This SharePoint 2013 tutorial explains, site definition vs site template in SharePoint 2013/2010. We will see major differences between site definition and site template in SharePoint 2013/2010.
To know about the difference between site definition and site template, we need to understand what is site definition and what is site template in SharePoint 2013/2010.
SharePoint 2016 Tutorial Contents
A site definition defines a unique SharePoint site. Site definition is a combination of multiple files like .xml, .aspx, .ascx, and .master page, .gif , .doc etc and are stored in C:\ProgramFiles\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\14\TEMPLATE\SiteTemplates directory.
But Site Templates are created from an existing site and are stored in the Content database in the Sandboxed Solution gallery.
According to MSDN, Here are some advantages and disadvantages of Site Definition and Site template.
Below are few advantages of site definitions in SharePoint 2013/2010.
- Data is stored directly on the Web servers, so performance is typically better.
- A higher level of list customization is possible through direct editing of a SCHEMA.XML file.
- Certain kinds of customization to sites or lists require the use of site definitions, such as introducing new file types, defining view styles, or modifying the drop-down Edit menu.
Below are a few disadvantages of site definitions in SharePoint 2013/2010.
- Customization of site definition requires more effort than creating custom templates.
- It is difficult to edit a site definition after it has been deployed.
- Doing anything other than adding code can break existing sites.
- Users cannot apply a SharePoint theme through a site definition.
- Users cannot create two lists of the same type with different default content.
- Customizing site definitions requires access to the file system of the front-end Web server.
Below are few advantages of site templates in SharePoint 2013/2010.
- Custom templates are easy to create.
- Almost anything that can be done in the user interface can be preserved in the template.
- Custom templates can be modified without affecting existing sites that have been created from the templates.
- Custom templates are easy to deploy.
Below are few disadvantages of site templates in SharePoint 2013/2010.
- Custom templates are not created in a development environment.
- They are less efficient in large-scale environments.
- If the site definition on which the custom template is based does not exist on the front-end server or servers, the custom template will not work.
Another difference is Feature Stapling is supported by Site Definitions but it is not supported by Site Template.
You may like following SharePoint tutorials:
- Save site as a template in SharePoint 2013/2016/Online
- How to know which site definition being used by SharePoint 2016 site using SharePoint server object model?
- Site Definition in SharePoint and Create Site definition using Visual Studio 2010 in SharePoint 2010
- How to find which template is used for a site in SharePoint Online Office 365
- Retrieve all site templates using PowerShell and server object model in SharePoint 2016/2013
- Enable Save as Template option Publishing Site SharePoint Online
- SharePoint 2016 How to create list instance and list definition using Visual Studio 2015
- Activate Group Work Site Template in SharePoint 2013
Hope this SharePoint 2013 tutorial explains the difference between site definition vs site templSharePointrepoint 2013/2010.
I am Bijay from Odisha, India. Currently working in my own venture TSInfo Technologies in Bangalore, India. I am Microsoft Office Servers and Services (SharePoint) MVP (5 times). I works in SharePoint 2016/2013/2010, SharePoint Online Office 365 etc. Check out My MVP Profile.. I also run popular SharePoint web site SPGuides.com
Download SharePoint Online Tutorial PDF FREE!
Get update on Webinars, video tutorials, training courses etc.