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testing osCommerce with temporary URL and NOT modifying hosts file

Category: Oscommerce

richard.veith@smrresearch.com
Asked:
2015-03-25 9:16 am EST

Hits: 183
After reading some of the answers about testing with a temp URL (because the real domain is still active on another service), I am still a little uncertain with respect to osCommerce. I do not want to modify my hosts file because there a number of other people involved in testing and we do not want to have them all try to change their hosts files. I tried going to osCommerce's configure.php, and changing the defines for the HTTP server and the HTTPS server to my temp URL, and while that does seem to work, the login page is not showing as an https page. My first question is: am I doing the right thing in editing the config.php file to contain the temp URL (given that I don't want to change the hosts file)? My second question is: where to look to try to get the specifically-osCommerce pages, like the login page, to be recognized as https pages?

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Arn
Staff
40,371 Points
2015-03-25 9:34 am EST
Hello Richard,

Thanks for the question about using osCommerce with a temporary URL and using it with SSL. First, in double-checking the forums on this issue, changing the configuration PHP files are the only options to do it (without making a hosts file change). However, making your SSL certificate use the temporary URL won't work as the certificate is domain specific. So, if you purchased it for a specific domain name, and you have switched the installation to use the temporary URL, the SSL certificate will not work. You may want to use the Shared Server's SSL while you're using the temporary URL. Find more information about using the Shared certificate with Oscommerce here. I hope this helps to answer your question, please let us know if you require any further assistance.

Kindest regards,
Arnel C.

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I was hoping to be able to test prior to purchasing an SSL certificate or, more likely, using the shared SSL certificate that I think is available. At another hosting service, I was able to test and when it went to an osCommerce-specific page, I would get a browser warning about trying to go to an untrusted source, and I would temporary acknowledge the danger and continue testing. So I have been trying to do the same thing here at InMotion. Is that not possible? As it is now, I merely go from a normal http page to the osCommerce login page, and the URL doesn't show that it is trying to go to an https page, and there is no warning about going to an untrusted source.
richard.veith@smrresearch.com
82 Points
2015-03-25 9:51 am EST
Hello Richard,

I linked the article that shows how to use the Shared SSL certificate in my answer above. You might have replied after I had edited my answer to include it. You will need to have an SSL certificate when you switch to your primary domain name.

Regards,
Arnel C.
Arn
40,371 Points
Staff
2015-03-25 10:10 am EST
Thanks for the reply and information about the shared SSL. But right now, I *want* to see the message about trying to go to an untrusted source, and I want to see https in the url for the login page. But that is not happening. As a side issue, since you said "you will need as SSL certificate when you switch to your primary domain" do you mean I can't use a shared SSL on the primary domain?
richard.veith@smrresearch.com
82 Points
2015-03-25 10:20 am EST
Hello Richard,

The error message you're talking about occurs when you use what's called a self-signed certificate. Since the SSL certificate use for the Shared server (and therefore the temp url) is legitimate, then you won't see the error. There's not really for that to be created on a shared server.

Regards,
Arnel C.
Arn
40,371 Points
Staff
2015-03-25 10:31 am EST
Arn,
Perhaps I am not being very clear, so I will try again. Our live website is at another hosting service. When I tested osCommerce at the other hosting service, using a test environment, I did NOT establish any SSL certificate, whether shared or purchased. Therefore, when I was on a 'normal' page and clicked the button to go to the osCommerce-specific login page, two things would happen: (a) I would get a warning about trying to go to an untrusted source, and (b) when I okayed the risk, I would see "https" in the URL (with a red line through it, which might be browse specific). Now, in the InMotion environment, when I click on the button to go to the osCommerce-specific login page, I do not get the warning, and the resulting URL shows "http" and not "https". That, to me, suggests that I do not have something setup right in trying to use osCommerce here, but I don't know what to look at. And at this point I do NOT want to enable the shared SSL as I think that is not the problem I am trying to solve right now.
richard.veith@smrresearch.com
82 Points
2015-03-25 10:50 am EST
Hello Richard,

Sorry for the confusion. Let me step through your statements in two groups:

"When I tested osCommerce at the other hosting service, using a test environment, I did NOT establish any SSL certificate, whether shared or purchased. Therefore, when I was on a 'normal' page and clicked the button to go to the osCommerce-specific login page, two things would happen: (a) I would get a warning about trying to go to an untrusted source, and (b) when I okayed the risk, I would see "https" in the URL (with a red line through it, which might be browse specific). "


Although you did not establish an SSL certificate, it appears that when you went to the URL, it was set to use HTTPS. The browser would not autmotically go to HTTPS unless something is set to use HTTPS, or if you intentionally type the URL that way. Also, if there are elements on your site that were not properly secured through SSL, it is most likely the reason for the warning. I have no idea how you're URLS were set, but in order to use HTTPS in osCommerce BOTH of the configuration files (admin and otherwise) must be set to use those paths. This is per osCommerce documentation. If there is something on the Oscommerce page that does not use the HTTPS path, then the browser will throw up the warning and also cross out the possibility that you are making a secure connection as indicated by the red-lined symbol in the browser.


Now, in the InMotion environment, when I click on the button to go to the osCommerce-specific login page, I do not get the warning, and the resulting URL shows "http" and not "https". That, to me, suggests that I do not have something setup right in trying to use osCommerce here, but I don't know what to look at. And at this point I do NOT want to enable the shared SSL as I think that is not the problem I am trying to solve right now.


If you did not setup the configuration files to use SSL, then when you type in the URL for the website, it will not try use HTTPS and will instead show HTTP in the address bar. If you don't want to use shared SSL, then leave the paths in the configuration files configured to use HTTP instead of HTTPS.

I hope this is clearer. Please let us know if you have any further questions.

Regards,
Arnel C.


Arn
40,371 Points
Staff
2015-03-25 11:10 am EST
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