How PHP Can Help Save You Time And Mistakes.

Sep 13 21:00 2004 Ben Rourke Print This Article

(c)2004 by Ben ... a really simple way... to maintain and speed up yourweb site ... your web site grows, so does the problem of ... become more ... a two or thr

(c)2004 by Ben Rourke

Here's a really simple way... to maintain and speed up your
web site development.

As your web site grows,Guest Posting so does the problem of maintaining
it become more complex.
Even a two or three page site can have a lot of detail in
it. If you want to make any changes to the links or content
you have to do so for each page on the site, and then upload
all the new information.
All this can be very time consuming and also create the
possibility of errors creeping in, which can make your site
look less professional.
This is where PHP can come to your assistance. I am not
going to go into an explanation of PHP here, there are lots
of sites online where you can find out more detail about it,
if you wish to get more involved.
Here, I am going to show some simple techniques to help you
with your web site creation and maintenance, thus saving you
lots of time and reducing the risk of errors.

Step 1:
How to change information across a complete site easily
using PHP.

Say you have a list of links across the top of your page and
you want to maintain these links over a 20 page site.
If you were to change one of those links, you would manually
have to do it for the remaining 19 pages also.
As you can appreciate this would be a time consuming process
making the changes and uploading each page seperately. Also
the potential to make a mistake is very great indeed.

However using the method outlined below, you will be able to
update complete sites in no time at all, virtually reducing
the possibility of making mistakes to zero.

The trick is to use PHP to 'include' a header and a footer
template called from your main file 'index.php'

Don't worry if this does not make sense at present as all
will be explained shortly.

Here is an example of a index.php file:

include 'template/header.php';

Place your content here.

height="65" alt="">

include 'template/footer.php';


Point your browser to to see it in
View the source on that web page and notice all the HTML.
Where did all that come from you ask? All will be revealed
now, and then you are well on your way to easily generating
and maintaining your sites with ease.

Notice the first segment:


include 'template/header.php';

You must always include the opening tag: <?php and the
ending tag: ?>
In between them we have an instruction to 'include' a file
called 'header.php' which is located in a folder on your web
site called 'template'. Obviously these can be renamed to
anything you like.

Now for the second segment:

include 'template/footer.php';

Again, we have given an instruction to 'include' a file
called 'footer.php' which is also located in a folder called
'template' on your web site, in the same directory or folder
as your 'index.php' file.

To see these files individually go to:

and view the source code on those pages using your web

Now you can add content to your web pages by inserting or
copying and pasting existing code between the PHP segments
of your 'index.php' file as shown above.

That is it!
To change any information in the 'header.php' for example,
just open that file in an editor and make your changes.
Then save and upload 'header.php' to the 'template' folder
on your web site.

Go to 'index.php' and all your changes are magically
included. You can see the benefits of this. If you had a
site with 20 pages, all your changes happen on every page by
just editing this one 'header.php' file.

Just 'include' the header and footer files into every other
page you make as in the 'index.php' file, calling your
second page for example 'products.php', then 'contact.php'
etc. The only thing different between all the pages will be
the content you insert between the header and footer


So, if you have put off learning PHP until now, I hope that
this has encouraged you to make a start.
There are countless other ways to use PHP and maybe one day
you could even program your own safelist script using it.

Use the source from the examples and make changes to the
'header.php' and 'footer.php' files and see this in action
for yourself.

Above all have fun!

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Ben Rourke
Ben Rourke

Ben Rourke.
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