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BasMeelkop
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SSI not supported by our server - workaround?

Jun 12, 2012 7:09 AM

Tags: #php #ssi #include #iframes

I have been looking into solutions for quicker reaction times when changes are needed on our company website. Because of the fact the page-number keeps growing, more and more do I need quick solutions.

 

I planned on using SSI for including headers, footers and menus into my pages. The skeleton of the webpages would be set up in a format, and applied to all pages (to avoid overusing SSIs, and losing overview).

 

SSI seemed like the perfect solution, and it even seemed to be supported by the company server (a check mark behind an option called "SSI support" in the configuration menu seems pretty straight-forward). Sadly, when testing (both with an .html and an .shtm file) the opposite was true. After having directly contacted the help desk of our server, I was given this response:

 

"Despite the fact we have this option in the Control Panel, we sadly do not provide support for this function. This because our domains and websites are based on an IP-shared address, and therefore this option is sadly not possible."

 

1) I do not really understand how these two depend on one another (SSI and IP-shared addresses), so this would be my first question.

 

2) After some internet research, I came across this option: FakeSSI is a Perl program supposed to emulate the SSI function, and according to my server's configuration, I should be able to upload it to the cgi-bin and run it from there. I haven't got a clue as to how that would work, but nothing can't be solved by some research, so that's not really the problem. Where to start looking... THAT's the problem. Plus, I don't even know if this would be a good idea.

 

3) I already use several iFrames on the website, which always do their job. Could I not just use iframes instead of SSI? I do not want to use PHP-include, as it would require changing all .html files to .php files, and I don't want to lose all the outside links we currently may have out there.

 

Any help in the above questions would be greatly appreciated... Thank you very much in advance!!!

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 12, 2012 8:50 AM   in reply to BasMeelkop

    Who is your host?  There's nothing wrong with  shared hosting. I use them all the time.  And  every reputable host I've dealt with does support SSIs (either on .shtml or php pages).   I'm afraid your host's reply is not satisfactory. Start shopping for a better host.

     

    InMotion

    Dreamhost

    Lunarpages

    Media Temple

     

    Host reviews

    http://www.whoishostingthis.com/hosting-reviews/

     

    Nancy O.

    Alt-Web Design & Publishing

    Web | Graphics | Print | Media  Specialists 

    http://alt-web.com/

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 12, 2012 8:59 AM   in reply to BasMeelkop

    I do not want to use PHP-include, as it would require changing all .html files to .php files, and I don't want to lose all the outside links we currently may have out there.

    That shouldn't keep you from using SSIs. Many hosts can set it up so .html files are parsed as if they were .shtml or .php by editing an .htaccess file.  Or you could use a 301 permanent redirect.

     

     

    Nancy O.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 13, 2012 4:32 AM   in reply to BasMeelkop

    Now, let's just assume here that I cannot change host, and I'm stuck with a host that does not support SSI; what would my options to be to get as close as possible to SSI?

     

    Content in a database.  Put your code fragments into a database and pull them into the pages.  But you will have to bite the bullet and rename your pages with a scripted extension (e.g., PHP, or ASPX, or CFM), depending on your scripting language of choice.  Trying to do such scripting with HTML extensions will be too hard as DW will not recognize the script code.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 13, 2012 7:44 AM   in reply to BasMeelkop

    This is a big reason to make the move to dynamic development. There are many sites that use PHP or CF and never connect to a database. The ability to have your menus, headers, footers added to your pages with one simple line of code such as:

     

    <cfinclude template="FooterContent.cfm">

     

    for ColdFusion or

     

    <?php

    include("FooterContent.php"); 

    ?>

     

    for php

     

    Makes it well worth moving from static HTML pages to using  CF or php.

     

    Even if your host did support SSI's  you'll find true dynamic development to be a much more reliable solution - and this isn't even mentioning how to handle form submissions and so many other non database related functions... for example  this line of code

     

    Copyright 2002 - <cfoutput>#DateFormat(Now(), "yyyy")#</cfoutput>

     

    Will automatically show the current year at the end of your copyright statement in your footer - sweet, right?

     

    Hope this encourages toy to make the move.

     

    --
    Lawrence Cramer - *Adobe Community Professional*
    http://www.Cartweaver.com
    PHP & ColdFusion Shopping Cart for Adobe Dreamweaver and code developers.

    Stay updated:
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 13, 2012 8:43 AM   in reply to Lawrence_Cramer

    And by the way, it's so useful to use server scripting for any number of things, that anymore, all of my pages are PHP pages, even when they don't contain PHP.  I do this so that if I ever need to add some PHP I can do it without having the filename panic of recreating my links and worrying about search engine indexing.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 13, 2012 9:00 AM   in reply to MurraySummers

    VERY food habit to get into Murray!    The potential long term SEO benefits alone justify doing it this way... and there's 0 speed penalty to doing in this way... how often do you run into something that has 0 downside?!  That is aside from you just being you of course :-)

     

    Lawrence

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 13, 2012 9:07 AM   in reply to Lawrence_Cramer

    Definitely a zero downside on that front - that is using the PHP extension on all files!

     

    Being me, well it's subjective....   You could do worse I suppose.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 17, 2012 12:54 PM   in reply to BasMeelkop

    It's a little labor intensive, but if you have a lot of in-bound links and good search engine ranking it's WELL worth the effort to work with your host, or in the admin panel of your new host and some allow you to create custom redirects - to redirect you current .htm page requests to the new .php equivalent.  - doing so will preserve the integrity of you inbound links and will also, for the most part preserve your SE ranking, and give things time to migrate over. Not doing this will basically send your SE ranking over a cliff.   If you have poor SE ranking, no harm, but if you have good positioning, it is definitely worth the day or two it will take to do this.

     

    --
    Lawrence Cramer - *Adobe Community Professional*
    http://www.Cartweaver.com
    PHP & ColdFusion Shopping Cart for Adobe Dreamweaver

    Stay updated:
    http://www.facebook.com/cartweaver
    http://www.twitter.com/cartweaver
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