Help Your E Store Succeed

WordPress News & Tips #2 – Convert Your OSCommerce Store to WordPress

Converting and e store like OSCommerce to WordPress WP E-Commerce is no longer the scary prospect it once was.. In this issue of WordPress News and Tips I give an overview on how to accomplish this task not a detailed step by step. A detailed step by step is too much for a short newsletter. Please contact me and I will be happy to help you accomplish this task in detail. This newsletter also includes a featured plugin and some news tidbits.Help Your E Store Succeed

Featured Plugin

WP Editor

WP Editor is a plugin for WordPress that replaces the default plugin and theme editors as well as the page/post editor. This plugin was revied by my co-host Marcus Couch in episode 58 of WordPress Plugins from A to Z podcast find it here.

WordPress News

Discussions around dot org plugin reviews pick up speed — an article discussing the possible creation of a plugin review team.

Call For Speakers Open for Toronto WordCamps

Featured Tip – Convert Your OSCommerce Store to WordPress WP E-Commerce

No Magic Cure HereSo you or a client has an OSCommerce store and you have finally had it up to hear with doing the difficult upgrades and dealing with difficult to install addons that often require hours of tweaking to get to operate properly. Well now it is possible and easy to move your e-commerce store over to WordPress and use an e-store plugin like WP E-Commerce.

The biggest deterrent to moving was the issue of converting over the database and there has not been a free plugin or service that does this very well, but there is a paid service that does it very well now.. It is called Cart-to-Cart and you can check them out here. Conversion costs are dependent on the size of your database. When I converted over a client that had about 20k records the cost was $129US and took about 45min to accomplish. A barging I thought since it went pretty smoothly. So here is the process.

First since you are going to be using the same domain name in the end you need to set up WordPress in a sub-directory on your server. Perform all the basic setup for WordPress if you do not know for sure what to do please check my YouTube page for a video on how to do the basics of WordPress.

Next setup all your plugins that you will be using and I mean all of them, including the WP E-Commerce one plus and plugins for that plugin. Make sure everything is working perfectly with a couple sample products including whatever payment system you are going to use.

Next create your custom theme and apply it and then make sure everything is still working….. This is important as sometimes the application of a theme will break things…

Now that all that is done it is time to prepare for the data conversion. You will need an account at Cart-to-Cart and this part is free. Setup your account and start a data migration. Follow their simple steps to connect the database of your OSCommerce store with your new WP E-Commerce store. Since you have  set up your WordPress install on the same domain as OSCommerce you should find this conversion works very smooth.. Since you are taking advantage of having both databases on the same server.

Now Cart-to-Cart offers a sample data migration and it is very important to take advantage of this as it allows you to fine tune what is going to be transferred.. It gets the most important parts of the products and converts it all over. The idea is to make the sample conversion and then fine tune layout and fine tune field settings of what comes across.

One thing you need to do here is make more than one sample migration this is to insure smoothness of final migration.. Now in between make sure to delete everything from the store before making each new test migration. They have an automated delete but I found it was a little flawed…. It did not always get it all completely …. I do mean delete all the posts and pages created for products nit the base store pages created for functionality… Also delete the uploaded pictures that the migration brings over.

This was actually one of the best features that it brings over the pictures assigned to products and uploads them for you. It only gets the ones attached to products also.. This was fantastic for me in my big conversion as the client had hundreds of old pictures not being used but taking up space and instead of manually sorting them we got to dump the whole batch of junk.

Burning the midnight oilOk so now you have done this a couple of times to be sure the migration will happen as you want it to… go buy your credits at Cart-to-Cart and do a real migration and then go have a beer while you wait after all it is probably late at night by now right….. So once that is done verify all your data came across it should and if not you will need to talk to support at Cart to Cart they are great as long as you do not contact them during 4 of July weekend. Since I am in Canada I forgot about that holiday.

Ok now that everything is working it is time to make the ultimate big time move… AT THIS POINT MAKE A BACKUP OF YOUR ENTIRE WEBSITE—– ALL DIRECTORIES AND ALL DATABASES….. This is so important I cannot even begin to state how important the —-BACKUP MIGHT BE—– so backup.

I hope that gets the point across.

Now your site is going to offline for however long it takes you to FTP files… Now you need to move your site to make it live and it is a process that I will cover in another newsletter…


John Overall

2 replies
    • John Overall
      John Overall says:

      I looked at that sometime back when they first launched and it was raw as well as simply wrapping the WordPress theme around the OsCommerce code. It still looks like that is what they are doing. One of my main goals here was to get away from the OsCommerce code so I did not have to keep up with two different platforms/code systems.

      While this may save some work in the short term I think it will be costly in the long term to maintain two different platforms bridged together.Here is a quote from their site about upgrades—upgrading-from-13-to-version-131-guide
      WP Online Store – Upgrading from 1.3 to Version 1.3.1 Guide: "Unfortunately the upgrade process in WordPress (and most software for that matter) will cause you to lose any custom additions to the plugins core code. So you will need to use your backups to reinstall any customizations you have done back into the new upgraded version 1.3.1"

      As you can see from that just their simple step from 1.3 to 1.3.1 can create some major issues if you have customizations which many folks do. At least in WordPress you can place your customizations in places that are unaffected by core file upgrades. Consider these issues before taking the short route. Upgrading will always be necessary just to keep ahead of the security issues.

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