I just start trying GateIn, I want to know how to change the Banner portlet property to my own .gtmpl? where to place the .gtmpl?
To change the Banner Portlet properties, go into "Edit Layout" and click on the pencil icon for Banner Portlet - the first screen you see will show you the template being used. If you want to point to a different gtmpl file, you will need to put it in a .war file (or .ear) that is an extension of the default portal. You can find an example of a portal extension in the /docs/examples/portal/ directory of your install.
You can learn more from this similar post:
My question is more about Best Practices: is there a preferred approach for doing this? I'm guessing everyone has to change the Banner Portlet at some point in their project.
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If you ask me, I would so 2 or 3 and preferably 3.
But it also depends on the usecase. You can have a "smart" portlet that will render some banner (if you have one) depending on the page, on the site but then you need some logic in the portlet.
Or you can make multiple portlets for multiple sites...
If you create your own portlet you will end up with something basic that will correctly handle your needs.