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  1. #1
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    Default Offline development question: Do I need a paid host for offline building?

    Having started using Zen cart yet. Doing research 1st before I decide what to do. I was wondering, I can't afford a host quite yet. Trying to set up my online business as much as possible before I since in too much money. So I want to ask, can I download zen cart and set up my shop offline to perfect it and save it before I put out the money to host it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Default Re: Offline development

    Yes you can, There are LAMP and WAMP type setups where you basically download the software to run the server/services necessary but on a local machine. No matter what is used, there will be a learning curve first with that and then with the usage of Zen Cart. In some cases it may take longer for it to become "perfect" at a cost (no additional income) than it would be to put it out there and make changes along the way... Balance of course, but yes it is possible to build/produce what you generally want/need and then may need to adapt it a little to support the final operational environment.
    ZC Installation/Maintenance Support <- Site
    Contribution for contributions welcome...
    Upgraded to Zen Cart V1.5.3 from V1.5.1 from V1.5.0 from V1.3.9h

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Offline development

    Quote Originally Posted by mc12345678 View Post
    Yes you can, There are LAMP and WAMP type setups where you basically download the software to run the server/services necessary but on a local machine. No matter what is used, there will be a learning curve first with that and then with the usage of Zen Cart. In some cases it may take longer for it to become "perfect" at a cost (no additional income) than it would be to put it out there and make changes along the way... Balance of course, but yes it is possible to build/produce what you generally want/need and then may need to adapt it a little to support the final operational environment.
    Is there any videos or guides on how to do this? That's kinda why I want to do it offline. I know there is going to be a learning curve

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Offline development

    Quote Originally Posted by unckle fester View Post
    Is there any videos or guides on how to do this? That's kinda why I want to do it offline. I know there is going to be a learning curve
    Well, just did an internet search for: video setup wamp

    And was presented with something that appears to identify the setup of a server... So yes, there are videos out there. Change WAMP to LAMP and there too are videos about the general setup.

    A lot of it depends on your own personal level of experience and ability to perform these setups. Most/many are somewhat of click and go, but there are others that may need some additional work. Note that this particular site is about the setup of Zen Cart. There are plenty of other sites that deal with the installation and trouble shooting of issues.
    ZC Installation/Maintenance Support <- Site
    Contribution for contributions welcome...
    Upgraded to Zen Cart V1.5.3 from V1.5.1 from V1.5.0 from V1.3.9h

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Offline development

    Most hosts allow multiple databases. That means you can have your live site and a development site alongside each other. A little background....The time and possibly cost involved in creating an offline "server" to host your store is lost time imo because the environment you create will not be identical to that of the one where you will ultimately host the store. PHP, SQL, www host and all the mods will vary and so will the way the store reacts to it. I know you said you don't have much money but it would be wiser to pay a few months of hosting even if the store isn't live and public to allow your development to be on the actual server you're going to use.

    Bottom line, if you don't know of LAMP and similar solutions you're not proficient in creating web hosting environments and will spend way more time getting that ready than the value of the cost of hosting a few months prior. Just my 2 cents, I guess.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Offline development

    I would agree and disagree with everyone!

    I'm sure you can find some free/rubbish hosting that offers one-click installs. Use it, get playing with Zen Cart in a few minutes with no install pain. Be clear this is not to be modified nor developed, it is to be played with and dumped at some point. Totally disposable.

    When you have decided ZC will do what you want, then sort out a local environment to play with.
    Why local? You will learn stuff and it's easier to work on files on a local machine where changes are instant: no uploading every change.
    You can use a more advanced version of php than your hosting so you see problems before they appear on your hosting.

    I think in 10 years of ZC I have had one instance where something happened on a real hosting that didn't happen locally (barring Windows and utf-8).....i.e where the environment mattered, and in any case, you'll test all that before going live.

    For me, the convenience, experience and knowledge gained of working locally has been irreplaceable.
    Steve
    github.com/torvista: Spanish Language Pack, Image Checker, Structured Data, BackupMySQL Admin/Auto, Product Listing Sorter, Redsys payment module...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Default Re: Offline development

    configuring ones development environment and figuring out a workflow, in my experience, always ends up being more work than the actual work itself.

    but well worth the effort....
    practice #socialdistancing #staysafe
    email is hard....
    help out with the green....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    202
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    Default Re: Offline development

    I use off-line development as my internet connection is very slow. I have set up Virtual box with ubuntu and a lamp configuration. There were/are plenty of videos and detailed instructions on how to set them up. The only issue I had was with HTTPS. I had to download the keys and Certs to the ubuntu server. But it works well for me.
    One of the advantages of Virtual box is that you can take snap shots of your server so easy enough to regress back when you completely mess up the server.
    Mark Brittain
    http:\\innerlightcrystals.co.uk\sales\

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Offline development

    Quote Originally Posted by brittainmark View Post
    I use off-line development as my internet connection is very slow. I have set up Virtual box with ubuntu and a lamp configuration. There were/are plenty of videos and detailed instructions on how to set them up. The only issue I had was with HTTPS. I had to download the keys and Certs to the ubuntu server. But it works well for me.
    One of the advantages of Virtual box is that you can take snap shots of your server so easy enough to regress back when you completely mess up the server.
    you have a good starting point!

    once you have virtual box installed, i would get vagrant which is a wrapper for VB. vagrant makes things easy (https://www.vagrantup.com/)....

    i would use debian as opposed to ubuntu for your virtual server (as well as any live server when choosing a hosting company). if using vagrant, there are plenty of pre-configured LAMP stacks out there. i started with scotch box (https://box.scotch.io/) which was great; but now i like to do them a little more from scratch.

    there is NO need to download keys or certificates from your live site. you can use the default snakeoil certificates for development. you get a warning, when browsing, but that's good to know on development.

    snapshots are great for when you are doing sysadmin type work, ie php upgrades/module installs, apache configurations, etc. in my experience i always power down the box, then take the snapshot. i now never take snapshots when the machine is active. great tool for sysadmin work as its easy to screw things up. although apache configs are much easier now than they were a few years back.

    for the ZC configuration part, i suppose snapshots would work as the database is in there. but if you are installing new modules which have new scripts or modify ZC core scripts, having version control is critical. git is great; but again another learning curve there. the ability to branch, and checkout previous points from development (when things were working) is a game changer.

    having a central repo for your git project then becomes terrific. makes changes on your development machine -> commit changes -> upload to repository -> download to live server from repo. requires command line knowledge.

    finally back to vagrant and VB, having the guest additions installed so that one can share files between the host and guest also is great. one modifies files on the host machine, and then your VB serves up the files for use. that way you use your IDE on your host machine.

    as i stated above, lot of work figuring our your work flow, but well worth the effort.

    best.
    practice #socialdistancing #staysafe
    email is hard....
    help out with the green....

 

 

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