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Sharepoint custom design guidelines/best practises

    Question

  • Hi,

    When designing a custom site design for SP2007, are these the correct guidelines?:

    - Use custom masterpage
    - Use custom styles (I don't need to override any of the existing CSS documents)?
    -Add reference to new CSS. How can I ensure core.css does not interfere? (a risk learnt from reading http://www.cleverworkarounds.com/2007/10/08/sharepoint-branding-how-css-works-with-master-pages-part-1/)

    Thanks
    Tuesday, February 02, 2010 4:02 PM

Answers

  • "If the redesign changes colors, fonts and things you can touch with CSS, then first look at custom themes. They can be added and removed at will and should have minimal impact on the upgrade to 2010."

    Actually if you are creating a new design with the idea to go to 2010 I could specifically not consider custom themes because custom 2007 themes won't work in SharePoint 2010.  Why?  Because themes in SharePoint 2007 require default.master which needs to render in Quirks mode.  Your custom theme will work with SP2010 only if you were running in Visual Upgrade mode -- but that means you won't be able to have the ribbon etc.

    Also as another resource you might want to check out the following white paper from Randy Drisgill and Andrew Connell that covers branding pretty completely:
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee354191.aspx

    John
    SharePoint911: SharePoint Consulting
    Blog: http://www.rossonmoss.com
    Twitter: JohnRossJr

    MOSS Explained: An Information Workers Deep Dive into Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007
    Tuesday, February 02, 2010 4:58 PM
  • First make sure a "custom site design" is really, really, needed. You will probably be looking at an upgrade to 2010 in the next year or so and a clean 2007 design is the easiest to upgrade.

    That said...

    If the redesign changes colors, fonts and things you can touch with CSS, then first look at custom themes. They can be added and removed at will and should have minimal impact on the upgrade to 2010.


    - Use custom masterpage

      Yes, if it is required to change the overall layout of the page. If you do this, and the changes are major, consider starting with a "minimal master page" (do a web search) and build from there. 


    - Use custom styles (I don't need to override any of the existing CSS documents)?
    - Add reference to new CSS. How can I ensure core.css does not interfere?

    See theme comment above.
    Always load the CORE.CSS then your CSS. The master page would look like:
      <SharePoint:CssLink runat="server"/>
      <SharePoint:Theme runat="server"/>
      <link your custom CSS here />

    If you don't load CORE.CSS then many of the controls and web parts will look bad, and you will spend a lot of time replacing what CORE does.

    Also do some reading at heathersolomon.com...

    Mike Smith TechTrainingNotes.blogspot.com
    Tuesday, February 02, 2010 4:29 PM

All replies

  • First make sure a "custom site design" is really, really, needed. You will probably be looking at an upgrade to 2010 in the next year or so and a clean 2007 design is the easiest to upgrade.

    That said...

    If the redesign changes colors, fonts and things you can touch with CSS, then first look at custom themes. They can be added and removed at will and should have minimal impact on the upgrade to 2010.


    - Use custom masterpage

      Yes, if it is required to change the overall layout of the page. If you do this, and the changes are major, consider starting with a "minimal master page" (do a web search) and build from there. 


    - Use custom styles (I don't need to override any of the existing CSS documents)?
    - Add reference to new CSS. How can I ensure core.css does not interfere?

    See theme comment above.
    Always load the CORE.CSS then your CSS. The master page would look like:
      <SharePoint:CssLink runat="server"/>
      <SharePoint:Theme runat="server"/>
      <link your custom CSS here />

    If you don't load CORE.CSS then many of the controls and web parts will look bad, and you will spend a lot of time replacing what CORE does.

    Also do some reading at heathersolomon.com...

    Mike Smith TechTrainingNotes.blogspot.com
    Tuesday, February 02, 2010 4:29 PM
  • "If the redesign changes colors, fonts and things you can touch with CSS, then first look at custom themes. They can be added and removed at will and should have minimal impact on the upgrade to 2010."

    Actually if you are creating a new design with the idea to go to 2010 I could specifically not consider custom themes because custom 2007 themes won't work in SharePoint 2010.  Why?  Because themes in SharePoint 2007 require default.master which needs to render in Quirks mode.  Your custom theme will work with SP2010 only if you were running in Visual Upgrade mode -- but that means you won't be able to have the ribbon etc.

    Also as another resource you might want to check out the following white paper from Randy Drisgill and Andrew Connell that covers branding pretty completely:
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee354191.aspx

    John
    SharePoint911: SharePoint Consulting
    Blog: http://www.rossonmoss.com
    Twitter: JohnRossJr

    MOSS Explained: An Information Workers Deep Dive into Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007
    Tuesday, February 02, 2010 4:58 PM
  • My point on themes is that you will end up with a clean (minus the theme) 2007 site to move to 2010. And, during the migration to 2010, and until 2010 branding can be done, the migrated 2007 site will still be useable inside of 2010, with or without the custom theme.  The examples in the linked article will have problems with the ribbon also. 

    2010 was not mentioned in GSS1's question, but should be considered. By the way, the advice from MS at the "Ignite" sessions was to avoid any and all "customizations" to 2007 sites if you are planning a move to 2010 in the near future.

    Just my 2 cents...
    Mike Smith TechTrainingNotes.blogspot.com
    Tuesday, February 02, 2010 5:35 PM