Best Practices – Backups Before Changes

Many computer users are familiar with backing up their files, whether it’s photos on their home computer, or files on their website – but usually the urge to back up files occurs just after you lose something.  It’s just like saving all the phone numbers on your cell phone – when does the thought about saving them come to mind?  That’s right – just after your phone turns into a paperweight!

This article will touch on a few tips regarding how to easily back up and restore some of the most edited files on a ShopSite store – the templates.

The FTP Method

If you’re already familiar with FTP and you use FTP to manage your template files then this will be the easiest method for you and you may already be doing something similar.  Whether it’s template files for ShopSite, or any other files for a website there are basically 2 options for backing up files when you’re doing file transfers with FTP:

  1. Save backups on the server
  2. Save backups on your computer

Saving a backup on the server is a quick and easy method if you’re making a change to a single file and want to save the original.  All you have to do is rename the file on the server before you upload the new one.

For example, let’s say the file is named “product.html” and today is Dec 28th.  Before you upload the new file, change the filename of the copy on the server  from “product.html” to something like “product_1228.html”.    Now you can upload your new file, and if anything goes wrong just delete the new file and rename the old one back to “product.html”.

  • FTP Tip: In most FTP programs, clicking on a file in the window of your FTP program and pressing F2 will allow you to change the filename.

It’s completely up to you how you want to rename your files – maybe you only want to keep 1 file and rename it to “product_old.html”, or just add an extra number or letter to the filename – whatever you prefer and makes the most sense to you is the best method.

The same process can be used for saving backups on your computer – instead of renaming the files on the server and keeping the backups there, you make copies and rename files on your computer.  This is a great method if you have full directories that you want to backup – using “My Computer” or “My Documents” on a Windows PC (depending on where you are storing your files) you just copy the whole folder and give it a new name instead of copying each individual file.

The Copy Template Button

When you’re working with custom templates in ShopSite’s backoffice (Merchandising > Custom Template) there will be a “Copy Template” button available on the right side of the page:

You can copy a template by selecting one from your list and clicking this button.  When doing so you’ll be prompted to enter a name for the new file and it will be saved back to your list of custom templates:

Copying a Product Template

If you’re then editing the original file and something goes wrong requiring you to revert to your backup copy, you can use the “Delete Template” button to delete the file you edited, and use the “Copy Template” button to copy the backup file that you made and save it as the same name as your original file.

Whether you’re using the FTP option or ShopSite’s Copy Template button, both will allow you to quickly and easily return a broken template file back to the original version, and backing up any type of file – website files or personal documents – is a practice that’s best to perform any time you’re making changes.

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