Branding SharePoint Portal Server

Well this is a topic very close to my heart. 

Having spent a significant part of my life last year (<grin>) helping a very large customer in the UK deploy SharePoint, I understand how important it is for a product like SharePoint to reflect an organisations brand. In fact it can be the balance on one of those “go – no go” decisions. At the same time, I found out the hard way that we (Microsoft) didn’t do a particularly good job of helping people understand the complexities associated with branding SharePoint, particularly the portal side of things. The following documents are an attempt to make up for that. I’m sorry we couldn’t get them out earlier.

Office Developer Center: Branding a SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Site: Part 1, Understanding the Use of a Corporate Brand

Office Developer Center: Branding a SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Site: Part 2, How to Apply Your Own Corporate Brand

Anyway, I do hope hope people find them useful and I’m really hoping to keep them “Alive” via discussion here on my blog. I encourage your feedback, good and bad, drop me a line.

Comments (18)
  1. Bernabé says:

    Thanks for these two articles, very useful and needed, but they stand more in the "basics" side, hey! this is not a bad thing!! I would like to see a third part to carry with Template Definition topics and deeper customization of page layouts, based on SPSWC stuff, for bigger deployments. Makes sense?

  2. Niall says:

    I’d love to see something similar, but focused specifically on Team Services.

  3. Steven Collier [MVP] says:

    Thanks Daniel, interesting articles. You cover unghosting pages and explain there is a performance hit due to accessing the database. Are there any statistics on this ? If the page is popular would it not be cached on the front ends ?

  4. Very interesting material. Students love it!

  5. Hi Bernabé,

    Thanks for your feedback, I hear you on the Template Definition front and I initially went down this path, however given how much there was to say JUST about branding I decided to keep these documents very targetted.

    On the SPSWC Controls, we also had this feedback during the review cycles, however to get more detail included was going to delay publishing. So I decided to get it out there and will followup on here with some more detail about parameters you can pass to the standard SPS controls to change their look and feel.

  6. Hi Niall,

    I agree it would be good, in fact many of the concepts these documents discuss can equally be applied to team sites.

    The reason I chose to focus on the portal is because I felt that branding on the portal, by it’s nature, is much more important. I’m going to roll this up into a blog post. stay tuned.

  7. Hey Steven,

    Thanks for dropping by, hope all is going well.

    This is a question oft asked and never really answered. From my investigations (which is nothing seriously scientific) and discussion internally you should expect between 10%-15% impact on page times when SharePoint has to go to the database. With that said though, in reality I think its much less as there is lots of caching going on which means SharePoint doesn’t have to go back to the database.

    So while it’s something to consider, I wouldn’t make it a key decision point.

    Hope that helps,


  8. Hey Patrick,

    Well I’m glad to hear it, perhaps these docs can fill some of the gaps we have in the course space. Please let me know if you have any feedback.

  9. tedteng says:

    yes, agree with what Daniel said. It would be great if it came out early in last year. I also got stuck in these customization problems with a lot of maze tries. The good benefit is to force myself to become a Sharepoint Pro.

    Anyway I believe most of enterprise users must like such an artcile.

  10. Tom says:

    I cannot believe that MS released a "product" as stupidly designed as Sharepoint. What Software Architect would be so ridiculously self-centered as to think people would not want to design their own look and feel? I could go on, but this just plays to the "Microsoft is an arrogant and deluded 500 lb gorilla" school of thought.

    Maybe it will be ready by Service Pack 3…..

  11. Thanks Tom, I appreciate your constructive feedback and hope my article proves useful to you in your projects to deploy SharePoint.

    <sly grin>

  12. Ron says:

    Fabulous content! I just wish I had these articles in had 9 months ago. I’ve learned all this the hard way! At any rate, great articles – glad to see them out there.


  13. Mark E. Vogt says:

    A very nice article, DM.

    As a consultant in-the-field, one thing we’re always on the lookout for is an article of this calibre transformed into an actual checklist of "to-do’s" for our clients.

    Any interest in this transformation – or would you mind if I submit my own attempt at "checklist-ing" your very informative article?

    Thanks again – your article was a very timely find for me this month.


    – MV

  14. Hi Mark,

    Glad you found it useful, with these documents "out there" I would be thrilled to see people build on them, and your "checklist" sounds like a great idea. Let me know when you are done and I’ll blog it!

    If I can help let me know.


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