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Loader for encoded Wordpress plugins

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Joined: 02 Feb 2016
Posts: 1
Location: Denver, Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:00 am    Post subject: Loader for encoded Wordpress plugins Reply with quote

My php scripts are in a Wordpress plugin that I sell and install for my customers. Many of them are on shared servers, so there is no way to guarantee that a specific ioncube loader will be available that will work for my v9 encoded plugin scripts regardless of where they might be installed. After struggling with this for several days and over several customer sites, here is the solution that finally worked for me:

1. I installed/copied the required ioncube loader appropriate for the v9 encoder and my project parameters that were used to encode the scripts, into the same plugin folder where the scripts reside. This means that I am now bundling the required ioncube loader with my plugin's zip file to insure that the appropriate loader is always available, and my encoded plugin scripts are not dependent on whatever loader may be available on my customer's shared server environments.
2. I tried also installing the php.ini into my same WP plugin's folder where the encoded scripts are. That does not work.
3. I moved the php.ini one level at a time up the folder hierarchy until it did work. It ended up having to be in the public_html folder (or whatever folder Wordpress is installed into if not public_html). I always install and configure my plugin for my customers, so I can deal with this myself. But if you allow WP plugin customers to install it themselves, they will need some instructions and hand-holding to get this done.

Apparently the issue is, and will be for any encoded scripts that are part of a Wordpress plugin, that Wordpress includes all theme and plugin php scripts from its primary index.php file as it is initiating. Therefore, that's where the php.ini file with appropriate ioncube loader parameters needs to be as well.

This works for me because my WP plugin should be the only one requiring the ioncube loader on my customer's sites. However, if there are multiple Wordpress encoded plugins and/or themes installed from different vendors, and they each require different ioncube loaders due to whatever php versions and loaders they were encoded for, then one of them is probably going to fail due to conflicts in loader versions.
Ron Goodman
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Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 2757

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting your solution. We generally don't advise including Loaders with packages unless it's known upfront exactly which Loader is required as including Loaders causes package bloat, may cause confusion as all Loaders bar one (and possibly bar none) will by definition be the incorrect one as there can only be one correct Loader, and it may perpetuate dissemination of out of date Loaders. Including the Loader Wizard is a good idea though.

Loader install is really easy, after all it's just a one line edit to a file and one file to put onto the server. However what can make it seem hard is the wide variety of possible server configurations and quirks with certain setups that both an end user and package provider may not be fully familiar with.

The Loader Wizard is a mini expert system that performs many tests and has knowledge to try and give the correct advice as to which Loader file is required and from which package it comes, which php.ini file to edit on the server and what line to add. Most often when steps are followed an install is successful, but we're always happy to give guidance if getting stuck through the support help desk.
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