(This is the first draft on instructions on How to Install osCommerce Onto a Host's Server. This is based on installing the latest osC CE edition (aka: Frozen), and NOT the 'official' v2.3.4.1 version. I'm sure others will want to include their comments and suggestions too.) If all of this sounds too complicated, there are a number of developers here that can be hired to do all of this for you. Just post a request in the commercial area of this forum: https://forums.oscommerce.com/forum/79-commercial-support-inquiries/ -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I will *assume* that your host already has PHP and mySQL (or some equivalent) installed (most hosts do). Also, most hosts will also have a set of tools SUCH AS cPanel and phpMySQL. These tools will allow you to access your area on your host's server, and administer the database . You'll also need a FTP program (such as FileZilla) installed and working on your local workstation to move files to and from the host's server, and a web browser (such as Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, etc). 1) Before you begin, do you have a domain registered for your store? Do you have DNS set to point to your host's server? If not, how will you (and your customers) access your shop? Via an IP address? Best to work all of this out before you start building your store! For this example, I will assume that you do. 2) Using a browser on your workstation, log into your account on your host's server. Remember what username and password you used, as you will need this again later. Write these down!  Using whatever tools your Host provides, access the area where you will be storing your files. Your host will have an area for you called something like /public_html/. If you're not sure, ask your host. Your host may allow you to have more than one domain within your account. If this is something you might want, ask first! You are going to have to have a place for your store's files. You could put them in the your root directory (such as /public_html/), but I suggest you create a sub-directory specifically for your store. If you have a domain name already registered, good practice would be to name this sub-directory the same as your domain (ex: /public_html/<my domain name>/). Use whatever tool your host offers to create this sub-directory. 3) Within this sub-directory, it is good practice to create another sub-directory called /catalog (your directory structure would look something like /public_html/<my domain name>/catalog). Some developers here disagree with this, but it does make things easier if, in the future, you want to add something like a blog, etc. to your domain. 4) Once the directory structure is set up, it's time to set up the database. Using whatever tool your host offers (such as phpMyAdmin), create a database for your store. Your database will have to have a name, a database administrator's name, and a database administrator's password. Write these down!. You will also be given an option of setting the Collation. This is the method by which the database encodes and stores the data. Choose utf8_unicode-ci. You can now log out of your host's server. 5) With the server all set up, it's time to begin moving files to the server. Download the latest copy of osCommerce onto your workstation. Extract all of the files from within the ZIP'd file into a clean directory. There will be a LOT of files (over 1400 of them) and LOTS of sub-directories. It is important to keep the files and directory structure intact. Make a note of where you have extracted these! 6) Launch your FTP client on your local workstation. A very popular one is called FileZilla. You will need to download and install this on your workstation before you can use it. Launch it, and point the LOCAL site to the directory where you extracted all of the osCommerce files (you wrote this down, didn't you?). Point the REMOTE site to your host's server. You will need whatever username and password your host gave you in order to connect to their server (you wrote these down, didn't you?). Be sure to point to the sub-directory you created in steps 2 and 3 above! 7) You will now need to transfer ALL of the extracted files from your workstation to your host. This can take some time, depending on the speed of your internet connection. After all of the files have been transferred, you can log out of your FTP client. 8) Launch your browser. Point it to your host's server, using whatever method you set up in step 1 above. For example, point your browser to <my domain name>.com. IF you put all of your store files in the /catalog sub-directory (as recommended), you will need to include that too (ex: <my domain name>.com/catalog). This should launch the installation program. If it doesn't, stop and figure out why (because you can't continue on otherwise). 9) There are several steps in the installation ...   a) The first screen will tell you if the server is capable of running osCommerce. It will check that PHP is installed, which version, and that it is configured correctly. It will also check that mySQL is installed, and all of the appropriate extensions are installed. This will be a pass/fail test. Either the server passes, or it fails. If it fails, you will need to contact your Host to resolve the problem ... this is not something you can fix. If it passes, click on the big green "Start the installation" button.   b) This step configures the database.     b1) The first field is the database location. It is typically either 'localhost' or the IP address of the database server. Ask your Host if you are not sure.     b2) This is the Database Administrator's name (you wrote this down, didn't you?)     b3) This is the Database Administrator's password (you wrote this down, didn't you?)     b4) This is the database name (you wrote this down, didn't you?) Once these are all filled in correctly, click on the big green 'Continue to Step 2' button. The program will build the database tables, and pre-fill in all of the necessary data. This can take some time. Be patient!   c) The next step defines where the store is on the web server. If you got this far, the default answers are probably correct. Click on the big green 'Continue to Step 3' button.   d) This is where you configure your store information.     d1) What is your Store Name. This will show throughout your store, on invoices, emails, etc.     d2) If you want to personalize your store, you can put your name here, and your name will show on invoices, emails, etc. Otherwise, enter something like 'Store Owner'.     d3) This is the email address for people wanting to send emails to your store. Enter a valid email address.     d4) This is where you enter the name of the Administrator for your store. You need at least one Administrator. Later on, you can create more administrators, if you wish. It can be a real person's name, or any word you make up (such as 'Boss'). Write this down! Do note that this is the Administrator for your STORE, and is separate from the Administrator for the DATABASE.     d5) This is where you create a password for the first Administrator. As with any password, it should be something that is not easy to guess (don't use 'password' as your password!). Write this down! Again, note that this is the password for the STORE administrator, which is separate from the DATABASE administrator.     d6) This is the sub-directory name where all of the administrative files are located. The default name is 'Admin'. While you may leave it as the default name, for better safety, it is better to change this to something a little less obvious. Write this down!     d7) This is where you set the time zone for your store. If you are in Japan, the US, or the UK, you will be in different time zones. You want the time in your store (as recorded on orders, etc) to be correct for where you are. Select the closest city from the drop-down list. Once you have everything filled out, click on the big green 'Continue to Step 4' button.   e) If everything went well, you should be greeted by a 'Finished' screen. Across the bottom are two big buttons: The Green button will take you to your store front. The blue button will take you to your Administration side of your store. You will need your store's Administrator's name and password to enter here (you wrote those down, didn't you?). Congratulations! Your store is now online! It will be filled with some sample products. You will need to go into the Administration side of your store to configure your store (turn on features, arrange things, add new products, etc.) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Again, if all of this sounds too complicated, there are a number of developers here that can be hired to do all of this for you. Just post a request in the commercial area of this forum: https://forums.oscommerce.com/forum/79-commercial-support-inquiries/ Good luck!