Up until now I have been building my websites on my desktop and then uploading them to the server. When done like that, I have an exact replica on my desktop as the site on the internet.

I have been using relative links to do so. So when I get down three or four folders deep, I end up having to place a "../../../" in front of all my images and links to root files.

Thats annoying to me but it makes working on the site much easier because its all done on my desktop then uploaded once the debugging is done.

Then I found SSI. Now that my sites are hosted on Linux servers and I am trying to work in SSI calls, Im finding that using relative links arent working so swell anymore. And since they arent working so good, its beginning to make me do all my work on the server and I havent been able to figure out a way to store a duplicate site on my desktop to work on.

When I try to use the root directory call "/" before linking to my images folder or root files, it works fine on the server, however, on the desktop doesn't work. Am I trying do go about this the wrong way?

So what im trying to figure out here is what the best way to do updates and maintenance on your site may be. I would like to ask all of you how you manage your sites. Whether you use SSI or not, whether you have a desktop copy or not, or do you simply keep your site on the server and view the actual URL to see the changes you just made. Do you use relative or absolute links? Or both? and if both, then when do you use either and why?

When those of you use SSI, do you use absolute URLs for the links & images included in the SSI file?

Any information that you can share on how you build your site and manage its links would be appreciated. Im finding myself very confused on this matter.