Importing Content from an Include or Database - PHP?

I’m working on a website focusing on animals, and I’m trying to figure out a good design.

My current inspiration is to simply write very brief overviews of each species and store them in a database. A page at MySite/Animals/Wolf might then feature the following text:

<p>The wolf is the largest member of the family Canidae…(etc.)</p>

Underneath that text would appear a series of topic headings…


Each heading will be linked to general articles. For example, Distribution might be linked to an article about Carnivore Distribution. But there will be nothing more specific until I find time to write an article about Wolf Distribution, Wolf Ecology, etc.

But rather than display all these articles on the page as I finish them, I think it might be more user friendly if maintain a simple page consisting of only the items posted above. If my database contains an article about Wolf Distribution, then visitors will see a cue (e.g. “Display the article 'Wolf Distribution”).

The article would then appear between the headings “Distribution” and “Anatomy.” But I don’t want the text “hidden” in the html code, where it might slow down loading time. I’d like to use some kind of technology to fetch and display the entire article only if a visitors requests it.

What kind of technology can do this? I suspect it can be done with PHP, but I don’t know if that’s the best way to go.

P.S. Does this sound like a good idea? One drawback is that search engines presumably won’t index content that doesn’t even appear on a page. One solution is to create an alternate page that displays ALL content. So visitors can choose between the user-friendly version described above or the whole enchilada. :wink:

P.P.S. I should also ask if there’s a term for making allowing visitors to fetch and display content that isn’t otherwise hidden in a page’s HTML code. That would make it easier to Google for tips.