Sharepoint Forum

Ask Question   UnAnswered
Home » Forum » Sharepoint       RSS Feeds

Sharepoint Templates

  Asked By: Marcella    Date: Sep 27    Category: Sharepoint    Views: 2482

Can anybody advice me how can I change the default sharepoint template
such that it reflects on all the sharepoint portal pages.

I have tried many links and articles available on the internet but
could not find the exact answer.



3 Answers Found

Answer #1    Answered By: Peter Peterson     Answered On: Sep 27

You mean creating new Site Definitions or changing the look and feel of the portal. Start from here

Answer #2    Answered By: Renee Murray     Answered On: Sep 27

I did not get my answer  in there please try and explain me on the
email if possible I have tried reading articles  on the net and there
is no article which answers my query correctly ...

I want my sharepoint  portal to look something like


Answer #3    Answered By: Harshini Raju     Answered On: Sep 27

Hopefully I can be of some service. Ramkrishna, I did receive your email
and I wanted to respond here for anyone's benefit. I will probably turn
a lot of this into a blog post as well.

Your link is to a screenshot of a role based template example. So I am
not sure what parts of it you want to duplicate in your portal, be it
just how to change  the interface, or how to change the interface and
create a customized targeted site template. And to clarify one other
thing (sorry not sure about your sharepoint  exposure) but the screenshot
you sent is of a Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) site and is very
different than from a portal  site (what I assume you are working with).

You have a few choices for updating the user interface (UI) with

- Alter the site definitions: Site definitions are the templates  portal
pages are based on when they are created. On the web server is a set of
files that contain the HTML that make up the site's UI. There are a lot
of these files and unfortunately SPS 2003 doesn't utilize any type of
central code store for the HTML that formats the pages. The HTML code
is located on nearly every file, so making any changes can become a very
time consuming venture. Additionally with SPS, there are several site
definitions that are used in one portal. The Home page is one
definition, the topics page is another definition, the news page is yet
another one. So on and so forth. I can't list a specific number of
files that you will have to edit, because it all depends on how many
site definitions your portal uses.

Personally, I have a huge portal deployed and I only use three site
definitions (excluding My Site). I find  it is not necessary to use all
the definitions and it just increases your workload. Here is a list of
the site definitions:

For maintenance, if you need to make updates to your site, you can go
into the site definitions and make the changes and it will effect all
pages based off that site definition. So it is a lot of work at the
onset, but easier to maintain in the long run.

ALWAYS make a backup of your files on the web server and store in a safe
place. You can either create custom site definitions or edit the
existing ones, but editing the existing ones may take you out of
supported mode if you ever have to call product support. Keeping copies
of the original files protects you from any possible mishaps where you
corrupt the file beyond fixing or if you need to roll back original
files to receive support from Microsoft.

- Use FrontPage to make your changes. The biggest issue with using
FrontPage to make UI changes to any SharePoint site, is that you open
yourself up to possibly unghosting your pages. When you unghost a page,
you sever the ties that page has to its template back on the web server
and all changes now reside in the database. This becomes particularly
problematic when you need to do site updates and maintenance, as you
will probably have to visit each page to make any changes.

On the flip side (and yes I am ducking while I say this) for small sites
that will not have an increase in size or usage, meaning you don't think
SharePoint will explode in your company and have 1000 WSS sites in 6
months, or for one off sites that warrant it, I don't think FrontPage is
a bad option. I don't use it myself, but I understand and support it
being used in the appropriate situations.

More info on ghosting:
http://heathersolomon.com/blog/articles/148.aspx#Ghost" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">heathersolomon.com/blog/articles/148.aspx#Ghost

- Brand your portal using images and CSS. You can really do a lot to a
portal or WSS site by using some image replacement and CSS style rule
changes. You can very effectively brand a SharePoint site. You will
not however be able to exactly replicate what is in that screenshot.
You have to work within the HTML code and style rules provided to you
through the existing UI. But if you are skilled in CSS, you can really
accomplish a lot. This is my preferred method.

- This is for WSS only but for your knowledge, another UI option is
themes. Themes allow you to do what I listed above with image and CSS
updates, and let you package it up and deploy on a site by site basis.
Themes are a way to transport your UI changes, not a way to create them.

Those are your options. I can't dictate to anyone what they should or
shouldn't do because I don't know your particular situation or site
requirements. I can however try to help you further once you pick a
customization route if you run into issues and questions. There are a
ton of resources out there (and more to come!) for each of these

Check out my resources page, I link to a lot of articles  and blog posts:

Specifically for this screenshot, you will be hard pressed to recreate
that exactly unless you use FrontPage or put a ton of time into updating
site definition files. I would suggest meeting in the middle and
updating via image replacement and CSS style rule changes. On my blog
I have some articles that may help you get started:

Didn't find what you were looking for? Find more on Sharepoint Templates Or get search suggestion and latest updates.