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I personally design commercial sites with a regular navigation bar and major text links, and then add fancy stuff like drop down menus on top of that...
If it is at ALL possible for someone to be confused by a website, SOMEONE will be. Best to prevent 99% of possible confusion on the design end.
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.
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.
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.