To make it clear from a beggining, I have total consent to do this by the website administrator until they build an API.
What I want to do is get, say, a number or any piece of data found in a specific part of the site, althought it's place in line can change.
An example of what I wish to do, if I were to store the html in a variable through file_get_contents, and wanted to find somewhere in the source where it says
"<p>User status: Online.</p>"
Since I can't see the full HTML of the webpage it would be hard for me to determine which method is better for you. There is another option which may be frowned upon, but in this case it might work.
You could use a Regex (regular expressions) to find the characters, I'm not the best at regular expressions but here is some sample code of how that might work:
<?php $subject = "<html><body><p>Some User</p><p>User status: Online.</p></body></html>"; $pattern = '/User status: (.*)\<\/p\>/'; preg_match($pattern, $subject, $matches); print_r($matches); ?>
Array (  => User status: Online.</p>  => Online. )
Basically what the regex above is doing is matching a pattern, in this case it looks for the string "User status: " then matches all the characters (.*) up to the ending paragraph tag (escaped).
Here is the pattern that will return just "Online" without the period, wasn't sure if all statuses ended in a period but here is what it would look like:
'/User status: (.*)\.\<\/p\>/'