How to Update Multiple Web Pages Using Server Side Includes
- Server-side is safer than client-side (it doesn't rely on any browser settings).
- Updates are very fast and easy.
- Slight performance overhead at the server end (every SSI page needs to be processed by the server before it is served to the user).
- You usually need to use a special extension for web pages, e.g. .shtml.
- The server must support Server Side Includes (most Apache servers do).
Step 1: Create the SSI File
Create a plain text document and name it with a .txt extension, for example navigation.txt. Save this file in a folder which is accessible from your whole website. You may want to make a special folder for this type of file, e.g. /includes/.
Into this file, enter the content you want to be displayed on every page, for example:
<div style='color:blue; font-size:12pt;'>
<a href="page1.shtml">Page 1</a> | <a href="page2.shtml">Page 2</a> | <a href="page3.shtml">Page 3</a>
Step 2: Insert the SSI Code into Your Pages
On each page, at the point where you want to the content to appear, place the following code:
<!--#include virtual="/includes/navigation.txt" -->
To update the content, simply edit the main SSI file and all pages will automatically update.
- In most cases you will need to change the file extension of your web pages to.shtml. If this doesn't work, ask your provider for help.
- If you're creating your pages on a home computer, the SSI includes will not show up unless you're running a personal web server. You will probably need to upload the pages to your website before you see it all work properly.