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How To Install Joomla

What is Joomla?

Joomla is a content management system or portal which looks like and shares much of the same features as Mambo. Using Joomla, you can easily create a content-rich, interactive web site that also allows you to have registered users, polls, a newsboard, links database, articles, and more.


  1. A CGI Account
  2. A MySQL Database
  3. Latest stable release of Joomla (Version 1.0.9 was used for this tutorial.)

This tutorial might not have been written during the release of the most current version of this script, but may work with newer versions. It is the domain owner's responsibility to be sure that any script that is run on their CGI server is secure and stable. This means making sure that the script and all it's associated files are of the most recent stable and secure version available.


Remember that only your main account can access CGI scripts on your server. Any hosting or extra FTP accounts that access these scripts may cause your account to be deactivated. To reactivate your account, you'll have to contact support.

For this script to work correctly, please place it's files in a directory created in your CGI server's root directory. Do not place this script in your cgi-bin directory, if you have one.

Joomla version 1.0.5 can not be installed due to the way it is coded to access the database. It is recommended you use the most recent version of Joomla.

Joomla version 1.0.10 will not run correction and will give errors when you try to access the site, but the administrator's page will work. To fix this problem, see the Troubleshooting section below.

If you install any Mambots or Modules, you will not be able to delete the installation files in the Joomla media directory. If you need these files removed, please send e-mail to support and specify the exact path of the directories to be removed.

Working With A Pre-Made Installation:

Due to the fact that the Active Web Hosting server has php safe_mode ON, you will not be able to install Joomla Components. If you need to use a component, it is best that you design your site on your own private web server, and then upload it to your CGI server.

If you do this, you will need to export your database and import it to your Active Web Hosting database. For this you will need PHP, MySQL, phpMyAdmin, and a web server. Windows XP Professional and Linux both come with a web server you can install separately. After the database is exported, you will need to edit any paths that pointed to your local server, so that they point to your CGI server. Be sure you get absolute paths correct. Please see Setting Up CGI Scripts and Paths for correct path names. Generally, anything not starting with http:// will need to be changed to an absolute path. http:// URLs will need to point to your CGI server URL.

After you have uploaded your site and imported the database using phpMyAdmin (depending on how large the database is, you may need to import sections of it until finished), but before you run your Joomla site, you will need to change any paths in your configuration.php file to point to your CGI server. It's best to comment out your existing local paths so you can change them back when needed. Then add in your new paths.

If you are installing the Remository component, you will need to first install it offline on your own server as mentioned here. In order for it to work on the Active Web Hosting server, you will have to open the admin.remository.html.php file found in the Remository component directory in Windows Notepad or a text editor that saves to the Windows ACII text format (cr/lf format) and resave it. The file was created with a different text format and thus may not work if you switch servers.

Creating your site offline may also avoid undeletable directories that may occur when installing Mambots and Modules, since they will already be installed and set up when you upload your entire site and database.


  1. Extract all the files from the Joomla archive into a directory on your own hard drive. You may need to obtain a special program such as WinZip, WinAce, or PowerArchiver.

  2. In the directory where you extracted the files, create a blank text file named configuration.php

  3. Log into your CGI server, and create a directory to put your Joomla files into. Upload the files and directories you extracted from the Joomla archive to this new directory.

  4. Set the file permissions for the configuration.php file to 666.

  5. Change the permissions of the following files and directories to 777:


  6. Point your web browser to Replace with your actual domain name and joomla with the name of the directory you uploaded the Joomla files to. Please note that for security purposes, we have Safe Mode set to on.

  7. Click on the Next button at the top right of the page.

  8. Please read the Joomla license. If you agree, click the Next button at the top right of the page.

  9. Fill in the following:

Host Name: localhost
MySQL User Name: yourdomaincom (Your domain name without the dot.)
MySQL Password: Your MySQL Database Password
MySQL Database Name: (This is the same as your MySQL User Name.)
MySQL Table Prefix: jos_
Drop Existing Tables: Unchecked
Backup Old Tables: Unchecked if first installation.
Install Sample Data: Checked
  1. Click the Next button at the top right of the page. When prompted, click the OK button. The database tables will now be added.

  2. Next type in the title or name of your web site. Click the Next button at the top right of the page.

  3. Be sure the following is set correctly:

    URL: (Replace with your actual domain name, and joomla with the name of the directory you installed Joomla into.

    Path: /var/www/sites/ (Make the same replacements as you did above.)

    Your E-mail: (Any E-mail sent to the site administrator will go to the E-mail address you type in here. You must provide a valid E-mail address here.)

    Admin password: (Pick a password for your administrator account. Note that the username will always be 'admin' unless you change it within Joomla after installation.)

    Leave the CHMOD options at default (Don't CHMOD). You can always change them later in the Joomla configuration.

    Click the Next button at the top right of the page when done.

  4. Do not exit your web browser yet. Log back into your CGI server and remove the installation directory from your Joomla directory.


Log Into Adminsitration System:

After you have deleted the installation directory, click on the Administration link in the top right of the page in your web browser.

Log in using admin for a user ID and your admin password you had entered in the installation instructions above.

Administration (Back-End) Page:

To access the Joomla Administration page in the future, log into:

Edit the above to reflect your site's actual URL.

Public Site URL:

Your public Joomla site is located at where represents your actual domain name and joomla represents where you uploaded the Joomla files.

