Category Archives: cre loaded specific

how to modify the visual verify code (VVC) system

The visual verify code (or VVC) is a feature of cre loaded and other oscommerce-based carts and is designed to reduce the amount of spam and automated bot abuse of a store’s email system. It can appear (and be enabled/disabled through the admin) in several parts of the cart, each involving some sort of form submission to the owner of the store. So it’s an attempt to prove that it is a person sending the email and not a crawler or automated script.

In cre loaded, it is used for:
- password recovery
- creating a new account
- contacting the store owner via contact us
- product or article review submission
- sending tell-a-friend emails about a product or article
- submitting a link

However, it’s effectiveness is limited and in some cases it can be more hassle than it’s worth – eg sometimes the vvc code is difficult for us humans to read due to similar characters or the size of the display etc. These modifications may help if you’re experiencing problems.

#1 – Change the size of the pool of characters that the code can be drawn from
In some fonts upper- and lowercase I i L l as well as O o and the number 0 can appear very similar and can cause confusion. The pool of letters and numbers the visual verify code system uses is defined in the file /includes/languages/english/english.php :

/* REDUCE THE VVC POOL OF ALPHANUMERICS TO NUMBERS ONLY */

original:
define('VISUAL_VERIFY_CODE_CHARACTER_POOL', 'ABCDEFGHIJKLMNPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghjkmnpqrstuvwxyz123456789');  //no zeros or O

replace with:
define('VISUAL_VERIFY_CODE_CHARACTER_POOL', '123456789');  // numbers only

The replacement pool of only numbers may seem drastic, but it is a lot easier for customers to verify the code correctly.

#2 – Change the size of the input box where the code is to be entered

/* CHANGE INPUT BOX SIZE TO 15 */


' . VISUAL_VERIFY_CODE_ENTRY_TEXT . ''; ?>

/* ADMIN CONTROL OF INPUT BOX SIZE */


' . VISUAL_VERIFY_CODE_ENTRY_TEXT . ''; ?>
                

This will tidy up the VVC area and also supports a reduced number of characters being used. Various template or catalog files would need to be edited here, as per the list given above. This means by default you’d need to change this in each occurance of the VVC code. A way to improve this is to create a switch in the VVC configuration area of the admin, and set the input box width there (using the second block of code above, together with the sql query below.) You would still have to edit several template related files, but from then on changing this setting in the admin page would change them all.

INSERT INTO `>`.`configuration` (`configuration_id`, `configuration_title`, `configuration_key`, `configuration_value`, `configuration_description`, `configuration_group_id`, `sort_order`, `last_modified`, `date_added`, `use_function`, `set_function`) VALUES (NULL, 'VVC Input Box Size', 'VVC_INPUT_SIZE', '15', 'Size of the VVC input box', '420', '9999', '0000-00-00 00:00:00', '0000-00-00 00:00:00', NULL, NULL);

#3 – Reduce the length of the VVC code and width of the VVC Image box
By default, from 3 to 6 alphanumeric characters are displayed as the visual verify code. By changing the numbers, a different range can be used:

/* RANGE OF NUMBER OF VVC CHARACTERS TO DISPLAY */

By default - 3 to 6 characters:
for ($i = 1; $i 
              

After reducing the number of characters displayed, you may need to resize the width of the code box. This is done easily through admin >> configuration >> vvc configuration >> VVC Image Width – in the example, this was set to 125.

can’t see link to new box added in admin (cre loaded)

Cre Loaded 6.4.x versions have a sort of useful feature that enables specific admin access to specific files. Eg if you don’t want your employees being able to access anything in the Admin >> Reports area, you simply remove the tick from the folder (or file) from their admin group by going through Administrator >> Admin Group >> Set Menu and File Access area.

However this can be a gotcha too when you go to add a new mod and wonder why you and no-one else can see the link in the left column (I’m referring to non-Configuration panel links here which are dragged out of the database.)

So to add a file to the menu, you need obviously to login as a Top Administrator or to have access to the database via phpmyadmin.

If you’re a Top Administrator:
Login and click Administrator >> Menu File Access as shown.

Choose the admin area that your new link is going into by clicking on it:

The using the dropdown on the right, find your new file and click Save (ignore the all yellow look … a beta version obviously):

New file should appear with list of others in this Admin panel and importantly, the link to it will appear in the relevant box in the left column:

If you’re NOT a Top Administrator:
You’re going to need access to the database via something like phpmyadmin, because the first thing you’ll need to do is change your admin_groups_id in the table admin to whatever the Top Administrator group id is (usually 1.) Once this is done, login to the Admin as this new administrator and go through the steps above. Remember to change your admin_group_id back to avoid an issue later on.

But wait, there’s more… give permission to others
So now the file appears in the link … but should you want to give access to other non-Administrator account people (possibly including yourself) you need to be logged in as a member of that Top Administrator group again and go to Admininstrator >> Admin Groups and select the group you want to give access to (1), then click File Permissions (2):

A simple system of tick/no tick comes into play here – folders (read “entire box in the left column”) are in bold; files are not. If ticked – you have access, if not ticked – you don’t have access:

Make sure you click ‘Insert’ at the bottom of the page when done.

cre loaded adserver authsecure annoyance

I was working on a client’s site today and found the admin panel was slow to load. The url it was getting stuck on was one of the adserver.authsecure.com links, one of the Cre direct ‘feeds’ into the admin panel.

Taking a closer look at a some files in the admin revealed a possible solution for Cre Loaded 6.4.x users:

The file is admin/messages.php
Find (around line 27):

case 'upgrade': //index
  $n = 'a6bb2567';
  $zone = '50';
  echo cre_iframe($n,$zone);
  break;

Replace with:

case 'upgrade': //index
  $n = 'a7d7b7d2';
  $zone = '49';
  echo cre_iframe($n,$zone);
  break;

Find and delete this block (around line 45):

case 'login': //std admin login nag
  $n = 'ac49906f';
  $zone = '103';
  echo cre_iframe($n,$zone);
  break; 

cre loaded – how to change the menu links in the navbar

Here’s how to edit the navigation menu at the top of your Cre Loaded store.

The default menu bar in the cre63_ats template (which is a stock Cre Loaded template) looks like this:

Removing a link
Find the file /templates/cre63_ats/header.php and make a backup of this first. Then edit the copy, looking for this code at around line 80:

Let’s remove the ‘Specials’ link. Find this code (top) and comment it out (bottom):





(Note that the ‘Specials’ link also has a divider image after it, so this is why both lines are commented out.)

The other thing to change is the width of the table containing the links – if you don’t then the remaining links will get ‘stretched out’ to fill the original fixed width of 440px:



change to