To be on the safe side... (you never know how easily confused people really are) I'd also include text links to the major pages down below the search box. Text links would also give spiders something to follow when they come calling.
That's the beauty of the cgi program I found. It has complete URLs (for search engine spidering) with the ability to add keyword-type statements that are what would be used for the actual navigation by the user. But I am concerned about the user actually using it. It seems easy and straight forward to me but....
It strikes me that I rarely I turn to a dropdown menu to navigate a website, and that even when I do, it's almost never my first recourse.
I always look to the immediately visible navigation clues first, and I'll bet my experience is common. On any particular site, as I become acclimated I may discover that their dropdown is a very handy resource -- but I need to be newly educated on each site.
My gut feeling is that dropdowns are best utilized as a secondary navigation utility. They're just not all that common on major sites and portals.
And, of course, there are still users (not just search engines) who aren't using recent NS/MS browsers with JS turned on.
According to my stats, 8% of my graphical users either aren't using a JS-capable browser or have JS turned off. That 8% doesn't include text-based browsers, people with graphics turned off, people with browsers that do JS but aren't capable of IE DOM and Netscape Layers, etc.
Thanks for your help, you've all convinced me to include an image map navigation bar additionally under the logo plus the two drop downs at top and the search engine and site map link at bottom.
Now what I would like to do is to have it be both client-side (which I know how to do) and server-side which I am not as familiar with. What I was wondering is if any one could point to examples of how the files would look? I know the reference that the ISP uses but so far feel clueless on what exactly to include.