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1.2 Installation and Hosting

Firstly we will install Joomla locally on our computer—this way we can interact with Joomla and not effect a live site. The next thing we’ll look at is moving a local installation to the cloud in a few easy steps.

1.2 Installation and Hosting

Hi, guys. Welcome back to A Beginners Guide to Using Joomla. And in this lesson, we want to take a look at a local installation of Joomla, and then we want to transfer the local installation to the cloud. So firstly, we're going to start out with a local installation. The reason being is because when you play around with any content management system, you don't really want to play around with a live content management system that's on somebody's website. So firstly, we need to download XAMPP. XAMPP is free for Windows, Linux, and Mac, and it gives us the ability to run Apache locally on our computer, which is a server environment plus with MySQL and PHP and so forth, it will be able to run Joomla. So please go to, and then you can go ahead and download whichever version of XAMPP you need for your operating system. Then we need to get ourselves a copy of Joomla. So, with this, we need to download the latest version of Joomla, which is 3.3. And I'm going to go ahead and download that. So now, we need to open up XAMPP once we have it installed. So Windows, you'll find it on the start menu. Typically on GNU/Linux operating systems, you'll find it in the menu system. It just depends on which environment you're running. But on OSX, you need to go the applications directory. And then, you need to open up the XAMPP directory. Then inside of there, you'll find XAMPP and you can launch it. Once we've launched it, you'll notice we get a nice little control panel. It may look different on other operating systems. But what I want to do is find Apache and tell it to start, and also, we're going to be using MySQL for the database, so we need to start that as well. So now we have Apache and MySQL running. And what I can do is to check to make sure that's it running, I can open up the browser and type in local host. Now if it doesn't come up anything, rather giving you an error, then you know that there is a problem. But if you type in local host and you get this screen, you know XAMPP is up and running, and Apache has started. And then, of course, you need to make sure that you can go into PHP My Admin, so you've got your MYSQL. This is where your databases are. So, now that we have this, what we need to do is go ahead and bring in our installation of Joomla. So, now we need to find the htdocs directory. So, again, for the Mac OSX operating system, you go to applications, XAMPP, then it will have a shortcut to HTDOCS. And inside of there is where you have a directory for each one of your websites that you want to run on your Apache server. So, I'm just going to take the Joomla installation that I downloaded earlier. And I'm going to copy that out and paste it into the HTDOCS directory. Once we have this copied across, we can then take a look at getting this set up and installed. Now, in Windows, your HTdocs directory is found in the C drive, XAMPP, and then you'll find the HTdocs directory. With GNU, you'll actually need to dig around. And the best thing to do with GNU is to a folder search for htdocs. And then you should be able to find it, and then create a shortcut to it so you can easily gain access to it at a later date. Now that we have the files copied across to the htdocs directory, we are going to change the name of this directory to make it a little bit easier for us. So I'm gonna change that to Joomla. Now I'd like to access that Joomla installation. So, what we need to do in the browser is say local host, and that will take us to the htdocs directory. And then by default, it goes into the XAMPP directory. So now, I want to change that, I say right, I don't want to go into the XAMPP directory, I want to go to the Joomla directory. Now here, we have a problem, where it says Access is forbidden. Now please do note, that this isn't a problem with Apache or XAMPP. It just means that the permissions haven't been set in order for us to access these files. Now typically, this doesn't happen on a Windows installation or a GNU installation, it is actually quite frequent I found on LSX. So what we need to do is take a look at this directory, right click on it and say, get info. Click the lock icon, type in the password, and then I'd like to change everything to Read and Write. So we have Read and Write and Read and Write. And then drop down the gear icon and say, apply to enclosed items. Then we just hit OK, and it will apply those privileges, and then we lock it back up again, and then we simply close. Now what I can do is go back and hit Refresh, and I will have access. But again, it's very rare that, that will ever happen on Windows or other operating systems. But on OSX, it can be quite frequent problem with XAMPP being able to access that directory. Now that we have access to our Joomla installation, what we're going to do is create a database. So let's go to local host. I open up phpMyAdmin, and then inside of there, we gonna take a look at the databases, and I'm gonna say, Create a database, and that's going to be called Joomla. Then I'm gonna hit Create, and now we've created an empty database called Joomla. Now what we want to do is go back to the installation of Joomla. I'm going to select the language, so I'm going to stick with English United Kingdom. The site name, I'll just call Joomla. You can provide a little description for your site. Then you need an email address, so I'm just going to say Then the admin username is going to be admin, and the admin password is going to be admin. Not very secure. But it's only just so that we can play around with it. And then also, we say, Site Offline, Yes or No. So typically, when you set it up, it will put the site live and they'll be able to see the front end of the website even the public. But if you didn't want that you could easily say, yes, and what would happen is the site would go offline and if the public tried to access the site, it would simply show a log in form and say, sorry, this site is under maintenance. So I'm just going to hit, No, so we get the front end straight