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"I am totally impressed! It is exactly what I need!" -- Connie

"The new skinning system for CMSMS and Zen Cart works well... Thanks again for coming up with an easy way to make this work." -- Penny

Code >> CMSMS Shop Skin Helper

CMSMS Shop Skin Helper

The CMSMS Shop Skin Helper tool will create cached skin files based upon a CMS Made Simple template that can be used to skin your eCommerce (Zen Cart or osCommerce for example) shop. This tool will allow you to rapidly update your eCommerce skin when changes are made to your CMS Made Simple template. The skin files are cached on the server so they load quickly.

Language: PHP
File Size: 184 kb
Version: 1.2 - November 13, 2009
MD5 Sum: b12ca11f0aeffbd0e2213e4e9c4e61c5
download CMSMS Shop Skin Helper

License & Copyright:

Copyright © 2009 Stephen R. Owens

This software is licensed under the GNU GPL version 3.0.

NOTICE: You must keep intact all the copyright notices at the top of the files. I've written a very brief summary of the GNU GPL to help you understand the license. You can add your own copyright above mine if you fork the code, but don't remove my copyright.

CMSMS Shop Skin Helper large screenshot
NCleanBlue Stock CMSMS Template Skin on Stock osCommerce

About CMSMS Shop Skin Helper

The skin files created with CMSMS Shop Skin Helper will surround the eCommerce (Zen Cart / osCommerce) content. Think of it like two pieces of bread on a sandwich, with eCommerce (Zen Cart / osCommerce) being the filling between the slices of bread. In CMS Made Simple you would create a template and put the {content} tag into the template where you wanted your page content to be displayed.

By default this tool will creating three skin files, based upon your CMS Made Simple template, that will “sandwich” the eCommerce (Zen Cart / osCommerce) content.

Once you see how this tool works you can use it create skins beyond the three files, and not necessarily skins just for on top of eCommerce, but for other types of pages and applications.


Depending on your PHP configuration one of the following:

  • allow_url_include turned on (off by default in PHP v5.2.x)
  • cURL

If  you are going to follow the directions in the About.pdf (included in the download), then you will need:

How to Use

Read the About.pdf file included in the download. It provides a brief walk-through tutorial on setting up the code for CMS Made Simple skinning of osCommerce / Zen Cart . Beyond that it is up to you to use your imagination and figure out ways to utilize the code.


Visit the CMS Made Simple Forums, and this thread in particular:,36302.0.html


2009-NOV-13: v1.2
+ Added the debug variable back into the functions to output success or fail messages

2009-AUG-13 : v1.1
* in a measure to improve security some servers have disabled the PHP option allow_url_fopen and allow_url_include
+ Added alternative file create function using CURL

2009-JUL-31 : v1.0
* First public release
+ Added timeToLive, which can be used to automate the creation of the skin files after a certain amount of time

2009-APR-09 : v0.1 Beta
* Using GPL 3.0 License for this project
* Creates cached files from a CMS Made Simple template that contains the designated comments
* Files are stored for use as a skin with another template system
* Strips http and replaces with dynamic code to allow the new created skin header file to work if SSL is being used
* Tried to comment every line of code to make it easier for others to modify

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