Affordable Web Design
Web Site Maintenance Made Easy
Release Date: Monday, January 17th 2004-2006
Anyone who has maintained an affordable web design site with many pages for an extended period of time knows the nightmare of having to edit a word or date that recurs on each page, such as copyright information. Having to edit every single page can be very time-consuming and tedious and often gets avoided for as long as possible (usually too long). But it doesn't have to be that way. By using simple Server Side Includes (SSI), you can streamline and simplify the maintenance of your affordable web design site.
SSI can be used to accomplish a variety of things on your affordable web design site including running CGI scripts and posting the results on the web page, posting the current time and date on the page, posting the date of the last update, etc. However, I will not get into the technical details of how SSI works or the more advanced functions. In this article, I'll discuss the simplest use of SSI, the "Include" command. Before you can implement this SSI strategy, make sure you know whether your affordable web design site host allows the use of SSI. If it doesn't, find a host that does.
The "Include" command allows you to create a text file with your common information, then place a directive in your HTML file that "points" to the text file. When you view the affordable web design page, the server places the contents of the text file in where the directive is in the HTML file. You can use this trick for anything that recurs on each page of your affordable web design site. For instance, you can put a header and footer on each page. The header and footer would be contained in text files called "header.txt" and "footer.txt". These files would contain the html that recurs on each page, such as text links, contact information, copyright information, etc. In place of this html on each page, you would place these directives:
Do the same thing for the footer, if needed. Save the HTML files using SSI with the extension ".shtml". Also, depending on how your server is set up with your host, you may have to make sure the text file is in the same directory as the .shtml file.
This also makes the initial design and development of affordable web design sites go much smoother. You can now have a "template" for each page using the header and footer directive, then simply add the content in between for each page.
I guarantee that this little trick will save you hours and hours of tedious work. As I stated at the beginning, if you've been through these "simple" edits before, you will need very little convincing!
About the author:
Steve Wood provides affordable web design and hosting for small businesses. Visit Wood Interactive and request a FREE analysis of your web site.
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