Wow! You made it this far! I hope you learned some things along the way. You can download the sample project from here: http://www.elumenotion.com/Downloads/MyPublishingFeatures.zip.
Although this may seem like a great deal of work, packaging your page layouts for deployment in proper solutions is a key success factor for large projects. Knowing how to do this work allows a development team and the site’s owners to iterate on a publishing site’s layouts with tools like SharePoint Designer. Knowing how to deal with pages is just as important.
Over the years in our practice we’ve come to realize just how much business owners and content contributors focus a site’s home page and subsite landing pages. Although these quickly become content when content owners claim a publishing site, they are the content creator’s first impression of the site. We find that it is very important to a customer’s overall satisfaction for the base pages to contain content on day one of testing and pilot activities, and this is how we ensure we do a good job.
I am not suggesting that every, or even most, publishing page in a new site should be deployed via your solution package. However, the landing pages are important. If you set them up by hand after each deployment the odds are excellent that they will look different from deployment to deployment and that you will create an impression of poor quality.
Finally, if you are a customer of a consulting company that is building a publishing site, you should insist that they can deploy it via one or more packages and that they are using good version control techniques. If they are depending exclusively on SharePoint Designer and manual configurations you should find a new vendor.
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Author: Doug Ware