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Important factors to consider when developing a template solution are: relevant titles tied to content relevant meta-tags standalone files and ease of statistics tracking. The popular approaches of page-as-an-argument and template-as-an-include do not effectively provide these functions. Including template information after the body tag and keeping headers intact is the best way to ensure that sites are optimized for search engines - and this is why you should consider using the Body-Only Includes model during your next project. You probably know that submitting articles can boost your website s popularity in search engines.
And this area includes the title and meta-tags. One workaround for this type of system is to code the top template page to check which file it is being called from and to substitute a suitable pre-coded title. Although effective such a system is cumbersome to maintain as each new page that is published warrants a new title and meta-tag entry in this secondary system. Body-Only Includes The ideal PHP templating system will permit content producers to enjoy the reusability of templates while maintaining unique titles and metadata for each page with ease.
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There are two other detrimental SEO effects this type of system has. The first is that each unique page is viewed as an aspect of the template script rather than as a unique standalone page. This can result in search engines lowering the importance of individual content pages relative to the template script - which is often not the desired result. The other weakness of this approach is that having individual pages set up as CGI arguments makes site metrics harder to track as statistics often show a visit to a specific page as a visit to the general template script.
This article is intended for PHP web developers who create template systems for consistently presenting website content. PHP designers who create their own template systems should be concerned about how their choices affect the website s position in search engines. Below is a discussion of three types of systems their impact on search ranking and a recommendation for the best approach. Webpage as a CGI Argument In this architecture one PHP script contains the entire template and plugs in content from a file it reads in - getting the file name from a CGI parameter.