Site Updates, what happens to customers using the shopping cart

Posted on 2011-05-08
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Dear Experts,

I have a site that is running well but I do need to shortly run and update to add new features to the shopping cart and a few other things. My plan for doing the updates is to use a singe site update page that users are redirected to while the update is happening. I will redirect all traffic using the .htaccess with a rule allowing only my personal IP to access the pages being updated.

This seems fine to me but I keep getting a concern in my mind about what happens to Customers who are in the middle of purchasing a product, Users who are entered there credit card details and get redirected to site update page. Now this may just be annoying for them which is bearable for me and I will do my best to warn uses before hand that the site will be updated at a specific time, but is it possible that the payment is processed by the payment gateway but that then my mysql DB is not updated with the new purchase details so that I have no idea a product has been purchased and the customer has no record of this transaction other than the money has been taken out of there credit card, which will reflect badly on our business and our site.

I would be grateful for some insight into how the experts do site updates that deal with shopping carts and what the best way to deal with this type of situation is?

Either I am simple being paranoid and this type of scenario just does not happen or I can have some light shone on the steps to dealing with this issue.

Many thanks as always for your help

Question by:Lightwalker
    LVL 14

    Expert Comment

    Hi Lightwalker ,should adding a little script that checks out online users be enough ?
    LVL 107

    Accepted Solution

    Your best friend here is crystal-clear customer communication.  Tell them in advance about the planned maintenance with a top-of-the-page banner on every page of the site that says exactly when maintenance will occur (For example, let's say Sunday at 12:00 midnight).

    At midnight, use the "splash page" to tell clients that maintenance is underway.  Do what you need to do, then bring the site back up without the banner.

    Shopping carts and wish lists are usually kept in data base tables.  If you have to change these tables you might want to have a conversion script that runs as part of the maintenance cycle.  No client should lose data as a result of maintenance.

    Best of luck with it, ~Ray

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