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Chapter 3. Implementing Common Elements

Chapter 3. Implementing Common Elements

Within any given Web site, no single page is an island. By design, a site's pages often share a series of common elements: a header with a company logo, a navigation bar linking to primary site sections, and a copyright notice at the foot of the page are good examples. Mutual page elements and a shared layout enhance a site's usability and can prevent the user from having to figure out anew how to use each page.

Common Web page elements make sense from a maintenance perspective as well. Suppose that every page on a Web site includes the company logo as a GIF image and that all the src attributes point to a single file. Make any change to that image file, and the modification is instantly reflected on all pages after that graphic is published to the Web site. This example illustrates both the benefit and the danger of common elements. With multiple content contributors, unauthorized changes to a single file can have consequences across the site and remain possible until steps are taken to place such files out of reach.


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