Upgrading to Shopp 1.2

The general upgrade process is outlined in the Upgrading section of the User Guide. This article provides technical notes and instructions for upgrading a Shopp 1.1 installation successfully to version 1.2 with the least amount of website interruptions. The Upgrading guide includes steps for performing an “automatic” upgrade through the WordPress Admin plugin manager. This article will focus on performing a “manual” upgrade and will require that you have all of the following before beginning:

  • A WordPress Admin login
    A login name and password with the Administrator role.
  • A WordPress or other website backup solution
    BackupBuddy or VaultPress are good WordPress plugin solutions. Other solutions may be provided by your web hosting provider that provide a whole website solution.
  • FTP software
    An FTP client to transfer files to your WordPress/Shopp installation.
  • FTP login details
    You will need the following details: FTP server name, FTP user name, FTP password.
  • Maintenance mode software solution (optional)
    For a professional website downtime experience for customers, temporarily privatizing the website during the Shopp upgrade process is recommended, but is not required.

Overview

The basic process for a professional, successful upgrade includes the following steps:

  1. Download Shopp 1.2.
  2. Setup the website into a maintenance mode (if you are able).
  3. Backup the website database and all website files.
  4. Deactivate Shopp 1.1.
  5. Replace Shopp version 1.1 files with Shopp 1.2 files.
  6. Activate Shopp 1.2.
  7. Upgrade custom templates (if necessary).
  8. Deactivate website maintenance mode (if active).

Backup

Although included in the Upgrading section, it is so important that every upgrade should begin with a full backup. During any upgrade procedure for your e-commerce store, it is essential that you have a backup of your website database and all of the files for your website.

Preserving Customizations

Shopp 1.2 uses custom post type and custom taxonomy features of WordPress. This has ramifications for websites that use custom programming that rely on these IDs. As a result, you may need to redesign some aspects of your custom theme or plugin code to use product and category slugs instead of IDs. If you know you have custom code for Shopp in use on your Shopp 1.1 installation, but do not know if you have code that relies on product IDs, contact the developer responsible for the custom code. The official Shopp Support Team on the Help Desk cannot help you migrate custom code as the support team can only support official code distributed with Shopp 1.2. The support team may, however, be able to help you identify code that relies on IDs, but the team cannot re-program the custom code for you.

Shopp Shortcode Pages

In Shopp 1.1, WordPress pages were setup with Shopp-specific shortcodes ([cart], and [checkout] for example) that were used as content gateway pages. Shopp 1.2 no longer uses those pages or the shortcodes at all. Instead, they have been replaced with a completely dynamic “virtual page” approach that prevent mistakenly removing them and disabling the storefront. You will see them referred to as Storefront Pages in the documentation. In Shopp 1.2, you can see the current settings or adjust the name and slugs for the virtual pages under the WordPress Admin in the ShoppSetupPages menu.

All of your old WordPress pages for Shopp are moved (but preserved!) to the WordPress AdminPagesTrash. The slugs have also been changed to move out of the way for the new Storefront Pages which are setup to use the slugs from the corresponding old gateway pages.

If you have custom WordPress theme template files associated with those pages, you can simply rename each template with a corresponding name:

  • catalog.php
  • cart.php
  • checkout.php
  • confirm.php
  • thanks.php
  • account.php

For example, if you have a named template file called Store Catalog for the old [catalog] page:

<?php
/*
Template Name: Store Catalog
*/
?>

In order to have it apply to Shopp’s new virtual catalog page, simply rename the file name to catalog.php. You can leave the Template Name comment in the file if you wish, it won’t affect Shopp’s use of the template.

Download Shopp 1.2

Shopp 1.2 can be downloaded from your Shopp Store Account dashboard under the Downloads menu. Simply locate the Shopp Core download button and click it to begin downloading the latest official release of Shopp. The Shopp download is packaged in a compressed ZIP file. Uncompress the ZIP file to access the Shopp files inside it. Be sure to keep track of where the Shopp files are downloaded on your computer so that you do not have to scramble to find them later.

Activate Maintenance Mode (optional)

Setting the website to a maintenance mode is optional, but can improve the public perception of the quality of your website and protect your website database during the upgrade process. The goal of this step is to: communicate to your customers or potential customers and protect your website database from being altered by website visitors while you are upgrading the Shopp data in the database.

Not Required

This step is not required but is recommended. In some cases this is not worth the effort especially if the site does not receive much web traffic. For example, if the site is not yet public, or is public but has no marketing driving traffic to the site, or because the site was recently just started. In these cases, you may opt to save time by not setting up the maintenance mode.

Additionally, if you are not particularly experienced with setting up a maintenance message for your website, you may not wish to take the time to find a maintenance solution. However, it can be useful to know how to quickly setup a maintenance mode for your website for future maintenance needs.

Solutions

There are several ways to setup maintenance mode for your website. Here are some of the popular approaches:

  • Install and setup the Maintenance Mode plugin for WordPress
  • Install and setup a theme designed specifically to provide a pre-launch message.
  • For Apache web server hosted websites, use a .htaccess file to redirect others to a static HTML page.

Exact setup of any of these solutions is outside the scope of this article. If you are interested in specific step-by-step setup of a maintenance mode for your website, you are encouraged to do a web search for wordpress maintenance mode

Activate maintenance mode prior to backup, that way, if a restoration of the website is required, maintenance mode is already setup and active after you restore from backup giving you a margin to ensure everything is working before making the website available again.

