What is the difference

  pj123 15:07 16 May 04

between SHTM, HTM and HTML please.

I am trying to edit a website in Dreamweaver but it doesn't show SHTM pages. Only HTM or HTML pages. How can I get it to show SHTM pages and also change them to HTM or HTML please?

  Taran 16:08 16 May 04

HTM and HTML, if you mean the file extension .htm and .html, both mean the same things - they are documents consisting of HMTL intended for display on the web. Some web hosts insist on your homepage being named index.html while others will allow index.htm

You can adjust the default file extension that Dreamweaver saves HTML files as by editing the MMDocumentTypes.xml file in the Your Drive Letter:\Program Files\Macromedia\Dreamweaver MX\Configuration\DocumentTypes folder. Open the file in Notepad and change the line where it says:

<documenttype id="HTML" internaltype="HTML" winfileextension="htm,html,shtml,shtm,stm,lasso,xhtml"

to this:

<documenttype id="HTML" internaltype="HTML" winfileextension="html,htm,shtml,shtm,stm,lasso,xhtml"

All you change is the order the filenames are liisted in, from .htm, html.... to .html, .htm. This ensures that your web files will always have a .html extension by default.

SHTML is a file extension often used when you implement SSI or Server Side Includes. SSI files are files separate to your main page, but that the main page references and displays as part of its own content.

You can use SSI for common page elements like a header, footer, navigation panel and similar.

The SHTML page includes other files like this:

<!--#include file="filename.txt" -->

There's a pretty good overview of SHTML at this page: click here

Dreamweaver may not show the includes because they are separate files to the parent page and will be called by the web browser whn that page is requested. Check out the source code to see which files are included in the document and then try to find them in the site folder(s).

Here are a couple of links for using Dreamweaver with SSI:

click here

click here

  pj123 17:24 16 May 04

Thanks Taran. I built a website for a friend some time ago. When I first uploaded it the web spiders found it within 2 weeks. But now when I type the same keywords in it is not there anymore. Others have told me it is because my page titles are "Page 1", "page 2" etc.. I want to change the page titles to give some idea of the website but I don't know how to do that. What I have done is opened the page in Dreamweaver and resaved it with a different name like "b&b central brittany" instead of "page 1" etc.. So if I delete the site as it is and upload the changes will that do it?

  pj123 17:59 16 May 04

Thanks fourm member. All of that has been taken onboard. All I want to do is get the site back on to the first 2 or 3 pages of the search engines, where it used to be. It doesn't have to be Number 1 but somewhere in the first 30 would be nice. I have downloaded and saved the site as it is now. So if anything goes wrong with the changes I have made at least I can put the original site back up, so we are still back to where we were.

  Taran 20:16 16 May 04

If you can consistently keep any B&B website in the top 30 then you have my admiration. Search results can differ on an almost daily basis and for B&B type sites, small hotel sites and holiday lets, unless you have a very unique property or service in an area you are up against every other B&B in that region.

This is from another thread that I responded to recently and may be useful to you here.


"The way search engines work (roughly) is this:

1. They 'read' the page title

2. They 'read' the page description (metatag)

3. They 'read' the page keywords (metatag)

4. They 'read' the page content and see if it reflects the above three.

If you manage to get your page title, description, and keywords reflected in the page content text, the search engine will place it higher when ranking the page.

If your page title, description, keywords and content text have little in common, you will always be lower in the ranks.

Search engine indexing is done on a page by page basis, and each page is judged individually. If you have an index.html page loaded with all the metatags under the sun, the search engines might decide you are trying to pull a fast one and ignore you altogether. If you use the same combination of keywords, decription and page title then the search engines sometimes decide you have loads of copies of the same page on your site.

Search engine optimisation is an art unto itself and I can only offer suggestions on the basics or answer any specific queries you may have. If I knew all the ins and outs of it, the last thing I'd do is tell the world about it. I'd be making my fortune instead."


Now that I've repeated that, for the record, I normally name pages as follows:

Home > index.html

About Us > about.html or about_us.html

Our Services > services.html or our_services.html

Contact Us > contact.html or contact_us.html

The hyperlink text would often simply be Home, About Us, Our Services, Contact Us.

The page title in the <title></title> tags would be:

<title>Home page</title>

<title>About us</title>

<title>Our Services</title>

<title>Contact Us</title>

And this is where the trickery begins.

The home page (index.html) has a description metatag, keyword metatag and some of those keywords are reflected in the text of the page. Each page in the site has a different description and keyword metatag for that page, and again, you try to get the keywords and descripion reflected in the page content text.

Search indexing can sometimes be helped if each page is in its own dedicated folder within the site root as well. Obviously your index.html page always stays in your web root folder, but you can try this:

The About Us page would go in a folder called about_us so the full path to the file on the web would be:

http: // www. websitename com / about_us/about_us.html

The Contact Us page would be:

http: // www. websitename com / contact_us/contact_us.html

And so on and so forth.

