Update Your Entire Website Instantly Using Server Side Includes (SSI)
By Vishal Rao
Imagine my plight... I have 100+ pages on my website and I have to change my e-mail
address and the copyright info on all the pages. The reason... My mail box is
over-flown with junk mails.
My only option is to edit all my web pages offline and then upload each one of them
again, not to mention countless errors I make in the process. 100+ pages is still a
small website. Imagine what it will be like if my website had 1000+ pages? Sounds
If you would like to avoid the kind of mess I'm in right now, you have one option.
Start using "Server Side Includes (SSI)" In technical jargon, Server Side Includes
are directives which you can place into your HTML documents to execute other programs
or output such data as environment variables and file statistics.
If your only intention is to manage your website more effectively and painlessly, it
is more than enough if you learn one "Directive" of SSI - the "Include" directive.
In simple terms, SSI Include is a line of code which you can use in your HTML documents
to include contents from other documents. In other words, change just one file (the
Include file), and your ENTIRE SITE is instantly updated!
The basic syntax of an Include directive is:
<!-- #include virtual="PATH_TO/INCLUDE_FILE" -->
Where PATH_TO is the "VIRTUAL" path to include file on your server.
Here's how to include your copyright info and navigation links using SSI Includes...
First, you need to check with your server administrator whether your server supports
SSI or not. Most servers support them. Second, you need to rename all your HTML files
with extension .shtml You can start with one file and if everything goes fine, rename
rest of the files.
To keep things organized, you can create a directory at the root level called "includes"
to house all of your included files. Now create a HTML document with only your copyright
and navigation links. Copy everything that is between the BODY tags of this document
and paste it in a new file.
Save this file as nav.html or any name you like with extension .htm or .html. You
need not save this file with .shtml extension. Now upload this file to your "include"
directory which you created for housing SSI Includes.
To include copyright info and navigation links in a HTML document in your SITE ROOT,
place the following code where you want the copyright info to be seen:
<!-- #include virtual="/includes/nav.html" -->
Now if you want to include copyright info and navigation links in a HTML document in
a folder UNDER your site root, the code will change to:
<!--#include virtual="../../includes/nav.html" -->
...and so on.
If you want to change or edit your copyright info or navigation links, just edit and
upload your nav.html file and the change will be reflected in all the documents (using
the "Include code") instantly!
You can also create your website headers/footers using SSI Includes. There are host of
other cool things you can do with SSI. For more info on SSI, you can visit the following sites:
Vishal Rao publishes an informative e-zine: iNet Profits. Subscribe to his e-zine and
get his free e-mail course: "11 Killer Strategies To Explode Your Online Profits", by
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For a complete, STEP-BY-STEP, road-map for Internet success, rush to [inetprofits.biz redirected].