How to Move Your Joomla! Site to a New Server

Update February 7, 2009: I have now written an an article on how to move your Joomla! 1.5 site to a new server.

Things happen. Plans change. Websites outgrow current servers and need new servers. Hosting companies provide poor service, prompting a web master to decide to change servers. Whatever the reason, you might need to move your Joomla! installation from one server to another.

If you've been running a website for a while, you have probably already accumulated quite a bit of content and several 3rd party components and/or modules, and you do not want to start fresh with a new Joomla! installation. This article explains what I did to move HowToJoomla from my test server (howtojoomla.corywebb.com) to the server that it is on now.

Read more: How to Move Your Joomla! Site to a New Server

Add Code to Your Joomla Site Footer

This will show you how to add code to your Joomla site footer. Often websites such as Google Analytics will ask you to place code at the very bottom of the your site. They do this so that if their code doesn't load, your site still will. If the code was at the top of the site and had a problem, your whole site would go down.

Login to Your Joomla Site

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Go to example.com/administrator and login to your site.

Go to the Template Manager

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Click on "Extensions" and then "Template Manager"

Open Your Default Template

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rhuk_milkyway is my default template so I'll click on that name.

Open the Template Files

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Click "Edit HTML" in the top-right corner.

Enter Your Code

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Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and post your code right above the final lines: . Then click "Save" in the top-right corner and you'll have finished.

Adding a Joomla Template Variation

This tutorial was written for a student who wanted two copies of this template - one narrow and one wider. More advanced frameworks such as Gantry can do this, and Joomla 1.6 will be able to do it.

However, the easiest way to do this in Joomla 1.5 is to make two copies of your template that you can modify separately. Here's how to do it:

Login to Your Hosting Account

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You can login via your hosting company's site or you could go via FTP. Essentially you just need a way to get to your files.

Find Your File Manager

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Every hosting company should give you access to your files, althought the access may be in different places with each host. This is an example from the popular CPanel software.

Find Your Templates Folder

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We're going to open up the folder that contains our templates.

Copy Your Template

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Select the "rhuk_milkyway" folder and click "Copy"

Choose a New Template Folder Name

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Choose a new name for the folder. In this case, I'm simply going to call it "rhuk_milkyway_copy" and click "Copy File(s)"

Open Up Your New Template Folder

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Open Up the templateDetails.xml File

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Check the box next to "templateDetails.xml" and select any of the editing options. templateDetails.xml is the table of contents for our template and contains all of the identifying information that Joomla needs.

Change the template name

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Inside the fields, change the name of the template to something that clearly identifies it as a copy.

Access Your Template Manager

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Now if you go to Administrator >> Extensions >> Template Manager you should see the two copies of the same template.

Move a Joomla Site from Test Directory to Live

This tutorial will show you how to move a Joomla site from one directory to another using CPanel. One common reason for doing this is to move Joomla from a test folder and make it live. Joomla 1.5 makes this process very easy.

Login into your CPanel

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Often you can access your CPanel just by adding /cpanel to your domain name ... example.com/cpanel

Access the File Manager

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Although your screen may not look 100% identical to the one above, every version of Cpanel does come with a "File Manger" option somewhere.

Choose to Go to the Webroot

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Open Your Test Folder

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Select All the Files

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Click on Move File

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Move to /public_html/

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Check Your Site

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Visit the front of your site in its new location and verify that everything is working correctly.

Login to Your Joomla Site Administrator

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Go to Site >> Global Configuration

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Change Path to Log folder

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Change that setting to remove your /test/ folder

Change Path to Temp-folder

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Change that setting to remove your /test/ folder. Click "Save" in the top-right corner.

Find the Right Width for Your Site

This tutorial will show you how to find the right width for your site.

Find Your Own Screen Width

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First, we'll find the current width of your screen so you can have an idea of how large these sizes are. Most of the time it will be in your computer settings:
- For my Mac its Apple icon >> System Preferences >> Displays
- For my PC its Start >> Control Panel >> Display >> Settings
In this case my screen is 1680x1050.

Find Your Visitors Most Common Screen Sizes

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Your own screen probably isn't the best width to use. I'd go to Google Analytics and check what the most common screen sizes are for your site visitors. Go to Visitors >> Browser Capabilities >> Screen Resolutions.

Examine the Screen Sizes

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Generally the more tech-savvy your visitors, the large the screen. In this case it wouldn't make much sense to have a narrow website width. Ideally our site will be at least close to 1000px. Increasingly widths of around 960px are common.

New Joomla SEO extension from Joomlashack

Find out more about Joomlashack's new Joomla SEO extension.

In 2 weeks we'll be releasing a new Joomla SEO extension that will revolutionize how you think about SEO and your Joomla website. Its finally going to bury SEO misunderstandings and lift Joomla to its rightful place when people think of Joomla and search engine optimization. 

How do you set up SEO optimized Websites? Do you want to learn SEO? Would be interested in SEO lessons?  SEO Courses? SEO video tutorials? SEO Training? Conversion optimization lessons? Conversion optimization courses. Conversion optimization video tutorials. Conversion optimization training.

Read more: New Joomla SEO extension from Joomlashack

404 Not Found in Joomla Administrator - JSecure

This is one common solution if you're getting a "404 Not Found" error when visiting your Joomla administrator area. The problem often lies with a good and useful product called JSecure. You normally have to remember a specific URL that was set in the administrator area. For example: mysite.com/administrator?mysecretcode. This stops people from trying to guess your login, but if you forget your secret code ...

Do you see this screen?

