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Page Layout Decisions to Make in SharePoint 2010

Depending on site complexity, you may need to consider making a new content type and/or additional site columns for your page layouts in SharePoint 2010. If you want your pages to have additional fields beyond those provided in the Article Page and Welcome Page content types, consider the following:

  • Do you need a new content type for your pages?

    Do you want to be able to manage the pages by the content type, including rolling up content under just this type? Are the out-of-the-box page content types too detailed or too simple for your needs? If so, you need to create your new content type and add the necessary site columns.

  • Do you need new field controls or site columns for your pages?

    Regardless of whether you create a new custom content type or use a predefined one, you may not have all the page fields or content fields you need.

    For example, usually only one page content control is in a SharePoint out-of-the-box page layout. What if you need more than one content control? You can create additional site columns based on the Full HTML column type with formatting and constraints for the publishing type. Several other fields are created for publishing or content management as well, including images, hyperlinks, and summary links.

    After creating and adding these to the appropriate content type, they're available to insert into your page layout.

  • Do you have what you need for branding, static content, and page layout?

    One of the compelling reasons for creating a new page layout is because you want to lay out your content in a different way on the page. Maybe you want to have four columns, to use tabs, or to have all your new pages display text to help the person using it to create a new page. Gather your thoughts around what you want to accomplish with this new layout.

    Create a prototype (or a roadmap) before you actually create your page layout. In the process, think about stuff that you don’t know how to do; if you can’t do it outside SharePoint, you can’t do it in SharePoint. If you aren’t a whiz at HTML and CSS, don’t fret. You can probably cobble together what you need by looking at other page layouts.

    One way to discover interesting ways of using HTML and CSS is to use the browser to look at the source of any web page, such as a SharePoint web page. All browsers give you the ability to view the source of the web page. Another good approach is to use the Firefox browser along with the Web Developer and Firebug extensions.

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