Two series of new phloroglucide derivatives were synthesized that possessed antibacterial activities. The first series includes cephalosporin 3'-phloroglucide esters 19 and 20, which were obtained by condensation of cephalosporin 16 with bioactive phloroglucides 14 and 15, respectively. They exhibited a dual mode of antibacterial action. In comparison with cephalosporins 26 and 27, bearing an acetoxy unit at the C-3' position, the bifunctional cephalosporins 19 and 20 showed a broadened spectrum of activity. Results from the consistent valence force field (CVFF) calculations indicate that the most stable conformational isomer of phenolic acid 14, holding a cis-syn-syn geometry, possessed a cavity. It provides an ideal environment to accommodate metal ions of holoenzymes. Phenolic keto acid 15, however, possessed a trans-anti-syn conformation, which allowed chelation between metal ions and the phenolic hydroxyl groups as well as the carbonyl functionalities. Our biological results show that the cavity formed in phloroglucides plays an important role. The second series includes 7-(phloroglucidamido)cephalosporins 24 and 25, which were synthesized by condensation of cephalosporin 21 with 14 and 15, respectively. Results from the CVFF calculations indicate that cephalosporin 24 also possessed a cavity. Unlike cephalosporin 3'-phloroglucide esters 19 and 20, cephalosporins 24 and 25 were found resistant to beta-lactamases from Staphylococcus aureus 95 and Pseudomonas aeruginosa 18S-H. These new compounds, however, showed notable activities against S. aureus FDA 209P, S. aureus 95, Candida albicans, P. aeruginosa 1101-75, and P. aeruginosa 18S-H.