Joomla! — Installing and updating

Overview

Joomla! is a free Content Management System (CMS) software that you can use to build a website. Once installed, you will be able to log into the backend of your site to start customizing it how you like. Joomla! also provides an Extensions Directory where you can download new themes and add-ons to customize it further.

View the following link for a Showcase of Joomla! websites:

This article contains the following steps to install this software on your site:

Step 1 — Install an SSL certificate

All modern websites should be secured with an SSL certificate, as it ensures that all traffic to and from your site is secure. There are two SSL certificate options in the DreamHost panel:

  • Let's Encrypt (Free)
  • Sectigo (Paid)

Both of these certificates can be used to secure your site. However, if you are going to sell products on your site, a paid Sectigo certificate is recommended as it will appear more trustworthy to potential customers. See the following article for further details:

See the following article for instructions on how to install your chosen certificate:

Step 2 — Create a database

Joomla! requires a database to run your site. View the following article to create a new database in your DreamHost panel.

Step 3 — Download Joomla!

There are two options to download the Joomla! software to your site.

  • FTP (easy) — Download the software to your computer, then upload it to your site using an FTP client.
  • SSH (advanced) — Download the software directly to your site via SSH.

Downloading via FTP

  1. Visit the following page to download the Joomla! software:
    joomla-install-aug-2020_01.png
  2. Click the link to download the .zip file to your computer.
    joomla-install-aug-2020_02.png
  3. Locate the file you just downloaded. Most often you can find it in your /downloads directory and is titled something like Joomla_3.9.20-Stable-Full_Package.zip.
    joomla-install-aug-2020_03.1.fw.png
  4. In Windows, right-click the file and choose Extract All... from the pop-up menu.
    joomla-install-aug-2020_04.png
  5. In the new window that opens, click the Browse button to select where you want to save the Joomla! install folder.
  6. When ready, click the Extract button. All of the contents are extracted to a new folder titled the same as the .zip file.
  7. Log into your server using an FTP client.
    joomla-install-aug-2020_05.png
  8. In the left pane, navigate to the directory on your computer into which you extracted the .zip file. You should see a list of files.
    zen cart download
  9. In the right pane, make sure you're in your website's main directory. There should not be any files here other than a possible favicon.ico file.
  10. Highlight all the files in the left pane and drag them into the right pane to upload them to your site.

    This could take several minutes (or longer, depending on your internet connection speed) as there are many files to upload.

Downloading via SSH

  1. Log into your server via SSH.
  2. Navigate into your site's directory (replace user with your username and example.com with your site name):
    [server]$ cd /home/user/example.com
  3. Visit the following page to download the Joomla! software:
    joomla-install-aug-2020_06.png
  4. Right-click the download button. From the pop-up menu, choose Copy link address.
  5. Run the following command to download Joomla, which downloads the Joomla! installation zip file:

    Make sure to change the URL to the one you copied above.

    [server]$ wget https://downloads.joomla.org/us/cms/joomla3/3-9-20/Joomla_3-9-20-Stable-Full_Package.zip?format=zip
  6. Run the following command to unzip the file:
    [server]$ unzip 'Joomla_3-9-20-Stable-Full_Package.zip?format=zip'

    All of the Joomla! installation files are extracted and saved in your website's main directory.

  7. Check your website's main directory to confirm the files have migrated (replace user with your username and example.com with your website's folder name):
    [server]$ ls -la /home/user/example.com

Step 4 — Install Joomla!

Joomla! recommends using PHP version 7.3+. These instructions were tested on all of the different types of servers at DreamHost, using PHP versions 7.2, 7.3, and 7.4 (CGI and FastCGI).

See the following article for more detailed information on what Joomla! supports:

Now that the files are in your website directory, you can complete the installation. The following instructions describe how to do that.

  1. Visit your website in a browser.
    The Joomla! installation page appears:
    joomla-install-aug-2020_07.1.png
  2. Enter the following on the Configuration tab:
    • Select Language — The primary language for your Joomla! site. The default language appears in the drop-down list, which is typically read from your browser.
    • Site NameRequired. A descriptive name for your site.
    • DescriptionOptional.
    • EmailRequired. An email address, which is used to communicate any messages that are generated from your Joomla! site.
    • UsernameRequired. The username for your website, such as admin, webmaster, or even a name.
    • PasswordRequired. A strong password is recommended.
    • Confirm PasswordRequired. Reenter the password.
    • Site Offline — The default setting is No, which means your site will be online when the installation is finished. Select Yes instead if you wish to place the site offline when finished. You can adjust this later through the Global Configuration menu in Joomla.
  3. When finished, click the Next button.
    joomla-install-aug-2020_08.1.png
  4. Enter the following on the Database tab:

    Make sure you set up a MySQL database before proceeding, as described in Step 2 (above). You can find further details on the MySQL Databases page in your panel.

    • Database TypeRequired. You can use the default setting, MySQLi.
    • Host NameRequired. The hostname for the MySQL server, typically in the format mysql.example.com. Do NOT use the default localhost.
    • UsernameRequired. The username for the database user.
    • PasswordRequired. The password for the database user.
    • Database NameRequired. The name of the database on the server.
    • Table PrefixRequired. You can use the randomly-generated one, or enter a new table prefix.
    • Old Database ProcessRequired. Joomla! allows you to either back up or remove previous Joomla! table installations.
  5. When finished, click the Next button.
    The following message appears after you click the Next button, which indicates that the MySQL database is not located on your local server (this is expected):
    joomla-install-aug-2020_10.png
  6. In order to proceed, simply delete the .txt file mentioned in the error message. In this example, the file is named _JoomlaNGIqTFnEEWsp3aeADgdHE.txt and is located within the installation folder. Joomla! uses this method to ensure security by verifying proper ownership of the database.
  7. After you delete the .txt file, re-enter your database user password and then click the Next button to proceed.
    After Joomla! verifies that you have the proper credentials to access the database, the Overview tab appears:
    joomla-install-aug-2020_11.fw.png
  8. Review the information on the Overview tab, especially:
    • Install Sample Data — Select a template. The Default English (GB) Sample Data is a popular choice.
    • Email Configuration — By selecting Yes, Joomla! sends an email copy of all of your site's settings, including the password.
    • Other Configurations — Make sure all of the settings under Main Configuration, Database Configuration, Pre-Installation Check, and Recommended settings are satisfactory. If needed, you can make changes to your hosting plan or to the Joomla! installation itself, by clicking the Previous button.
  9. When finished, click the Install button.
    After Joomla! successfully installs, the following message appears:
    joomla-install-aug-2020_13.fw.png
  10. Click the Remove "installation" folder button. You must delete this folder before proceeding, as Joomla! requires this action to enhance security on your site.
    After you click the button, the following message appears that indicates the folder was removed:
    joomla-install-aug-2020_15.fw.png
  11. Click the Site button to view your live site, or click the Administrator button to log into the admin panel for your Joomla! installation.

Congratulations! You've successfully installed the Joomla! software.

Updating Joomla!

Updates to your Joomla! install can be done easily from the site's control panel.

  1. Log into your Joomla! control panel.
    The panel displays a message when an update is available for your installation:
    joomla update
  2. Click the Update Now button.
    A page with the update's details appears:
    joomla update
  3. On the following page, click the Install the Update button.
    A confirmation message appears when the update is completed:
    joomla update
  4. Wait while the update runs. When the "Your site has been updated." message appears, the update is complete.

See also

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