Customization of the application.master page - error sources

All the standard SharePoint pages placed in the /12/template/layouts/ have their own master page: /layouts/application.master. To create a common look and feel for your site - including the admin pages used by a site admin or a site editor - this master pages has to be customized. This my be a little bitt challenging and I think you will be best off starting with the xisting one, and NOT from scratch.
Before you start creating a new application.master set CustomErrors="Off" and .. in the web config. Then you will get "developer friendly" error messagess.

Mistakes that I've made that kept me rather busy:
  • Place the placeholder "PlaceHolderUtilityContent" AFTER the ending FORM-tag tag. If not the post backs stops working
  • Forgot to create a HEAD-section similiar to the original application.master
  • Be very carefull when adding custom javascript components. I had added a componenten that forces all eksternal link to pop up in a new window, but that javascript made the tree-view control for setteing the site/page order "pop away"
  • Missing place holders are an obvious error source

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