X-Cart:Before the upgrade
Before you start upgrading your store, first you should consider the development environment in which you will carry out the upgrade. The two alternatives here are to upgrade the store on a local server or on a remote server. Both options have their pros and cons, which are described in the section Considering the Environment. Please examine this section thoughtfully and consider which of the two options meets your preferences and capabilities best.
Whichever option you choose, you should never try to carry out the upgrade on a live store, but you should use a development copy instead. For instructions and recommendation on how to create and use a development copy of the store, refer to the section Making a Development Copy further in this document.
Considering the Environment
The upgrade can be carried out on a local server or on a remote server. Each of the alternatives has its advantages and disadvantages
Local server (localhost)
In this context, a local server means the environment where a web server and associated resources (e.g., PHP, MySQL, etc.) are installed directly on your local machine or your local network, and you do not need internet access to connect to the server.
The advantages of upgrading the store on a local server are as follows:
- You can complete the upgrade (including the post-upgrade testing ) in the offline mode without the necessity to connect to the internet.
- You can carry out the whole task with the help of your favorite tools and facilities.
The disadvantages of upgrading the store on a local server include:
- You need to install and set up a local web server together with PHP and MySQL, which requires adequate technical knowledge and experience.
- The environment on the local server is likely to be different from the one on the remote server, which can affect the upgrade and reduce the accuracy of the post-upgrade testing.
- Third-party add-on modules may stop working if they utilize the per-domain licensing scheme.
A remote server means the type of environment where a web server and associated resources are installed on a remote host, and you need internet access to connect to the server. A remote server can be a dedicated or a virtual server, or a simple shared hosting account.
The advantages of upgrading the store on a remote server are as follows:
- The web server together with PHP and MySQL are already up and running.
- The environment is the same as the operational environment.
- All third-party add-on modules will work correctly.
The disadvantages of upgrading the store on a remote server include:
- You need to be online all the time during the upgrade.
- You are limited to the tools and facilities supplied by your hosting provider.
Making a Development Copy
Under no circumstances should you try to carry out an upgrade on a live store. Instead, use a development copy of the store, a store backup deployed on a local server or outside the directory on a remote server where your live store is physically located.
A development copy does not imply that you need to obtain an additional X-Cart license, as the X-Cart Software License Agreement (http://www.x-cart.com/software_license_agreement.html) does not prohibit you from having a copy of the store that is used for development and testing purposes. At that, the development copy must not be accessible through the Internet, that is it must be installed on a local server or local network or be protected by password authentication.
For detailed instructions on how to make a backup copy of a store and then deploy it at a new location, refer to the section Backup and Restore Procedures.
After you have upgraded the development copy, test it thoroughly as advised in the Post-Upgrade Checklist section. When you make sure that everything works correctly, transfer the store to the live server (if you upgraded the development copy on a local computer or network) and test it on the live server as well. Then back up the existing store (both the store files and the database) and replace the live store with the one you have just upgraded.