WHMCS Tips and Tricks – Part 3 – UPGRADING WHMCS!

Upgrading WHMCS can be kind of tricky, especially when you’re going from major release to major release (ie: 5 to 6). There’s a pretty good chance that something’s gone missing, or something’s going to break. Even worse, it’s entirely possible that there’s bugs that the WHMCS team, and their testing didn’t catch.  So, what to do? How to ensure a somewhat trouble free upgrade?

Firstly, wait before upgrading WHMCS! Yes, wait. Don’t upgrade to the first release in a series. Let someone else do the testing for you. Usually by the .1 version of the series (ie : 6.3.1) , the bugs have been found and addressed. Unfortunately, stress testing doesn’t always catch everything, in any release, this goes for all software, not just WHMCS

Secondly, make sure your template, and custom modules are ready for the new version before upgrading WHMCS. This is incredibly important when upgrading major versions (ie: 5 to 6) , because many times, you’re going to see issues as developers, even theme creators catch up to the new technology. Yes, you’re going to have to stay behind for a bit, but it’s for the better.

So, you’ve determined that you’re ready for upgrade? You’ve waited, you’ve verified that everything is good? Here’s how to make sure that your upgrade is at least somewhat trouble free.

The Process

  1. Make backups of everything
    Go into your control panel, back up the entire WHMCS directory
    Go into phpmyadmin, select the database, then click ‘export’. Select ‘advanced options’ , check the ‘Add drop table’ option. This is important, because if you need to revert the backup, this will be needed. Save the SQL file
  2. Download WHMCS
  3. Unzip WHMCS to your local computer
  4. Go into the WHMCS directory (on your computer), renaming the admin directory, if you have a custom one.
  5. Re-zip WHMCS from inside of the WHMCS download directory (inside the whmcs/folder).
  6. On your server, rename whmcs/modules to whmcs/modules.bak. This will guarantee no issues with custom modules during the upgrade
  7. If you’re doing a major upgrade (ie: version 5 to version 6), On your server, rename whmcs/templates to whmcs/templates.bak.
  8. Now, take that zip file you created on your computer, and upload it (as a zip file) to your server, placing it directly in your WHMCS directory
  9. Login to cPanel, navigate to file manager , select your WHMCS directory, right click on the zip file you uploaded, and uncompress.
  10. If all goes smoothly, you’ll have a working install, and you’re good to go! If not? Well, remember those backups you made in step 1? Time to revert to those. That will be discussed in future entries.

A few notes here:

Upgrading WHMCS is rarely trouble free. If you need assistance, please do order our upgrade service, and we’ll take care of this for you, easily. Here’s a couple of issues that do come up frequently

Cannot access upgrade page:
This is quite common with WP installs, where the .htaccess file attempts to ‘protect’ files such as install.php from being accessed.
Resolution – Temporarily rename .htaccess to something else

Cannot redeclare xxxxx:
This is usually brought on because you have multiple copies of a module, or your addon module has used a function which has been newly defined in WHMCS

Call to undefined xxx:
This happens more often than not when uploads are not completed. This is why in step 8, I always recommend people use ‘zip’ files, rather than uploading one by one. I’ve yet to see this cause issues that way.