HTML and CSS Reference
In-Depth Information
Unordered lists are used as the basis for a navigation bar for several reasons.
First, the links in a navigation bar are essentially a collection of similar items, as are list items.
Second, if the visitor's browser is incapable of rendering the styled elements, the navigation
bar degrades gracefully to a fully functional group of links, which serves the same purpose as
the navigation bar.
Finally, sub-menu items on a navigation bar, which may appear when the main menu item is
clicked or hovered over, have an exact parallel in nested list items.
A slightly older technique for navigation bars relies on a series of images, each set
up with a separate link. To keep these images structured properly, the graphics are
placed in a table. With the advent of CSS, however, this method has gone out of
favor, along with other instances of table-based layouts.
When designing your navigation bars, it's important to keep their primary purpose in mind. The
navigation needs to be clear enough to be understood at a glance by the site visitor. Consistent
implementation across the site is also an important consideration: You don't want your visitors try-
ing to figure out a new navigation scheme on every page. Ideally, your navigation should make it
easy for folks to get to the content on your site as quickly as possible.
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Very frequently, the HTML for a navigation bar — whether horizontal or vertical — is coded in
exactly the same way, that is, as a <ul> tag, complete with list items in a <div> . Here's an example:
<div id=”nav”>
<li><a href=”home.html”>Home</a></li>
<li><a href=”products.html”>Products</a></li>
<li><a href=”services.html”>Services</a></li>
<li><a href=”contact.html”>Contact Us</a></li>
This same HTML code could be used for either a horizontal or vertical navigation bar: It all
depends on how the relevant CSS is styled. Four key sections in the standard navigation bar require
CSS rules:
The container
<ul> tag
<li> tags
<a> tags
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