If you have used the 30-day Trial or Lite versions of Associate-O-Matic, you may have decided to take the plunge and go for the Full version. There are of course, distinct advantages to upgrading, such as no expiry date, and you get to keep 100% of the commissions generated, as well as full functionality. And the Lite and Full versions may be upgraded several times a year, adding new features and fixing any bugs that come to light. But many users, especially those without a lot of technical experience may wonder about how to go about the process. And most importantly, will it mean having to redo the entire site from scratch? This brief guide will answer these questions.
Once payment is made and verified (or you already have a current license), you can log into the AOM site and download the files for the upgrade version. This process is very similar to how you obtained the Trial or Lite versions of the software originally. After you have downloaded the file, you must unzip it, making sure to keep things in the proper directory structure:
- aom (folder containing various cfg files, and two subfolders – cache and images)
- ioncube (folder containing various ioncube files)
- admin.php (the control panel)
- LICENSE.TXT (text file containing license information)
- shop.php (the store main page file)
Before uploading the files to your website, it’s STRONGLY recommended that you back up the cfg.saved.php file located in the /aom folder (the one currently on your website, not the one you just unzipped). This file contains all the changes and settings of your AOM control panel. Normally the upgrade process proceeds smoothly, but if this file were to be damaged or erased accidentally, you would lose all the customizations to your AOM store. It’s probably a good idea to always keep a copy of this file saved to your hard drive anyway, just in case. So download a copy to your computer and put it somewhere safe.
If your previous version uses custom buttons (“Add to Cart”, “Continue Shopping”, etc.) or has changes to files like cfg.css.php or cfg.default.php, make sure you back those up as well, as they are overridden during an upgrade. If you don’t know what the cfg.css.php or cfg.default.php files are, or have never changed them, don’t worry then; you’re using the default versions.
Once you have all the backups safely made, it’s time to start the upgrade. Just upload the new version files that you’ve unzipped directly over the existing version on your website. An FTP program like Filezilla is the preferred method. Most webhosts only let you upload a few files at a time, and beside being slow and tedious, it’s easy to miss something, causing your site to crash. If you get any messages asking if you want to overwrite any files, answer yes.
It should only take a few minutes to upload the files and replace your previous version. Once the upload process is complete, you should be able to log into your AOM control panel. You must then SAVE to convert the control panel to the new version. This is the final step in the upgrade. Your site should now be fully changed over. If you had custom buttons and they were overridden to the default grey/orange ones, upload the backups to the /aom/images/ folder (the /images subfolder inside the /aom directory folder).
If you had customizations to the cfg.css.php and/or cfg.default.php files, etc., you’ll have to manually change the new versions. Don’t just upload the old ones back into your site or it may crash.
A few notes:
- Upgrading the files but not saving from the control panel will result in a Version Mismatch Error message when you try to view the store. To correct this, log into your control panel and save.
- If you have previously renamed the shop.php file (usually to index.php), you will have to do it again after the upgrade. This is not done for you. Otherwise you will see a Version Mismatch Error. Delete the old ‘index.php’ file (or whatever you’ve named the old shop.php file to). Then rename the new shop.php file to ‘index.php’ (or whatever you were using before).
- Now and then on some servers, the upgrade process may change the file permission settings. If this happens, the store may not display correctly. Check the file permissions and change if needed. The default for folders is 755, and 644 for the admin.php and shop.php files. Your webhost will have information on how to change these if you’re not sure.
- Sometimes with upgrades, the .htaccess Rulesets may also change (but not every time). Make sure you have the most current rulesets available from the AOM site (go to Support> Online Documentation> SEO and see when the rules were last upgraded). If you have made any changes to the rulesets, such as changing shop.php to index.php, or the name of home in the URL Home File, make sure you reflect these changes in the new rulesets.
- If you have any other problems after upgrading, open a Support ticket from the AOM site and include all the relevant info, such as the URL to the site, what version you’re upgrading from, etc.
Otherwise, you should be good to go with an upgraded store. Make sure you read up on any new features to get the full benefit of the added functionality.