Can I use scripts that require ionCube Loader?

Some PHP scripts are copy-protected ("encoded") using a system called ionCube PHP Encoder.

These scripts aren't like normal PHP scripts. In particular, it isn't possible to look at them and see how they work. Some software authors encode their scripts this way to prevent people from copying the script "code".

These kinds of scripts require a special, nonstandard piece of software (called "ionCube Loader") to be installed on the server. Our servers have ionCube Loader available for PHP, and you can enable it for your account so you can use encoded PHP scripts.

On this page:

Limitations of ionCube Loader

Before you enable ionCube Loader, we should explain these things:

  • ionCube Loader is not "open source". That means that nobody (including us) can view how it works, making it difficult to tell what's wrong if it doesn't work. If you have trouble with PHP scripts after enabling it, we probably won't be able to help you figure out the cause of the problem, unfortunately. You'd need to contact ionCube or the script author.
  • Similarly, when you install an encoded PHP script that requires ionCube Loader, we won't be able to see how that script is supposed to work. If you have trouble, your only option would be to contact the company that sold you the script.
  • When PHP is updated, your existing ionCube encoded scripts probably won’t work until they are re-encoded by the script author. If the author of a script is no longer creating new versions, there will be no way to make it ever work again.
  • Finally, by using these kinds of scripts, you're tying yourself to the company that makes ionCube Loader. Your script will only work as long as ionCube continues to create versions of ionCube Loader that work with new versions of PHP.

In short: encoded scripts will probably stop working occasionally until you fix them, and if they have problems, it may be more difficult for you to get help with those problems. You should not use these scripts if you care about the reliability of your site. We (Tiger Technologies) don’t use such scripts on our own web site under any circumstances, no matter how useful they are, because we know they may not keep working reliably.

However, we do recognize that sometimes there is no alternative to a particular script, and we provide a copy of ionCube on our servers for such situations.

Enabling ionCube Loader for PHP scripts on your account

You can enable ionCube Loader in your account management control panel:

Uploading ionCube-encoded files using FTP

Unlike normal PHP files, ionCube-encoded files may need to be uploaded with your FTP program set to “binary” mode, not “ASCII” or “text” mode. You may need to manually override your FTP program’s settings while uploading to do this. The instructions for your FTP program should explain how to change the mode.