Tag Archives: cre loaded

cre loaded – how to upgrade from an earlier version

Upgrading means migrating your earlier version of Cre Loaded to a more recent version – eg 6.2.x (or 6.3.x) to 6.4.x – where the second and third numbers of the versions are different. Updating means migrating between minor versions – eg 6.4.x to 6.4.x – where the third number differs between the two versions. If you want help with updating, have a read of migrating from 6.4.0 to 6.4.1 here.

The following is an attempt to make the upgrade process a bit easier and is based on an upgrade from Creloaded 6.2 to 6.4.1a.


Before setting off with the Upgrade instructions below, if you currently use the Information infobox and want to upgrade your current 6.2 store’s template, perform the following steps on your existing store:

  1. Switch on Site Maintenance on your store
    Admin >> Configuration >> Site Maintenance >> edit True
  2. Set the Information infobox inactive
    Admin >> Design Controls >> Infobox Configure and set the Information Infobox inactive (red light)
  3. Check which template is your Default template
    Admin >> Design Controls >> Template Manager .. the one in bold is your currently active template.
    There are only two ‘stock’ templates supported in Creloaded 6.4.1 – original_ats and cre63_ats. Both use templates/default/boxes for infoboxes.
    Original_ats uses templates/content for tpl.php files; cre63_ats keeps its tpl.php files in templates/cre63_ats/content. Any other templates will have their own folder in /templates and might use their own /boxes and/or /content folders too.
  4. Keeping the point above in mind, make sure your template has a file called pages.tpl.php.
    If not, go to /templates/content and copy the pages.tpl.php file from there to /templates/your template/content.
  5. Download your /images and your edited /templates/your template/ folders to your computer


The Cre Loaded Upgrade process is described in Cre’s own Installation pdf but it’s a bit tangled up with the New Installation instructions.

You will need:

  1. The ‘upgrade zip’ containing catalog.zip and the Installation.pdf (the pdf referred to is dated March 15 2010)
  2. Access to your server and database manager – possibly through cPanel or your host’s own control panel, or a free (s)ftp programme like Filezilla
  3. 20-30 minutes

Once the above is together, proceed as follows:

    • Step One: Create a ‘new_store’ folder on your server
      Use the File Manager in cPanel or even Filezilla for this
    • Step Two: Create a ‘new_store’ database on your mysql server
      Use the MySQL Manager through your control panel – make sure to set Privileges for the User correctly too. Record the database name, username, user password and hostname (this may be ‘localhost’) for later use
    • Step Three: Open the Installation.pdf and go to page 18
      There are a couple of ways of getting the catalog.zip onto your server. One way is as Cre suggests, which involves unzipping all of the folders and files in the catalog.zip to your computer and uploading each via (s)ftp. I wouldn’t recommend this because – it becomes a 12MB upload when unzipped (instead of 6MB); there are over 3500 items to be uploaded and if your connection to the server fails at some point, something may be only partially uploaded and corrupted.

    If you have a Plesk control panel you probably don’t have the option of extracting a .zip through its file manager, in which case you’d have to upload the extracted files and folders from your computer.

    • I’d recommend uploading just the catalog.zip (one file only) to your ‘new_store’ folder and extracting the files on the server. You can do this using Extract from the cPanel File Manager OR if you have command line access, cd to the directory where the catalog.zip is and ‘unzip catalog’ OR ask your host to do this simple process for you.
    • Step Four: Set Permissions on the unzipped folders and files
      There are several folders and files that require permission changes. Once again you can use your control panel or Filezilla (right click on the folder / file >> File Permissions …) to change Permissions.The Installation pdf lists most of the changes required on page 9. Here is the complete list:
      These Files and Folders to Read, Write, eXecute (777) for Owner/Group/Public
      /library - if Pro or B2B 
      (10/11 if Pro or B2B)
      Note: /debug/shipwire_debug.txt is also required to have Read/Write/Execute by Owner/Group (777) permissions set.
    • Step Five: The Upgrade Screen
      Now turn to page 19 of the Installation pdf to continue with the upgrade instructions. Your screen will look like this:

      Just choose the ‘PCI Upgrade’ option here, whether your Store held credit card information or not. It doesn’t make any difference if you try to remove non-existent information.The next screen is a Pre-Install Check …. everything must be green to proceed. If you didn’t correct the Permissions in Step Four, you’ll be seeing red here.

      The next screen asks you to confirm the (absolute) pathway to your existing Cre Store that is being upgraded, as per page 20 of the Installation pdf. The follows a check and confirmation of this path (page 21.)
    • Step Six: Follow the Installation pdf through pages 21 – 28
      The rest of the Installation pdf will take you through through Database Settings and Upgrade, PCI Compliance, Summarize your Server Configuration and cover resetting Permissions, Cre Secure and your Payment Modules etc.
    • Step Seven: Template and Image folder upload
      Upload your old store’s /images and /template/your template folders that you downloaded prior to these six steps. Remember to set permissions for these too.

    Other recommendations:

    • delete your /Upgrade folder from the server
    • check all permissions on files are set to 644 at most (configure files 444) and on folders to 755 (or 757, avoid 777)
    • protect your Admin folder
    • set up various htaccess protection methods for other folders and files too if possible.

    cre loaded – how to update from version 6.4.0 to version 6.4.1

    This process is best described as ‘updating’ and I’d only recommend doing this between minor versions in sequence – eg 6.3.1 -> 6.3.2, or 6.4.0 -> 6.4.1. If you’re going to jump from 6.3.x to 6.4.x I’d recommend reading up on how to upgrade between major versions.

