Site definition vs Site template in SharePoint 2013/2010

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.

Site definition vs site template in SharePoint 2013/2010

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.

Read: How to create site definition using Visual Studio 2013 in SharePoint 2013?

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.

Advantages of Site Definitions in SharePoint 2013/2010

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.

Disadvantages of Site Definitions in SharePoint 2013/2010

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.

Advantages of Site Templates in SharePoint 2013/2010

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.

Disadvantages of Site Template in SharePoint 2013/2010

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:

Hope this SharePoint 2013 tutorial explains the difference between site definition vs site templSharePointrepoint 2013/2010.

free sharepoint training

SharePoint Online FREE Training

JOIN a FREE SharePoint Video Course (3 Part Video Series)

envelope
envelope

Bijay Kumar

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 SharePointSky.com

>