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It can look a bit scary for a beginner who's never studied the concept of template engines but once you get your head around it then its simple.
Install is very easy just follow the basic installation [smarty.php.net...] to ensure it works then slowely make adjustments to suit your own app.
I have a dir for my main ap say
then I have php classes
then I have the smarty template at
With smarty you can prevent php code being inserted by designers and force them to use smarty functions only which are very easy to use like looping, dates etc.
Tried writing my own and it worked but then found smarty which was faster, why have a dog and bark yourself?
me to, although writing my own really helped when picking up smarty as the concepts are the same, smarty just makes it sooo much easier.
Back the question, smarty is very easy to install on a shared server, you just have to whack it in a directory and you're away.