A Master Page acts as a template for Content Pages and
Content Pages provide content to populate the Master Pages. A Master Page is
essentially a standard ASP.NET page except that it uses the extension of
.master and a <%@ master %> directive instead of <%@ page %>.
Your Site Design with Visual Inheritance and Page Templates.
Create a Master Page
To add a Master Page to your web solution you need to right
click on you web solution, choose Add New Item and select Master Page.
Once you have completed this step you will see the ASPX
source similar to the following.
<form id="form1" runat="server">
<asp:contentplaceholder id="ContentPlaceHolder1" runat="server">
The content Place Holder is where other pages that inherit
the Master Page will place its content. At this point if you wish to have a
header, footer and navigation area you should now add this to your Master Page.
Here is an example.
As you can see in the above figure, the Master Page has five
areas of which the content page is an ASPX that I have placed within the
contentplaceholder. This allows me to maintain a consistent look and feel of
the UI for my users. Also, I do not have to repeat the design layout as the
One thing I should mention is that you may have multiple
master pages and use each one for a different purpose or simply design layout. For
example, if you are using authentication, you want to provide a guest master
page and a member master page. By following this theory you can control what
each group may see and do.