I need a way to setup my websites so that my clients can edit content easily without knowing any programming languages. Basically I need setup the page with some programming code that will access another file such as a text file and still keep the same formatting style.

For example Ihave one client that has a menu for his restaurant and he wants to make changes to it every so often. I have another client that is a rock band and needs to change out upcoming show dates on one page as well as news on another. What is the simplest way to handle all three of these scenarios with one solution in which none of these clients need any knowledge of web-based programming languages AND without them being dependent on third party DB or FTP software. Is it possible. Can I set up a page with text forms on it that the corresponding pages can access dynamically? Any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Sure you can. You can use flat files just like you would use a database to store the information. You can even use a tool like fckeditor to act as a wysiwyg so they don't even need to know HTML to edit their pages.

Well you should have a database driven site. Where the content is stored in the database. The data would be updated via a password protected admin. You can use a number of free Content management scripts on the web

Where would be the best place to start looking for these free scripts so I can learn more. What would be the best term to search for this to find what I am looking for

I tried "dynamic web content" and a few other search strings but as you can imagine they all gave me very broad results. How can I narrow it down to get what i am looking for. Thanks again.

Smarty (http://smarty.php.net) is a pretty good templating system that you can use as part of a flat file db system. You'll still need to store the editable data somewhere -- flat file or db -- and provide an edit style interface though. You'll somehow have to impose structure to it too, either through "write the file this way", or a custom form that will write the data that way.

If you're looking for a decent Content Management System, I would recommend Drupal. I find it's a pretty good one. If you don't like that, I'd say take a look in the HotScripts directory.

Thanks I'll check it out. Do you think these are easy for customers to update their info on the websites I build?

If your solution is completely web based, then you don't need to worry about your clients knowing any specific languages.

Your HTML will be dynamically generated by your script, so you can change the appropriate values as necessary. You can even think of your HTML as a document template.

It's not a difficult thing to do conceptually, but it will take some work.