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How You Can Save Hours When Re-Designing Your Web Site

by: Dirk Dupon

If you often have to update (change) a lot of pages on your web site, you know how much time it can take up to complete the job.

Anyway, it's something that needs to be done, if you're serious about your site. You need to add fresh content all the time, to keep your visitors interested in -and return for- your information.

This tip will help you save a lot of time without having to make changes to each individual web page on your site.

The solution for all your hard labor, is called Server Side Includes (SSI).

These are special kinds of HTML comments that instruct a web server to dynamically generate data for a web page when requested by a browser.

SSI is mostly used to insert the contents of a file into a single page.

It becomes especially useful when used to define certain elements such as the header (with the navigation bar or ad banner in it) or the footer -where your signature mark resides.

An example:

If you publish an newsletter, you may have an on line archive off all the past issues. So, when you want to change a banner on every page of your archive, it can take up an enormous amount of time to rewrite all your pages individually.

(An newsletter archive can take up to 100's of pages!)

Now, with SSI, changing content on your pages is as easy as a one, a two, a three.

You create a header page, with the information you would like to see displayed on the rest of your pages, name this web page: "header.htm", and save it to the directory where your other pages are located.

-Tip: Keep this header page small, so that it will load fast, and won't take up to much of your browsers viewing space.

Then you just add a small code into your page, where you want the header to appear.

The simple code to insert below your HEAD section is:

<!--#include file="header.htm"-->

(Of course you can give the page another name, like if you have created a footer, name it "footer.htm", and then the code will be: <!--#include file="footer.htm"--> )

You must now save the page where the code is inserted as an .shtml file (I will save you the technical details for why you need to do this, but believe me, it's needed), and you will only be able to see the header page loaded in the rewritten page, when you go on line.

However, there's a FREE software program available, called SHTML Viewer, that will let you view or test your .shtml web pages, without connecting to the Internet.

It's an incredible handy program, that acts just as you would see your SSI pages on line, once the SSI calls have incorporated your headers, footers, menus, etc.

Don't let the name fool you, the program also works perfectly with simple .html extensions, and you can download it from:
http://www.toolsforselling.com

You can use SSI to change your signature line on the bottom of a web page, to change your web site's navigation bar, or switch user testimonials, etc... the possibility are endless.

Don't forget that some hosting providers don't support the use of Server Side Includes. Ask your company if they support SSI. If they don't, you better switch...

Good luck, and use the saved time to celebrate the holidays :-)

About The Author
Dirk Dupon is the publisher of "SmartPromotion Newsletter".
He offers SMART TIPS, TOOLS and TECHNIQUES for Web Site and E-zine Promotion. Subscribe now and get a DEMO of Dirk's "Web Site and E-zine Promotion Made Easy!" E-BOOK. visit his web site at: http://www.smart-web-promotion.com

 
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