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  1. #1
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    I've been learning SSI includes, and I curse myself for taking so long to get around to it - whenever I update my site, I have to update one of three menus on the pages - the menubar, jump menu and left side menu, and sometimes all three! I just tested a page with all three items in a text file and it works great! Of course, I have to upload my menu graphics to every directory, but that's only a couple of background GIFs and a transparent gif for sizing. I love this stuff!

    My questions are - will search engines follow the links in the text files? If not, is this a bad thing, or will should I update the links on my index page and use includes on the rest of the pages? Finally, is there any reason not to use SSI includes that I haven't heard about?

    Appreciate the help!

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    SSI is great!
    Search engines should have no problems following the links in your menu (not the javascript menu ones though). The only problem is some of them do not like .shtml files. As long as your have your pages named .html instead of .shtml you should be right.
    There is a line you can add to your .htaccess file to make your server read .html as .shtml (see my post here)

    There is no way that the spider (or other user) can tell which parts of the page are SSI and which parts are not.

  3. #3
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    Yeah they will have no probs following links as it is server side as opposed to client side scripting lanuages like javascript where it is browser dependent.

    [ 02-05-2002: Message edited by: maccas ]

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys! I just love it! You can't imagine how much work I've been doing everytime I update. This is as groovy as cascading style! Why didn't anyone tell me about this before? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    Hey, I got two dots! I think I only had one before - what'd I do right?

  5. #5
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    badkitty,

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Hey, I got two dots! I think I only had one before - what'd I do right? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Ummm, you were a good kitty?<IMG src=http://www.abestweb.com/ubb/icons/icon38.gif> <IMG src=http://www.abestweb.com/ubb/icons/icon15.gif> <IMG src=http://www.abestweb.com/ubb/icons/icon6.gif> The pips (red dots) are based on the number of posts you have made.

    Haiko

  6. #6
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    Cool, then I'll earn more dots with more questions, such as:

    Now I've got another bright idea - I use a number of affiliate links on my pages, enclosed in a little rounded table I call a "pop". See bk2k.com. As I know you're all aware, affiliate links have to be updated often, to stay current, and I like to rotate a number of links throughout my pages. I thought, why not make each link into a text file and put an SSI include inside the little table? I would name the files according to the HTML page it was on - for example - freegraphics1.txt, freegraphics2.txt, buttons1.txt, buttons2.txt, buttons3.txt. That way, when a link changed, or when I wanted different links, all I would have to do would be change the text file inside the little "pop". I'm a little concerned about slowing down the server - however, the files will be nothing more than say, for example:

    <a class="affiliate" href="http://www.amazon.com/bk2kwebdesign">HTML Goodies
    by Joe Burns</a>

    Would many little includes like this (3-5 per page), in addition to the includes I have for my navigation, slow down the page much? My pages, I'm proud to say, for the most part are very fast and "skinny" (except for the ones that are for free graphics, and that's to be expected). I don't want my desire to save time (and this would save sooooooooo much time) compromise the quality of my work.

    I appreciate the help. This is the single most gracious forum I've ever been on! You guys really are helpful and courteous. Muchas gracias, y'all!

  7. #7
    Crazy Cat Lady Heidi's Avatar
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    I use about 7 SSI includes on my pages. I even use them for metatags (not keyword and description meta's though), the body tags, etc etc. I've never noticed it slowing down the server.

    Also I don't put the images in every directory like you said you do. I just put the image in as http://www.mydomain.com/images/blah.gif.

    I love SSI, makes changing ad banners and other links a snap :-)

  8. #8
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    Also I don't put the images in every directory like you said you do.

    But if I don't put them in the same directory, they don't show up - is there something I need to put in .htaccess to make the server pull the images from my directory? It was my understanding that this couldn't be done; it didn't work when I tried it, it wouldn't pull any images from "../images/", I had to upload them to the same directory.

