Place your .master files in: ~/App_Data/Sitefinity/WebsiteTemplates/YourTemplate/App_Master/
The following is a simple code of a .master page:
IMPORTANT: Make sure the form name is aspnetForm.
The code above has the following differences from the standard HTML page:
IMPORTANT: Master pages that will be used as Sitefinity CMS templates, must not have <asp: ContentPlaceHolder> controls declared inside the <head> tag of the master page (by default Visual Studio will include one when creating a new master page). When changing a template, some of the widgets might have their placeholders missing on the new template. In this case, they become orphaned and will be placed in the first available placeholder on the page. If there is a ContentPlaceHolder declared in the head tag, this will be the first available placeholder, and the orphaned controls will be placed there. This might cause problems with the page rendering in edit mode, since the template parser does not support Sitefinity CMS content inside the head tag.
NOTE: When you are working with Visual Studio in development environment, instead of the ~/App_Data folder of your website, you can create ~/App_Master and ~/App_Theme directly in the root of the project. This will allow you to use Visual Studio templates, because they will not appear when you work under ~/App_Data.
When you are ready with the development and you can go live and distribute the project you can move your files in your ~/App_Data folder, as described in the procedure above.
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