The hip, up-to-date web designer wants to make sites that not only look good, but that are fast to build and easy to maintain. The best tool for the job varies depending on the client, but for small sites that don't need to be updated daily, Server Side Includes (SSI) are a good option. Used properly, SSI can reduce the time you spend creating and maintaining web sites and boost your profits. Using SSI only requires a little bit of knowledge and enabling the feature on both your production and development web servers.
Technology managers and developers I've talked to cited unwanted complexity and too steep a learning curve as their reasons for not using SSI. If you've found yourself in that position in the past, I'm here to reassure you that SSI in not too complex, and anybody with enough smarts to lay out a web site can take advantage of it. It's a small extension of your current skills, and it provides a shortcut for things you were probably already doing.
The best news is that SSI is supported by both leading web server platforms, Apache and IIS. Although IIS supports a smaller set of directives than Apache, enough is supported for the feature to remain useful.