Installing Joomla 1.6 On Your Computer (Offline)

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Installing Joomla 1.6 on your computer is not as simple as installing WordPress but it is still very simple and straightforward.  Why would you need an offline site? Well, some people want to have an offline site so they can develop their website before it actually goes online.  This is great if you want to create your own theme because you can modify files as soon as you save the changes on your code editor.  Others might want to have an offline site just to test the Joomla software or to play around with it.  Whatever your reason is, here’s how to install it:

  1. First thing’s first, you have to download the latest Joomla version from their website.  The current stable version they have is Joomla 1.6.5 so this is the version I have right now.
  2. Next, you have to install a web server package on your computer.  I use Wampserver.  If you already have this installed, you can run it.

    *Remember to exit Skype to avoid conflict, once Wampserver is running you can run Skype again.

  3. You will need to create a database, so click on the Wampserver taskbar icon and a menu will pop up.  Select ‘phpMyAdmin’ or visit ‘http://localhost/phpmyadmin’ on your browser’s address bar:
    On the page that is shown on the browser, you will see a ‘Create new database’ form right below ‘MySQL localhost’.  Type up the name of your database, it can be anything really.  For this example I will name my database ‘joomz’.  Click on the ‘Create’ button.

    *Remember: if you are installing this on your home computer or office computer that is used only by you or by authorized individuals you don’t really need to create user accounts and privileges.  By default, your username will be ‘root’, and you will have no password (so you can leave that part of the form empty).  We are done with the database part for now.

  4. We need to create a folder in the ‘www directory’.  Again, click on Wampserver’s taskbar icon so you can view the menu.  Select the ‘www directory’ option.  This will open the ‘www’ folder located in your C: drive, wamp folder (default settings: C:\wamp\www).  Right-click and create a new folder.  For this example, I will name the folder ‘joomz’ also, similar to the database.
  5. Extract all the contents of the Joomla stable package into the folder.
  6. On your browser’s address bar, go to ‘http://localhost/joomz‘, ‘joomz’ being your folder name.  The installation should begin automatically.
  7. Choose your language.  ‘English (United States)’ is the default language for Joomla 1.6.  For this example I will choose ‘English (United Kingdom)’.  When this is done, click on the ‘next’ button located on the upper right-hand corner of the page.
    The next step is the ‘Pre-Installation Check’.  The warning here is:
    If any of these items is not supported (marked as No) then please take actions to correct them. Failure to do so could lead to your Joomla! installation not functioning correctly.

    Recommended settings advises:

    These settings are recommended for PHP in order to ensure full compatibility with Joomla.

    However, Joomla! will still operate if your settings do not quite match the recommended.

    If you are on Wampserver then you don’t have to make changes to the settings, you shouldn’t have a problem with the installation and everything should work fine.  Click on the ‘next’ button.

  8. The following screen displays the ‘GNU General Public License’.  Click on ‘next’.
  9. You should now see the ‘Database Configuration’ page, ‘Connection Settings’.  Leave the ‘Database Type’ as the default, MySQLi or MySQL.  Your ‘Host Name’ should be ‘localhost’.  If you have not created a user account for this database, then your username should be ‘root’ and you can leave the password box blank.  Fill-in the ‘Database Name’ box with the database you created earlier on phpMyAdmin.  ‘Table Prefix default for Joomla 1.6 is jos_’, but you can change this but keep the underscore (_) at the end.  Go to the next page.
  10. Next step is the ‘FTP Configuration’, which we won’t need for an offline site so just go to the next page.
  11. You should now be at the ‘Main Configuration’ page.  Fill out the form with your site’s name, email, admin username, admin password, and then click on the ‘next’ button.  You don’t need to install the ‘Sample Data’ but if you’re not used to Joomla and would like to practice using content with the sample data, then by all means install it.
  12. On the following page, you will just be reminded to remove the installation folder.  Click on this button and the folder will be deleted immediately.
  13. Visit ‘http://localhost/joomz/administrator’ on your address bar and login to enter the administrator control panel.

    And there you have it, your offline Joomla 1.6 website.
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