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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.
In such systems product information is stored in a database and is inserted into the template when a product is requested by its code. This means that both a unique title and a set of meta-tags can be stored alongside the product data (or generated on the fly) and inserted into the global template effectively. The only detrimental effects that remain are the latter mentioned two and are usually an acceptable tradeoff for the increased ease of administration that a database-driven system provides. Template as an Include In this architecture each page on the website has its own filename with a .php extension.
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Template as an Include In this architecture each page on the website has its own filename with a .php extension. The top and bottom portions of the template are stored in separate files that are included (using include_once() ) by each content file. This technique increases the importance of the page with search engines as each page is its own standalone page rather than a CGI argument. This type of template system also makes it simple to track page views through regular website statistics software. On the other hand this type of template system still has the weakness of having one title and one set of meta-tags for the entire site.
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.