    ‘Updating’ means:

    • your store’s current database gets updated by any changes in the update update patch for the database
    • you manually overwrite your old store’s files and folders using the folders/files from the update
    • you don’t have to create a new blank database or change permissions on folders/files

    Sounds straight forward? Should be, but the 6.4.0 -> 6.4.1 update isn’t for some.
    Here are the steps I used:

    Step 1: make sure you download and extract the correct update to your computer (this is a Pro version update example)

    choose the correct cre loaded update example pro version

    After extracting the contents from the patch itself, you should have catalog.zip and a pdf Guide to Installation. Delete this guide as nothing in it applies to Updating, only Upgrading. Instead go to the Cre Loaded site and scan the only information they give on the Updating process: Here is Cre Loaded’s official document on updating.

    Step 2: backup your current database and store
    There are a couple of reasons for doing this – the obvious (if you stuff up the update, you’ve still got the original files) but also if you have a modified site you may lose some or all of these modifications in the update (so you’ll need your originals to get back on track.)

    Step 3: upload and overwrite your store’s folders and files as per the update

    Step 4: type the url to your store with /upgrade on the end – eg www.mystore.com/upgrade

    This will bring up the update page – confusingly called the ‘Upgrade Wizard’ with blah about versions 6.2 and 6.3 and no mention of 6.4.0.

    cre loaded update upgrade screen

    Once you click the big blue Update button you might be lucky and get this:

    You have successfully updated your Cre Loaded database

    … or like me, you’ll get this ominous screen of fail:

    cre loaded configuration files error on update

    Why the ‘Existing configuration files cannot be accessed’ message? Because when Cre wrote the upgrade scripts, they assumed that everyone’s Admin folder is called, well, ‘Admin.’ But if you’ve decided to make hackers work a little harder and renamed your store’s Admin folder to something other than ‘Admin’, this is why you’re seeing this error.

    How to fix this: here’s the top part of the script that is at fault:



    The lines you need to edit are 29, 30 and 34, replacing the word ‘youradminfolder’ with the actual name of your admin folder.
    Try Step 4 again and your database should be successfully updated.

    Maybe next time Cre will create a better updater … please.

    cre loaded navigation bar: change the colour

    Cre Loaded’s navigation bar in the cre63_ats template looks like a basic Vista type menu in steely grey.

    The dark grey bar isn’t a ‘colour’ set by css – it’s 4 different images put together:

    The 4 images that are used

    templates/cre63_ats/images/menu_left.png (7 x 43px)
    templates/cre63_ats/images/menu_div.png (between each link) (4 x 43px)
    templates/cre63_ats/images/menu_mid.png (the main bar) (2 x 43px)
    templates/cre63_ats/images/menu_right.png (6 x 43px)

    So if you wanted to change the colour of the menu you could do this by creating new images in the colour you want, with a gradient effect thrown-in, and replace the default cre loaded 63_ats ones above.

    Here’s a quick rundown on how this could be done:


    1. Decide on your colour scheme in advance, including font colours that you may be changing in the css. The file template.css contains most of the css associated with the navigation menu – eg:

    table.menubarmain a:link, .menubarmain a:active, .menubarmain a:visited {

    A bit of time spent at the colour planning stage will help you to get a result you want, rather than one you may not:

    There are 5 colours in the green example above. If you’re new to hex colours, one point to keep in mind is that #000000 is black, #ffffff is white. A really useful piece of software for colour identification is Colorpic from Iconico – and its free.

    The colours used in the green example were:
    main menu colour: #0b9218; the gradient: #32d641 to #099717; and the dividers: #022505 and #06640f.

    Photoshop Instructions

    1. Create a 500 x 50px canvas
    2. Select Rectangular Marquee tool >> Style: Fixed Size >> 480 x 43px
    3. Go to Select >> Modify >> Smooth and apply 5px radius
    4. Create a new layer (Ctrl+Shift+N) then Edit>> Fill >> Use: Color and choose the main menu colour.
    5. Double click the layer >> Gradient Overlay and using the Gradient Editor Color Stops, set the left the lighter colour, the right darker
    6. Still in the Blending menu >> Stroke >> Size 1px >> and change the colour to the darker gradient you used in 5.
    7. Create a new layer and create a selection one px under the top border of the nav bar using the Single Row Marquee Tool >> Fill: White
    8. Ctrl+click Layer 1 as well >> Select >> Inverse then Ctrl+click Layer 2 and press Del
    9. Double click Layer 2 >> Blending Options >> Blend Mode: Soft Light, Opacity 60%
    10. To make the dividers, make a new layer >> use the Marquee tool to make a 1px wide divider >> Fill with the darker divider colour
    11. Move the Marquee one pixel to the right (use the right cursor key) >> Fill with the lighter divider colour.
    12. Repeat 11. and fill with the darker colour again.
    13. Slice up (or crop) the image into the 4 parts you need (see earlier description, noting the sizes in pixels.)
    14. Backup the original images and upload the new ones to your server, as per the Description of the 4 images above
    15. Adjust the font styles, colours etc in templates.css

    Here are the 4 images that make up the green example above: