I am interested in learning more about ssi... can anyone point me to some useful sites?
Exactly what can I do with it? Can I use it to make it easier to update, say, my menu? Like if I put all of the stuff on the left collumn of my page that is the same on every page into one file, could I do that? That way when I want to, say, add a section I would just have to edit one file, instead of 45?
Also, is ssi compatible with all browsers? am I gonna be screwing ns and opera users?
SSI can do all you specified. Basically you break important (often-updated) sections in your site down to little bits (text files) and then use SSI to call them. So if you need to update your menu section regularly you can just edit a single file and the changes are implemented site-wide without you having to go through every single page on your site.
SSI is compatible on all browsers, as all the work is done on your web host/server before everything (buttons, text, graphics) appears on your browser.
BigNoseBird has a very good SSI tutorial, and our own Matt M. has created a very succinct summary on SSI.
Cool, thanks for helping a newbie out. This looks like a pretty cool place... Into the favorites it goes. ;
Check out this link: http://www.wdvl.com/Authoring/SSI/
Its excellent and includes all the links to SSi you ever need. It even includes the one BC pointed out.
You might want to bookmark it.
While you are looking to SSI, i would recommend you progress to something like PHP or if you have a less busy site, use CGI.
There will come a time when your site need to progres sinto a more dynamic form, rathe rhten just headers and footers.
SSI are pretty cool, and can save out a lot of time :) I've written some tutorials on them at http://freesources.net/authoring/ssi/
If you have any question you can find me on ICQ :)
You can also capture certain environment variables using SSI.