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I have a page with: streaming media and a long questinnaire. The contact info part of the questionnaire will be used on many pages and the rest of the questionnaire will be used on several pages. I want to use the php 'includes' function so that I only have one copy of those elements. The site is for a charity (low budget) but the pages may be popular (much server usage). Will my pages use significantly more server capacity if I use the 'includes' function? Or is there no difference?
But then you probably have a stat call for every directory Apache has to search for .htaccess files unless you disabled them in your server config.
I wouldn´t worry too much about another include.
It´s often a trade off between speed and ease of maintenance. If you want to avoid the disk read and still have your questionaire in a separate file for maintenance think about using an offline tool such as a simple perl or php script that includes the questionaire on upload. I really like offline CMS. Why have the server do the work each and every time a page is requested when some/most of it can be done once offline. I do realise that there are some tasks that need to be done on the server but your include does not.