Editing PHP Website


I’ve been given access to a website that’s well over 15 years old, but when I’m browsing the Cpanel for the correct index file, all I’m given is an index.php file, which upon saving or opening to edit, contains nothing BUT PHP code.

However, if I remove that index.php file from the web root directory, the site will obviously not load.

I also did a test where I viewed the source of the homepage within Chrome, copied EVERYTHING, and pasted it into a fresh text document to save as a new “index.html”. Removing the index.php and allowing the index.html document to be loaded works just fine. However, any subsequent pages will try to go back to the index.php file when clicking a link to the return to the home page. Since I expected these links to be pointed to a php file, I tried saving the replacement index.html as a php file, only to discover that caused the CSS styling to be broken and not be applied.

I’m not sure how they initially developed this site, or who did it, and the person who managed it all these years was let go from the company and I myself am not allowed to even make contact with said individual.

I’ve worked with php sites before that I coded myself by hand, so I knew what to look for, but I’m totally at a loss here!

I did see at the top of the php files a reference to CRE Loaded (which I believe now is eCommerce or Loaded Commerce) and oSCommerce, which leads me to believe this website was designed using a template similar to a service like Shopify. If that’s true, I would likely need access and edit this site through that template editor, correct?


I think its hard to say without seeing the site. I think even seeing the site and having access to everything it could be hard to say - the same situation you’re in now. Is there any version control? I guess I would continue to look for clues in the source and try and figure out how things were done.


Well, looking around in the HTML document I created from the source I copied from the home page, I’ve come across a meta tag named “generator” with an attribute that says “Loaded Commerce Pro v.6.5.1”, so it looks like it’s a template deal and I need to get the info.

Am I the only one who doesn’t like these kind of template websites? It seems every time I get asked to work with one, it’s all Greek to me; give me something hand-coded and I’m able to easily make sense of it!

On the flip side, the idea of embedding a shopping cart as well as allowing easy additions of new products for the client on a conventionally coded website is something that I’ve been too afraid of figuring out how to do myself :frowning:


So, I was able to get access to the Loaded Commerce dashboard, and this interface is so… clunky!

I can’t make heads or tails of it, so I’ve been clicking every section (feels like there’s a million of them!) to see what I can find.


Doesn’t sound fun!


It’s not!

On the other hand, my client has also tasked me with modifying their new website, which goes through Shopify and is written in Liquid!

Anyone have any familiarity with it? I’ve been able to learn to make some desired changes fairly quickly, and have found a way to understand the template’s CSS file for changes I want to make myself.

Time consuming, but in that case I’m learning something, so it’s great for personal development.


Quick update: I reached out to Loaded Commerce for help.

The gist of it is that the site is one of their templates that’s been completely modified through ANOTHER means; they provide only the back-end stuff for the eCommerce and some basic editing… no actual design/content editor exists!!

I’m once again at square one.


I haven’t developed an actual website in over a decade so I’m afraid I’m not much help here :ermm:


It’s all good! Kinda regret getting back into it myself haha.


@senocular, It’s amazing how relevant your Matrix tutorial remains though, I continue to see links to it. So even when you are not trying, you still help.

By contrast how many plastic desk characters have you added in the last 10 years? :grinning:


plastic characters++

I’ve stopped adding to my toy collection now too. I have too many. No room for any more.

Hmm, so what’s next?


I’ve been acquiring a collection of vehicles, so getting back into web dev is going to fund my… addiction, I mean hobby.

My client doesn’t want me to spend the hours recreating the entire old website, so I’m simply going to make a splash page that diverts customers to the new company page (which they should have asked me to do from the start instead of wanting to save a site for a company that is now defunct).

This way I can focus on that .liquid jazz. Not all bad, just a lot of code to sift through to customize these templates. The more I read it, the more I understand how it works.


What is next, anything intrigue or interest you? Burn out, or everything is just too easy for you? :grinning:


I was thinking about working on my gun collection



I’m always down for that!

Would love an NDM-86, but can’t justify the price… I have a Romak PSL, which is just a beefier reciever, following the same operation principle as the AK, piston driven. The NDM/SVD operating mechanism is different, more like that of an SKS.


So this process continues! Not much anyone can do to assist me, unfortunately.

I’ve configured a VPS and am setting up a VPN to test applications I can develop using the Rails-born Liquid language for creating my own Shopify app to meet my needs since client doesn’t wanna pay for one; I’ll chalk my payment from them for creating said app as experience since I’m learning something knew, and knowledge is priceless.

The old site can’t be sunset yet, as the clients themselves can’t agree on verbiage for the content of the new site!! It can’t go live until then.

I’ve also begun revamping my own page and decided to give in to the norm of responsive web design and am diving into Bootstrap. I went with 3.3.7 for now instead of the beta of 4. I like it, but it’s hard to get it to exactly what I want it to do in terms of getting certain elements to behave the way I like via CSS. One of the main reasons I made the switch to Bootstrap is the included jQuery components, which makes life a lot easier instead of having to hand-code it all again.

I’d made several responsive sites using nothing but HTML and CSS, but the lack of the old “hamburger” menu when shrinking down to phone resolutions meant I had to reduce the size or reorganize the navbar in some other fashion. Bootstrap takes that worry away from me, but I’m still getting used to fighting with the core CSS to overwrite some of their base styling within my own custom CSS.

I should have stayed away from this :sob: