server side includes
Imagine that you have 1000 web pages, each with a description
of one of your products. At the bottom of each web page, you
have your address and phone number so that people can contact
you. But you just found out that your area code is changing
next month, so you need to update all of your web pages! What
are you going to do?
You could edit each file one at a time, but that would
take a long time. You could also ask someone to write a
program for you to go through all 1000 files, find the
offending phone number, and change it. But there's an even
Server Side Includes (also known as SSI) let you modify only
one file, and the rest are automatically updated. By
embedding a single SSI directive into your web page, you
can tell it to include the contents of another file or show
the last date that a page was modified automatically.
Taken a step further, you can even use SSI to create the
entire design for your site! Once that design changes, all
of your pages will be automatically updated!
For example, look at what the source for this page
really looks like.
Do you see the lines at the top and the bottom that say
This tells the server to insert the page referenced by
these directives right into your document! The banner
across the top, logo on the top left, and graphics on
the left are all stored in only one place so only one change ever
needs to be made to update the entire web site!
Other sources of information on SSI:
- Apache Week article
on using SSI
- The actual
Apache documentation on SSI
mostly for system administrators.
tutorial from NCSA, creators of the World Wide Web.
Please send mail to
firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions that you may have.