right in thinking that there isn't any performance penalty except
perhaps a small hit during site creation?

Are there any longer term issues with this approach, like future
version upgrades that might throw a wrong into the plans of using a
site template?



2 Answers Found

Answer #1    Answered By: Ted Gilmore     Answered On: Jul 22

if a page  has been unghosted and then reghosted (using the
GhostHunter Web Part) before inclusion in a Site Template, it will bleed
thru as unghosted on all Webs provisioned using that template.

Answer #2    Answered By: Monte Cooley     Answered On: Jul 22

They are identical so to speak when the site  is created. Ongoing
maintenance is another thing though. A site template  is just a snapshot
of the current state of a site, which another site is created from so it
will have the same customizations. While a site definition  is actually
files on the server. So if there comes a time that you need to make an
update to all of the sites, depending on the changes, you may run into
issues. You can update a site definition, but you can't update a
template, you have to create a new one and the changes can't be applied
to all the sites  that used that template for creation. So you are
limited to what you can do through the site definition in the end. This
area can get muddy, hope I didn't add confusion.

Side note, site templates  are far faster to create than a custom  site
definition for each type of site you need.

As for future upgrades, my personal opinion is that while it is good to
keep upgrades  in mind, we still have to work and develop in the here and
now. Like with most products, I have faith that the next version of
SharePoint will provide a way to gracefully upgrade and transition
SharePoint 2003 sites.