Five New User Questions

Five New User Questions

New users purchase Associate-O-Matic all the time, and often the same questions pop up. Some of these have been covered before in this blog, but to save time and frustration, I’ll recover them here, along with a few that haven’t been mentioned before. So in no real order…

1. How do I make my shop open with instead of

If you don’t have one, create an .htaccess file in the root directory (the same area where the shop.php and admin.php files are) of your web space. On some webhosts you have to create it as a text file (like htaccess.txt), then change the filename to .htaccess (just as shown).

Into the file, put this as the top line: DirectoryIndex shop.php (if you rename your shop.php file to something else, change this command to match the filename).

And that should do it.

2. Can I have multiple stores in the same account?

Unless your webhost specifically forbids it, sure. The key here is to create a subdirectory off of your root directory for every site you want to have. So if your site is, then you should have:


And so on. When you get a domain name you wish to assign to a subdirectory (and set the nameservers to point to your account), you use the Addon Domains function of your website control panel (common if you use Cpanel; ask your webhost if you’re not sure where this function is). This allows you to link a domain name to a subdirectory. So ‘’ can be linked to /sub1, ‘’ can be linked to /sub2, and so on.

Then you install AOM into each subdirectory and they operate as entirely separate sites. It doesn’t matter if you set up several at once, like I’ve shown here, or do them one at a time over a long period. The method is the same – create a subdirectory, link a domain name to it with the Addon Domains function, then upload AOM into the directory and create your site.

3. Is upgrading safe?

AOM is designed to allow upgrading as easily as possible. All your customization settings that you enter into the Control Panel are saved in the cfg.saved.php file (located in the /aom subdirectory). Upgrading has no effect on this file. The main files that are affected are the admin.php and shop.php files, plus some of the cfg files in the /aom subdirectory (not cfg.saved.php!), and the images.

Once the upgrade is installed, however, you must log into your control panel and save. This converts the cfg.saved.php file contents to conform to the new version. You can save a copy of the cfg.saved.php file on your computer if you wish, and in fact this is a good idea in case the version on your webhost is ever damaged or lost.

If you have edited any other files directly, such as cfg.lang.php or cfg.css.php files, these will be overwritten in an upgrade. Most AOM users never touch these files, but if you do, you must manually re-edit these files. If you’ve changed the name of shop.php to something like index.php, the upgrade will still add the new version of shop.php alongside your previous file.

Also, if you customize any buttons or other AOM-included images, these will also be overwritten and returned to their default appearance. Because I have so many stores with custom buttons, the first thing I do when I get a new version unzipped is to remove the button files from the /image subdirectory. I also keep a set of all my custom buttons on my hard drive, just in case.

But normally an upgrade (either a version upgrade, or from the 30-day or Lite versions to the full version) will not affect your changes, except as noted above.

4. I forgot my Control Panel username and/or password!

In the /aom subdirectory, a file called cfg.login.php is created when you first set up your username and password. If you forget them, just log into your webhost and delete this file. This will reset the login details, so you can create a new username and password. This file has no effect on your AOM customizations, and is not touched during an upgrade.

Sometimes you may need to delete the AOM cookie in your browser, as it’s expecting the original login details. Usually if you can log in, but are kicked out of the Control Panel when you try to save anything, it’s a sign that the cookie needs reset. Information on how to remove cookies is available in the Help section of your web browser, or online. Once you delete the cookie, AOM will automatically reset it for you when you log back in to the Control Panel.

5. How can I install Google ads (or other) in my store?

Ads, links, etc from Google, Amazon, or anywhere else can be added quite easily. You will be furnished with some code (such as from Google’s AdSense site), which goes into a Custom Box in AOM. Look for the Custom Box tab in the Control Panel (or dropdown menu if you are using a v2.x-3.x AOM site). You may need to create a custom box by adding the number of boxes you want, then pressing the ‘Go’ button.

Once the box is created, you paste the code into the large ‘content’ box, and make sure the type is set to ‘Raw HTML’. You can also select things like the border color & size, header text if desired, and page placement. A pop-up diagram is available to show the various locations on the page you can position the box in. If you have more than one box in a location (like L for left side), you can set the order number of the boxes.