Setting Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

If you would like to enable Search Engine Optimization to help search engines get the correct URL to your site pages, follow these steps:

  1. Log into your CGI server.

  2. Rename the htaccess.txt file to a .htaccess

  3. Log into the Joomla Administrator page in your web browser.

  4. Click on the Global Configuration icon.

  5. Click the SEO tab (last one on the right).

  6. Select Yes next to Search Engine Friendly URLs.

  7. Click the Save icon in the upper right of the page.

Advanced Configuration:

If you look at all the icons in the Administrator's page, you will see you can configure any part of the site. Below is a list of some of these options and their descriptions. To learn more about configuring and using Joomla, please consult the Official Joomla Web Site or the Joomla Portal. In addition, you can check our full tutorial series on Working With Mambo / Joomla

Add New Content

Use this link to add new content anywhere on your site. Note that if you want your content in a different section or category than those available, you'll have to add those new sections and categories (add the sections first) before you can add content to them.

Content Items Manager

Use this area to manage all your content items, including adding, editing, publishing, unpublishing or deleting content.

Static Content Manager

This area is where you can add, remove or edit any content that is not in any category or section. These items can only be visible from a menu item, and not as part any blog, section or category page since they are not parts of these areas.

Frontpage Manager

Use this area to customize the front page or first page people see when they view your Joomla site.

Section Manager

Use this area to create, edit and remove the different sections of your site. You must create your sections before you create any categories.

Category Manager

Here is where you can create, edit, move, and remove categories on your site.

Media Manager

Use this area to organize images and other items that are uploaded to your site.

Warning: Active Web Hosting does not allow certain types of images or files on your CGI server, nor do we allow your visitors to upload any files to your server. For more information, please see File Types Allowed On The CGI Server.

Important: Due to security features of the CGI server, you will have to set the write permissions of any directory you upload to in the media manager. The suggestion would be to set the directory permissions to 777. You can do this by logging into your CGI server and moving to the /images/stories directory in your Joomla directory, then changing the directories in there to 777.

Trash Manager

This is like the "recycle bin" on your computer. You can permanently delete or undelete things from here. This is handy should you make a mistake with content or menus.

Menu Manager

Use this area to create, remove or edit menu names for your site. Click on the icon in the Menu Items column to edit the menu.

Language Manager

You will find this area useful only if you wish to run a multi-lingual web site. This is where you can install and add other languages that people can use to read and post to your site.

User Manager

You can use this area to add, remove or edit information for any registered user.

Global Configuration

This area affects the entire site and allows you to make changes to the way Joomla works. Be very careful when changing anything in this area.


Installation fails with an error saying the username or password is incorrect, even though they are correct.

Please be sure you are using a Joomla version greater than 1.0.5. We strongly recommend you use the most recent stable version available.

I get a database error when I try to run this script.

Be sure that you have set up the configuration properly. For more information, please see I get a database error when I try to run a script that accesses the MySQL database.

I can access the administrator's page, but I can not access the main site. It gives an error about key_exists().

This is a known problem with Joomla 1.0.10 due to the way the code is created for the newer versions of PHP. To fix this, open the file /includes/joomla.cache.php in a text editor (not a word processor), and find key_exists. Change this to array_key_exists and save the file. Then upload it to your Joomla includes directory. You will find you can now access your main web site without errors.

I tried to upload a file in Media Manager and the upload failed.

Log into your CGI server and move to the /images/stories directory in your Joomla directory, then change the directories in there to 777. The reason this happens is that we have the server set up a certain way for security reasons.

I tried to create a directory in Media Manager and it gave a bunch of text errors about fopen() and other warnings instead.

Due to security features on the CGI server, you will not be able to create directories in the Media Manager. You need to create them manually using your FTP program. Be sure to add them to the Joomla /images/stories directory and set the permissions to 777. In your web browser, click the back button to return to the Joomla media page. The new folder should now show up and you should be able to upload to it normally.

I tried to delete or edit a file in Media Manager but I got an error about permission being denied, or an empty directory not empty.

You will have to make these changes to manually using an FTP program. Be sure to change the file permissions of directories which hold the files you're trying to delete to 777. The directories for the Media Manager are in your Joomla images directory on your CGI server.

I tried to manually delete a directory that I could not delete in Media Manager but it failed with permissions denied.

  1. In the Joomla Administration, Click on the Home link in the top left.

  2. Click the Global Configuration icon.

  3. Click on the Server tab.

  4. In the File Permissions box, select CHMOD new files to 0666.

  5. In the drop down information, be sure that all the boxes next to write are checked.

  6. Click in the box next to Apply to existing files.

  7. Do the same for Directory Permissions.

  8. Click on the Save icon in the top right of the page.

You should now be able to remove the directory in your FTP program. When done, please change the CHMOD settings back to Don't CHMOD new files. This helps keep your site secure. Note that you should not use this method unless you have no other choice.

NOTE: Changing all files and directories to writable may mean you have to go back and set directories that are not to be set at 777 (see installation instructions above) back to 755. The files may also need to be changed back to 644 except those mentioned in the installation instructions above which should be kept at 666. Double check the permissions of your directories after you complete this procedure.

I get an error when I try to install a template or do anything else in Joomla.

Be sure first that the directory file permissions that Joomla needs to write to is set to 777. For security reasons, most directories are not set to write. Only set those that you need to by logging into your CGI server and changing them manually from within your FTP program.

I can not (re)publish an article. It won't change the status.

If you developed your Joomla site offline, and imported the database, you may have a different server time setting than Active Web Hosting server's settings. This is why the article may not publish. To fix this, find the article in your Administration system and click on it to edit it. Find the Override Creation Date and click on the [...] button. Click on the current date and save the article.


If you have any problems or questions about Joomla, please consult the Official Joomla web site.

Active Web Hosting may not be able to provide support for this program or it's installation.

Alternative Software:

Below you'll find a list of alternative software that you may also want to try. Click on the program name to go to the author's site. Click on the 'Tutorial' link to view our installation tutorial.

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