SharePoint has many types of pages, but one that interests me at the moment is the Application Pages. These live in the _Layouts directory, which is a virtual directory mapped to every site.
Thus, EVERY site can have pages in the _layouts directory.
One such page, for example, is the ‘View all site contents’ page:
This page looks like a site page, but you’ll notice in the URL the _layouts part. It’s not part of the SharePoint virtual file system; it’s a physical file in 12 Hive and, for the record, you shouldn’t modify these. You can add to them though, and my question was, could I easily add a page in here myself.
The short answer – yes:
I created myself a folder in the _layouts directory (to keep my work separate), and then created this page (which might make a good template) based on the View all site content page. A good foundation for pages which might look like they’re in a site – but aren’t! Here it is as a template.
I did try adding a Web Part Manager and web part zone to the page too, but although I could swap into Edit mode and see my web part zones, I couldn’t actually add any web parts to them. To be honest, I’m not that bothered, it doesn’t seem that useful a thing to have on such pages.