I would like to get some feedback on the above:
I have been designing sites in Dreamweaver (using tables) based on a template system. Thus, when I needed to change my header or footer, I just changed the template file, hit 'update' and all of my files were updated.
I know a lot of people use server side includes these days, but to me the only advantage I could see in switching over would be because, if I have a site with over one hundred pages, and I want to change the header, then I only have to upload 1 file via ftp, rather than all of them. And dreamweaver template code can be messy and easily broken in a text editor...
Also, to some extent, having to use ssi's takes me back to frames-based pages, which I used to hate, because to create a single page I have to involve 4 or 5 pages. Though obviously, ssi's don't have the down-sides, in terms of SEO, that frames can, if poorly used.
So now I want to take a large site and re-do it based on css design, a la csszengarden, and that's going to be a large amount of work. So I want to think far ahead about file management etc. so I don't run into any probs in the future.
What I really need help on is: how do most people handle their file management/creation when they are designing sites purely in css, especially large sites.
Do they use ssi's? Because it looks like if I move to css, using ssi's may not be that necessary...
I've noticed that a fair number of sites based on ssi's tend to have only one page title for their whole site, because the title tag is included in their header. This definitely won't work for me because I'm a stickler for SEO.
re: SSI's, file management and large css based sites
FWIW... I use CSS and SSI (asp)
I usually set up the basic design of the site using CSS and when I am happy with that use it as the basis for all other pages.
I pop the header, menu( and footer portions into included pages, and the content is an included page as well. It makes for very small code that is easy to deal with, and you don't have to wade thru everything in a page to make changes... just change the CSS or the included page(.
Essentially your page then just has...
Doc type, meta tags title etc
<div id="header"><include page></div>
<div id="menu"><include page></div>
<div id="content"><include page></div>
<div id=" footer"><include page></div>