How to safely update any website using Perfect Dashboard?

The following guide will walk you through the steps to backup, update and test your website:

Whilte the guide showcases the updating of Joomla 2.5, the same steps apply to any other CMS types like Joomla 1.5, Magento, Prestashop, Drupal etc.

Adding website to Perfect Dashboard

  1. Adding the website:
    Click on Add new website button:

    Select Other as your CMS Type your front-page URL, click on Add Website button and that's it!

Preparing the backup tool

  1. Setting up the backup tool:

    After the website is added, please go to your TO-DO list and click on the Install our backup tool task:

    On the following screen click on Download button to download the backup tool installing script. Afterwards upload it to the root folder of your website on the FTP server.

    After the script is on your server, click on the link in the point 2 to access it:

    Select the CMS type of your website. If the CMS type of your website isn't on the list, select Other. Enter your database all your database details there. You can typically access them in your hosting panel, or by going to your FTP and finding your CMS configuration file. In the below example I will use Joomla 2.5, you can find its configuration in the root directory in the configuration.php file:

    After the connection to your database is verified, click on the following button to get back to Perfect Dashboard:

    Final step is to verify the connection and install the backup tool:

  2. Performing backup:

    In My Websites > your website > Backup tab you will then be able to perform a backup:

    After clicking on the backup button and optionally setting up a backup schedule you will be presented with this view, where you can set whether to test integrity of the backup (whether all its files matches all files from your website, check it for possible malware and choose where to store it:

    Click on the Back up now button! and that's it - your site's backup will be performed.

Performing the update

  1. Preparing our test engine:
    First of all, to use our automated test engine, you would have to add the sitemap in XML format (otherwise we will only be able to test your homepage). Do do that, please go to Local settings and in paste the link to it in Sitemap url field.

    Afterwards go to Automated testing tab and click on Prepare test scenarios for the website button.

  2. Updating your website:
    Go to your website's backend and perform the update there. In case of this example (Joomla 2.5) you can go to Components > Joomla Update and update the website from there:

    Check out how to update various CMS types via their official documentation below: Updating Prestashop
    Updating Magento
    Updating Drupal
    Updating Joomla 2.5
    Migrate Joomla 2.5.x to Joomla 3.x
    Migrate Joomla 1.5 to Joomla 3.x

Review automated test results

To make sure that everything went correctly with the upgrade, it is best to review the automated test results so you can see on the screenshots whether something differs on the site before and after upgrade. Let's go back to Perfect Dashboard and in My Websites > your website > Automated tests click on Run test button:

After the tests have ran, let's check whether the update went correctly. Do that by clicking on Review test results button after the update.

You will then be able to see the test results and check the details of each of the page in the sitemap:

If you see that some sites needs checking for changes, click on See details button:

Note: If you have dynamic elements on the site you can disable them to avoid false positive results. Do so in your website view > Local Settings > CSS Selectors to be omitted during visual comparison (each in new line, no comma at the end)

Finalizing the update

If the update results are satisfying, that's it! Your website is backed up, tested and up-to-date! If you see that something went wrong, sometimes it is best to use Restore button in to restore your website to the backup made before the update. Afterwards you can fix the potential issues and try updating again.