Installing Joomla on a hosting account

According to Joomla.org, "Joomla is an award-winning content management system (CMS), which enables you to build Web sites and powerful online applications. Many aspects, including its ease-of-use and extensibility, have made Joomla the most popular Web site software available. Best of all, Joomla is an open source solution that is freely available to everyone."

Before anything else, you need to log into your shell account. To do this, you'll need a Secure Shell (SSH) client. You can read more about shell access on your hosting account here.

Before anything else, you need to log into your hosting account so that you can upload files. To do this, you'll need an FTP client. You can read more about FTP access on your hosting account here.

Installing Joomla - Part 1

Once at a shell, your current location will be your home directory. You can use the ls command to get a list of files and directories in your home directory. Use the command cd www to change into the web directory. By running ls again, you'll see a directory that corresponds to the address of your website. Change into the root web directory for your site. For example, if your website was 'example.mythic-beasts.com', then you'd run the command cd example.mythic-beasts.com. If you want to install Joomla in a separate section of your site, For example, 'example.mythic-beasts.com/blog', then you can do this by creating a directory called blog, using the command mkdir blog and then changing directory into that folder using the command cd blog.

I'm going to assume that you are using the free FileZilla FTP client for this support article. Once you are logged in to your hosting account with FTP, your current location will be your home directory. Double-click on the www to change into the web directory. You should now be able to see a directory that corresponds to the address of your website. Double-click on that directory to change into the root web directory for your site. If you want to install Joomla in a separate section of your site, For example, 'example.mythic-beasts.com/blog', then you can do this by creating a directory called blog, by right-clicking when in the root web directory, and selecting the 'Create directory' option. From here, replace the highlighted 'New directory' text with the name of the directory you want to create. You'd change this to 'blog' if you wanted your Joomla site to be at the aforementioned example link. Following this, you need to double-click on the new directory you just created.

Now that we are in the directory where we want to install Joomla, the next step is to download it. You need to go to the Joomla download page and copy the zip link for the the latest 'Full Package'. Hopefully, you'll be able to paste the link into your SSH client by right-clicking while in the terminal, or right-clicking and then selecting paste. Otherwise, I'm afraid you'l have to do it manually. Use the command wget [link you just pasted in] to do download the file (it should only take a second). Once the file has downloaded, use the command unzip Joomla_x.x.x-Stable-Full_Package.zip, where x is the version number of Joomla that you downloaded, to extract the files from the zip archive. If you use the ls command, you should be able to see that a bunch of new directories has been created. There is now no use for the 'Joomla_x.x.x-Stable-Full_Package.zip' file, so you can remove it using the command rm Joomla_x.x.x-Stable-Full_Package.zip.

Now that we are in the directory where we want to install Joomla, the next step is to download it. You can download it from here the Joomla download page. Click on the zip link for the the latest reccomended version, and save the file to somewhere you can work from on your computer, as you'll need to extract the files from the zip archive before uploading them to your hosting account.

The Joomla zip files tend to have multiple directories and files at their root rather than having a directory at their root which contains the rest of the files and directories. This essentially means that if you extract them without creating a new folder for the contents first, you'll have a bit of a mess. If your on Mac, then this problem wont affect you because a folder will be created for you. However, if you are running Windows then make sure you create a new folder called 'Joomla' or similar before extracting the files.

If you are running Windows, then you'll be able to right-click on the zip file, select 'Open with' and then select 'Windows Explorer'. From here, you can use the key combination Ctrl + a while inside the zip file to select all of the files. Right-click and select copy to copy the fiels to the clipboard. Go to the new folder you created previously, right-click and choose paste.

If you are using the Safari browser on a Mac, then the zip file will be extracted automatically once it has been downloaded. If you go to your Downloads folder, you'll see the Joomla directory there.

This is the Joomla directory we'll be uploading to your hosting account. There is now no use for the 'Joomla_x.x.x-Stable-Full_Package.zip' file, so feel free to delete it.

Using the file browser on the left-hand side of the FileZilla FTP client, locate the Joomla folder you have been working from. When you find it, double-click on the folder to change into it. Use the key combination Ctrl + a (or CMD + a on a Mac) to select all of the files in the folder. Right-click on the selected files and choose upload. Wait while the files are uploaded to the server.

Installing Joomla - Part 2

You need to open a web browser and go to the site where you just installed Joomla. You should be greeted by the Joomla installer page, which begins with 'Joomla! x.x.x Installation' If you don't see this page, then it's possible that you made a mistake during the previous steps. Please go back and check this before contacting support@mythic-beasts.com if you require further assistance.

The first step of the installer is to select an installation language. Select one from the list and then click on the 'Next' button in the top right corner of the page. The second step of the installer is a 'Pre-Installation Check'. As long as the group of requirements in the top half of the page all have a green 'Yes' next to them, click the 'Next' button in the top right corner of the page. Following this, you have to accept the 'GNU General Public License', before you can continue with the next step. If you agree with the license, then click on the 'Next' button.

Fixing the Magic Quotes GPC is Off requirement

If the "Magic Quotes GPC is Off" requirement fails, then you need to create a file called .user.ini (note the initial dot!) in the root directory of your website containing this line:

  magic_quotes_gpc = off
                

Once you've done this, refresh the page to restart the installer. Contact support@mythic-beasts.com if you require further assistance.

Joomla needs a database to work. You will have login information for your MySQL database in the email that you received from us after signing up for a hosting package. You need leave the Database Type as 'Mysqli' and then fill in the first four values: the Database hostname, the Database username, the Database password (which will be different to the password for your shell account), and the Database name. All of these values are specified in the aforementioned email you received from us. Leave the Table Prefix field as it is. Leave the Old Database Process as 'Backup' and then click on the 'Next' button.

You can skip the FTP Configuration page by clicking the 'Next' button.

For the next part of the Joomla installation, you need to fill in a site name, and a bunch of other things. You should make your Admin password as secure as possible. It's also up to you to decide if you would like to install the sample data. If you are a beginner, then we highly reccomend it as this should help you out a lot. Read the explanations on the left hand side before deciding which option to choose. Once you have done that, click the 'Next' button.

The final step of the Joomla installation is to click the 'Remote installation folder'. The reason for this is due to security - if someone can access your installation folder they could potentially overwrite your site by running the installer again. Once have clicked that, the button text should change to 'Installation folder successfully removed'. The installation is now complete.

Viewing your Joomla site

Now that you have finished the Joomla installation, you can click the 'Site' button in the top right corner of the page to view your site. If you installed the sample content then take a look around the sample sites and take a look at the Joomla documentation which is more than adequate to guide you the rest of the way.

Improving Joomla Performance

We highly recommend that you read this article which will tell you how to improve the performance of your new Joomla site.