Backup

Using your selected backup solution, make a full backup of all of the website files and the entire website database. Ensure that you are familiar with how to restore the website from the backup file following your backup solution’s instructions.

Deactivate Shopp

  1. Login to the WordPress Admin
  2. In the menus, locate and click the Plugins menu
  3. Find Shopp in the list of active plugins and click the Deactivate link to deactivate Shopp.

Replace Shopp Files

There are some important steps to take before replacing the Shopp files.

Backup Custom Add-ons

First, it is recommended that you make a quick backup any of the Shopp add-ons installed in Shopp before you replace the files. Shopp add-ons can be found in the following location of your Shopp files on the server:

  • shopp/gateways/
  • shopp/shipping/
  • shopp/storage/

Each of these locations include a core/ directory that includes built-in modules that are part of the Shopp core plugin. You do not need to backup files in the core/ directory.

It is even more important to create a quick backup of add-ons in the above directories if:

  • You are using any custom add-ons that you or a developer have created for your Shopp installation.
  • You have customized code that you or a developer has added or changed in an official Shopp add-on that you would like to preserve.

These individually backed-up add-on files will make it easier to restore them or the customizations in them to your Shopp 1.2 installation later.

Replace Shopp 1.1

For this step, there are any number of ways to go about it. Here are some options:

  • Download your Shopp 1.1 files to your computer using your FTP software.
  • Move the Shopp 1.1 files out of the WordPress wp-content/plugins directory. For example, move the wp-content/plugins/shopp/ to wp-content/ outside of the plugins/ directory.
  • Simply remove the Shopp 1.1 files by deleting the shopp/ directory in wp-content/plugins/

Upload Shopp 1.2

With the Shopp 1.1 files out of the way, upload all of the files from uncompressed Shopp ZIP file you downloaded earlier. Typically, the Shopp files will be uncompressed into a folder/directory named shopp. Simply upload the shopp folder/directory using your FTP software to your WordPress installation under wp-content/plugins/ where your Shopp 1.1 files were located.

Wait for the upload to complete transferring all of the files. This can take anywhere from a couple minutes to 10 minutes depending on your connection.

Copy all of your backed-up custom add-ons or customized official Shopp add-ons to your Shopp 1.2 install under the add-on directories:

  • shopp/gateways/
  • shopp/shipping/
  • shopp/storage/

Activate Shopp 1.2

Once the upload is complete you can activate Shopp again:

  1. Login to the WordPress Admin
  2. In the menus, locate and click the Plugins menu
  3. Find Shopp in the list of active plugins and click the Activate link.

Shopp 1.2 will automatically detect your Shopp 1.1 data and upgrade it to the new data structures needed for Shopp 1.2.

Since Shopp 1.2 uses WordPress custom post types and custom taxonomies, the product IDs and category IDs will change.

Shopp 1.2 uses custom post type and custom taxonomy features of WordPress. This has ramifications for websites that use custom programming that rely on these IDs. As a result, you may need to redesign some aspects of your custom theme or plugin code to use product and category slugs instead of IDs. If you know you have custom code for Shopp in use on your Shopp 1.1 installation, but do not know if you have code that relies on product IDs, contact the developer responsible for the custom code. The official Shopp Support Team on the Help Desk cannot help you migrate custom code as the support team can only support official code distributed with Shopp 1.2. The support team may, however, be able to help you identify code that relies on IDs, but the team cannot re-program the custom code for you.

Verify The Upgrade

At this stage, it is important to perform a data integrity and configuration check to ensure the upgrade went smoothly. Here is a brief checklist you can use to verify everything upgraded smoothly:

  • Check that all products show up in the Shopp product manager.
  • Check that all categories appear in the Shopp category manager and that the sub-categories are displayed under their appropriate parent category.
  • Check that all tags appear in the Shopp tag manager.
  • Verify that your payment systems show up under ShoppSetup &rarr Payments
  • Verify that all of your shipping options show up under ShoppSetup &rarr Shipping and be sure that rates for shipping calculators are still correct.
  • Verify that all of your tax settings show up with the correct rates and correct target market settings, correct conditional rules (if used) and local tax rates (if used).

If there are problems, you will need to decide if the problems are too much to manually correct or adjust for (by creating the missing products or categoires). If so, you may wish to restore your Shopp 1.1 installation from backup. Before you do, be sure to document your issues with as much detail as possible so that they can be reported to the support team. Reporting your issues to the support team may not result in a direct resolution to your specific problem, but it can help the team correct the issues for the future or develop better upgrade guide documentation for others.

When to restore from backup

If you are missing a handful of products, or categories that you are confident you can re-enter quickly and easily, restoring and trying again may be overkill. On the other hand, if you are missing more than a few products or categories, or they are not assigned to the correct category, it is worth restoring and trying again or restoring and contacting the support team for assistance.

If certain store configuration settings are lost, particularly with shipping systems or payment systems, you may want to restore from backup.

Upgrade Custom Templates

If your website uses customized Shopp content template files (files located in your WordPress theme under a shopp/ directory), you will want to ensure that you follow the Upgrading guide to upgrade the necessary templates for new Shopp 1.2 functionality, specifically the account.php template file.

Go live

When you are satisfied that the site is ready for use, deactivate your maintenance mode system so that the site is available to the public once again.

Congratulations on a successful migration to Shopp 1.2!

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