A Web Part zone is a Web Part container that can be configured to control the organization and format of the Web Parts contained in it. Web Part zones make it possible not only to group and arrange Web Parts but also to customize them in the browser and to control who can modify them there. Each of the individual Web Parts on a Web Part Page may or may not be located within a Web Part zone:
Customizing in the browser Only Web Parts that are located in a Web Part zone can be customized by a user who is viewing them in the browser.
Grouping and arranging Using Web Part zones gives you greater control over how your Web Parts are arranged on the page. Also, when you include multiple Web Parts in a single Web Part zone, you can either stack them vertically within the zone or arrange them side by side horizontally.
Format and appearance One of the properties that you can control for all Web Parts in a single Web Part zone is whether they display a title bar only, both a title bar and a border, or neither.
Access For each Web Part zone, you can control whether users are allowed to:
- Web Parts located in a Web Part zone When a Web Part is located inside a Web Part zone, the Web Part properties are stored in the content database in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, not in the ASPX page. By inserting a Web Part inside a zone, you make it possible for users to interact with or modify that Web Part through the browser.
- Web Parts not located in a Web Part zone When a Web Part is not located inside a Web Part zone, the Web Part properties are stored in the ASPX page and not in the content database in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. By inserting a Web Part without enclosing it in a zone, you allow users to view the Web Part, but you prevent them from interacting with or modifying the Web Part through the browser. This can be useful if you do not want users to be able to make any changes, either to the Web Part or to the way that it is displayed on the page.
Web Part zone containing a single Web Part
Web Part zone containing two Web Parts arranged horizontally
Web Part not contained in a Web Part zone and therefore not customizable in the browser
Web Part zone containing two Web Parts arranged verticallyEach time you insert a Web Part on a Web Part Page, you decide whether to insert it in a Web Part zone. There are several advantages to using Web Part zones: