Chapter 5. Taking Control of Content

In This Chapter

  • Approximating CMS with server-side includes (SSI)

  • Reviewing client-side includes using AJAX

  • Using PHP includes to build a basic CMS-style system

  • Building a data-based CMS

  • Creating a form for modifying content

Commercial sites today combine many skills and tools: XHTML, CSS, JavaScript, AJAX, databases, and PHP. This book covers many of these techniques. In this chapter you combine all these techniques to build your own content management systems. Some are very simple to build, and some are quite sophisticated.

Building a "Poor Man's CMS" with Your Own Code

The benefits of using a CMS are very real, but you may not want to make the commitment to a full-blown CMS. For one thing, you have to learn each CMS's particular way of doing things, and most CMSs force you into a particular mindset. For example, you think differently about pages in Drupal than you do in Website Baker (both described in Chapter 3 of this minibook). You can still get some of the benefits of a CMS with some simpler development tricks, as described in the following sections.


The examples in this chapter build on information from throughout the entire book. All of the CMSs (and pseudo-CMSs) built in this chapter use the design developed in Chapter 2 of this minibook.

Using Server-Side Includes (SSIs)

Web developers have long used the simple SSI (Server-Side Include) trick as a quick and easy way to manage content. It involves breaking the code into smaller code segments ...

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