There can be several reasons why you might wish to move or copy your Associate-O-Matic store. You could have an existing setup that you’d like to copy, rather then redo from scratch. Or you might be moving your store to a different server. We’ll examine some methods to help you achieve this, hopefully with a minimum amount of fuss.
The first method, and by far the simplest, is to simply copy the entire site, lock stock and barrel. The obvious advantage is that you ensure all the files and settings are transferred to the new site. If you use an FTP program like Filezilla, then it’s fairly easy to move all the files and folders in one go to your computer hard drive. Then you upload everything to the new site, whether it’s a different location on the same website, or another server entirely.
However, there can be some disadvantages to this ‘brute-force’ way of doing things. For one thing, it can be a fairly large file transfer, especially if you have a large number of cached files. It is strongly recommended that you clear the cache before moving the files. Otherwise you might find yourself shifting ten times the data you need to (or more!).
There may also be times when you don’t want to move everything; login information, the Amazon AWS keys (especially the private one), external graphics/templates or other information that you don’t plan to use with the new setup. It may also be the case that you want to move as little as possible; the minimum amount of data required to make a site functional, so you can go back later and fill in the details. If you plan on setting up a large number of sites at once, or the same basic site but with different Amazon locales, a full-blown complete copy may be overkill.
The solution would be to do a setup of just the basic AOM files (known as a clean install), but totally blank – no categories, Amazon IDs, etc. Once you have the bare-bones store ready to go, you would just need to copy the following files:
- cfg.admin.php (contains the custom box labels used in the AOM control panel, if you have any – some sites may not have this file)
- cfg.login.php (contains the AOM control panel login information – username and password)
- cfg.saved.php (contains all the AOM control panel data)
- cfg.secretkey.php (contains the 40-character private Amazon AWS key)
- any custom or third-party themes you plan on using (if any)
- any custom graphics or external files (such as custom page PHP files, ASIN files, etc.)
The cfg.xxxx.php files are all located in the /aom directory folder. If you use any custom or third-party themes, they would be located in the /aom/themes folder. Custom images may be in the /aom/images folder, or in the root directory (where the shop.php and admin.php files are located). It’s recommended you always keep a copy of at least the cfg.saved.php file backed up to your computer, just in case the unforeseen should happen.
You would just copy these files into the clean install. The clear advantage is that the amount of data you have to move is much smaller. With the clean install, you’re not having to move any old junk that may have accumulated in the original site, such as outdated files like aom.php or cfg.css.php, etc., which are no longer used. There’s also no need to worry about the cache files, since you’re not touching them at all.
The disadvantage to this method is that you may have to take a little more care in finding and copying the files. If you miss one, the new site may not function correctly, or as you’re expecting. It’s also a two-step process; first you have to do a clean install of the AOM files, then go back and paste the files from the old site into various directories and folders, etc.
People who may not have a lot of experience in dealing with online file setup or not feel comfortable with poking around in subfolders, etc. may prefer the first ‘blanket’ method, since it’s a more complete process. However those who are used to tinkering ‘under the hood’ of websites may rather go with the second method, since it can result in a cleaner file structure overall.
Regardless of which method you decide is best for you, remember that you may also need to copy some ancillary files such as .htaccess, robots.txt or any bad-bots scripts you might be using. An external sitemap file (in XML format) could just be copied if you’re moving an existing store to a new site. If you’re copying an existing store and changing the categories and/or niche, it would be better to generate a new sitemap. This way you’re assured it will match the new site.
So whether you’re changing servers, or cloning a preferred format across multiple niche sites, the process is not a complicated one. Either method outlined above should only take a few minutes to less than a half-hour at most. Sometimes the hardest hurdle to overcome is just getting started. After that, the rest should be easy.