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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Removing Joomla Footer Links

Informational article! Anyone who doesn't care about Joomla! should look away now.

I've been having an issue doing a Joomla! install. I found a very nice free template, but with one major problem. Buried in the bottom of the code was this chestnut, with the offending parties URLs replaced with 'zzzz'.
zzzz by Party Poker bonus
Now, I have no problem providing attribution to people for a job well done, but I absolutely refuse to serve as someone's SEO crutch. After removing the URLs, my site was replaced by this message:
"This free theme is released under creative commons license,therefore all links in the footer must remain intact. You have downloaded this theme for free and all we ask is one link back."
What to do? Personally, I feel that someone has lost their moral high ground when they're trying to con someone else in to advertising for their poker sites. I would love to provide attribution and credit where it's due, but I'm not going to provide you a link back to your crappy offshore gambling ring.

After experimentation, here's what I found as an answer. I'm sharing this to help people remove hazardous or harmful links that could hurt your site. Don't use it to strip attribution for someone's good work.

First, look in your root folder of the Joomla! template. I found a file called 'functions.php.' At the bottom of this file, I found a pile of gibberish that looked like this:
eval(str_rot13('shap
<<--snip-->>
onpx.\';qvr;}}purpx_sbbgre();'));function artxReplaceButtons($content)
    {
        $re = artxReplaceButtonsRegex();
    }
This is the garbled and encrypted text that's used as a check against the text and URL. You can tell it's evaluating ('eval') against the string ('str') that it goes ahead and defines with some encryption.

I removed those lines of code, saved my file and re-uploaded the template. Afterwards I was able to change whatever I needed to change without getting that popup.

I know there's a paucity of information online on how to fix this, so that might give you a push in the right direction. Please use it for good and not for evil.

Edit: Glad this has helped out so many people! I'm happy to be of service!