Developing Custom Publishing Page Layouts
Creating publishing page layouts is a fundamental development activity in SharePoint. Page layouts are templates that govern the appearance of SharePoint Web publishing sites. They determine the structure (where information is placed) as well as the style (the format). The following sections give guidelines for developing page layouts. For additional information, see Create a Publishing Page Layout on the Microsoft Office site.
Defining a Content Type
When you develop a page layout, you should first define a content type. A content type is metadata that describes the kinds of information that can be authored for a page. Every publishing page in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 is based on a specific content type. You can use a content type for more than one page layout.
In some cases, you can create page layouts from existing contents types, but it is more common to extend an existing base content type to accommodate the information for a specific type of page. When you extend an existing content type, you save time and effort by reusing the existing fields.
Content types can be derived from other content types through their ID attributes. For a description of how to derive one content type from another content type, see Creating Content Types Based on Other Content Types on MSDN. You can find the content type IDs that are used by publishing pages in the appendix of this guidance or by browsing in the Office 12 hive folder.