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joomla installation common issues

Building a website with Joomla is simple but with beginner, it would be still something complicated, especially, issue could happen. This post will give you list of common issues that you could face with your Joomla installation process.

?What is Joomla!?

Joomla is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) for publishing web content. It is the mobile-ready and user-friendly way to build your website.

Joomla installation common issues and solutions:

Following is the list of issues that user often get when install Joomla. It could be hosting configuration, system requirements, old PHP version, your Joomla installation package issue, Joomla versioning incompatibility, the database connection and more. For each common issue, we will provide suggestions to fix the issue by yourself.

For hosting issues, we recommend to contact the hosting provider for support since they could fix the issue faster and more properly.

1. Database installation keeps loading

The Joomla database installation keeps loading issue is normally caused by the Magic Quotes error. You have to disable Magic Quotes for PHP of your server.

2. Joomla Magic Quotes error

When the Joomla installation can not complete, you shoud check and make sure the Magic Quotes of your PHP is disabled.

So what is Magic Quotes

If you are wondering what the Magic Quotes is, the answer is: Magic Quotes is a process that automatically releases incoming data to the PHP script, however this has been REMOVED in PHP 5.4.

Following is the guide to disable Magic Quotes:

#1: Change values in php.ini

Find the file php.ini on your hosting and add following strings to it:

magic_quotes_gpc = Off
magic_quotes_runtime = Off
magic_quotes_sybase = Off
extension=pdo.so
extension=pdo_mysql.so

For some hosting, you may need to contact the hosting provider to help disable this manually.

#2: use .htacess file

Open the file and add following lines:

php_flag magic_quotes_gpc Off
php_value magic_quotes_gpc Off

Once done, check your Joomla installation screen and complete it.

3. Increase PHP upload limit for Joomla

When you install Joomla on hosting,

When your system can not finish the installation, but it works fine on your localhost or other hostings, this is normally the issue of the PHP upload limit. The solution is, you need to increase the PHP upload limit to increase the upload file size to your server and it should be done in the php.ini file. Open the file and find the strings and increase values for the strings. The recommended settings for Joomla are:

post_max_size = 8M
upload_max_filesize = 8M
memory_limit = 128M
max_execution_time = 60

You can also do this using the .htaccess file. Open .htaccess and add following strings:

php_value post_max_size 8M
php_value upload_max_filesize 8M
php_value max_execution_time 60
php_value memory_limit 128M

4. Where is the php.ini file?

The php.ini file is the default configuration file for running applications that require PHP. It is used to control variables such as upload sizes, file timeouts, and resource limits. With the Joomla installation or running a Joomla website, you would need to update the file to meet requirements for your Joomla website running.

There is quite a lot of locations for your php.ini to be in. It depends on your server, server version and you hosting provider’s settings. Here is a list of the most common locations of php.ini:

  1. cPanel: On cPanel Shared Servers php.ini is located in Joomla root file directory. cPanel may have a special wizard for you in the Software services section.
  2. Parallels Plesk Panel: /etc/php.ini
  3. XAMPP: C:\xampp\php\php.ini
  4. Ubuntu: /etc/php5/apache2
  5. GoDaddy servers: You need to create your own and place it in the Joomla root directory

5. Could not connect to MySQL database server

If you are getting this error, it means that your Joomla installation script is unable to connect to MySQL database. Check once more if the username, password, hostname and database name are valid.

Note: in most cases hostname is localhost, but some providers dew to internal reasons, change it to something else. If you are getting this message and you are sure that everything else is alright, ask your provider support team about the hostname.

6. Errors displayed on the Joomla installation window

This is not actually an issue, it is warning message when there is something wrong with your website likd coding issue. So, if you don’t want Joomla to tell you when something went wrong by writing it on top of every page, just disable it. Following are the possible ways to do this:

#1. Global Configuration

The simplest solution ever – go to your Global Configuration menu and disable the parameter called Display Errors.

# 2. Update php.ini

If previous solution did not work, open your php.ini file (you may find it with search in your website root directory or by going for XAMPP manual) and locate following string:

display_errors = On or display_errors = 1

Change this value to:

display_errors = Off or display_errors = 0

You are done. Just make sure to reboot your Apache installation when you are changing php.ini.

#3. Update Joomla .htaccess file

If the first method did not work and you can not find your php.ini (or do not have access to it), you may try modifying it throughout .htaccess with is located in your website’s root folder. Add this to the file:

php_flag display_errors off

If it did not work, change “off” to “0”.

7. Disable PHP safe mode

PHP Safe Mode is a feature that allows system to be more stable and defend against incoming issues. Unfortunately, it is incompatible with Joomla, but fortunately there is a quite simple solution to this problem – editing your php.ini, and add this string to the file:

safe_mode = Off or safe_mode = 0

If you are unable to access your php.ini, add this line to .htaccess file:

php_admin_flag safe_mode Off or php_admin_value safe_mode 0

8. Define output buffering mode

This is not a problem or a warning – it is just a recommendation. But if you noticed that your website is running slow, you may try to improve it by setting Output Buffer on (or setting it off if you are experiencing any troubles). Output buffering is a mechanism for controlling how much output data (excluding headers and cookies) PHP should keep internally before pushing that data to the client.

To enable or disable this mechanism, you will have to edit the following line in php.ini. It has three possible value types:

output_buffering = On 
output_buffering = Off 
output_buffering = 4096

While there may be some other value than 4096, it is suggested to you to leave it like this – this is the most stable value when buffer is still being used. Turning it to On will make buffer size unlimited which will make it уму faster, but may decrease stability. Turning it Off will decrease speed, but it is the most stable value at all.

You can use .htaccess file to add this line:

php_value output_buffering X

Where X is the value you need.

9. Change PHP register_globals from On to Off

There’s a possible security hole in a classic PHP installation and, even though it is quite minor, you’d better try to turn it off. It’s called register_globals and to change its mode, you will have to access php.ini. Find the following string:

register_globals = On

And modify it to look like this:

register_globals = Off

You may also access it throughout .htaccess by adding the following line to the file:

php_flag register_globals Off

10. Joomla 500 Internal Server Error

There may be an error you will see on your front-page that will look like “Error 500: Internal Server Error”. There may be quite a lot of reasons for it to appear, but what is the most important – you, usually, have nothing to do with them. The error means that server is misconfigured and cannot send the data your browser asked for. Also, your server may be under DDOS attack or heavy number of visitors – if this is the reason (you can ask your hoster about that) – you may want to buy faster and more protected server.

This is a list of possible reasons of 500 Internal Server Error:

  • Misconfigured web server file or folder read and write permissions  - check your php.ini and .htaccess files.
  • Corrupted file(s).
  • Scripts issues

Such issue can be detected faster by developer and the hosting provider and you should contact them for support.

Share your issues when you build your Joomla website

These are a lots of issues could happen when you install Joomla and running a Joomla website. Feel free to share in in the comments box bellow to get support and suggestions.

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