Upgrading a CMSMS website

Upgrading a CMSMS website is, unfortunately, riddled with potholes that you must steer clear of.

The upgrade process most definitely should be left to those who have done it a few times and know what they are doing.

I regularly upgrade CMSMS websites, but here I can list only a few tips.

Many, many times an upgrade comes with unique challenges that are impossible to predict. I will therefore no longer feel it is a process that should be left to a beginner.

Upgrading old versions (pre-1.5) is an even more challenging process.

Here is an outline of things that I come across most often:

1) When I upgrade a CMSMS website, I first create at least 3 different types of backups. A full FTP download backup, a tar file creation, and a differential CMSMS backup. These are required to prevent loss of data.

2) Database is similarly backed up several times.

3) It is recommended that you upgrade a copy of your site, on either a sub-folder on your site, or on XAMPP.

4) Upgrading from old versions, you must upgrade in steps, downloading and installing every release that does not have a diff patch up from the version that you have installed.

5) Create backup first, upgrade CMSMS core, and create a full backup again. Do not install modules at the same time that you do an upgrade. Why? Read below!

6) Upgrading several modules can either bring down your site or stop module functionality. Notice that the only way to regain functionality is to revert to backup. A good backup, that is.

7) Calguy's e-commerce suite has been rewritten to use cgcommercebase. DO NOT UPGRADE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING MODULES

Known to have been rewritten for cgcommercebase: Cart, FRShipping, FRTaxes, Orders, Products, SelfRegistration

May use cgcommercebase, or may rely on old versions of other modules: CGExtensions, CGPaymentGatewayBase, CGSimpleSmarty, CustomContent, FormBuilder, FrontEndUsers, NMS

Other modules that were installed (will not test whether upgrading them is safe): PaypalGateway


Additional things you need to watch out for during CMSMS upgrades:

Test mask. If weird owner, proceed with caution.

If there are copies of any modules in the /modules directory, proceed with extreme caution, as there may have been modifications to module files. Site may work incorrectly after core and/or modules upgrade.


In general, be very careful with upgrading modules. Core update is relatively site on website operation, but modules must be upgraded one at a time (ESPECIALLY if you are doing it on a live/production website) and site functionality tested after each upgrade.

˅˅˅ Additional valuable information is available at one of the links below: ˅˅˅


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Page last modified 13-Feb-11 16:18:40 EST
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