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What is SSI? (server side includes)
do ssi pages actually get indexed on serps?

 11:11 pm on Apr 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hey guys, Ive just designed my website in iframes and was told that since iframes cannot be indexed on engines, the better substitute is SSI? are there any pages out there that I can see which uses SSI for me to see what exactly this is?




 11:16 pm on Apr 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Iframes can be indexed in search engines, and are, without any problems, but the problem comes when a visitor comes into your site from the search engine to the page that was contained in the iframe. If it's a single page, all you have to do is lift them back out with a little javascript, if it's multiple pages, it's much harder.

ServerSideIncludes are just a way to include a piece of HTML into your page, they won't duplicate iframe functionality in any way.

Also think of using PHP for includes, they are much more powerful, and you don't have to rename your pages with shtm or shtml extensions, which you have to do with SSI.


 11:32 pm on Apr 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

> are there any pages out there that I can see which uses SSI

Actually, no. You'd have to look at the source directly or use FTP (not HTTP). The included content is inserted before the page is served, and so is indistinguishable from the hard-coded content when viewed in a browser.

> you don't have to rename your pages with shtm or shtml extensions, which you have to do with SSI.

Most servers have methods you can use to easily avoid having to rename pages which include SSI. For example Apache server has two easy methods.

PHP is much more powerful, but SSI can be used to implement simple included content quickly and easily.



 11:37 pm on Apr 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

I quite like SSI. It is, as jdMorgan says, fast and easy.

This might be a little overwhelming but you can look at this for syntax of SSI commands.


look at the portion about include.


 11:42 pm on Apr 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

What would you guys consider to be cases where using SSI would be a better option than PHP, I've wondered about it.

Is the syntax for running shtml the same as php:

AddType application/x-httpd-shtml .htm .html


 11:54 pm on Apr 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

AddType text/x-server-parsed-html .html .htm

SSI is simpler than PHP, and is available just about everywhere. PHP is much more flexible, but if you don't need that, SSI works very well.


 11:57 pm on Apr 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

On Apache, you can use either

AddHandler server-parsed .html


XBitHack on

(or XBitHack full) to tell the server to parse .html files (and/or others) for SSI. With XBitHack, you set the Owner Execute bit of the files you want parsed for SSI, which can help to keep the server load down if you only want to parse a few files.

The advantage of SSI is that it is simple and fast because it is "built-in" to the server. On the other hand, you certainly would not want to re-code a complex PHP site to SSI, even if you could!

It's all a matter of what you need to do, and how long your schedule is to get it done. On the one hand, PHP is very powerful, and on the other, you have to learn a lot more to use it.

Every tool is good for something, the trick is to figure out which tool is best for the job at hand. And having a toolbox full of various implements is usually good, too! :)



 6:24 am on Apr 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

thanks guys for your responses! im still very confused though! i just asked a question to one of the yahoo guys and he said that iframes does get indexed in yahoo, but thats all he said.. im not sure if the data within the iframes gets indexed in the serps.. if it does, i still need to see it


 6:30 am on Apr 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

the only reason why U would switch from iframes is because of search engines not indexing me. iframes are also only for the latest browsers i believe so that might be another one.. so what should it be SSI or PHP? Im using it to develop an ecommerce site with thousands of products listed alphabetically from A-Z..

any suggestions guys?


 5:44 pm on Apr 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

Basically all version 4 and greater browsers support iframes except netscape 4.

However, if you are doing an ecommerce site, don't use iframes, it's too hard to get all the problems ironed out, unless you don't need the iframe contents spidered. If you do, you'll need to figure out a better way to do it.

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