Upgrading Hotcakes Commerce


As Hotcakes Commerce releases newer versions, it will be necessary to upgrade your site to take advantage of all of the updates contained in the release.  This is very important to ensure the overall success of the community, but for you to enjoy the new features and benefits of each release.


In order to be able to proceed with the information in this article, you'll need to be familiar with the following prerequisites:

Upgrading Hotcakes Commerce

There are only a few steps when upgrading Hotcakes Commerce.  Basically, you need to backup your site, apply the upgrade files to the site, then visit the site and execute the upgrade wizard.

It's worth noting that there are a large number of ways to upgrade any web application.  Depending on the architecture of your infrastructure and the web servers themselves, you may find yourself performing your upgrade differently.  This article is more focused on the single website, web server, database scenario.  These steps could result in a few minutes of downtime for the website.

Please Note:  If you're using any custom or third party extensions of any kind, you should first contact the respective developers and vendors to ask them if there are any known compatibility issues.

Download the Upgrade Package

Before you begin, you'll need to have the upgrade package handy.  You can download that from the Hotcakes website at any time.  The upgrade package is a zip file with a naming convention looking something like this:


Once you have the upgrade package downloaded, you may even want to already have the files extracted from the archive to a local folder.  This will decrease the overall time required to perform the upgrade.

(Optional) Block Access to the Website

If you have dynamic content features on your site, it's probably a good idea to prevent visitors from accessing the website during the backup and upgrade process.  This will allow you to prevent website visitors from having a poor experience, and it will also help you prevent data integrity issues.  Overall, it's also a great practice to everyone know that anything happening to the website is intentional.

The easiest way to do this is to add a simple HTML web page to the root of your website, named App_Offline.htm.  When the web server notices this file, it will redirect any URL request to this file, until you delete or rename it.

Reference:  App_Offline blog by Scott Guthrie

Backup Your Website

Before you upgrade your site, you will want to ensure that you have a full backup of the website files and database.  If anything goes wrong with the upgrade, you'll be able to restore your website using the backup.

Backing up the files is quite simple.  You use your favorite zip or archive utility to make an exact copy of all of the files, and place them in a safe location where you can quickly access them, should the need arise.

It's not difficult to create a database backup, but it does require a little bit more experience and knowledge to feel comfortable doing it.  The reference article from Microsoft below will walk you through how a database backup is created.

Reference:  How to create a full database backup

Apply the Upgrade Package

Now that the site is backed up and you have the upgrade package ready, all you need to do is simply copy the contents of the upgrade package into the root folder of your website.  For example, if your website lives at the following path, put all of the files there and overwrite all of the files.


In some instances, you may get a security warning from Windows when attempting to unzip the contents of the upgrade package.  If this occurs, you'll need to unblock the zip file.

View the Website

Now that you've extracted the contents of the zip file into the root of your website, you can actually upgrade.  The upgrade process at this point is done for you.

If you've added an App_Offline.htm file to your site or otherwise blocked access, you'll need to open access to yourself at this time.

Depending on the configuration of your website, you should be able to simply visit any URL of your site to begin the upgrade process.  When you do, a login page will be displayed to you.  You need to log in with any superuser account to begin the upgrade process.

If you're not able to see the upgrade wizard login page, then your site is configured to not show it.  If this is the case, you'll need to instead visit the upgrade page directly.  Example URL's are shown below, where you'd want to replace example.com with your own domain name.


If the CMS was reporting that it was version 08.00.03 prior to the upgrade, you should use the following URL instead.


Once you visit this URL, the upgrade process will begin.  The entire time you will see an update of each upgrade step.  Once the upgrade completes, you'll see a message saying so at the bottom of the page, along with a link to take you back to the website's homepage.

That's it!  You're done!

Upgrade Issues

There are many issues that could potentially occur when upgrading.  If you experience any upgrade issues, be sure to copy the log files from the following folder, then restore your website to its original state using the backups you created in the beginning.


Once the website is restored and functional, you can use the log information to get assistance with the issue using Support or the community.

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