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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Plugin Contributions

    Default Cleaning up site after multiple developers

    Hi all,

    I've got a longstanding Zen Cart shop (v1.5.5d) that has been looked after by a number of developers over the years.
    With that, it has lots of bespoke code, unused plugins/code, scattered files on the FTP etc.

    What I'm proposing to do is:

    - begin with a clean installation of Zen Cart (v1.5.5e)
    - import a new theme (I've purchased)
    - import the database from the existing site to the new site
    - import all imagery from existing site to the new site

    In doing it this way I hope to clear up the FTP so we've only got what is needed, naturally installing any required plugins from the old site (only as needed though).

    I'm a little worried about just importing the existing database (as that likely has superfluous tables), is there a way to only import customers, orders, categories and products?
    Also, is there a good way to build the site then simply sync the new orders, customers, product changes etc. Or would I have to get those tables one final time as it were?

    Any advice on what I'm looking to do would be appreciated, please.

    Many thanks,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    los angeles
    Plugin Contributions

    Default Re: Upgrading best practices

    if this were my site, i would NOT worry about superfluous tables and/or additional fields in existing tables.

    it is my experience that any plugins will be ADDING fields, and not subtracting fields (the same goes for tables). and therefore none of those changes would affect the core functionality of a clean v155e install.

    i would think trying to isolate only the ZC tables and especially if those were modified would be a lot more work and fraught with the possibility of doing damage as opposed to cleaning things up.

    good luck!
    helpful? while i do it for fun, u can say thanks with the green. bitcoin also welcome...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Blog Entries
    Plugin Contributions

    Default Re: Cleaning up site after multiple developers

    In my opinion you're going at it the wrong way. While 'starting from scratch' is appealing, it ignores the "why" behind how it got to the state it's currently in.

    I'd tackle it like this, in order to minimize downtime, and actually understand the bigger picture, which in the end makes the whole process much faster:
    a) copy the entire site's files to my local computer. Zip it up to have a backup.
    b) compare all those files against a master copy of Zen Cart (automated tools like Beyond Compare or Araxis Merge make this a breeze)
    c) identify things that don't belong; for each of those, remove them from the server accordingly.

    Make a list of those things which you're removing. If they appear to be part of a plugin, be sure to identify all the rest of the parts of that plugin so that you clean them up accordingly. If that plugin added database components, then you can also arm yourself with sufficient information on how to properly remove those database components if appropriate.

    During this same comparison exercise you will be able to also identify what customizations were made to your template to get to what you're displaying currently, and that will empower you with the knowledge of which customizations you will want to re-make on the "purchased template" you mentioned.

    Also be aware that if your "purchased template" wasn't designed for the version of Zen Cart you're using, you'll need to manually upgrade its files accordingly too. And, depending on who you bought it from, you may have to "repair" things they've broken in the template too (some designers simply hack at the code to make it "look" the way "they" think it should look, without regard for preserving the conditional logic embedded to control display based on system settings).

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Gijón, Asturias, Spain
    Plugin Contributions

    Default Re: Cleaning up site after multiple developers

    My opinion is .."it depends". Cleaning up a messy site or modifying a vanilla site to get the same functionality should end up at the same point, in theory.

    But, if someone gave me a heavily-modified site with plenty of historical debris and unnecessary/undocumented mods/hacks to clean up, I think I would prefer to add those mods (or rather their functionality, not necessarily the same code) to a new, working site.

    Why? Because the starting point is a 100% known quantity that you can add to bit by bit and easily revert/fix when (not if) you break it, document the changes properly and ensure all is done to some sort of common standard, and in the end feel confident that you've not missed anything.
    I would not like to waste time trying to track down why a site is broken due to removing something that depends on something else, and be continually spitting feathers over discovering and fixing cowboy hacks to get it working again.

    The approach given above seems to be a big bang, take out all the stuff you think you don't need, and then figure out why it's broken is not something I'd like to attempt.
    Sorry to disagree.
    Steve Apsona (php7), BackupMySQL Admin/Auto, CEON URI Mapping (php7), Product Listing Sorter, Redsys payment module, Spanish Language Pack and more...



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