1. When you install a major application into the root, its files get all mixed in with your .htaccess, error pages, robots.txt, favicon.ico, etc., making it very likely that when working on that application you will accidentally damage or erase these system files.
Rookie mistake and if you do this, you shouldn't be administering your own website anyway.
2. If you later should choose to install another major application (e.g., a forum), it would have to go into its own subdirectory anyway, to avoid overwriting osC's files.
This is a given, however I don't think ANY other application should be on the same hosting account as your ecommerce installation. It is a personal preference but I always keep carts installed on their own secure server.
3. If you later should choose to install another major application, osC's .htaccess may cause problems when trying to get to the other application. You may not be able to "back out" osC's URL rewrites and such in a lower level .htaccess.
Again, rookie mistake. If you can't get two programs to share an .htaccess file in the root, hire a developer to do it for you.
4. If in the end you later have to relocate osC (into a subdirectory), bang go all your customer's bookmarks and all your search engine juice.
Once osCommerce is in the root, there is no foreseeable reason to move it to a subdirectory but should you need to, then proper redirects in the .htaccess will prevent most SE losses.
5. Having major applications completely separated mean that adding, deleting, or changing them has no danger of affecting other applications or your common system files (.htaccess, favicon, etc.).
Again, this is a repeat but if you have installed osCommerce properly the first time, there is no reason to change it.
6. Putting all major applications into their own subdirectories, with their own .htaccess files, and a landing page (with links) or .htaccess URL rewrite (if you have only one application) means that an application never has to be moved, and doesn't step on other applications, whatever you end up doing with it.
This is the same as previous points.
CONCLUSION: If you install and configure your osCommerce installation correctly the first time then you should never have to move it and never have any problems as described above.
Phil, I know you are just highlighting some of the most common errors when installing osCommerce and don't take my reply personally, I know you are a professional, but there are three kinds of users.
- The user who wants to try to install thier store and will learn by thier mistakes and they really don't have anything to lose but personal time so it really doesn't matter how much they play with it and screw it up.
- The user who THINKS they know what they are doing but really shouldn't be trying to do anything on the internet other than play games on facebook.
- The user that hires a developer to do it correctly the first time !
All of the above is just my rant.....ignore it if you want to.....lol