As I’ve mentioned before, I reckon that from now on I’ll do all SharePoint branding through features alone – not using themes or the ‘choose master page’ page. Which is fine, and useful too – one of the questions that has been raised recently is how to automatically apply the branding when a new site is provided. Well, feature stapling is the way to do that.
For those who don’t know, feature stapling is creating a feature which associates another feature with a Site Definition. When a site is provided by that site template the associated feature is activated. So, for example, we might have a BrandingFeature feature, which does all of our setting alternate CSS, setting master pages, etc., and then use a BrandingStapler feature to associate that with some (or all) of our site definitions.