03-13-2010, 07:22 PM
Here is my situation. Have a developer programming some pages plus a shopping cart for my site using CRELoaded. I also have personally designed numerous other pages for the site using Expression Web.

The question - I want to edit some of the text that the developer is using for the pages he is working on. I don't want to change any of the "information" fields. Example; “Create an Account” – has numerous "fields" to enter name, address, email address etc. Designating "mandatory" fields for email, etc. All the standard stuff.

However, there is a ton of stuff I DO want to change on his pages. Different size fonts, rewording text descriptions and so on. I am NOT talking about changing any of the basic functions, just editing the HTML portion of the pages.

If I download his work (name.php.html) and open in Expression Web, I can change any of the text I want. When viewing in “Code” view, all the form’s php coding is still intact. Of course when I save as Web Page, it saves as name.htm.

But he is saying that won’t work – that I have to edit the php files from my web site after they have been uploaded. Somehow that just doesn’t sound right. All the original code he is doing is still there and when comparing the page in “name.php.html” and “name.htm” seems to be identical.

Is what he telling me right? Is there a way to edit on my computer and not have to go to the actual web site? And WITHOUT knowing/learning php?

Additional information for your consideration;

While I am fine with my web authoring tool and VERY Basic HTML Editor (Coffee Cup). You will lose me real quick with long and involved coding scripts I’m afraid.

I do not have CRELoaded installed on my computer; of course it will be installed on my site.

There is no way I am going to learn PHP coding. I only have the one site and I am already short on time.

I ONLY want to edit HTML, NOT the php code.

Thanks for your input,

03-13-2010, 07:47 PM
Hey Ron. From a purely technical standpoint, no script should be named "name.php.html", it should either be "name.php" or "name.html". Either one of these two extensions can be parsed as PHP if the server configuration is made to do so. Heck, you can have an extension ".ron" and have it work. I am curious why any script is named "name.php.html", but I suppose there is a reason in his mind for that. It seems amateurish to me.

I don't use or expect to use Expression Web. It looks to be Micro$oft's newest version of "FrontPage" (shudder). Unless I'm mistaken, however, the PHP scripts may very well have to be uploaded and exist in your "web" before you can manipulate them. I think if we can find another Expression Web user here they may be able to clear this up. I typically SSH into the server and hand code everything using VIM, so I'm not much help here.

Overall, from the developer's perspective, it could also simply be that he doesn't want to altering anything that might "break" the script and wind up causing him more work - that he'll probably have to eat. I would probably do things differently, either create templates that the end user can alter to their heart's content, or collaborate a bit more with the client to ensure they're getting exactly what they want in the application.

03-13-2010, 08:08 PM
If I download his work (name.php.html) and open in Expression Web, I can change any of the text I want. When viewing in “Code” view, all the form’s php coding is still intact. Of course when I save as Web Page, it saves as name.htm. I assume you are downloading the page using your browser. If so, the developer is right. What you have obtained is the parsed html output of that php page and not the actual file containing all serverside codes. For example, if you save this CF thread's page, you'll get showthread.php.htm, which would be a complete html document, where as the actual file showthread.php file may not contain all these tags or other elements.

Thus the developer is right. He can't easily(though he might be able to understand your requirement from that modified html and then change the serverside code at his end.) plug the modified html output to the actual serverside file.

03-13-2010, 09:24 PM
Okay, understand a bit more now. I just THOUGHT I had downloaded all the code by downloading his page.

Let me take this a step further. Say the pages are posted on the web site. Can I download them into some sort of WSWG PHP editor, tweak just the HTML then upload the revisions to my site?

Or am I going to always be tied into a developer (as I won't be learning PHP programming)?


03-13-2010, 10:11 PM
PS - to supplement my last post.

If I have all the ORIGINAL PHP files; "address_book.php" which I just realized that I do, can I open them in some sort of editor to edit just the HTML?

More of a WSWG Editor as opposed to a hand coded editor?


03-13-2010, 10:58 PM
It sounds like you're just viewing the rendered HTML and editing that? That absolutely will not work and could potentially erase a lot of work.

You'll want to open the original PHP files in a text editor, preferrably an IDE or similar program that supports syntax highlighting. There are numerous programs available for free that will provide that.. Notepad++, Komodo Edit, etc.

Do NOT use a WYSIWYG editor when working with files that contain PHP code. Again, the potential is there to erase a lot of work.

Having said that -- and as a full-time programmer myself with a "hands on" boss -- if you admittedly have a limited knowledge of HTML, I would highly advise against editing source files. ;)

03-13-2010, 11:43 PM
+1 on not editing source files, if you don't know code.

Even seemingly harmless whitespaces, which are invisible, when introduced to a PHP file like after php tags, can break a page. VIM and other programming editor let you see whitespaces, but learning VIM is like learning a new language. It rocks but a very steep learning curve.

There are PHP template systems, like Smarty, or if he was using a framework which have template systems built-in, then he'd might be able to let you edit the template pages. I'd imagine though, that would cost more money (or time) as he'd have to refactor his code for a template system and/or PHP framework.

03-14-2010, 12:42 AM

Bottom line - keep my cotton picking hands off it!

Got it!