Contus Magento GroupClone – Installing it on a (Virtual) Dedicated Host – Some pointers

Note: Due to the age of this post as well as the evolution of the Groupon clone/aggregator system, RJH Solutions will no longer offer support for these systems. The “writing on the wall” was seen when Groupon’s CEO was fired early 2013. In the meantime, please continue browsing the rest of the site. -Rafi

In the past, people have asked me about what I personally recommend for Groupon Clone sites. I have recommended Contus’ script with a Virtual Dedicated host. With regards to the Groupon Clone software, I have explained my reasoning in earlier posts. With a virtual dedicated host, my reasoning is simple: with any Magento installation (this is not Contus, rather Magento), the size and complexity of the database/files make it so that on a shared host it will run as slow as molasses. This is even more so when one hopes that tons of people will visit the site and buy from it. With Godaddy shared hosting, for example, their hosting will only allow up to 200 concurrent connections before the “page cannot be displayed.”

Therefore, a virtual dedicated host with a control panel like Plesk or CPanel is my personal recommendation, no matter what Groupon clone software you purchase. However, with Contus Magento, there are a few things that I feel you need to be keen about when installing it on a virtual dedicated host:

  1. Make sure that 3 things are upgraded/installed: PHP 5.2+, MySQL 5.1, and ionCube.
  2. Make sure that the “php.ini” file is either renamed to something else like “php.ini.bak” or deleted completely.
  3. When installing ionCube specifically, depending on the version, make sure that the ionCube library is recompiled for backwards compatibility with the server it’s installed on. I personally have seen instances where Paypal checkout, for example, would not load because ionCube would not be set for backwards-compatibility, and this would cause heartache when trying to launch a site.
  4. For those of us that aren’t Linux server gurus, I would strongly recommend hiring a private “Linux guy” to do the installations over the server guys the hosting supports. With GoDaddy “expert hands,” for example, their support for virtual dedicated servers is incredibly limited and would draw the line where it would be “not my problem.” For example, I noticed that they would install PHP 5.2 and ionCube, but not make ionCube backwards compatible for Magento’s Paypal processor to work. When asking them to fix this, their excuse would be that it’s a software issue, not my problem. Hiring a private “Linux guy” whom you can explain your objectives to and have him/her get the “overall job” done would take care of this.

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