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How does "Vortx Onboard" work?
Pure magic. Along with some pretty clever programming...
If you're upgrading a legacy store, when you start your upgrade initially, the data in your store is encrypted, then imported in to a 'stock' database on our servers which matches the same version as your live store. It will pull in your products, variants, categories, settings, customers, etc., then it will upgrade the database on our servers. After that, it installs and customizes your choice of template, and builds a "Staging" URL at which you can preview the new store.

If you're setting up a new store, it will take the design options you've configured and use that to set up your store & install your skin. As you apply edits in Vortx Onboard, you can update your store, up to 5 times, and the staging site will be refreshed to reflect the design & layout changes you've made in the Vortx Onboard site. For new stores, you can also edit your store design in your admin console, or by editing the files directly on your staging site to further customize your look & feel.

Pretty neat, right?

What legacy versions of AspDotNetStorefront are supported?
All versions of AspDotNetStorefront on 7.0.2.5 SP1 and higher are supported by Vortx Onboard. If you're running an older version of AspDotNetStorefront - we can still help! Contact our support team for more information.

Can I have FTP access to my staging site?
Yes! Contact our support team to request access.

If you're upgrading a legacy AspDotNetStorefront store, we can provide FTP access, but each time you update your store through Vortx Onboard, it will revert any changes to files or any changes applied directly in the admin console. So, we can provide you with access so you can customize your skin, but you'll need to keep backups of your changes so that you can re-introduce them after your staging site is updated.

If you're setting up a new store, we can provide you with FTP access - any changes made to files or through your admin console (to topics, products, settings - anything!) will be preserved, even if you update your skin through the Vortx Onboard app. Exception: If your store has fallen out of date (if a newer version of a skin file is available), AND a newer version has a modified file from the one you had before, the Vortx Onboard system will remove your changes and instead keep the new 'stock' files.

How can I prepare, to make everything go smoothly?
Firstly, make sure that you can give us access to your live store. We use FTP to put a file into your 'images' folder. We will need read and write access. If you have ever used FTP access yourself, then please use a tool like FileZilla to make sure that your FTP login details still work.
Secondly, look really hard at all the templates (showcased down the left hand menu).
  • Choose the one that you think will fit your needs best.
  • Assess carefully - for example, notice that the 'Dean' skin has a very large banner image, and anticipates that you will identify both featured product-groups and, separately, featured products.
  • As another example, the 'Sportsing' skin has a large number of promo areas (details here) and you will need to be ready with buttons, links, images, and copy.
It is a good idea to prepare the design assets (images, copy, product-ids etc.) before you begin your upgrade.
In practice, you will likely choose a template, prepare your design assets ... and then when you first run your upgrade, you might very well see your work in place and change your mind! Remember that you can run end-to-end up to FIVE times, so there's room to change your mind!


How long does it take?
New stores are typically set up, and updated in a matter of minutes.

For legacy users upgrading to a new version, the upgrade process can take anywhere from about 20 minutes to a few hours, depending on the size of your database. A store which has about 50 products will go a lot quicker than a store with 50,000 products.

Can I change content in the admin console on my staging site?
For new stores: Yes! You can log in to your admin console on the staging site, and add/edit products, categories, topics, settings - anything you like. All changes made to your staging site will be preserved, even as you update your site skin.

For legacy users upgrading to a new version: Yes! You can use the staging site as a 'sandbox' with which to test out changes to the site content. If you want to keep those changes when you launch, you'll need to keep a local copy of the changes you make so that you can manually re-apply them via the live site admin console after your upgrade goes live.

Here's why...
All of the changes you might make to topics, categories, or products on the staging site are stored in the staging site database. This database is not in sync with your live site at all, so the data on the staging site quickly becomes 'stale'. You'll notice that recent orders or customer accounts that have registered on your live site won't be reflected on the staging site until the next time you run the upgrade.

On your next run, the entire data import/template install procedure repeats itself (see: How does "Vortx Onboard" Work?), effectively reversing any changes you might've made to the staging site admin console directly.

If you have changes you'd like to make that you want to carry over when we go live, you can keep a local copy of changes in notepad files. Make the changes directly on staging to test them out, then copy the code from the <> HTML view. Save the code to a text file on your computer so you can copy/paste the changes back in to the live site following launch.

Can I keep working on my live site while I'm working on my upgrade through Vortx Onboard?
Yes! Change your products, prices, topics, oil, hairstyle, wardrobe, etc., You'll get 5 runs on the upgrade, then when you're ready to go live, the last upgrade run will import your store data anew - it will pick up any changes you've made in your live site admin console, ensuring that you're going live with the absolute most recent set of data.