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Joomla CMS Installation Guide

Joomla Installation in a Cpanel hosting account is pretty straight forward and the process basically involved three major steps :-

  • Setup a MySQL Database for Joomla tables and data
  • Download Joomla installation file, uncompress the archive and upload extracted files to the proper folder in hosting account
  • Run Joomla installation script in browser

We will expand each step in the above process in detail so tha you can a good understanding of it and able to have Joomla installed on your own even though you are new to both Cpanel hosting account control panel and Joomla.

Setup MySQL database

First of all, we will start the process by preparing the hosting account before touching the Joomla program, we will first need to create an empty mysql database. Joomla is written in PHP and MySQL and it requires both to be present in a web hosting server in order to setup Joomla. Our linux servers have already been configured well for Joomla and you do not need to worry about setting up Apache/PHP/MySQL server since those are quite technical oriented if you are new to them. Back to the database setup, the empty database is needed for Joomla to create it's database tables and to store data when you start using Joomla to setup your website. Joomla database tables will be created in the database when we run the Joomla installation script later. We have a guide on Create MySQL database and setup MySQL user, you can follow the steps in the guide to setup the empty mysql database in your hosting account, remember to wite down the newly created database name, mysql user and password, we will need this info in the Joomla installation process.

Download and prepare Joomla archive

After getting MySQL database setup, you can now proceed on to prepare the Joomla files in your hosting account, visit Joomla Download site, select the latest stable version of Joomla (choose version 1.5 above, there is significant changes between version 1.0 and 1.5 above, upgrade between these version may require a lot of extra work), either the .tar.gz or .zip depending which fimle format your uncompression tool can recognized.

After getting the archive file downloaded in your computer, extract the files and then upload them to the hosting account using any FTP client. When storing these files in your hosting account, place them in public_html folder if you want to access your Joomla website by entering http://youdomain.com or place the files in a subfolder public_html/joomla/ if you want to access this Joomla website by entering http://yourdomain.com/joomla/.

Run Joomla installation script

When MySQL database issetup and Joomla files are extracted to the proper folder in your hosting account, you are ready to run the Joomla installation script to have Joomla setup necessary database tables and configure the prorgam preparing it for you to use.

Depending on where you have placed the Joomla files, you can now enter either http://yourdomain.com or http://yourdomain.com/joomla to start the Joomla installation script. There are six steps in the Joomla installation script process :-

  • Language
  • Pre-installation check
  • License
  • Database
  • FTP Configuration
  • Configuration
  • Finish
Do not worry about the process, some of them requires only a click from you, we will go through them one at a time here.
  1. Language - The first step in the Joomla installation script is to choose a desired language for your website, default is english. Click Next when done.
  2. Pre-installation check - Before actual installation, Joomla will check the server configurations to ensure everything is setup to run Joomla without problem, most of these are already well configured so you do not need to worry too much, unless there is some specific pieces of extensions / plugins that require changes to this, most of these changes can be done through the .htaccess file or php.ini in your hosting account, you can always drop a note to helpdesk if you are unseure of what to do here. Click Next if there is no problem here.
  3. License - Joomla is released under GPL/GNU open source license, this screen shows the license agreement that lay down he terms of use, click Next when done reading.
  4. Database - This is where you enter the empty MySQL database info you have done earlier :-
    • Database Type - select mysql
    • Host Name - enter localhost (because your Joomla program and MySQL server are in the same server)
    • User Name - enter the mysql user name (format like username_dbusr) you have obtain from the MySQL database setup process earlier.
    • Password - Password you have given to the mysql user above during mysql database setup process earlier
    • Check User's create permission - This option basically request Joomla to send a create database statament to the mysql server using above entered mysql info to see if this mysql user has suficient permission for creating a database. You do not need to worry on this as you have already setup the empty mysql database earlier, you can skip this.
    • Available Collations - Collations refer to various character set for different languages, let it default if you are not using any local languages.
    • Database Name - Enter the empty mysql database name (format like username_dbname) setup earlier
    • Click Next when done
  5. FTP Configuration - This option was introduced by Joomla 1.5 above to address the file ownership problem in Apache/Linux based servers where files uploaded in PHP usually ended with user nobody. Joomla 1.5 uses an FTP account for the task to eliminate the files owned by nobody issue. Enter your Cpanel hosting account FTP login info here. Click Next when done
  6. Configuration - This is the main configuraion section of Joomla installation where you will need to enter some default values for your Joomla website :-
    • Install Sample Data - This is the default and should be chosen. It basically insert some sample data that can help you learn and pickup Joomla
    • Load SQL script - This is to load a custom set of data into Joomla in this installation process, unless you have a properly formatted set of data, this should not be selected for a new Joomla installation.
    • Migration from previous version - This is specifically for migration from version 1.0 to 1.5, note that this is only a part of the total migration process and the actual migration requires more. This should not be chosen for a new Joomla installation.
    • Site Name - Enter a site name for your new Joomla website
    • Enter the E-mail and Password for the super admininstratior of your new Joomla website
  7. Click Next and Joomla will start the installation process and setup Joomla, you will be getting a status screen notifying the status of the installation when it is completed.
  8. The Joomla installation is completed and you can navigate to Site or Admin to explore your new Joomla website