It’s absolutely critical that you understand the anatomy of sites in MOSS 2007 (WCM) and WSS v3 in order to properly plan your site content and architecture.
I have read countless articles on the ASP.NET 2.0 master pages feature and I have noticed the common explanation is that “master pages should contain common shared elements such as a header, navigation menu, or footer.” While this may be correct for a lot of cases, it is equally important to understand where it is “not” the case.
You have a variations (multilingual) WCM capable publishing site which you need to customize. In this situation you may not want to include a ‘static navigation’ bar in your master page. In a variations scenario, you have multiple sites based on language and each would have to change.
While it may be unintentional, MOSS 2007 (WCM) / WSS v3 promote site and content architecture planning. Basically if you do not carefully plan your content types, columns, page layouts and master page customizations you are setting yourself up for failure.
Remember folks – the content should come “before” the design. Plan your content (types/columns) and page layouts prior to beginning any customization work.