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Creating a Website: The Missing Manual, 3rd Edition by Matthew MacDonald

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Chapter 10. Multipart Pages

As you start building bigger and more elaborate websites, you’ll no doubt discover one of the royal pains of website design: making a common ingredient appear on every page.

For example, you might decide to add a menu of links that lets visitors jump from one section of your site to another. You can place these links in a table or a <div> element (two techniques shown in Chapter 9) to position them on a page, but either way you face a problem you need to do a fair bit of copying and pasting to display the menu on every page of your site. If you’re not careful, one page can end up with a slightly different version of the same menu. When you decide to make a change to the menu, you face the nightmare of updating every one of your pages. Web creators who try this approach don’t get out much on the weekend.

There’s no simple solution to this problem, but crafty web designers can use a variety of techniques to get around it. In this chapter, you’ll learn about the two most accessible solutions: server-side includes and the page template feature in Dreamweaver and Expression Web.

Understanding Multipart Pages

By this point, you’ve amassed a solid toolkit of tactics and tricks for building web pages. You learned to polish your pages with modern fonts and colors, gussy them up with a trendy layout, and add images and links to the mix. As you apply these techniques to a complete website, however, you’ll run into some new challenges.

One of the first hurdles you face ...

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