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Making Custom Header and Footer Files With Smarty Templating

When you code small or larger web applications and websites from scratch, one of the first things you do is create a custom header and footer file. In addition to that, you could create a custom sidebar as well. The custom files allow you to eliminate redundancy since your single header and footer file will be displayed on each and every page. So, if you decided to add a page on the main menu, you simply add it to the header file.

Making these files with Smarty is very simple. For starters, let’s assume you already have a single logic(.php) and a single presentation(.tpl) file which dispalys the entire web page. At this point, you will still use both files. But, you will need to create the new header and footer file. Both of these files will use the (.tpl) extension. Now, all you have to do call the display() method within the logic file in order to display the custom header and footer.

The code snippet below comes from the bottom of the logical file called main.php. This code can be added to any new page for which you will want to resuse the same header and footer file. The includes directory was created inside the root folder for the website.

 $smarty->display("includes/"); //display output $smarty->display("main.tpl"); //display output $smarty->display("includes/"); //display output 

The ‘includes’ folder can also be used for functions and classes. Or, you could make and use any folders for which you find neat and tidy, or necessary based on the complexity of the application. For example, one person may only want the includes folder, while another would have an includes, functions and classes folder.