Communication Sites: Workaround for missing page layout option

Microsoft recently released the new Communication Site template. It is a great first look into a new way to publish web content in SharePoint only.
Sadly some important features are missing yet in the first version of this new site template. One of such things is the creation of new content pages based on templates.
When you like to create two pages that should look identical, but with different content, all web parts need to be placed in the same order as you have added them previously.
Luckily there is a workaround to the missing page layouts.

Copy existing pages – FTW

The missing page layout and the team site page model from my perspective are not the optimal tools for a communication site.

Custom Content Page – Communication Site

So the workaround is to copy an existing page. For this, you need to switch to the list view of all pages in your communications site. Go to “Site Contents” and “Site Pages.”

Select and copy existing page

Select the page, and the “Copy To” action from the action menu and this will open a side bar menu with only one button that states “Copy Here.”

Side bar to copy page

After the success copy of the page, all web parts and the content of the old page is in place and only needs replaced with the new content.

Duplicated page after copy

So far this is the only way to make the content creation more fluid and uniform.

Conclusion

Publishing features for communication site worked so well, at least for my customers, because it was an easy way to create new content pages fast and consistent.
Besides migration of designs from SharePoint 2007, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2013 and even SharePoint 2016 it was easy because the content of pages had distinct locations on the page.
Now everything has become more fluid which isn’t a bad thing, but I hope that future releases will support some page layout model.
If you think so too, I already raised a user voice to address this missing page layout option.


Also published on Medium.