Upgrading Tip - Development Site

  • Leader
    February 23, 2021 8:57 AM EST
    I've been in this industry over 10 years and have learned the hard way about upgrades. After breaking my site many times early on, I learned to make a development site and only upgrade that first. You can learn to upgrade your site. It's a good way to become more in charge of what's happening with your site and to see where any possible kinks may be. Here's how I set up my development site now on local first. It's not hard to do. :) Here's how I do it on local (my computer): 1. Install Mamp Pro (or the free version but I like Pro best). 2. Find the install. For Mac, it is in Applications > Mamp on older versions or on newer versions it'll be in the (user) > Sites folder and for my install, it's in "localhost". 3.Open the htdocs or localhost folder and you'll see any sites you already made. 4. Create a folder like you see above, I have several. You can have as many local installs as you need. If on a live server, you can only have one development site set up as mentioned, in a subdomain named development. 5. Either install fresh or get your backup files and put them in the subfolder you made above. 6. If installing fresh, make a database in mamp's phpmyadmin. 7. Do the install as normal. Or if from a backup then step 6 and follows are: First, be sure you put the backup files in the folder. Which was step 5 above. 6. Import your database from your backup into mamp's phpmyadmin. You will need to have made a database for it. 7. open the file application/settings/database.php (not database.sample.php) and change the values to your new database name, database user and database password. 8. If you have a cache.php file (not cache.sample.php), then you have cache settings. 9. Open that file if it exists and change the values so it uses file system. Around line 17 you'll see the settings to change. Here is how it is for my mamp install. You need the path to yours.
    array (
        'File' => 
        array (
          'file_locking' => true,
          'cache_dir' => '/Users/myuser/Sites/localhost/fresh/temporary/cache',
      'default_file_path' => '/Users/myuser/Sites/localhost/fresh/temporary/cache',
    ); ?>
    10. You should be able to test the site if mamp is running. You will want to clear cache. No need to set the site to maintenance mode as this is local and not necessary. Once you have a local site, you can do your upgrades, install plugins, etc and it won't impact your live site. This is only for you to test things. If you do the local method above for using your backup files from your main site, you can have a good local copy of it to test on. It does make it easier. Live Development Site If you choose to have a development site on your server or on a staging server, you have to make sure it is in a development subdomain. For example if we had a domain of socialengine.com then our development site would be development.socialengine.com . This would be either a password protected directory or maintenance mode would be enabled in order to conform to the license terms. You are only allowed one development site like this. For the live development site, your host can probably help you create it. Some do. If not, just follow the steps above for using a backup and be sure you change the cache and database files mentioned. This ensures that you use the new development database and not your main one. If you need help, please feel free to ask any questions!