mojoPortal Tips: How Can I Test Changes to My mojoPortal Site?

When working with an open-source CMS (content management system) like mojoPortal, it’s a joy to be able to access functionality to configure your mojoPortal-based solution to the specific needs of your clientele. However, when it comes time to update the site to incorporate the latest features and enhancements for mojoPortal, it can be a bit scary to test changes that may break your customizations. We’ll review a simple technique today that’ll allow you to test your current site’s configuration, without causing “live site” breaks.

First, we’ll define the prerequisites needed for testing: a local version of your database of choice (default is MSSQL, which is what we’ll cover today), and a localhost version of your current site (either leveraging IIS, or Visual Studio – it’s easy to download a copy of Visual Studio Express, or with a little bit of initiative, sign up for one of the programs that will allow you access to a free copy of Visual Studio Developer Edition).

Once you’ve got these two prerequisites available, let’s look at accessing your live site. Depending on your hosting provider, you may be able to access your files directly through your control panel, or simply by using an FTP program like FileZilla. Use your control panel to create a backup of your live database, and then download the .bak file, along with live site files.

Copy the live site files to your localhost instance of the site; this will ensure any files that have been uploaded or changed in the live site will be available. Restore the .bak file of your database on your local SQL server instance; update your connection string in your web.config or user.config files. Ensure that your site will run via IIS or Visual Studio, and that it looks the same as your current live site.

Now – download a copy of the latest version of mojoPortal, unzip the files, and copy them into your local web instance, and restart the site. You may have to manually navigate to [your localhost]/setup/default.aspx – this will force the update to the latest version of mojoPortal.

Once the scripts are complete, navigate to the current home page, and start your testing of any previous customization. From here, it’s up to your testing, design, and development skills to see what needs to be fixed, changed, or updated – good luck!

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Author Spotlight

Carole Bennett

Carole Bennett is the founder and principal of IndigoTea. As a professional IT consultant, Carole has provided solutions for companies as diverse as Verizon, Frito-Lay, Capital One Auto Finance, and Zales Jewelers, parlaying a unique talent for acting as a translator between the worlds of business challenges and technology solutions. She considers multi-tasking skills gained from simultaneously 1) managing a fire performance troupe, 2) raising a family, and 3) working as a full-time IT consultant excellent preparation for her current career incarnation as the driving force behind IndigoTea. "Fire-breathing redhead on a mission" is not just a metaphorical description!

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