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Use File Includes to Keep Your Content Fresh

Keeping content fresh is a major challenge for every web publisher.

In addition to managing the technical, business, marketing, administration aspects of the web business, you still have to find time to update your web content on a regular basis.

Most experienced content publishers have learnt a few secrets over the years. And for obvious reasons, most keep them locked away.

However, I'm going to let you into one secret.

It has proved to be very successfully on both small and large sites. To be honest, it is so simple, you'll ask yourself: now why didn't I think of that?

All you have to do is insert one line of HTML code into each webpage template.

Here is how it works.

1. Create a webpage template. Separate all the major sections into different tables, for example a table for the header, footer, left navigation and so on.

2. Create a separate web page for each table.

3. Cut and paste each table into its own web page. In other words, create a header.html, body.html, advert.html, specialoffers.html and other pages. Each of these will be a separate File Include.

What is a File Include? In programming terms, each of these mini-pages is called a File Include. You use a small line of HTML code to 'include' each of these files into your webpage template.

How many File Includes do you think are on this page?

4. Open the webpage template and place each File Include into the appropriate section. Then, save the template with the file extension .SHTML, for example Index.shtml.

5. Finally, to update the entire website, choose whichever File Include you want to update, let's say the 'Special Offer' page. Update SpecialOffers.shtml and every page is updated across the entire site.

Knowing this, you can use File Includes to update your content more frequently. If you run an eCommerce site, rotate your sales File Includes to update promotions, special offers, and other such items on the site.

In this way, every time visitors return to your site, you can have fresh content in place and increase the likelihood that they will make a purchase.

PS: The page you are looking at has 7 different file includes!

Ivan Walsh

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