Fed up with downtime caused by upgrades of WordPress, Shopp or any of your other plug-ins. Make downtimes History.

Foolproof Shopp Upgrades and Backup on Microsoft Windows

Foolproof Shopp Upgrades and Backup on Microsoft Windows

For many of us, the words upgrade mean downgrade as there is always a possibility that the latest upgrade of WordPress, Shopp or any of the myriad of WordPress plug-ins that we have installed on our sites can spell disaster for the store, losing us not only days of remedial action but also potential sales.

There is a way of avoiding this and hopefully the following guide will help you achieve the goal of no down-time caused by upgrading.

The first thing is to ensure that you keep a local back-up and the second is to run a “localhost” version of your site on your own computer

To help me achieve this goal, I use the following programs, some of them are open source, some of them have open source equivalents if you don’t have them or variations of them already you will need these.

For the purpose of this tutorial we’ll assume that you have a working Shopp online.

In my case I use Dreamweaver as my main back up program. In Dreamweaver I set up the site manager with the remote FTP details and also where I intend to copy my local version to.

I alternate my back ups using Smart FTP to ensure that nothing is missed. Also it is a very handy program for setting permissions for files and folders

I also tend to use Dreamweaver as my main file editing tool as it has a very understanding Undo Edit function. In addition, it displays line numbers where the WordPress edit file scren does not.

I then get Dreamweaver to copy the entire remote site to the specified location. A big site can take a while, so just be patient and let the software run its course.

After that I can just run the Synchronise command after I am happy with the changes I’ve made to the live site and only the files that have changed will be downloaded.

Whilst this is going on I visit my remote WP database and in the case of my host, use PhpMyAdmin to back-up the database to my computer.

The next thing to do is install Xampp (available from Source Forge) on your computer. Why 1.74? Because it works with the current Shopp release.

Xampp must be installed in the root folder i.e. C:\Xampp and nowhere else. This is imperative.

Now to make some easy changes to the Xampp files so that it will function smoothly as your localhost.

First make 2 changes in C:\xampp\php\php.ini:

post_max_size = 20M
upload_max_filesize = 20M

Then make a change in C:\xampp\mysql\bin\my.ini

max_allowed_packet = 10

Finally in ‪C:\xampp\apache\conf\httpd.conf make 2 changes. This is necessary as most of us have Skype which uses the default setting of Apache.

Change this to Listen on specific IP addresses as shown below to prevent Apache from glomming onto all bound IP addresses.

Find the following Listen directives in httpd.conf:

Listen [::]:80

Replace those lines with:

Listen 8000

Then, slightly further down in the same file:

If your host doesn’t have a registered DNS name, enter its IP address here.

ServerName localhost:8000

In C:\Xampp\htdocs create a new folder that will represent the public_html of your site and copy the back up that you have downloaded to that folder.

Open Xampp using C:\xampp\xampp-control. (I tend to right click on the file and choose Run as administrator as this gets rid of any permission issues). A control panel will open.

Click Start on Apache and Start on MySQL.

Open your browser and navigate to:


Create a new database and remember the name!

Now import into the new database the sql file that you have just exported from the remote site. If it is too big you will get an error report. In which case use SQL splitter to break it down into 20MB chunks (you set that size in php.ini) and import the result in stages, making sure that you import the db layout file first!

In the database make 2 changes to the wp_options table.

First, change the siteurl to:

Then change home to either the same or:

This latter change depends on whether you are using an index file outside of the wordpress folder or not.

Now open your copy of wp-config.php in the C:\xampp\htdocs\FolderName\wordpress folder and amend the following lines where needed:

define('DB_NAME', 'whatever_you_called_the_db');

/** MySQL database username */
define('DB_USER', 'root');

/** MySQL database password */
define('DB_PASSWORD', '');

/** MySQL hostname */
define('DB_HOST', 'localhost');

Note there is no password for your local server database.

Open your browser and in location bar enter:

You will be presented with your admin login window (hopefully!!)

In the Shopp System settings page you will need only to make changes to the path to your downloads and images folder (We all use files as storage rather than databases don’t we?)

The paths will be along the lines of:

  • C:\xampp\htdocs\Folder_Name\wordpress\wp-content\image_folder\
  • C:\xampp\htdocs\Folder_Name\wordpress\wp-content\downloads\

Note the back slashes!!

The advantage of having 2 local copies of your site are huge you can try all the upgrades on your local host first and see if there are any downsides or complications, before making the same changes to your live site

The other local copy can be kept as a back up of the working site updating as you feel the need, also handy for reversing any changes on your xampp folder if things go wrong during an upgrade.

The localhost version will get notice of any updates at the same time as the live site so it makes it an ideal test bed

Back up your live site database regularly as well.

There are WordPress plug-ins that will perform back ups but I like to keep control of things and the fewer the plugins the faster the site and the less likelihood of conflicts.

I also advise keeping notes of the changes that you make so if it all goes wrong you will at least have some idea of what went wrong.

Finally, don’t rush to upgrade, wait for others to experiment, check out the support forums for advance warnings of issues with upgrades. Where possible, always let others suffer before you make a move!


Sierrab is a former rock’n roll merchandiser whose touring days are now thankfully over. After leaving London in 2003, he settled in the beautiful Basque Country in France, close to Biarritz and Bayonne where he splits his time between the surf, his garden and woods, his dog and the computer

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