Setting up a local test environment

Using a Local Web Server to create a Development Environment

Using XAMPP (Windows, Mac, Linux) or MAMP (Windows, Mac), you can create a test environment on your own computer for your Zen Cart.

For the remainder of this document, these tools will be referred to as AMP for convenience.

Note: If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, the second best option for creating a test cart is creating a new folder on your live server. This option is discussed here.

Testing Locally

1. Make a backup of your files and database

Follow the procedure specified in how do I backup my store?

2. Set your store on your local computer.

  • Put your files at the webroot defined in your AMP.
  • Load your database and create a database user.

3. Update your configure.php files

You will need to go through this file and set each entry to point to your local environment.

4. Try a simple update to see if things work.

Try updating (for example), includes/languages/YOURTEMPLATE/english.php and, then refresh your browser page and make sure the change appears.

Testing on your Server

This is not as good as a local test environment, but better than putting untested changes on your live site and potentially breaking your store.

1. Create a new test store on your server

Create a NEW database in cPanel called test_store.

Use the backup that you just made from your live site to fill the database with data. (See restoring the database.)

Create a new folder on your server called test_store. Copy the files from your live store directory into this folder

2. Prepare the configure.php files

In your test_store folder, update the includes/configure.php and admin/includes/dist-configure.php files so that the path names and database names are for your test store.

Still have questions? Use the Search box in the upper right, or try the full list of FAQs. If you can't find it there, head over to the Zen Cart support forum and ask there in the appropriate subforum. In your post, please include your Zen Cart and PHP versions, and a link to your site.

Is there an error or omission on this page? Please post to General Questions on the support forum. Or, if you'd like to open a pull request, just review the guidelines and get started. You can even PR right here.
Last modified May 1, 2021 by Scott C Wilson (b6ab340).