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July 03
Building Blocks: 3 Keys for SharePoint 2013 Framework

​Would you ever build a new house without having a vision for what it will look like, understanding the functions it will serve or even how big it will be? This house will serve as a home to your most important assets, your family and possessions. It’s important, so there should be a plan.

Surprisingly enough, many organizations undertake building a new web site or intranet without giving the foundational framework much thought. This too, is a house, a home that will serve to render and protect your important organizational assets. You may have visions of a new mansion, but a lack of plans may leave you with something with much less curbside appeal.

Starting with a good understanding of foundational components can go a long way to avoiding a potential SharePoint shack!

The Foundation – The Master Page

The Master Page design is the foundation for your home, aka, your SharePoint site and its framework. Your master page will reflect the foundation; the page footer, the roof; the page header and the framework; your general framing structure. 

You can make changes to a Master Page – just like you’d customize a home. The Master Page’s role is to provide a consistent look and feel for your site, just as a regular house would have a continuous look and feel while providing a framework for what will reside within.

Page Layouts – Interior framework and mechanical build out

Once the foundation is poured and external walls are up, fleshing out the internal framework begins. Page Layouts represent those yet to be finalized rooms, built up to the studs with exposed electrical and plumbing. The rooms are framed and you know what area is intended for kitchen, bath or other living space. The same is true for page layouts, they represent the “rooms” or zones on your page that will hold content or specific functionality. Page Layouts are living space for content.


Pages – Furnish it

Pages are empty rooms in your house, ready to be filled with furniture that meet the room’s intended purpose. Once your page layouts are set, you can apply them to pages and begin to fill your pages with their intended content.  Just as you wouldn’t put furniture into an unfinished room, the page is the finishing touch.


Master Pages, Page Layouts and Pages are three essential keys to helping you achieve your SharePoint vision.  Start planning early to achieve the look, feel and functionality you desire.


About Nora Ten Broeck: Nora is a SharePoint enthusiast and expert-in-the-making with interests in collaboration, project management and improved business processes. Follow her @NoraTenBroeck.

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