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Most websites have a lot of material that is the same from page to page. For instance, Web Central has a header, a green horizontal menu, a banner image, and left hand navigation that is the same from page to page, plus a footer. The only thing that changes is the content in the part of the page you're reading now.

By separating "boilerplate" and the real content of a page, a template can be used to prevent endless copying and pasting. Plus, if something changes - like a page is added to the menu structure - there only needs to be one update, and information providers don't need to worry about opening and editing every file.

At Sacramento State, most information providers are using either Dreamweaver or Contribute, which use the same templating format. Web Services has only produced templates for these programs. To learn how to use templates with Dreamweaver, consult the Dreamweaver help.