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Try using the siteNav extension. It will mean that your navigation will end up a UL element instead of a table, but siteNav generates that for you, so don't worry.
Start the navigation off with a DIV in your template. Generate a home page from it, and add your bare top level links - <a href="somelink">label</a> - to the DIV.
When you save the page and browse it, siteNav turns the DIV and links into a UL, and displays it on every top level page. Use an external CSS file to style as you wish.
When your client wants to edit the navigation in Contribute, he/she simply adds another link to the DIV on the home page, which is always in the source file.
If you want, you can add Dreamweaver repeating editable-region comment tags to the template DIV, so that Contribute creates a nice interface for adding the navigation links, too. But you don't have to :)
When you know how to use PHP, you could try to put your menu in a .php file and then include this into your pages using <?php include("./site_menu.php"); ?>. This only works in pages with .php extensions, so if your pages have .htm or .html extensions you should change this into .php.
You should place this site_menu.php file in the root of the site with the pages, so Contribute makes the proper relative links to your pages.
Now you kan send your user the url to the site_menu.php file and he/she can edit this file in contribute.
PS: if you have like to try this and you have questions you can mail me
If your sever is configured to use SSI's you can simply:
1. create one file called menu.htm. Be sure this file has no html <head> or <body>tags.
2.On your main page , using Dreamweaver you would do:
Insert>HTML >Script Objects>ServerSide Inlcude. (DW7)
Insert>Server Side Include (in DW8)
Choose the menu.htm file
3.Put this in a locked region of the template.
4.When the client wants to edit the menu, he browses to the menu.htm file and updates it, and all pages are updated when he publishes.