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What use is SSI?

Server Side Includes (SSI) is a neat server side method of including the contents of one html or text file into another html page. In a website this can be used to create standard footers and navigation in separate files, this reduces the maintenance required if a site wide change is required.

It works by configuring the webserver to parse through certain pages looking for SSI instructions (generally of the form <!--#ssiCommand argument="expression" -->) and then carrying out the instructions and replace the instructions with the output generated.

There are a few ways of configuring a webserver to handle Server Side Includes

If you see the SSI instructions in the View Source in your browser then SSI is probably not enabled, that is the file is not being parsed for includes.

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