In a Hurry???
Links to All the Tutorials & Reference Guides are Down Below
In order to use Server Side Includes, your server must be configured
to support them. Check with your system administrator as to
whether or not you can use them, and if so, what restrictions
may be placed on them. If you are not allowed
to do SSI- consider moving to someplace where you can!
WHAT IS SSI?
You may have noticed as you browse this site, that our pages
end with the shtml extension instead of the more familiar
html or htm. This is because we use Server Side
Includes (SSI). Used properly, the SSI can help make your pages
more responsive and can even help make maintaining your site
an easier task.
Put simply, SSI is sort of like using your HTML server as a
cut and paste editor. Here is basically what happens when your
server handles a request for an SSI document.
The server reads the document and parses (techie word
for chops up and looks for special instructions) it for
directives. (another techie word for directions!)
Follows the instructions that it finds and merges their
results into creating a finished document.
The document is then sent to the client browser.
SSI also seems to be one of the better kept secrets around.
In any web related book, they seem to get about 1 page for every
200 pages on CGI and FORMS. Well, I've never been one to leave you
in the dark when it comes to being a better webmaster.
THE SSI TUTORIALS & REFERENCE PAGES
Here they are, a collection of information on SSI that you will
surely want to bookmark this page for.
Enabling SSI on Your Server.
This page covers what you need to know in order to use SSI in the
first place. Apache conf files, .htaccess directives, and the
XBitHack are explained.
Nothing good in life is free (usually), and so it is the same for SSI.
Here is some food for thought on server performance.
The ECHO Directive. Learn
how to bring your server's environment information into your pages.
Included (no pun intended) is the full list of variables and
the complete list of date formatting codes. This page is perfect to
print and hang on your wall!
The INCLUDE Directive.
Discover how to make your pages very simple to maintain. Use this
directive to merge text files in with your pages. Great for those
side bar type menus.
The EXEC and VIRTUAL Directives.
Breathe some real dynamic life into those pages. This tutorial covers
what is involved in executing programs or CGI scripts and merging the
results into the final page.
How you can create an include file that contains directives that will be parsed.
A very simple fix to a commonly asked question.
A Real Back Button.
By using the HTTP_REFERER variable, with or without XSSI, you can present
a link back to the referring page- and more!
eXtended SSI Directives PART I.
Bring logic to your pages. For those of you using the Apache and some
other servers, XSSI can give you the ultimate in control over your
pages. Covered in this section are the basic IF, ELSE, ENDIF structures
using pattern matching.
eXtended SSI Directives PART II.
This tutorial introduces you to hands-on browser based content management.
An excellent alternative to redirects. You will also learn about the
SET & ELIF directives, as well as more complex logic techniques.