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If you do, the problem is JSecure. Have you really forgotten your secret code? If so, read on ...

Login to Your Hosting Account

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Or you could go via FTP. Essentially you just need a way to get to your files.

Find Your File Manager

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Every hosting company should give you access to your files, although the access may be in different places with each host. This is an example from the popular CPanel software.

Browse to /Plugins/System/

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You need to access the /plugins/ folder than then the /system/ folder.

Find JSecure.php

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Rename the File

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Just give jsecure.php a different name and save it. Next time to try to access your site, the 404 error should have gone.

Find and Edit Joomla CSS Problems

This purpose of this tutorial is to show you how to find and fix problems with your Joomla templates. We're going to focus on CSS (or Cascading Style Sheets) because they control very common issues such as fonts, colors and padding.

Download and Install Firefox

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No question about it, Firefox is the best tool you can find for fixing problem on your website. Download from http://www.mozilla.com/firefox and install.

Install the Web Developer Plugin

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Firefox is useful for the same reason as Joomla ... it has 1000s of amazing addons. The one we're going to use is called "Web Developer". Visit https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/60 in your Firefox browser and click "Add to Firefox".

Visit Your Joomla Site

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We're going to use the default Joomla for this tutorial.

Diagonse Your Problem

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In this example, our welcome message is too small. We'd like to have "Welcome to the Frontpage" in larger text.

Start the Webdeveloper toolbar

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Click "CSS" in the toolbar and then click "View Style Information"

Click the item you want to edit

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Hover your mouse over any part of the page and a red box will appear around it. Click on that area.

See the CSS Code at the bottom of the page

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At the bottom of the page you'll get a lot of information about why that item on your site looks like it does. Here's what's controlling the "Welcome to the Frontpage" line:
1: The file with it's exact location
2: The exact line number inside that file
3: The code at that line number
In this case you can see that the font-size is 1.5em. We'll need to increase that number.

Login to Your Joomla Site

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Go to Extensions >> Template Manager inside your site

Click on Your Template Name

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Click "Edit CSS"

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Open Your Template' CSS File

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Browse down to find the template you saw in the previous step called "Find the CSS code at the bottom of the page". Click "Edit" in the top-right corner.

Copy Your Test into an Editor

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I'm using Notepad in this example, but any text editor will do. If you have a code editor with line numbers, even better!

Backup, backup, backup, backup, backup, backup!!!

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If you're doing this for the first time, you will make mistakes. Backup your file so that you can roll back those mistakes when they happen.

Find Your Code to Change

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Search for the code that you find earlier in the tutorial.

Change the Code

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Especially when you're getting started, this may involve some trial and error. In this example, I'm going to increase the font-size from 1.5 to 1.7.

Paste Back into Your Joomla Site

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Paste the code back into your Template Manager and click "Apply".

Check the Change

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Great - in this case the change worked and text is larger. If you the change isn't just what you want, you'll need to go back a few steps to "Change the Code" and try again.

Some Notes

1) This is a process of trial-and-error. Don't expect to get it right first time, ever time.
2) Make one change then check. Make one change then check. If you do that, it's easy to spot a mistake. However, if you make wholesale changes before checking, it will be very difficult to find where you went wrong.
3) If you want to move faster, get an FTP Editor that will allow you to edit this files more quickly and accurately. That however, is for another tutorial :)

Change Joomla htaccess.txt file to .htaccess with CPanel

Changing your htaccess.txt file to .htaccess is important in Joomla because it allows you to enable Search Engine Friendly URLs. It's also an important step to help keep your site safe. Here's how to do it.

Login into your CPanel

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Often you can access your CPanel just by adding /cpanel to your domain name ... example.com/cpanel

Access the File Manager

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Although your screen may not look 100% identical to the one above, every version of Cpanel does come with a "File Manger" option somewhere.

Choose to Go to the Webroot

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Find htaccess.txt

Your files and folders will be listed alphabetically. Scroll down until you find htaccess.txt

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Check the box next to htaccess.txt and click "Rename" at the top of the page.

Change the file name to .htaccess

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Enter .htaccess as the new file name and click "Rename File"

Showing a Google Calendar Inside Joomla

This tutorial will show you how to display a Google Calendar inside your Joomla website.

Go to Your Google Calendar

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Go https://www.google.com/calendar, login and and click "Settings" in the top-right corner.

Find the Calendar ID

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Click on "Calendars" and then click on the name of your calendar. Scroll down to "Calendar Address" and copy the "Calendar ID" to your notepad. It will have a long string of characters and then @group.calendar.google.com

Make the Calendar Public

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Click "Share This Calendar", check the box next to "Make this calendar public" and click "Save".

Download the GCalendar Component

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Now that you have your Google Calendar set up correctly, we're going to install the necessary Joomla component. Visit http://g4j.laoneo.net to download the GCalendar component

Extract the GCalendar Folder

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Click on the GCalendar folder and extract it so you can see the various extensions inside.

Install GCalendar

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Go to Extensions >> Install/Uninstall and click "Browse" to upload com_gcalendar

Go to the GCalendar Component

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Go to Components >> GCalendar >> GCalendars

Creating a New Calendar

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Click "New" in the top-right corner. You'll see three fields. You only need to give the calendar a title and enter the "Calendar ID" you found and saved earlier. Click "Save"

Make a Menu Link to the Calendar

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Go to Menus >> Main Menu >> click "New" >> choose "GCalendar"

Choose the Calendar

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Choose the calendar you created and click "Save".

Your Calendar Should Be Ready ...

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