If you're interested in using Joomla to run your online website, then the first thing you'll need to do is figure out how to install it manually onto your network. As a popular collection of PHP scripts, Joomla is one of the most popular solutions for website designers and content managers, but it can be difficult to figure out how to get started if you've never installed a CMS before.
Installing Joomla isn't quite as simple as simply installing a standard executable file on a computer, as the scripts you access will need to be carefully run through your web server. With that in mind, here are the steps you'll need to follow.
1. Download the Joomla Package for Installation
The first thing you need to when installing Joomla is to get the installation package from the official website. Using the official site will help you to reduce your risk of any security threats. After all, some criminals may try to get into your system by adding malicious code to a seemingly innocent setup file.
Once you click on the "download" button for the latest version of Joomla, the package will save onto your hard-disk.
2. Upload the Files to your Server
With your Joomla files successfully downloaded, go to your computer downloads, or simply click the file that appears at the bottom of your browser when the download finishes. This will allow you to enter the document and extract the files from the Joomla package. Extract them into your preferred destination, then upload them to your web server through FTP.
3. Create a MySQL Database for the System to Use
After you've finished extracting the Joomla files and uploading them to your server, you'll need design a MySQL database that the system can run. Remember, there'll need to be a user on the database that has full access to all the files. Once you've created your Database and user, make sure that you keep all the details handy, so you don't forget them. You might want to write down the name, username, and password you've just created for the time being.
4. Follow the Installation Process
After you've successfully uploaded the installation files, and you've got your MySQL user set-up, you'll be able to open your browser and go to your main domain, or the appropriate subdomain on your website. Where you choose to go will depend on where you've chosen to upload your installation package. Once you do that, you'll see one screen on the Joomla web installer, which asks for specific information about your administrative username and site, such as:
- The site name: Enter the name of your website.
- Description: Provide a brief but informative description of your website.
- Admin Email: You'll need to enter a valid address for this, as the email will be used for things like system messages and password recovery.
- Admin Username: Add a username for your primary admin. Try to avoid using cliché names as these are more likely to fall victim to cyber-attacks.
- Admin password: Choose a password that's as powerful as possible, using a combination of letters, numbers and unique characters.
- Site Offline: Decide whether you should load your site as "offline" once the installation is complete.
Once you're ready, hit the "Next" button.
5. Fill Out Data for your MySQL Database
Once you hit the "Next" button on the Joomla installation page, you'll be taken to "step 2" of the setup process. This is where you can enter plenty of important information about your MySQL database. Some of the details you'll need to provide include:
- Database Type: Generally, it's best to leave this value set to "MySQLi".
- Hostname: Stick to the "localhost" value
- Username: Add the username for your MySQL account
- Password: Add the password for your MySQL account
- Table Prefix
- Old Database Process: Decide what you want to do with any existing databases - "Backup" is usually the safest choice.
Once you're done, click the "Next" button again.
6. Complete the Overview
Now you'll come to the third page of the installation process, where you can specify if you'd like to install any sample data on your server. Most beginners prefer to choose the "default" option for sample data, as it will provide them with the backbone that they need to start building their website from scratch.
Finally, you can simply hit the "Install" button and the Joomla system will begin to set itself up. Within a few minutes, you'll go through to the last Joomla installer page, where you can click "Remove installation folder" at the bottom of the page. This is an important step, as it can ensure that no-one else can reinstall your site at a later stage.