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Enabling SSI On Your Server with .htaccess


This guide demonstrates how to enable SSI on your server using .htaccess.

If you are paying for hosting services you may need to get permission from your host to make sure you are not violating their Terms of Service which could result in you getting the boot! Every decent host supports SSI but double-check to make sure.

To enable SSI either create a file simple called .htaccess or edit your existing .htaccess file and place the following code in it:

AddType text/html .shtml
AddHandler server-parsed .shtml
Options Indexes FollowSymLinks Includes

Note: to enable SSI for your full web site place the .htaccess in the root directory of your site; to enable it for just a certain directory place the .htaccess file only in that particular directory.

The first line of the code above tells the server that .shtml is a valid extension. The second line adds a handler to all pages with the .shtml extension which tells the server to parse (process) the document for server side includes.

If you prefer you can use a different file extension for your files which you want parsed for server side includes. Simply change the .shtml to .shtm etc. If you also want your .htm documents parsed by the server (so you don't need to rename all your files) simply add the following after the first line of the code above:

AddHandler server-parsed .htm

If you want to use SSI in your default directory page, such as index.shtml you may (but normally won't) need to add the following to the .htaccess file:

DirectoryIndex index.shtml index.htm

This means that index.shtml can be your default page. If this page is not found the server will look for index.htm etc. More on this in the .htaccess guides section.

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