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How We Update a ProductCart-powered Store

Learning how we update our own ProductCart-powered store on the ProductCart Web site might help you update your own store. So… here is how we do it.

What we use

On the ProductCart software store we use:

Edited files

There are some files we have customized on our own ProductCart-powered store. For example, when Productcart Resellers log into their account, they see a different version of the file pc/custpref.asp compared to regular customers.

In order to facilitate updates, members of our staff that work on our software store keep a copy of each edited file locally. That way we know exactly which files will need to be synchronized to re-introduce our changes. The code changes are commented in the source code to be easily recognized.

What steps we take

  1. We download all the files we will need (e.g. new version of everything we are running on our store, as mentioned above)
  2. We create a copy of our back-up files and rename that folder something like “updated store”
  3. We unzip each set of updated files we downloaded (main files, SEO files, Google Analytics, and MailUp), starting with the main update files (the ones downloaded via the Check for Updates feature), locate the “Parent Paths Enabled” folder in each of the downloaded and unzipped file sets, and rename the “pcadmin” folder to match our admin folder.
  4. We copy the updated files onto the “updated store” folder we created, in this order
    1. Main update files (e.g. the 3.5 Update files downloaded via the Check for Updates feature)
    2. SEO files
    3. Google Analytics files
    4. MailUp files
  5. We use a directory synchronization tool like ExamDiff to compare our “updated store” directory, which we have now updated with all the files we need, to the “edited files” mentioned above. That way we can re-apply our code changes to the latest files, before uploading everything to our store.
  6. We are now ready to upload the latest files to our store.
    We have a dedicated server, so we don't transfer each file, but rather FTP a zipped file, which we unzip on the server and copy over the current store directory. Even if you don't have a dedicated server, many Web hosting companies today let you do the same thing through their File Manager (or similarly named utility). That is:
    1. Zip up the directory that contains the updated files, when you are ready
    2. Place it the right spot on the Web server
    3. Unzip it via the File Manager provided by your Web hosting company
    4. Look at some of the file dates to make sure that the files were correctly overwritten (if the files were unzip to the wrong directory, delete that new directory and repeat the action in the right place).
  7. Once we are done, we log into the Control Panel, update the database, and turn the store back on, browse and place a couple of test orders to make sure everything looks good.

We hope this helps!


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