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I don't know whether I am missing a trick in HTML. I have one simple HTML website which has over 100 HTML pages. For each page the header, sidebar & footer section are the same but the content is different. Can I simply make this site like Wordpress where the page is formed by header.php, footer.php, page.php & sidebar.php. I know I will still have to work on page.php kind of files.

This will simplify the file structure of the site. Also I want to know whether this solution is good in SEO perspective or not.

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3 Answers 3

Content Management Systems such as WordPress don't really improve SEO since you can do everything in Static HTML form than you can in a WordPress.

WordPress just makes thing's a hell of lot easier for managing your pages as well as creating SEO friendly URLS. You should see using a Content Management System as making your job easier and freeing up time to make even more content - If we was to save time saved and time spent on constructing pages then yes it does improve SEO.

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Yes, you can absolutely split your site into sections like you describe and use simple include() statements if PHP is available or SSI directives to call them. Before the rise of CMS platforms, this is how many people created sites with consistent and easy to modify sections.

Building your pages that way has no positive or negative effect on SEO. So long as you include all of the necessary elements for SEO (title tags, meta description, rel author, etc) then your site will do as well as it did before.

What CMS's like WordPress do for you is force you into "better" (not best) practices for SEO by doing things like requiring titles for all content and automatically generating a menu system that a spider can crawl. Via the use of extensions/modules/plugins you can add more advanced SEO techniques to the site but you can also do it by hand on a non-CMS site. Ultimately working with a CMS makes things easier for some people as it automates a lot of aspects of site-building. But that same automation has drawbacks and some people prefer to hand-code everything and retain pinpoint control over all aspects of the page. Ultimately you will decide to do what is best for your development style and site needs.

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Yes, you can do this by using PHP include statement to call your header, sidebar and footer whenever you need to include them in a page using <?php include 'header.php';?>

Note: In this case would be better to create files with the .phtml extension, so you can either put HTML or PHP code inside of it. <?php include'header.phtml';?>

  • The include (or require) statement takes all the text/code/markup that exists in a specified file and copies it into the file that uses the include statement. Including files is very useful when you want to include the same PHP, HTML, or text on multiple pages of a website.

  • Including files saves a lot of work. This means that you can create a standard header, footer, or menu file for all your web pages. Then, when the header needs to be updated, you can only update the header.php file.

Let's say we have a code for the header within a file called "header.php" that looks like this:

<header class="header">Welcome to my website!</header>

To include the header file in a page, use the include statement:


<?php include 'header.php';?>
<p>Some text.</p>
<p>Some more text.</p>
<footer class="footer"> ... </footer>


When to use include and when to use require?

The require statement is also used to include a file into the HTML/PHP code.

However, there is one big difference between include and require. When a file is included with the include statement and PHP cannot find it, the script will continue to execute, while when using the require statement a fatal error will be produced:

  • require will produce a fatal error (E_COMPILE_ERROR) and stop the the script
    Use require when the file is required by the application.

  • include will only produce a warning (E_WARNING) and the script will continue
    Use include when the file is not required and application should continue when file is not found.

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