Joomla Localhost to Server: Configuration

Welcome to the second part of a two-part article on taking a Joomla website live. Ready to take the final step to upload your Joomla site so it can be seen by the outside world? Keep reading.

In the first part of this two-part article, you learned how to finalize your local host Joomla website so it will be ready for the live server; important items to check,  such as ensuring that you display the correct content, were discussed. We also covered the domain/sub-domain setup for your Joomla website on the web hosting server, as well as how to prepare and import the MySQL database from the local host to the hosting server.

In this part, we’ll cover the uploading procedures and configuring your Joomla website to work with the live hosting server. Also, we’ll check to make sure that your Joomla website after deployment will work exactly the same as it did on your local host development server.

Editing the Joomla configuration.php file

The Joomla configuration.php file is found in the root directory of your Joomla files at the XAMPP local host server.

To preserve the original working Joomla installation file at the local host, you need to copy the Joomla folder at the local host and create a copy on your Desktop. In this case, the one in the XAMPP htdocs will be left unchanged, and you will be uploading/editing the one saved on the Desktop.

Using your favorite PHP editor, open configuration.php for the Joomla files on your Desktop. This is what the configuration file content will look like:

There are a lot of editable parameters in the configuration file; however, below you’ll see a list of the important variables that need to be changed to reflect the value at the live site.

Important: You need to determine the absolute path of your Joomla root directory before you can proceed with the changes. An example of an absolute path is: /home/www/codexjoomla.php-developer.org/

Change the following variables:

var $live_site = ”;
var $host = ‘localhost';
var $user = ‘root';
var $db = ‘codexjoomla';
var $password = ‘localhost database password';
var $log_path = ‘/opt/lampp/htdocs/joomla/logs';
var $tmp_path = ‘/opt/lampp/htdocs/joomla/tmp';

To the following values at the live site:

var $live_site = ‘http://codexjoomla.php-developer.org';
var $host = ‘Joomla database host';
var $user = ‘Joomla database username ‘;
var $db = ‘Joomla database name';
var $password = ‘Joomla database password';
var $log_path = ‘/home/www/codexjoomla.php-developer.org/logs';
var $tmp_path = ‘/home/www/codexjoomla.php-developer.org/tmp';

Finally after you finish editing, you can save the configuration.php.

Uploading Files to the Website’s Root Directory Using SSH

For security purposes, it is best to upload the Joomla files to your website’s root directory using SSH (Secure Shell). This will encrypt data as it travels to the hosting server.

Most paid Linux/Apache/PHP-MySQL web hosting includes SSH as a feature, so you need to enable it. Consult with your web hosting support for details.

The most recommended SSH GUI Client is Filezilla: http://filezilla-project.org/. Once you have completely installed Filezilla, launch it and then go to File -> Site Manager. You need to add your Joomla site and the SSH connection details, for example:

The SSH port is 22 by default; some web hosting companies may use different SSH ports. Under Server Type, select “SFTP-SSH File Transfer Protocol.” To connect to the server, click “Connect” and go the root directory of your server.

Select all files on your left (which are the Joomla files on your local desktop); to your right is the root directory space in your remote hosting web server (e.g. codexjoomla.php-developer.org)

Screen shot:


 
Right click on the selected files and then hit “upload.” It may take some time before all of the files are uploaded to the remote web hosting server. As of Joomla 1.5.20, there are around 3960 files that need to be uploaded to your web hosting server, so the file uploading process will take a while. Do not close until all files are completely uploaded.

{mospagebreak title=Testing Your Live Website After Uploading Files}

After you have completely uploaded all of the Joomla website files to the remote server, it important to view the website. You will need to check the following items:

Check Item #1: Checking the home page and some internal pages for errors.

You need to make sure that the home page that appears on the live site is the same as the one you see at the local host server.

For example, for the demo website: http://codexjoomla.php-developer.org/ , below is what the home page should look like on the live hosting server:

And here is a screen shot of a sample inner page:

There is an error appearing on both the home page and inner pages. For the home page, it shows “Error loading feed data,” and there is no sidebar.

