Adding a new page to a SharePoint team site with the quick launch bar

On a recent project I was tasked with performing a few updates to a SharePoint team site but with the constraint of using only out of the box techniques – i.e. no solution deployments. All went well and it even gave me a chance to polish some Data View Web Part and JQuery skills – however one interesting area which I ran into was not being able to create a new page in the team site which replicated the home page, i.e. default.aspx.

I’ve seen and heard of people asking how to create pages without the quick launch bar (left hand navigation) before and seen various solutions – normally a quick CSS fix/ hack – but I’d not come across this particular requirement of creating a new page with the quick launch bar before.

The first option I thought of was to enable the Publishing Feature on the site and thus create a pages library – then use something like a welcome page layout for my new page. Enabling this feature though was not a great option for me in this case because of a couple of factors around user training and expectations. In the majority of situations I think this is the route I’d take. Noting, of course, that in a WSS only environment this wouldn’t be an option!

The other obvious option would be to create a new web part page and store it in an existing or new document library and then use SharePoint Designer to add in the quick launch bar placeholder in the appropriate position. In production environments however I’m loathe to make live changes with SharePoint Designer (although this fear is lessening with SP2010) and also this is not a very extensible solution for future pages.

The solution that I ended up with centres around the simple fact that I would like a copy of the home page, i.e. a default2.aspx. How to get a copy? Well the easy answer is to use copy and paste!

To do so we need to open up the team site in Windows Explorer. A quick way to do this is to navigate to an existing document library and from the actions menu selection Open in Windows Explorer. Then simply navigate ‘upwards’ to the root level of the team site and copy and paste default.aspx – renaming as appropriate. Visiting that URL in the browser will now give you a duplicate of you team site home page which you can edit as desired.

[Another option for opening the site in Windows Explorer is be to add a new mapped network drive]

Manually updating the navigation to add in a link and there you go – a new page with the quick launch bar.
I did this for a MOSS 2007 environment but I can’t think of a reason why it won’t translate for SharePoint 2010 environments also.

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