Adding additional PHP pages

I have two questions that likely have the same solution.

For my items/browse.php I have a two different 'Sort' submenus - Alpha and Date. I'd like to duplicate this file and tweak it so that Alpha and Date have different navigation options. I duplicated the file and named it dates.php, but when I linked to it, the page didn't work. Am I missing a step somewhere?

My second question is about adding a page more generally. I'd like to create a separate page for some more information. I'm currently using SimplePages, but I don't like editing the HTML in the small text editor. I may also add another page with dynamic content, and would feel much better doing so via text editor and FTP than with SimplePages. How can I add a page to the directory and then link to it? Given my earlier problems with the dates.php, I have a feeling that I'm missing a very simple step somewhere.

Omeka works a little differently than many other PHP applications: it's designed to have all requests route through the same, single, PHP script. The .htaccess and general design of the application are tuned to allow this.

So, you generally can't just create a PHP file within your Omeka directory and link directly to it. The "Omeka" way to do it would be to create a plugin, which works within the Omeka framework to add new pages.

You could also just have your new PHP file "live" outside the Omeka directory, so our rewrite rules and things won't interfere (But, if your new file is a copy of an Omeka view, it won't work outside of Omeka, or really ever as a standalone file).