Master page query RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi guys,

    I have been branding Sharepoint sites for a number of years but never had to do the Personal Sites.

    As an enterprise, we are looking for a consistant look and feel across all our sites, and in the deployment we have we can create a new Site Template or modify the existing one.

    The solution I am planning to use is using feature stapling to target a feature which will deploy the branding and assign it to each site.

    So the question... I can roll the master page into the feature, which is then deployed to the gallery... but doesn't this cause a headache moving forward?  If I want to update the branding, presumeably I'll need to deactivate and reactivate the feature on every personal site to get the master page change to be reflected... so why not just store the master page on the Servers File System in for example _layouts and repoint the masterurl to this location?

    I've never seen anyone adopt this approach and with the exception of the file being potentially cached, I couldn't find a reason not to do it.

    Any thoughts or wisdom?

    Monday, June 13, 2011 2:39 PM


  • First, pages stored inside a content database can't use a master page stored in _Layouts.  Try it and you will find that you get an error. 

    However, if you deploy your master page as a Feature then as long as user's don't edit the master page in SPD it will continue to use the uncustomized copy in the feature directory on the server.  The one in the gallery doesn't actually contain a BLOB of the file until it is customized.  So once the sites are pointing at the master page in the gallery you can update the master page on every site simply by applying changes to the one stored in the Feature directory on the server.  You should be able to do that simply by updating the Solution that deployed the Feature originally.  It shouldn't be necessary to deactivate and reactivate the Feature anywhere.

    Paul Stork SharePoint Server MVP
    • Marked as answer by RichieH Wednesday, June 15, 2011 11:35 PM
    Monday, June 13, 2011 3:44 PM