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I have small modules in the sidebar on various pages throughout my site. I'm including different quotes for different pages in the sidebar modules. Originally I hard coded them into the template, but I started thinking that I may want them to be editable by whoever will be administering the content on the site. I don't want to use snippets because you can't give someone access to snippets without also giving them access to the templates, and I'd like to not do that.

I was thinking of using a channel entries tag pair to display that content, and just have a "quotes" channel. Is that the best way to do that as far as speed goes? How heavy are those tag pairs if I disable all the unneeded properties?

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Yes, a quotes channel is a great idea. We have done something similar to that in countless websites. Sometimes this channel is called "testimonials" or "quotes".

This also has the advantage that you can have a separate custom field for the quote's author, and display this in a consistent format on your site, without relying on your client to format it correctly, or updating many quotes in a snippet.

Generally, I'm a fan of not worrying about performance issues until they are actually an issue (i.e. you are getting thousands of visits per day). In that case, any caching plugin (or even the built in EE caching parameters) will be plenty (e.g. you can display a random quote, and cache it for 5-60 minutes).

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    And in particular, this makes it possible to use either native EE relationships or something like Playa to have a quote associated with other entries in EE (like a specific product within the "products" channel, for example). – Jean St-Amand Jan 10 '13 at 21:20
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that's probably your best option to be honest. Low Variables would be another option but you're then limited in what can be added. With a dedicated quotes channel you could have as many as was required.

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