An old website has recently been updated for a client of ours, from EE 2.4.0 to EE 2.10.1.

I've been having lots of trouble with CartThrob on the staging site. I'm wondering if the licence for the staging site is causing issues (as the current site is still live while we work on it), which is why it hangs when processing orders (time out).

We've tried almost everything we can think of and still to no avail.



  • This is the error that I'm getting (one of around six): Fatal error: Maximum execution time of 90 seconds exceeded in /var/www/vhosts/centretank.com/staging/system/codeigniter/system/database/DB_driver.php on line 0 The server company and others have had a look and I'm running out of sanity! Oct 19, 2015 at 11:31

2 Answers 2


I work at Vector Media Group, the people behind CartThrob.

This shouldn't be license related at all. Are you on the latest version of CartThrob (2.7)? Also: do the servers have different configurations? Different versions of PHP, MySQL, etc...? And finally, does the staging site have htaccess password protection, and is it using an offsite gateway? Sometimes htaccess blocks those from working.

  • Hi, I have resolved all of the issues, as follows: 1) The errors were happening because the emailer thing was playing up - because of this, we were getting inconsistent errors each time we tested 2) Because this is an upgrade of an existing site, the person who developed it originally some 4.5 years ago was either a junior developer, an idiot or an evil genius, we're trying to work out which. Basically, everything was overly complex so I KISS-ed it. 3) Because 'Pay by BACs/CHAPs' stays on site, there is no transaction ID so I made a unique ID with a few patches Oct 21, 2015 at 14:51

The lesson to this story is that if you're upgrading CartThrob and you're getting inconsistent errors, check that the email stuff is configured correctly otherwise the checkout process hangs and you will be chasing phantom errors.

If you are using a staging or dev site (as the old site is still live in this case) and you just want to test but don't care if you get an email as you will be able to see all orders in the database/admin anyway, comment out this:

$this->EE->cartthrob_emails->send_email($email_content, $this->order());

Should be around 2640 of ./system/expressionengine/third_party/cartthrob/libraries/Cartthrob_payments.php

But don't forget to comment it back in when you switch the site or put it live.

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