Pros and Cons of Server Side Includes
I do a web site for a nature center in the Adirondacks (http://adirondackvic.org/index.html). The nature center has changed its trail system, creating the need to rework the navigation for the site. I need some advice.
The site started small, with about thirty pages, so I created it using Dreamweaver templates, making it pretty easy to update. However, now it has grown to over 250 pages. I need to modify the navigation panels and footers, which means updating and re-uploading over 250 pages. Because additional revisions are likely in the future, I am considering a move to server side includes, with three separate include files: vertical navigation, horizontal navigation, and footer. I have two issues I am grappling with.
-- The first step to implement this plan was to test it out on one page. I did that, and the resulting page is available here: http://adirondackvic.org/Adirondack-Nature-Walk-2-August-2013.html. I want to make sure this page works before I proceed. I am testing it with all the browsers on my system, plus on IE tester and Sauce Labs. It seems to work fine for most of the browsers and operating systems I have tested. The page does not work with IE 6 but so few US users use it that I have decided to ignore the problem. Is that a reasonable decision? Also, does this page work for other people, using other operating systems and browsers? Do you have any advice about other testing strategies?
-- Second, before I rework the Dreamweaver template to incorporate the SSIs and revise and upload all the pages again, are there any major disadvantages of server side includes which I should consider before I go through this lengthy process? Do pages with SSIs take much longer to load?
Let me know. All advice gratefully received. Ellen