This article is intended for standard Volusion merchants. If you're an official partner (reseller, affiliate, or technology partner), an enterprise merchant, or purchaser of a premium theme or custom design package, please consult the appropriate resource:
- All About Sandboxes
- Sandboxes for Official Resellers and Affiliates
- Sandboxes for Technology Partners and Integrators
- Sandboxes for Purchasers of Premium Themes and Custom Design Packages
If you're a standard merchant and would like a sandbox for testing or previewing purposes, please place an order from our website. Be sure to complete these steps:
1. In the Domain Name field on the shopping cart page, enter:
Replace "customtext" with placeholder text of your choice.
2. In the SSL Certificate field on the shopping cart page, choose No SSL Certificate.
SSL certificates are only necessary for live stores that accept customer registrations and orders. Since you cannot make your sandbox live, an SSL certificate is unnecessary.
3. If you'd like us to mirror a live store onto your sandbox, state the following in the Comments field on the checkout page:
Please mirror www.domain.com
Replace "www.domain.com" with your store's actual domain name.
If you take this step when placing your order, there will be no fee for the mirror. If you neglect this step and later ask us to mirror a live store to your sandbox, a standard fee will apply.
If you'd like a sandbox with no data and default settings only, enter this message instead:
Please use fresh settings.
4. When ordering a mirror of a live store, be sure the product limit of the plan you choose can accommodate your live store's product count, and that you log in with the same customer account you used to purchase the live store. If you use a different customer account to purchase the sandbox, you (and the owner of the other account, if different than you) will have to fill out a special authorization form. To obtain it, contact our Support team.
Warning: Sandbox Limitations FAQ
It's very important to have a clear understanding of what you're trying to accomplish with a sandbox before you begin using it; otherwise, you may proceed with a mistaken assumption about its capabilities and waste time and effort. Please read the FAQ below for more details.
Can I make all the changes I want to make to my live store on my sandbox and then make my sandbox live, effectively replacing my live store with my sandbox?
No. Doing so would result in significant loss and corruption of data that could not be satisfactorily restored, as well as extra costs and SEO damage. This process should never be attempted.
Can I make all the changes I want to make to my live store on my sandbox and then mirror those changes over to my live store?
While we do offer mirroring of a live store to a sandbox (free if requested as part of your sandbox order, for a fee after your sandbox has already been created), we do not offer mirroring of a sandbox to a live store.
Please be aware that mirrors from a live store to a sandbox do not and cannot include the following data:
- customer payment information or account passwords
- custom DNS settings
- existing email accounts or email backups
- existing FTP accounts
Some elements of your sandbox can be copied to a live store through various methods, but we don't recommend them. If you make changes to your sandbox for evaluation purposes and want to see them reflected on your live store, we recommend duplicating those changes separately on your live store at your own convenience.
You should only make changes to your database (products, categories, customers, settings, etc.) on your live store. If you make such changes to your sandbox and want to copy them to your live store, you can use the import / export option to export data from the sandbox into a spreadsheet and then import it to your live store. Please be aware that some fields in exportable tables cannot be imported.
If you make changes to your sandbox that you don't want to duplicate on your live store yourself, we offer two services:
Design Migration: we copy your theme (HTML and CSS files), homepage articles, slideshow, and homepage logo
Data Migration: includes Design Migration, plus copying of website navigation menus, categories, and up to 2000 products
If you're interested in either option, reach out to our Studio team at 800-646-3517, option 1, followed by option 3, and then option 2.
How can I cancel my sandbox?
You can cancel your sandbox just like a live hosting plan. For information, write to accountmanagers [at] volusion.com.
Can I change the domain name of my sandbox?
No. Because sandboxes are never intended to go live, we don't allow changing of the operating domain name. The domain name assigned to a sandbox is merely a placeholder required by our order processing system to provision the sandbox successfully.