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How do I put my store live once I am finished setting it up on it's temporary url or move it to a new host ?

Putting a site live will require several steps. Depending on your situation some of these steps may not apply for you (e.g. your database is still the same so you can skip the changing database step). These steps also apply if you are moving your site between hosts.

The general steps required are as follows.
  1. Check the server configuration for the new server by uploading our check.php script.
  2. Request a license change for your new stores url
  3. Backup your existing store files
  4. Backup your existing store database
  5. Transfer the files to the new server
  6. Import the database on the new server
  7. Change the config file to reflect the new database details and url
  8. Double check common problems when moving a site to a new server.

Request a license change for your new store's URL

If you are going to be changing to a new URL, request a license change by clicking the "Change" button next to your key in the "License Keys" area of the client area.

Backup your existing store files

You need to ftp in to your web host where the shopping cart installation is and download all the files from your store. When doing this you need to make sure that show hidden files is on in your ftp program because the .htaccess file which handles the search engine friendly urls is considered a hidden file because it's name starts with a dot.

Backup your existing store database

Most web hosts will give you phpmyadmin access. Login to your phpmyadmin and select your database from the list on the left. Then click the "Export" tab in the page that loads on the right and make sure that "SQL" is selected under Export and then click Go. This should export your database and provide it as a download for you. If you have problems with the export timing out, you may have to ask your web host to export the file for you.

Transfer the files to the new server

Using your ftp program, connect to your new server and upload the files that you downloaded in step 2. Be sure to make sure that show hidden files is on and that after the the upload is complete, that the .htaccess file is on the live server. Also make sure that you upload the files to the right directory on your new server as the name of the website root directory can vary between hosts. Normally it is something like public_html or httpdocs but if in doubt, double check with your web host.

Import the database on the new server

Typically you will need to create a new database using your new webhost's control panel and then using phpmyadmin import the file you made in step 3. If you had to get your web host to export the file for you then you may need to get the web host to import it for you at this step.

After importing the database, on many hosts you will need to create a new database user and give them access to the database you have just imported your data into. Your web host should have more details about how to do this with their specific control panel.

Change the config file to reflect the new database details and url

Now that your site is on the new server, it will probably have a new url and database settings. You will need to download a copy of the config/config.php file and then using a text editor like Editplus on windows or the built in textedit on a Mac, edit the downloaded copy of the config.php and change the following settings (the parts to change are on bold) :-

$GLOBALS['ISC_CFG']["ShopPath"] = 'http://localhost/shoppingcart';

This should be the full path to your store, without a / on the end.

$GLOBALS['ISC_CFG']["dbServer"] = 'localhost';

The database host for your new/live database

$GLOBALS['ISC_CFG']["dbUser"] = 'shop_user';

The user to connect to your new/live database

$GLOBALS['ISC_CFG']["dbPass"] = 'shop_pass';

The password to connect to your new/live database

$GLOBALS['ISC_CFG']["dbDatabase"] = 'isc';

The name of your new/live database.

Once this is done, upload the new copy of config.php over the old one. The reason why we didn't edit the backup that we downloaded in step 2 was so we have a copy of the real one to compare against in case there are any problems with the changes you have made.

You should now be able to log in to your control panel at the new URL/new server.

Double check common problems when moving a site to a new server.

There are a few things you are going to want to double check to ensure that your store functions correctly. These are as follows

  1. Ensure that you can login to your control panel, if not then you may have the wrong database details in the config.php or the database may not have imported correctly.
  2. Once logged in, go to Addons -> Addon Settings and check the "Check Store Permissions" addon and click Save. Then go to Addons -> View Addons and click the "Run this Addon" button underneath "Check Store Permissions". This addon will let you know what files/folders need their permissions adjusted. With improper permissions, you will not be able to change your license key in the settings, cache files will not be written, you will not be able to upload images/downloadable product files, and lots of other things will not work in the software.
  3. If you are using search engine friendly urls, go to a category and product page and make sure they display correctly. If they display an error page or your home page then you may need to edit your .htaccess file and enable the RewriteBase by removing the # at the start of the line and changing the / to the subdirectory name for your Shopping Cart installation with a / on the end.( Ie. If your store is at http://localhost/shoppingcart/, your line should read RewriteBase /shoppingcart/)
  4. Do a test order to make sure the order process works correctly. Ensure that you get all the emails you are supposed to.
Once all that is working your store is successfully moved to the new server.

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