Upgrading From AutoRank PHP 2.0.x


The 3.0.x release is completely new from the ground up. The code has been completely rewritten, there is a new control panel, and the template system has been updated. Many new features have been added, however some of the legacy features have now been removed. Please have a look at the demo to make sure you want to upgrade before you begin this process.

Requirements The requirements for AutoRank PHP have been updated. The two most important new requirements are PHP version 4.3.0 or newer and MySQL version 4.0.0 or newer. Before you begin the upgrade process, make sure your server meets these requirements.

You should allow at least an hour for this upgrade. Because of the new template system and the way that the ranking pages are defined, the old templates cannot be automatically converted. However, you can use the 2.0.x to 3.0.x ranking page template conversion script to manually convert your existing templates.

Make a Backup

The first thing you should do is a database backup from the control panel of your AutoRank PHP 2.0.x installation. The documentation for AutoRank PHP 2.0.x includes instructions for doing a database backup, so follow those to complete this step. This is only a precautionary measure in case you encounter any problems during the upgrade process.

Export Your Data

Now you need to export your AutoRank PHP 2.0.x data into a format that AutoRank PHP 3.0.x can understand. This is simple to do with the export utility included with AutoRank PHP. In the utilities directory of the AutoRank PHP distribution you will find a file named arphp2.0.x.php. Upload that file to your server in ASCII mode to the same directory where your AutoRank PHP 2.0.x arphp.php file is located, and then bring it up in your browser. It may take a few minutes for the data export to complete. Once it does you will see a message telling you to continue to the next step of the upgrade process.

The export script has created two files in the data directory of your AutoRank PHP 2.0.x installation. The files are named upgrade-data.txt and upgrade-sql.txt. FTP into your server and download these files. It is very important that you download the upgrade-data.txt file in binary mode or it will be corrupted and will not be readable by the AutoRank PHP installation.

Covert Your Ranking Page Templates

If you want to keep the same HTML layout for your ranking pages, use the template conversion tool now, before you install the new version. You will need to access your 2.0.x control panel to do this, so it has to be done before you install the new version.

Rename the Current AutoRank PHP Installation Directory

To make it possible for your current members to continue using the same link syntax, the 3.0.x version of AutoRank PHP must be installed in the same directory as your 2.0.x installation. The easiest way to do this is to rename the directory where the 2.0.x version is currently installed, and then create a new directory with the same name as the directory that you just renamed. For example, if AutoRank PHP 2.0.x is currently installed in a directory named top100, rename that directory to top100_old and then create a new directory named top100.

If AutoRank PHP 2.0.x is installed in the base directory of your website and renaming that directory is not possible, you will need to either delete or relocate the current AutoRank PHP 2.0.x files and directories before you install the 3.0.x version. This includes the admin, data, templates, cache, and images directories and all of the AutoRank PHP .php files in the base directory. If you are serving the member banners from your server, be sure to keep a copy of them so that you can use them with the new installation.

Install AutoRank PHP 3.0.x

Using the default installation instructions, install AutoRank PHP 3.0.x onto your server. Just do a normal installation according to the software manual's instructions, however be sure that you install AutoRank PHP 3.0.x into the same directory as AutoRank PHP 2.0.x was installed. The only other thing you need to do differently is to name the banners directory images and be sure to set the Banner URL setting to point to the images directory instead of the banners directory. Once the software has been installed and you have setup the variables and options in the Edit Options interface, you can continue with the next step.

Importing Your Data

Once you have your AutoRank PHP 3.0.x installation up and working properly, you can import the AutoRank PHP 2.0.x data. Note that you should read through the First Steps section of the software manual to make sure you have everything setup before you import your AutoRank PHP 2.0.x data. FTP into your server and upload the upgrade-data.txt and upgrade-sql.txt files to the data directory of your AutoRank PHP 3.0.x installation. It is very important that you upload the upgrade-data.txt file in binary mode or it will be corrupted and will not be readable by the AutoRank PHP installation.

Next you will need to login to your AutoRank PHP 3.0.x control panel. Locate and click on the "Backup/Restore Database" link in the Setup section of the control panel menu. AutoRank PHP will then display a page where you can enter the filenames of your data export files. In the "Data Backup Filename" field enter upgrade-data.txt; in the "SQL Backup Filename" field enter upgrade-sql.txt. Once the fields are filled in, click on the Restore button. AutoRank PHP will read the information contained in the files and import the data from your AutoRank PHP 2.0.x installation. This may take a few minutes, so allow enough time for it to complete.

If you were serving the member banners from your server in the 2.0.x version, copy the banner files from the old installation over to the images directory of the new installation. Set the permissions on all of them to 666.

If you converted your ranking page templates using the template conversion tool, you can now setup your ranking pages through the Manage Pages interface and then copy and paste the new template code into the text box when editing the ranking page template through the "Edit Templates" function of the 3.0.x control panel.

The final step is to run the rerank function and then visit your ranking pages to make sure they are showing up correctly.

Removing the 2.0.x Database Information

Once you are sure the 3.0.x version is up and running how you want it, you can clear out the MySQL database information that was used by the 2.0.x to free up some disk space. To do this, upload the cleanup2.0.x.php script from the utilities directory of the AutoRank PHP 3.0.x distribution. It will need to be uploaded to the same directory as the arphp.php file for the 3.0.x installation on your server. Bring it up in your browser, and click on the link to remove the old database tables.