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Easy Maintenance Using Sever Side Includes
Server Side Includes (SSI for short) is a
must-have when you shop for web hosting services. It can be very
useful to your web site development. Click here
for more information on how SSI will help you.
In this article, I'll discuss how to use SSI to make your web site
maintenance a much easier task.
SSI is very necessary for large sites, even though
SSI is a
pain to learn and implement, and is an increased burden on the
server. It's very well worth the pain the next time it comes
to redesign your site's navigation system.
Generally, the larger your site is, the more
maintenance work you will have, and the more you should consider
constructing it with Server Side Includes.
In fact, for any business web site, it's normal
and sometimes necessary to change the site structure and
navigation system. For example, you developed a new product line
and need to add in a new section in your web site. It would be a
nightmare for your webmaster if she has to update the links on
every page manually.
All these common elements - stuff that is the same on
every page: left-side menu, top menu, bottom text, etc. - can be
made into a SSI file to be included (inserted) into your web
pages. When you need to update these elements, you can simply edit
the SSI file instead of every pages.
Take a look at the top menu of this page. In the actual source code shtml file, there's no
visible text or links at that place. Instead, all that is there is
the following line (SSI directive):
In the header.txt file lives the HTML code of the top menu:
<a href="../index.shtml">Home</a> |
<a href="index.shtml">Web Hosting</a> |
<a href="../webdesign/index.shtml">Web Design</a> |
<a href="../promotion/index.shtml">Web Site Promotion</a> |
<a href="../livehelp/index.shtml">Live Help Service</a> |
<a href="../faq/index.shtml">FAQ</a> |
But if you "view
source" of this page, you won't see the SSI directive at all
since the server has processed it before sending it to you.
Whenever I want to change the top menu, add in a "What's
New" section for example, I simply edit the header.txt file.
Every page containing this menu will be updated then.
That is a timesaver!
Same for bottom menu and text there.
Not only that. Look at
the left side of this page. As you can guess, the left-side menu
is also generated by SSI. And the newsletter sign up form as well
- in case I need to install a new list management script someday.
Even the "Live Help" script. I may use "Live Voice
Chat" in the future;-)!
Now look at the resource box below.
No, it's not done by SSI because I don't think I will ever want to
change that. My point is, for anything that is on every page and
you may want to change someday, use Server Side Include.
Feel free to use this article in your
publication or web site.
It's pre-licensed to you.
The only requirement is to include this resource box:
Article by Zac Hewlett at
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