Search engines like that a lot.

Make sure you use lower case filenames and no spaces between words. If you want to use spaces, us the underscore character as I've done in the above examples.

Finally, keep in mind that if you do go around changing filenames for your web pages it might be worth setting up a custom 404 Error page. Anyone with an old filename address in their favourites or if another site has a link into your site and you alter the page name your custom error page should dircet them, with an apology, back to your homw page to allow your visitor to search for where they want to go.

There's a decent metatag generator at this link: click here

  Taran 20:25 16 May 04

I'm not sure if I actually answered your original query and I'm not certain if you mean filenames (which I suspect) or page titles.

In Dreamweaver there is a small Title: textbox below the Modify, Text, Commands and Site drop down menus. Altering the text in that textbox alters your page title. Renaming the file from page1.htm to about_us.htm would help slightly in search raking terms, but only if your keyword and description metatags were well implemented and only if their content was reflected in the page.

To save yourself a bit of work, if you rename a site file from page1.htm to about_us.htm in the site explorer view, any hyperlinks to and from other pages will be automaticaly updated by Dreamweaver.

You can feasibly rename each file and Dreamweaver will update the hyperlinks, so if page1.htm pointed to page 2.htm and you rename them to about_us.htm and our_services.htm, Dreamweaver knows that the link is there and will ask if you want to update all pages connected in the chain.

It's one of those really useful features of Dreamweaver and means you don't have to fool around with the File, Save As... menu option.

Hope that helps.

  pj123 11:51 17 May 04

Taran, Thank you for the "min" tutorial, I have printed it and will give it a go. The unforseen snag (which you pointed out) is the fact that my friend has a subscription to 3 "Holidays in France" type companies who give description, photo's, contact details and a link. All these 3 seem to be in the top ten on the search engines consistently. That means if I change the title pages or filenames their links won't, or may not work. So I have a lot to do. The other big problem I have is that the site has two versions an English version and a French version. My partner (being French) deals with the French version while I do the English version. The index.htm for the site only gives the option to pick whether you want the English version or the French version, but in Dreamweaver, in the Title it is called Untitled Document. Not a lot of help really.

  Taran 12:20 17 May 04

You can set up a custom error page (as I mentioned above) or a custom redirect page to catch pagenames of that you change and forward them to the new pagename.

In fact, you can do it in a matter of seconds with a simple .htaccess file.

Most people only ever use .htaccess files for directory protection where a username and password are required to view or access the contents of a folder on your website.

You can actually use .htaccess to redirect from a page address to another address, even if the other address is not on your domain, or it can be used to target your own custom error pages for the common error number like 400, 401, 403, 404 and 500.

I rather like .htaccess files. They can be very, very useful indeed and can open up a lot of freedom to correct site issues (like filenames) without impacting too badly on the site performance.

Take a sneaky peaky here: click here

And this link click here is a quick and easy way to generate an encrypted .htpassword file.

The .htpassword file is where your .htaccess file looks for the username and password combination if you use directory protection.

The above may give you some fallback if you do decide to alter filenames. It's a simple and effective method of quick-fixing alterations to an established site. Don't think of it as a cure-all though, because redirects and such like are still frowned upon by search engines.

  Taran 13:39 17 May 04

I should have added that on its own, having page filenames like page1.htm is not really a big problem on a little site. Using Page1.htm is a nono since it involves a capital letter. However, if you don't want to break any links that referring sites already have in place, just leave the filename(s) alone and concentrate on the page titles that go in the <title></title> tags on each page, and put a good description metatag and keyword metatag into each individual page.

In future try to name the actual files using a logical naming convention like about.htm, contact.htm and so on. It's worth doing this if for no other reason than months or weeks later you can come back to a site and see at a glance which page(s) require work by their name. If you ever get into some large site work it is imperative to have subfolders in the web root to hold different portions of the site, and an index.html page can live in each subfolder if you like, allowing each folder to operate as an individual site within a site. Logical names become a real strength to your design when you get involved in anything more than half a dozen pages.

Remember to keep things lower case with underscores in place of spaces between words, like_this. Make sure you do that for both filename and folder names. If you have a resources subfolder in your site with a page of useful links iside, its address could be:

http: // www. your_site_name. co.uk /resources/useful_links.html

For now though, it could make sense to keep your filenames as they are to prevent broken links on the site and for future projects adopt a simple naming convention.

  pj123 16:47 17 May 04

Even more thanks Taran. I think I will do as you advise and leave this one as it is for now, till I get a bit more confident. I will build it again from scratch as an exercise using your mini tutorial and the links. I will close this thread now.

  GroupFC 17:48 17 May 04

This is useful stuff, thank you!

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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