I am going through Kevin Yank's wonderful PHP tutorial (http://www.webmasterbase.com/article.php3?aid=228&pid=0). I have always known the benifits of PHP and thought of it to be awesome, but it wasn't until a couple of hours ago that I realized how much this would beinifit my site. From what I know, PHP allows you to pretty much bypass dealing with HTML files. It allows you to instead run a database of files. Read at least the intro of Kevin's tutorial to find out more.
I like using PHP for my includes because it allows me to make my sites that I design modular. I can take a module from one site and include it in another site that I design. But being a programmer I am used to working this way with all my Classes etc. organised into different files.
Would people please comment on why SSI, or PHP for that matter is preferable to using Dreamweaver Templates. (yes, this is related to the previous topic)
I use these templates for my sites, and it allows easy updating across many pages. I find it is easier to use than SSI because you an include must be one continuous piece of code on a page (Like a nav bar, or a footer), while with Dreamweaver templates you can update code anywhere on the page, and in many different non-continuous places if you wish. This seems preferable than having to write many SSI's for different sections of your document.
And excited as I am about learning PHP and MySQL, how would it offer me any advantage to the system I use now.
Dreamweaver templates are not dynamic. They can't change them once uploaded to a server without reuploading. Using PHP, SSI (with PERL) or ASP you could store your templates in a database and change them on the fly with a simple HTML form.