  9. #9
    Crazy Cat Lady Heidi's Avatar
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    As I said I use the complete url to the image:

    img src="http://www.mydomain.com/images/blah.gif"

    It works that way for me in all directories then and I only have to have one copy of the image in my image directory.

    [ 02-06-2002: Message edited by: Meowser ]

  10. #10
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    BK, there's no need to have a separate image directories. The trick is to use absolute urls rather than relative ones, just like Meowser's doing.

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador webmarm's Avatar
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    Google seems to read my ssi pages just fine, anyone know which engines are the problem?

  12. #12
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    I remember reading on the google webmaster pages (can't remember url... google.com/something ) that google did not/would not spider .shtml files, due to dynamic content and possibly an unlimited number of pages.
    That's why I use the line in my .htaccess, which allows me to use .html files as .shtml

    UPDATE: (found the google page)

    Fiction: Sites are not included in Google's index if they use ASP (or some other non-html file-type.)

    Fact: At Google, we are able to index most types of pages and files with very few exceptions. File types we are able to index include: pdf, asp, jsp, hdml, shtml, xml, cfml, doc, xls, ppt, rtf, wks, lwp, wri.

    but there is also this:

    Reasons your site may not be included.

    Your pages are dynamically generated. We are able to index dynamically generated pages. However, because our web crawler can easily overwhelm and crash sites serving dynamic content, we limit the amount of dynamic pages we index.

  13. #13
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    Well, it's been an eventful 2 days. I got a little overenthused, and put an .htaccess file in my root directory. All my scripts - forum, directory, tell-a-friend form - stopped working. I freaked, then I researched it a little and found out what I should have known all along: don't put them in your root directory.

    So now I'm starting over. I've worked out a system whereby I can rotate the links on all the pages using SSI. Much easier to update a text file than to go into an optimized html file and search for the text I want to update!

    That's good to now about the URL's. I'd tried it with ../images/ and it didn't work.null

  14. #14
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Pete--Google has absolutely no problem with my .shtml pages. And lately I've been seeing a lot more sites with other extensions besides .html or .shtml, too (these Other Sites aren't mine).

    BadKitty--"I'd tried it with ../images/ and it didn't work"

    Put the WHOLE URL in... www.yoursite.com/images/ThePicYouWant.gif

    Or, you may not have your images in an "images" directory (I don't).

    Then it'd be www.yoursite.com/ThePicYouWant.gif

    If neither of those work, The Pic You Want isn't in the main directory in the first place! This happens quite a bit when you have become used to putting your pix in each subdirectory...

  15. #15
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    Bad Kitty,
    The usage of a complete url has been covered here, and that will solve your problem. For what it's worth, we use .shtml on almost all of our pages, and I've never had an issue with google or any other search engine. We show up fine from what I can tell, and have never suffered an impact from going to .shtml. Your use of the menus, etc is a perfect use of SSI. I see people use the entire header in SSI, and this could affect your ranking per se. Using an entire header, as some folks have, you lose the ability to set your keywords and other meta-tags for individual pages. Meowser pointed out using SSI for metags, with the exception of keywords and description. This is the smart way around it. Folks that suffer in the search engines from using SSI, I believe, is having all meta information served from the same file.


    Tom PYles

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador webmarm's Avatar
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    Okay, I'll admit it. There is one thing I don't like about my host. And only one thing so far after two years with them and another attempt to find a cheaper place to play with MySQL.

    They don't allow that htaccess override for shtml.

    I can htaccess my images out of everyone elses hands, I can do everything but not change to html for ssi pages.

    Everything else is so smooth with them (FutureQuest), and I have HATED anywhere else I've been, that I am now on strike with looking for any new homes. I'll take the shtml pages that google ranking just fine.

  17. #17
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    yeah, when I was composing my last post, I realised that my info (what it used to say on google), was outdated. They now state they DO spider .shtml pages

    I think I'll leave my server as is though.. I prefer the .html pages

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