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Microsoft by Jim Cheshire

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27. Using ASP.NET Master Pages and User Controls

The Need for a Common Layout

Think for a moment about your Internet viewing habits. When you are clicking links on a site, how do you determine whether the information you are viewing is on the same site as the previous page? Most of you will probably agree that the most prevalent indicator is the style and layout of the site. In other words, if I’m viewing an article on the CNET site and I click a link, if the new page has the same layout and appearance as the previous page, my assumption is that it’s the same site. That is exactly why a common layout is vital to the success of your site.

Web developers use many techniques to facilitate a common layout. One of the most common is the use of ...

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