Tutorial to install Joomla 3.1 on webhost

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In this tutorial, we will install Joomla 3.1 onto our webhost.  Check that your webhost meets Joomla 3.1 requirements here.

From our CPanel in our webhost we have already created a subdomain to host Joomla at http://joomlaexample.learnwebtutorials.com.  However, you can put your joomla at the webroot or a subdomain.  The process is very similar.


1. Download Joomla 3.1 full package zip file from Joomla.org …


2.  Joomla requires a MySQL database.  View this tutorial on how to create a MySQL database on the webhost.

We have created an database with database name of “user_joomlaexample” and a database user called “user_joomla” who is assigned full privileges to that database.  We also have set the database password for this user.  This information will be needed by the Joomla install.

3.  Next you want to extract the downloaded zip file into your web document root on your server.  The document root in which you want to install Joomla may already have a placeholder default.html or index.html file.  You can delete this as it will be replaced by Joomla’s own index file which will be index.php.  Many webhost let you upload a zip file and then extract it on your webhost.  If not, you can extract the zip file and then upload the files to your document root.  Here are the extracted files on our document root of our webhost as viewed from the File Manger in cPanel…

Joomla extracted files

4. In your browser, navigate to your web document root (in our case it is http://joomlaexample.learnwebtutorials.com). The Joomla installer will automatically run.  Fill in the site information, giving yourself an admin username and a good password.  Don’t use the default of “admin” as username — that is too easy for hackers to guess.

Joomla Installation Step 1

5.  Click the “Next” button and enter the database information.

Joomla Installation Database Step

For the database type, both the choice “MySQL” and “MySQLi” refers to the use of the MySQL database.  It is just that MySQLi is a MySQL Improved Extension that allows PHP to interface better with the MySQL database.  Use MySQLi if you can.

In our example, we enter the database name “user_joomlaexample” and the database username “user_joomla” that we had created.   Enter the password that we had assigned that database user.  The hostname will most likely be “localhost” if the database and the web root are on the same webhost.  The table prefix is a few random characters followed by an underscore that Joomla install had already generated for you.  This randomness makes it more difficult for hackers to get into our database tables.

6.  Clicking Next, we get a chance to review our information and we get a chance to populate our Joomla with some sample data.

Install sample joomla data

This article has examples of what each of the sample data looks like.  Since we are learning Joomla, let’s choose the Learning Joomla Sample Data.  This sample data is also the closest looking to the previous Joomla version’s sample data.

7. Make sure that the pre-installation check is all okay with green “Yes“.  And take a look at the recommended settings as well.

Joomla pre installation check

8.  When ready, click the blue Install button.  After installation, you should get…

Joomla Installation Complete

You have the opportunity to install additional languages at this time.  But most people will not need to.

9. Now that installation is complete, you need to delete the installation folder for security reasons.  Click the orange “Remove installation folder” button to do so.  And the button will change to say  “Installation folder successfully removed”.

10.  Click the Site button to go to your new Joomla site…

Joomla Example Site

11.  To log into your Joomla admin control panel, click on the “Site Administrator” link on the right hand column.  Or navigate to your Joomla webroot/administrator.   In our case it would be http://joomlaexample.learnwebtutorials.com/administrator/

Just add “/administrator” at the end of your domain name in your browser.

Joomla Admin Login

This would be the admin username and password that you had entered in step 1 of the Joomla installation.

12. Now you are inside the Joomla admin Control Panel…

Joomla Admin Control Panel

13.  See the menu in the upper-right that says “Super User“?  That’s you.  You are known as the Super User and have most extensive privileges on the Joomla site.  To log out, click that menu and select “Log Out” from the dropdown.

As you can see, there is a lot more to learn.  There is a Lynda.com video course (see sample clips here) on Joomla 3.  I would also suggest a good book such as …