10. Setting the Look & Feel

You can set a custom master page for all sites created from a particular Service Definition. You can also allow Site Owners to change a master page to another, pre-approved master page, if you'd like.

Advice on Master Pages

In the good ol' days, when we could access the file system on our SharePoint servers, it was easy to deploy master pages and branding files (js, css, images) there. Then we could update them once and changes would be applied everywhere. When moving into the cloud, this becomes a bit trickier - and administrators often have to update branding files in multiple locations, or don't bother at all. SharePoint offers a 'Style Library' in the root site... but it's pretty painful to use. Our advice, in line with what ProvisionPoint offers, is:

  • Use a centralised, external, CDN to host all your branding files, such as CSS and images.
  • Reference them from your master pages.
  • Changes to your CSS / images are made once.
  • Changes to your master pages are made once.
  • Whenever a new site is deployed, or a Site Owner elects to change a master page, the latest version of that master page is re-deployed from ProvisionPoint.

What about automatically updating all deployed master pages when a change to one is made in ProvisionPoint? Yep, that would be cool - and we're working on it.

Setting a Master Page

To set the look and feel for a Service Definition, navigate to the Look & Feel tab in the Service Definition you're editing:

To select a different master page, click the icon. The square will turn green to indicate it has been selected. Save your changes, and that's it. All sites created from this definition will have this master page deployed and set automatically:

Available Master Pages

You can also allow Site Owners to change the Look & Feel for a site they own. When they do this they'll get the chance to choose another master page - from all the selected master pages in this view.

For instance, you may decide that Site Owners can choose between two master pages:

When they elect to change a master page, they'll see:

 

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