away. Then click Next. Then after that, we need to select a database type, so I'm just going to say MySQL, like so. You could say MySQLi if you wanted to. The host name is local host. Then, we have the username. So, if you have a default installation of XAMPP, then the username will be route, and it won't have any password, so leave it blank. But if you do change the configuration of XAMPP, then you need to reflect those changes here. Then the database name, which we created a database called Joomla. And then, also, we can have a table prefix. So I can say joom, like so. And then, you need to make sure that you have an underscore in there. So I can have a nice little prefix in here. And say the old database process, we can tell it to back up or simply just remove it. And then, also, we have the next step, which is an overview, so finalization. So what we can do is we can install sample data such as Blog English GB, Brochure, Default English, Learn Joomla English, Test English, and so on and so forth. Let's just stick with Blog English GB. We have the email configuration. Send configuration settings to by email after installation. Now, we're not going to do that, this is all local,and if we were setting it up live, then we would have an actual email address and we would send it. But I'm not going to send an email configuration. And then we get to overview all of the configurations. We can see the pre-installation checks, everything checks out just fine, recommended settings, and so on and so forth. But we can see now that this is just a simple one click now to install it. So once the installation is finished, it will tell you that you have the option to remove the installation folder. But just before you do that, you can install extra languages. So, for example, Arabic or something like that. So if you do want a multilingual site, then go ahead and install more languages before removing the installation folder. But right now, I just want the English language, and that's it. So, I'm going to say, remove, and then it says, the installation folder was successfully removed. And that is a security issue, you need to remove that. Once we've done that, we can then view the site and we can also view the administration control panel. So, if we view the site, you'll be able to see here this is what it looks like by default. We have a few sample blog posts right here. And we have a few modules down the side that we can have a look at, at a later date. And then we have the administration area which was admin for the username and admin for the password. And if we login, we will go to the Control Panel. So now that we have this, what I want to do is show you how to take this installation and move it over to the cloud. So first of all, if we want to transport this over to the cloud, we need a space in a cloud effectively to put all of our stuff into. So I've connected to one of my sites, and we are inside of the Joomla directory. So now, we need to select all of the files. And then, we need to upload it into that particular directory. So, I'm going to let that finish, and then we need to take a look at transporting the database across. So we've now transferred the files across to the cloud. But currently, it's saying, error displaying the page and it could not find the MySQL database. So let's go ahead and open up the local host on my computer, cuz now we need to do is export the database from the local hard drive to the cloud. So in the left-hand side column, we're gonna click on phpMyAdmin. Then we're going to click on Joomla, that's the database that I originally connected to when I corrected the installation of Joomla on my local hard drive. Now, we need to export it. So, when we click on Export, we don't wanna do a quick export, because it always gives me errors, and I don't know what it is. So, I go with Custom, make sure everything is selected and just scroll down and click Go. So I say, quick selection always gives me errors, so that's a problem. And once you hit Go, you will have an SQL file that will download into your downloads directory. Now, we need to go to the server and take a look at the MySQL database. And then, what we need to do is click on the SQL tab, and then, we need to open up the directory where we have our SQL file that was exported and drag and drop. And it's as easy as that. And then, we just need to do one more thing. Right here, it's actually creating a database. Well, we're already inside of a database. So, you can't have a database inside of a database. So we need to actually delete those lines out, right there. Now, what I can do is hit Go and this will then create all of the data structures. And if I hit on Structure, now you'll see that we have an exact duplicate from the local to the cloud, like so. Now what we need to do is change the configuration, because even though we've done this, the configuration is different. The database name is different. The database username is different. There's a different password, and so on, and so forth. So we need to change the configuration of our Joomla installation on the cloud. So we do this by opening up the config.php file. So we want to go to htdocs on the local hard drive and open up the Joomla directory. Inside of there, you'll find the configuration.php file, and then we need to start changing some details in here. So our database type host, that's fine. Then we have the username, which is slightly different, and also the database name is the same as the username. And then, also, we have the password. So, I'm gonna go ahead and put that in and save the file which I'll need administrator privileges for. And then, we can go ahead and upload the configuration.php file and overwrite it on the server. Now let's go over to the server, hit Refresh, there is our installation and we can login as Administrator. So, I can login with admin, admin. Now we may get an error here telling us about a security token. So, what we need to do is clear the browser's cache. And then, we can go ahead and refresh and go back. And you will end up in the control panel. So just be aware of that caching issue. So, thank you for watching me in this lesson. And, please join me in the next lesson, where we take a look at the control panel and the user's settings.

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