Don't forget the demo's have evolved over several years as has the features that Gantry 5 provides. So, the set-up of the templates may not be "optimal" for the current features of Gantry 5. We did start out using module positions for much of the content but that has now changed and if you look at the "home" outlines they nearly always have all the content on the layout rather than using modules. The other pages of the demo change much less frequently and some have yet to catch up on this approach. Although we also do tend to provide layout "presets" too (that use particles) for these pages even if the demo uses a layout with module positions present.
There's actually no need to repeat anything across the outlines if you use the "inheritance" features of Gantry 5
. Bear these points in mind as to which is the best approach to take for you:
1. You should configure "common" particles for your site on the base outline layout and have those particles (or whole sections) be inherited by other outlines (e.g. logo, menu, copyright, footer, header, etc etc)
2. If you have used Joomla for a long time there's no doubt that just using "module position" particles on the layout of your outlines and then assigning modules to them will be very familiar to you. It also has the advantage that you can use Joomla ACL to restrict access to the module for certain groups of users.
3. Conversely, new users tend to like having an outline that shows everything on the page on one easy layout, wysiwyg. Inheritance is also much clearer for sharing content.
4. Some particles do not work in a "Gantry 5 particle" module wrapper. They are few and far between, but some particles are more complicated that others and just don't like working inside a wrapper.
In reality there is no "right" way, you will probably use a combination of all of the above.
For my purposes it's often just easier to copy/paste content between browser windows or quickly re-setup the particle in the new template using the other site as a reference. That's often quicker than trying to find clever technical techniques that can be much more prove to mistakes with irrevocable consequences if you get it wrong.
I think site cloning is the way you should go given your requirements.
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