I’ve discovered SSI

Back in November, I posted about a problem I’ve had with my Mozilla and Netscape help sites. They had become too big to have all FAQs on one page, and were laborious to update. It was obvious that I needed to give each FAQ item its own page, but that presented a different problem. If I ever want to update the schema of the site, I’d have to manually edit hundreds of pages.

Frames, as any good webmaster will tell you, is out of the question. I’ve been spending quite a bit of time learning/experimenting with content management systems, but every one I’ve tried is overkill (Not to mention the ugly URLs, they create).

Finally, unlike Bono, I’ve found what I’m looking for. It’s Server Side Includes (SSI). “As its name implies, its primary use is including the contents of one file in another.” In other words, I can create a file containing the HTML of my site header, and have all pages use that file, for the header. If I make any changes to that file, it is reflected on all pages.

I can’t wait to start using it. I feel like I’ve been walking to work everyday, and have just learnt how to drive a car. My life is about to get much easier. 🙂