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I have an online store that uses CS-Cart, on a Ubuntu VPS (slicehost). I am about to switch to Magento, but it will take me time to add all the products from the old cart to the new one.

I have some options like setting up a webserver on my Windows machine and doing the whole thing locally and then importing it to the VPS. Is that really the best practice for these types of upgrades?

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Two things I usually do:

  1. Do all the work in a sandbox environment first (sometimes working from a backup copy from the production server), then once it's ready, port it over to the live environment.
  2. Or, put everything on the same server, but on a different domain or subdomain, and password protect it with htpasswd (or depending on what website control panel software you're using, it might be called secure folders or password protection).

Also, remember to backup everything first before making any changes.

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Just backup EVERYTHING, and that include the DB.

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