Templates and Static HTML
Say you’ve got a list of 100+ cities, and you want to create a website with 100+ pages (one per city). All of the pages should be basically the same, but include the appropriate city name in the text, and vary just in some minor details. You could create a PHP or ASP page that fetches data from a database and dynamically builds the page, but for search-engine friendliness, it would be better if you had 100+ individual static HTML pages.
That’s where a templating system comes in handy, and I’m looking for one. I’ve used LinksSQL (now called Gossamer Links) to build entire websites, and it’s pretty powerful. Unfortunately, it really wants to build a Yahoo-style directory, so you’ve got to jump through some serious hoops to build a general purpose site with it. Don’t get me wrong — it can be done — but it’s a long way around the lake, and I’m thinking there’s got to be a bridge around here somewhere.
Here are some templating systems that I found in a Google search. If you know anything about these, or have other suggestions, leave a comment. Preferably, I want something that doesn’t require a database (meaning it should store the configuration data in flat files), runs on Windows (Perl is fine), and doesn’t require a graduate degree to get up and running.
- WebMake (I actually have some experience with this one, and it’s the front runner, but there are some situations where it’s weak, particularly where templates which can adapt to arguments passed in are concerned)
- Better Templates for Everyone
- ShearerSite Template System