I recently obtained a client who needs me to help them with their website. An employee of theirs created the site but is now unavailable, so I can't ask them for help.
I was told they "probably" created the website with Dreamweaver. I downloaded the entire site via FTP. The employee saved all the pages as .php files.
When I open the files in Dreamweaver, nothing is linked. No images, no CSS, nothing. I get an ugly white page with unformatted text.
I dread having to relink everything manually; am I doing something wrong? I confess my web design experience is mostly in the HTML world, but I can figure this out if I can just get the pages to show up correctly.
Thanks for any help!
To work with php files locally you need to set up a local testing environment. You can do that by installing XAMPP or MAMP, which come in free packages, do a Google search. Once you have one of them installed you need to put your website folder in the http folder in XAMPP or MAMP. Then define your site in Dreamweaver to point to your website folder in the http folder or you can access it by typing localhost/yourFolderName in a browsers url bar
You should also be aware that a database might be involved if the website is using php which will require you to download that file , which would normally be done via the websites control panel not via ftp access and then imported into your local version of phpMyAdmin which will be included as part of the downloaded XAMPP or MAMP package.
I would initially have a look at the code in the files you downloaded via ftp and see what is going on. That will provide you with a better idea of the structure and workflow being used.
Thanks! Is the 'http folder' the same as 'htdocs'? I don't see an HTTP folder listed in the XAMPP folders.
Are you absolutely sure this isn't a WordPress site? Before you get too deeply invested in this project, can you post the URL to the online site?
I'm pretty sure it's not Wordpress - it's hosted on Justhost.com, and when I logged in there's a link to WordPress right in the control panel, but there's no site listed.
The website is fortmeigs.org
Is the code of the downloaded index.php file the same as when you view the source code of the online page?
I just looked at the source code of the online page and no, they don't match. Does that mean the index.php file I downloaded isn't, in fact,the home page of the site? Thanks for your help!
It most likely means that the page is dynamically populated with data from a database. Not unlike what Wordpress does.
Can you give us the link to the site. That way we can say for sure.
It's not a Wordpress website BUT it may be getting information from a database.
Can you post the index.php code here?
If it is using a database then you should see a lot of php code at the top of the page refering to a database connection and querying the database.
Lots of code here
I could post the index.php code, but I'm a little nervous about doing that since this isn't my website and I don't want to post the code on a public forum without the client's knowledge. I can tell you that the first line of the index.php code is a callout to link to a server. Is there a way I can send you the page privately?
Is there a way to find out what online program he used to create this website if it isn't Wordpress? I'm trying to edit the code through Dreamweaver, but it's a slog.
What do you mean 'is a callout to link to a server'?
It might not have been created in any online program. If I look at the source code it just looks like an ordinary website using standard coding, nothing would lead me to believe it was created in anything other than a normal website editor.
I mean it looks like this:
Thanks again for your help. I could edit the pages if I could just get them to look in Dreamweaver like they do on the website.
The code you posted is a PHP server-side include statement or SSI. To parse SSIs locally, you must set-up a local testing server from Sites > Manage Sites.
I use Wamp server so my local site files reside in the WWW folder. On Xampp or Mamp, your web folder is HTDOCS. See screenshots.
Advanced Tab, Server Model.
If the former web master used deprecated DW Server Behaviors, that could be a big problem for anyone taking over the site. The old connection strings wont' work on servers running PHP 7 or higher. You would need to drop back to an older PHP 5.6 server.
Maybe not WordPress, but it's using server-side technologies (PHP & MySQL). Not that you can't learn this eventually but right now you're in over your head. If something breaks on the back end between PHP programming and databases, I don't know if you can handle what you don't understand.
How can you tell its using MySql? Is there something in the code I have overlooked? I can't even tell if its using any php to be honest as that is parsed server side, not client side. Just because the pages have .php extentions doesn't mean there is any php in them, then again maybe I've missed some obvious signs?