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Planning and building a navigation system for your website
The lowdown

PART SIX: Keeping things fresh.

» Index
» Introduction
» Planning
» Which technology?
» Design issues
» Widgets
» Updating
» Checking
» More info

« tech homepage

urban75 web project Creating a navigation system:
Updating/adding navigation to your site
By Mike Slocombe for Internet Magazine, May 2004

1. Doing it manually
Using search and replace to update your website's navigation If your site's in good ol'fashioned HTML, adding a navigation bar is simply a case of pasting it on the top of every single page.

If you're using HTML tables, keep the navigation in a separate table so it will load faster.

Most web authoring programs offer global search and replace tools, so that you can make site-wide changes easily, although you'll have to upload all the pages afterwards.

2. Server Side Includes (SSI)

Using server side includes to update your website's navigation Server Side Includes automatically add predefined chunks of code to your pages - so you if you need to change the navigation you only have to change the SSI file.

It's a fairly easy process, but comes with two caveats: it can slow down the pages and not all webhosts will let you use them.

Check out the tutorials at
Demystifying Server Side Includes
FAQ: SSI (Server Side Includes
Using Server-Side Includes

3. Be Dynamic

Using a database driven site If your site is going to be a thousand page blockbuster, making site wide changes could soon become a time-consuming nightmare.

By building a database driven site, making changes to your navigation bar becomes an absolute breeze: simply change the template and every page will show the updated content.

More info:
Building a Database-Driven Web Site Using PHP and MySQL
Active Server Pages tutorial for beginners

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