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Getting More Out Of Apache (part 1)
Learn to use server-side includes and Apache's virtual hosting features.

| Including A Few More Tricks |

The next item on today's agenda involves something called "server-side includes", or SSI.

Very simply, server-side includes are sets of instructions which enable Web servers to display data contained in server-side variables (server date and time, file currently in use, and so on). SSI also allows you to include external text files in your HTML pages - this comes in handy when you need to add a common header and footer to every HTML page.

Adding support for server-side includes is again a matter of tweaking the Apache configuration file, "httpd.conf". By default, the server root is not configured to parse documents containing SSI instructions. In order to enable this support, you need to add the


keyword to the <Directory> directive - it should look something like this:


Next, you need to tell the server to recognize SSI files - these typically have the file extension ".shtml". In order to do this, add the following lines to the configuration file:


Restart Apache for the changes to take effect.

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