I have a problem with a site which I have taken on which was coded by another company.

I need to make a change to the page template used by the reviews section. Normally I would use local.xml to create an update such as:

<review_product_list translate="label">
    <reference name="root">
        <action method="setTemplate"><template>page/empty.phtml</template></action>

Doing this on another site correctly updates the template, as does modifing the reviews.xml file directly.

However on this particular site the template change is ignored, which leads me to believe the template is being set elsewhere (overriding these files). But where exactly can override local.xml I thought this took precedence for a theme?

Searching review_product_list in the app directory doesn't reveal anything out of the ordinary in the xml structure.

The site is running

  • setTemplate() can also be set in the __construct method of a block. You can check the local/community modules for such a method which involves the review list page. Commented Jan 27, 2015 at 12:09
  • Good shout Maikel but I couldn't find anything related Commented Jan 27, 2015 at 14:25

2 Answers 2


First thing you need to do, is turn "Template Path Hints".

Go to System -> Configuration in the main menu

Go to Developer on the bottom left under Advanced

Switch to the store view on the top left to your current website.

Change "Template Path Hints" to "Yes" (If it's a production store, make you sure you also add your IP in Developer Client Restrictions)

Then refresh your page, it will tell you what template it's loading. Then just search for this template path in your app/ folder, and you will be able to trace what module is extending it.

Hope it helps!


OK so what threw me here was that the reviews inherit from the product template. Having never used the review system before I hadn't realised that by default the reviews section appear in the product page itself as part of the page, however in this case the reviews were set to appear in a popup.

Manually setting the page layout in the product itself (Design tab > Page Layout) automatically overrides the layout set in as otherwise template switching would occur upon clicking the review button in that particular product.

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