Save when you’re done, and that’s it. A few things to be aware of:

  • A custom box in your Control Panel with no information in it will not be saved, so if you open 5 boxes and only enter data for two, the three empty ones will vanish. You must reopen them when you have something to put into them.
  • If you number a box for an area that contains other boxes, like the left-side column, you should also number the other boxes that go there. Often people will number a custom box, but fail to number the categories, subcategories, narrow by price/brand, most gifted, most wished, etc. If they’re not numbered, they are all assumed to be ‘0’ (zero) and thus placed above any other box if it is numbered.
  • If none of the boxes are numbered, they are ranked by importance, so categories, subcats, and on down the line, with custom boxes generally last. Many new users will rank their custom box at #1, then wonder why it’s actually showing up at #7 or so.

So that’s some oft-asked questions. I had a few more things to discuss, but as this post has gone on, I’ll save them for later in the month.

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21 thoughts on “Five New User Questions

  1. how to set up cfg.css.php ? it’s very confusing..

  2. peacestone

    Excellent! Thanks!

  3. to make site open
    How do I make my shop open with

    can you just change shop.php to index.php i have tried this and it seems to work

  4. Mike

    Versions before V4.2.0 required opening the file and changing the internal self-reference. Beginning with V4.2.0, this step was no longer required. However, the DirectoryIndex shop.php command is still recommended over renaming the shop.php file. There is another post that explains why.

  5. Anyone who tries to use “DirectoryIndex shop.php” in the .htaccess file will be disappointed.

    The correct text is all lowercase: “directoryindex shop.php”

  6. Mike

    I use ‘DirectoryIndex shop.php’ in all my sites. Never a problem. It’s been suggested that lowercase works better for some servers (GoDaddy, for one), but the user is encouraged to try either version to see which works for them.

  7. Where does one edit the footer?

  8. mcarp555

    There is no actual ‘footer’ unless you create a custom file for one. You can also use a custom box set to ‘PB’ for ‘Page Bottom’. The items found at the bottom of the page such as the ‘Powered by’ link etc. can generally be accessed via the ‘Site’ tab of your AOM control panel.

  9. Paras

    I’m a beginner, but do know how to upload a website into my domain using Filezilla. I tried to upload a trial store into my domain, but just can’t get it right despite trying a zillion times. Nothing seems to be working. And the instructions are soooooo confusing.Can’t they be made simpler for everyone to understand? A video would have been really helpful.

    I’ve been trying to upload the store into a subdomain. So which folder do I upload it to?

  10. I got me site opening at the above home page without any trouble by doing the following After you send your files FTP to your site. All you have to do is rename the “shop.php” File and change it to “index.php ” and that was all I had to do Easy and it works great.
    Hope this works for you ..



  11. I don’t understand how to create .htaccess file, nor to make my store appear on my :

    instead of


  12. mcarp555

    Your website control panel (like Cpanel) should allow you to create new files. Just create one named ‘.htaccess’. If you don’t see anything that looks like a ‘create new file’ button, ask your webhost how to do it, as they may have their own method of doing so.

  13. ben

    1;i changed shop.php to index.php.
    2:and change “shop” to”index” on line 4851 and 3197 in aom/cfg.default
    works now. but must keep on further checking.
    aom site:

  14. I assumed the DirectoryIndex was the way to go and did that in the first place. Thanks though. Why not change the shop.php to index.php, home.php, etc? That way we won’t have to mess with the .htaccess file.

  15. i created .htaccess in Cpanel. but i’m confused to do this guide: “into the file, put this as the top line: DirectoryIndex shop.php “.
    how to open .htaccess file and type DirectoryIndex shop.php???.

  16. mcarp555

    With many web hosts, you would edit the file to enter information into it. If you’re unsure, ask your host how to do it.

  17. I am trying to work out what went so wrong. The shop is coming together really nicely; however its broadcasting on
    Is there anyway to redirect it to
    without doing a full re installation??

  18. Please refer to question #1 in this post.

  19. How to set up spesific sub category that relevant with our category?

  20. You would probably need to set up a custom subcategory. Check the AOM site for details.

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