Understanding the basic "zones" of the site

Created by Sloane DellOrto, Modified on Tue, 30 Dec 2014 at 09:11 AM by Sloane DellOrto

Of course there are a variety of theming things that may make your site unique, but in general there are specific "zones" or "channels" where we place content. The home page will vary quite a bit from site to site, but landing pages tend to follow some general best practices:

1: Header Zone
This section of the page typically includes the logo, navigation bar, and any header links a site may utilize. It’s used for most of the navigation within the website and most items in this area are persistent from page to page as you navigate around the site.

2: Left Sidebar
The left sidebar is where you will typically find the navigation presented when on landing pages. Sometimes you'll also find "pods" or other teaser content below the left navigation block. This is also the zone that displays "Also appears in" with a link to all the navigation terms where a post appears, when you're on the full post view for a piece of content.

3: Overview Zone
This is a special zone dedicated to the introduction post for any landing page. Creating a post of type "Overview" will automatically put the post in this area, and it will stay there. This is the area used to give an overview / introduction to the section or landing page the visitor is on. (Sometimes it's just a title, and no content... although we don't suggest that.) Overview posts show *all* of their content - including the full body text, all links and attachments, etc. Only one Overview should be tagged to each landing page or navigation term. This area can be set to have an expanding overview if the overview is too long for the section.

4: Main Content Zone
The main content area, which can use different templates (the standard template shows teasers of all posts tagged to the landing page term; subterm display show the posts tagged to the navigation terms *below* the one you're on). This zone can be themed to display in a grid, or in stacked teasers, etc. The posts that appear in the main content zone typically only show brief teaser content - anything before the teaser break for each post that shows. The posts in this channel can be reordered, but the Overview zone will always stay above them.

5: Right Sidebar
The right sidebar is used in a variety of ways. On many landing pages, where a list of teasers appear (like the example above), the right sidebar is used to display "pods" or short teasers of content that link to something that needs to be promoted. Note that this is an optional zone, and on some special templates it will be disabled.

On full content display - once you've clicked through to a full post, the right sidebar area is often used to display contact information, related profiles for the post, etc.

6: Footer Zone
The footer is a small section at the very bottom of the site, and it is typically persistant throughout. Often you'll find sitewide links here - often shortcuts to things that should be easy to find (contact us, privacy policy, etc); sometimes even a complete representation of the full site navigation.

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