File Extensions for Website Pages

Did you know that website pages come in many different types? It’s true. You web browser (probably Internet Explorer) is built to handle many different types of website files.

  • .html or .htm – These are “regular” website files.  HTML stats for Hyper Text Markup File.
  • .shtml – SHTML pages are a step up from HTML.  These are HTML pages with the ability to interpret server side includes.  Server side includes (SSI) files are bits of code that SHTML pages can share.  A great way to use this is to have a shared menu, header and footer file.  It makes website maintenance very easy.
  • .asp – ASP stands for Active Server Pages.  These files typically are used on website hosts using  Windows as the operating system for their server.  They have their own coding language.
  • .php – PHP pages are my favorite.  (Yes folks, I really am a geeky website developer.  I have a favorite type of website page.)  PHP is a coding language that works very well with MySQL databases.  This is the file type used in WordPress.

In general no file type is inherently better than another. I do tend to stay away from plain .html or .htm files though.  Those are the only type of files that can’t share snippets of code.  Maintaining a website that exclusivly uses HTML takes more time and effort than other websites.

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