For the inner pages, it shows a 500 Internal Server Error. Both of these obvious problems need to be corrected.

Correcting problems appearing on your Joomla live website

For the home page “Error loading feed data” problem:

1. Log in as Joomla administrator (e.g. http://codexjoomla.php-developer.org/administrator).

2. Go to Extensions -> Module Manager; look for the “Feed Display” module.
However, since the “Feed display” has been renamed to “Articles” in the first part of this tutorial, you need to look for the “Article” module, which is actually a “Feed display” module.

 

3. The cause of the problem is that the feed URL is not updated. It is showing as: http://localhost/joomla/?format=feed&type=rss

4. To resolve this problem, change the feed URL to reflect the new domain/sub-domain name used by the Joomla website in live hosting server, e.g. http://codexjoomla.php-developer.org/?format=feed&type=rss.

5. Click Apply and then hit “save.”

 

For the inner page’s “500 Internal Server” error problem:

1. Download the .htaccess of the newly-uploaded Joomla website.

2. Find this line:

# RewriteBase /

Remove the # to uncomment it, so it will just be:

RewriteBase /

Below is updated .htaccess screen shot:


Check Item #2: Check for broken links

You can use Xenu Sleuth to check for broken links: 

For some information on this, you can read this short tutorial

Using the demo Joomla website discussed in this tutorial, the following is a screen shot of the Xenu result, showing a broken link:

 

As shown in the screen shot, the broken link URL is http://localhost/joomla/ because this URL has not been updated to use the new domain/sub-domain name used by Joomla at the live server.

Examining the properties of this broken link reveals a clue:

<img src="/templates/vj_anelco/images/hd.jpg" alt="Scuba diving training agency">

This means it is related to the header section of the Joomla template. Checking the header image template HTML for this link reveals the following:

<a href="http://localhost/joomla/"><img src="<?php echo $this->baseurl ?>/templates/<?php echo $this->template; ?>/images/hd.jpg" alt="Scuba diving training agency"></a

So to avoid the broken link, we need to revise this to:

<a href="<?php echo $this->baseurl ?>"><img src="<?php echo $this->baseurl ?>/templates/<?php echo $this->template; ?>/images/hd.jpg" alt="Scuba diving training agency"></a>

The value of: = <?php echo $this->baseurl ?> when executed on the web hosting server will be the home page URL: http://codexjoomla.php-developer.org.

Check Item #3: Changing the favicon.ico in your live Joomla website

Below are the steps you need to take to change the favicon.ico:

 

1. Create a favicon.ico image; the dimension should be around 16x 16 pixels and the image file extension is .ico. You use Irfanview to shrink your logo and create favicon.ico.

2. Upload favicon.ico to the image directory of your template, e.g. http://codexjoomla.php-developer.org/templates/vj_anelco/images/favicon.ico.

3.)  Add the following HTML code the <head> section of your Joomla template:
<link REL="SHORTCUT ICON" HREF="http://codexjoomla.php-developer.org/templates/vj_anelco/images/favicon.ico">

Check Item #4: Protect your Joomla administration folder. 

This will prevent any abuse of your Joomla administration page. The following are the steps you must take:

1. Create a .htaccess containing the syntax:

Order allow,deny
Allow from 123.45.678.910

Replace 123.45.678.910 with your own IP address. You can find out your IP address here: http://www.whatismyip.com/.

2. Upload .htaccess to the Joomla “administrator” folder.

3. Check your Joomla administration folder here: http://gsitecrawler.com/tools/Server-Status.aspx.

e.g. http://codexjoomla.php-developer.org/administrator

It should give a 403 forbidden status. Also check your Joomla front page, e.g. http://codexjoomla.php-developer.org/. It should give a 200 OK status.

Check Item #5: Check to see if your image uploading through Joomla administration panel is enabled.

In this case, try creating a test article with an image to see if it is working.

This completes the Joomla website deployment tutorial from local host to remote hosting server. You can see the demo website used in this tutorial by going here: http://codexjoomla.php-developer.org/

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