Using DOMDocument to Modify HTML with PHP

By  on  

One of the first things you learn when wanting to implement a service worker on a website is that the site requires SSL (an https address).  Ever since I saw the blinding speed service workers can provide a website, I've been obsessed with readying my site for SSL.  Enforcing SSL with .htaccess was easy -- the hard part is updating asset links in blog content.  You start out by feeling as though regular expressions will be the quick cure but anyone that has experience with regular expression knows that working with URLs is a nightmare and regex is probably the wrong decision.

The right decision is DOMDocument, a native PHP object which allows you to work with HTML in a logical, pleasant fashion.  You start by loading the HTML into a DOMDocument instance and then using its predictable functions to make things happen.

// Formats post content for SSL
function format_post_content($content = '') {
  $document = new DOMDocument();
  // Ensure UTF-8 is respected by using 'mb_convert_encoding'
  $doc->loadHTML(mb_convert_encoding($content, 'HTML-ENTITIES', 'UTF-8'));
  
  $tags = $document->getElementsByTagName('img');
  foreach ($tags as $tag) {
    $tag->setAttribute('src', 
      str_replace('http://davidwalsh.name', 
                  'https://davidwalsh.name', 
                  $tag->getAttribute('src')
      )
    );
  }
  return $document->saveHTML();
}

In my example above, I find all img elements and replace their protocol with https://.  I will end up doing the same with iframe src, a href, and a few other rarely used tags.  When my modifications are done, I call saveHTML to get the new string.

Don't fall into the trap of trying to use regular expressions with HTML -- you're in for a future of failure.  DOMDocument is lightweight and will make your code infinitely more maintainable.

Recent Features

  • By
    Being a Dev Dad

    I get asked loads of questions every day but I'm always surprised that they're rarely questions about code or even tech -- many of the questions I get are more about non-dev stuff like what my office is like, what software I use, and oftentimes...

  • By
    Facebook Open Graph META Tags

    It's no secret that Facebook has become a major traffic driver for all types of websites.  Nowadays even large corporations steer consumers toward their Facebook pages instead of the corporate websites directly.  And of course there are Facebook "Like" and "Recommend" widgets on every website.  One...

Incredible Demos

  • By
    Link Nudging Using Dojo

    In the past we've tinkered with link nudging with MooTools and link nudging with jQuery. In an effort to familiarize myself with other JavaScript frameworks, we're going to try to duplicate that effect with another awesome framework: Dojo. The JavaScript: Attempt...

  • By
    CSS content and attr

    CSS is becoming more and more powerful but in the sense that it allows us to do the little things easily.  There have been larger features added like transitions, animations, and transforms, but one feature that goes under the radar is generated content.  You saw a...

Discussion

  1. Manny Fleurmond

    So do you know if there is a performance hit with creating an element using this vs creating a string of html?

  2. zakius

    The right decision is skipping domain entirely if it isn’t hosted on some subdomain (/path/to/asset), and skipping protocol if it is ((//example.com/path/to/asset)

  3. David, rather than str_replace all your (internal) http:// strings with https:// you should replace them with // – that way your links become protocol-agnostic — a more future-proof solution.

  4. Why don’t you use the search-replace function in WP-CLI?

  5. Silvestre

    Why not remove the protocol completely?

    //davidwalsh.name/ would default to whatever protocol is used in the address bar.

  6. I agree that // would be better but some RSS feed readers use http, others https. I’m asserting complete control.

Wrap your code in <pre class="{language}"></pre> tags, link to a GitHub gist, JSFiddle fiddle, or CodePen pen to embed!