How can we reuse the same content in multiple pages on our website

My company’s website has many hundreds of pages.

Much (but not all) of the text on any given page is shared between many different pages, and I am looking for software that can help me manage this content.

If I need to change a paragraph of text for example, right now what I have to do is go through and manually change every page where that paragraph appears by copying and pasting the new version paragraph in.

I need some kind of authoring tool that will let me reuse different components (whether paragraphs or collections of paragraphs) in different documents. Then whenever I update a component, each page will automatically get the latest version of that component.

We are thinking about building something in house, but I wonder if there is a package out there that allready does this.

Do any of you experts out there have any recommendations?



Have you looked into implementing a database solution? Maybe even simply separating areas of the site into different files and loading them up into a single file (like through include commands)?

P.S: If you need specific help, feel free to contact me.

Yes, what you’re asking for is something called Includes, which isn’t a difficult thing to implement, but needs some setting up on your server to work. Look for some help on the web using the terms SSI, or Server Side Includes, or similar.

When looking for information on setting up includes on your server (if they’re not already implemented), be sure to also google for the type of server you’re running. The setting up process is different from IIS to Apache (for example)–in fact, in Apache it even depends on which version you’re running.

Actually using them in your pages works exactly the same, though, no matter what the server.

There are also more graceful ways of doing it if your web site is set up with scripting, such as asp or php.

In addition to the potential technical answers provided so far, perhaps an administrative rethink of the web site is in order. You might be able to consolidate the content duplicity by reducing your page count, and going to a database solution and/or using SSIs.

Thanks, everyone, for your responses so far. As always, I’m grateful for the kindness and expertise of the folks on this board.

If you’ll all bear with me, I’d like to add some additional info to clarify my OP.

The website I’m talking about is, in essence, an on-line reference manual, and each of the 1000 pages describes how to perform a different procedure.

To illustrate, assume the website covers how to do auto repair procedures on a bunch of different makes and models of cars. And assume that each of the 1000+ pages covers how to do a particular procedure (e.g. changing the timing belt, or adjusting the points) on a particular make, model and year.

If two different procedures, call them “Procedure A” and “Procedure B” on, say, a 2002 Honda Accord, both involved removing the head gasket, then the page for procedure A and the page for procedure B should each have a paragraph (or maybe series of paragraphs) on how you remove the head gasket.

If we want to change the paragraph (or series of paragraphs) explaining how to remove the head gasket, either because we made a typo, or we have discovered a better way to remove a head gasket or we just thought of a better way to explain it, I’d like a system that is set up so that we can just change this in one place. Then, using SSI functionality or some similar XML magic, the next time a customer looks up Procedure A or Procedure B for a 2002 Honda Accord, she will see the updated description of how to remove a head gasket.

We’re looking into the idea of building a system like this in house, but what motivated my OP was the thought that maybe somebody out there has already created an authoring tool, or software package or something that does something like this already.