One of the most searched-for questions regarding AOM is, How do I install it? Which is interesting, since I think the online documentation explains it pretty well. However, some people might prefer it worded differently, so I will supply that here.
We will assume that you have decided which flavor of AOM you want to install – Trial, Lite or Full, and have downloaded the .zip file to your hard drive. From this point, you need to unzip the files. There are various unzip programs available, but it’s important that whichever one you use, the files are unzipped into the proper directory format. If you end up with just a long list of files, you will find it much more difficult to install the software. What you should have after extracting the program is a folder, and several files, like this:
- /aom (folder, containing files and three other folders, cache, image and js w/files in each)
- /ioncube (folder, containing various ioncube files)
- LICENSE.txt (this contains license info and can be discarded after reading)
These files need to be uploaded to your webspace. Some people think AOM is run from their computer. It is not. The software is designed to operate only on the Internet (note for the technically-minded: yes, you can run it from Localhost, but this is generally done only for testing or design work before uploading to a server. There are often firewall problems when trying to connect to the Amazon AWS this way, so it’s not recommended).
You can use several types of FTP (File Transmision Protocol) programs to upload the files. I use Filezilla, altho there are many others available. Uploading the files manually one by one or in small batches from your website control panel (such as cPanel) is a slow, tedious process, and has a strong risk of missing a few, or not getting the directory structure right. An FTP program should allow you to upload all the files, in the correct structure, in one go. It’s important that the admin.php and shop.php files are uploaded in BINARY mode; the rest are done in a mix of BINARY and ASCII. The FTP program should do this automatically, but if not, make sure the settings are correct for proper file transmission (you may need to check the documentation for your FTP software).
Once you have the files uploaded, you need to set the file permissions (also known as ‘chmod’). This is a security feature built into your server to prevent unauthorized tampering with your files. If you’re using a Windows-based server (this has nothing to do with the operating system in your computer), you should contact your web host for details on how to set the permissions. With Linux/Unix systems, it’s usually a three-digit number that needs changed. In cPanel for instance, you click on the file name and it brings up several options, including changing permissions. If you right-click on a file name with your FTP software it will pull up an options menu that should mention changing permissions. Most of the files and folders should be fine in default mode. More info on settings is available in the online documentation (see 1st paragraph, above). Some servers will not allow you to use 777; if so, try 775 instead (GoDaddy uses a strange set of icons, altho the Advanced setting seems to allow you more control over how the permissions are set. If you use your FTP program to set permissions, you bypass their whole confusing system).
At this point, you should be able to access your admin.php file. It should be something like http://www.mysite.com/admin.php (with the real domain name in place of mysite.com). If you have the files set up in a subdirectory, it should be similar to http://subdirectoryname.mysite.com/admin.php. If you have a separate domain name pointed at this subdirectory (contact your domain registrar for more information on how to do that), it would be http://www.otherdomainname.com/admin.php.
If all goes well, you should see the green login screen. Otherwise, there should be an error message explaining what to do. Often it will be something like enabling write permission for the /aom directory, etc., or missing a file or folder, like /images, etc. Doublecheck your permissions and/or directory structure to make sure everything is in place, and the permissions are set correctly.
In case of any ioncube error messages, refer to the online documentation for instructions.
At the initial login screen, you need to enter a username and minimum eight-character password. Once you do that and click on Enter, the login screen will change to the normal login, as shown below. If you ever forget your login details, just delete the cfg.login.php file located in the /aom directory. This will reset the login back to the version above. Then just enter a new username and password. We do not keep a record of your login details, nor can we change them or enter your control panel without you supplying the login information, or giving us server access for support reasons.
At this point, installation should be complete, and you should be able to log in and begin customizing your online store. The program should open at the Amazon tab. The first thing you should do at this point is make sure the site is set up to the correct country (US, UK, DE, CA, FR) and enter your Amazon Associate ID for the chosen country, along with your AWS keys. Then click on the SAVE button. If you find you are bounced back to the login screen, it could be a file permissions error or a problem with the AOM cookie on your browser (make sure cookies are enabled; if they are, try deleting the AOM cookie).
For more information on customizing your store, please see the other Users Guides (listed on the right hand side of this blog) pertaining to Five New User Questions, and Mod_Rewrite. Information on obtaining Amazon AWS keys is available under The Secret Key of Amazon, in the General Tips section.