Apache Handlers


The .html files do not run server-side includes, but .shtml files will. To allow these you need to add a new handler for HTML:


To allow SSI, set the handler as server-parsed and the extension as '.html' (without the quotes).


This will tell the server to read the .html files so that you may use these directives in them.


Follow these rules:

  • Commands and arguments are in lowercase letters
  • The double quotes around the value are required
  • There is no space until after the command
  • That hash mark (#) is required
  • There is a space after the second double quote, before the second double hyphen (at the end)


Here's the format of the SSI:

#include file="included.html" 

The above format will create an SSI that will include the text found in the file "included.html".


Why Use "file="?


We use "file=" when the file that will be included is held within the same directory as the file that is calling for it. 


Also, need to use the "virtual=" argument. If the file you are calling for is located in a position requiring an address starting at the server root. This means the file isn't in the same directory as the page that's calling for it.


Many times an "includes" directory is set up that contains all of your include files. This is a popular method of doing things. If so, then you'll use the virtual argument to attach the SSI command to the files. Just make a point of giving the command the path from the server root (the domain name). Like so:

#include virtual="/directory/included.html"


That forward slash before the first directory is representative of the domain name (server root for that domain).


/home/username/public_html/ is the server root to the Main Site of your hosting account (where username is your cPanel username).


/home/username/public_html/addondomain/ is the server root to an addon domain of your hosting account.


If you have a file located at /home/username/public_html/addondomain/includes/includedfile.html that you want to include in http://www.addondomain.com/index.html, then your SSI format inside the index.html file would look like this:

#include virtual="/includes/includedfile.html" 


By using that leading slash, the server will add the domain name to the front of the address for you.


Rule of Thumb Uses "file=" when the included file is within the same directory as the page that wants it. Use "virtual=" when it isn't.


Additional Notes:

By default, there is an Apache Handler on the server to parse .shtml files which already have server-side includes (SSI) inside of them.

SSIs will NOT work until the DNS has propagated to the name servers. You will not be able to test them in advance by using something in the format of http://xxxx.xxxx.xxxx.xxxx/~username/test.shtml.


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