Actinic Snapshots

Actinic Snapshots Explained

An Actinic snapshot takes a complete backup of everything in your store. They are the saving grace in the event of a failure and every Actinic site owner should be regularly taking one. If your PC is stolen, burnt, damaged or suddenly fails, a snapshot will enable you to be up and running within an hour or two on a new system. To ensure you get the most out of a snapshot, it is important that you follow a few very simple, yet important rules.

Store all images within the 'site1' folder on your PC

Product PicturesWhen you create your store, Actinic creates a 'site1' folder and all of your store details and files are contained within this folder. As you start to build your store you will need to include images. These images should be contained within a sub-folder of your site1 folder. I always create a 'ProductPictures' folder and store every image I will be using in this folder. By following this simple process, all of the images used in your store will be included in the snapshots you do. For more information on creating and using images, click on our Actinic Images tutorial.

Create an archive of previous snapshots

Each time you create a snapshot, include the date in the name of the snapshot i.e. snapshot04032007, snapshot07042007 etc. This will enable you to create a library of snapshots. I would advise keeping a minimum of five previous snapshots, occasionally a snapshot can be corrupt or have an error, you may need to go further back than the last snapshot. NEVER overwrite an existing snapshot, if the process fails whilst it is being created, you are left with NO working snapshots.

Store your snapshots in separate places

DO NOT store all of your snapshots on the same PC. If your PC is stolen, damaged in a fire or suddenly stops working, you will lose all of your snapshots. At least once a week, copy a snapshot onto an external hard drive, memory stick or CD. Make sure you do not store all snapshots in the same location, even if you regularly take a snapshot and copy it to an external drive or CD, it will be useless if that location suffers a fire or a burglary. Wherever the PC that runs your store is located, make sure that the snapshot(s) are stored in a different location.

How To Export A Snapshot

File SnapshotSelect <File><Snapshot><Export Site>, click 'next' on the window that appears and in the next window, select where you want to store the snapshot and what you would like to call it. Click 'next' and then 'next' again and actinic will create your snapshot. If any errors are encountered, you will be warned about them at the end of the process. Make sure you read any error messages, they are there to help you, not be ignored.

How To Import A Snapshot

To import a snapshot, select <File><Snapshot><Import Site> and browse to where the file is located. This will create an exact copy of the store on the day that you took that snapshot.

Actinic Snapshot DO's And DON'Ts

  1. DO a regular snapshot at least once a week
  2. DO keep all images within a sub-folder of your site1 folder
  3. DO NOT overwrite an existing snapshot
  4. DO create an archive of snapshots, adding the date to the name of each snapshot
  5. DO NOT store all snapshots in the same location

Snapshot Extra Tips & Tricks

  1. Each version of the Actinic software can be downloaded off the Actinic website, therefore it is not necessary to keep a copy of the software. However, it would be wise to keep a copy of your license key. Simply create a .txt file in notepad, call it license-key.txt and store it within the site1 folder
  2. On your network setup screen, there is a button to export your network setting into a .txt file, call this file network-settings.txt and also store this within the site1 folder
  3. If making changes to your store such as changing layouts or adding products, make sure you take a snapshot before making any changes and also take one after. This will often mean you will be taking more than one snapshot on any given day, simply add the version of the snapshot into the name i.e. snapshot04032007(2), snapshot04032007(3). You may prefer to add the time; as long as you can distinguish the snapshot from others on that day, any naming convention is fine

Actinic Snapshot Conclusion

REMEMBER, it is impossible to recreate your store off your website, without spending hours and hours copy-pasting. Protect your store or pay a serious penalty in the future!

"This information is provided free of charge and expresses the writer's recommendations. No responsibility will be taken for any problems caused by following these guidelines. Reproduction of this material is not permitted under any circumstances without written consent".