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Chapter 3. Implementing Common Elements > Understanding Server-Side Includes (S...

Understanding Server-Side Includes (SSIs)

Server-side includes (SSIs) are text files that contain HTML and other code. The code in these files is combined into a Web page on the server before the completed page is served to the client. The same SSI can exist in an unlimited number of pages on a site. The use of SSIs makes common areas of a site extremely easy to update—just modify and publish one file, and the changes are instantly applied to every associated page.

There are two types of SSI: those that use only HTML, and those generated by application server code. A Web page that uses an HTML-based SSI often requires a certain filename extension so that it will be processed by the server. Servers often disable automatic processing of standard HTML to enhance performance. On UNIX servers, an .shtm or .shtml extension is used; Windows servers require .stm, .asp, or .aspx to indicate that a page should be processed.


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