Joomla! 2.5 Tutorial – Step 1: Setup

Ok, let’s get started!

There are a few things you’ll need to do before installing Joomla!.  First, you must download the latest version of Joomla! (version 2.5).  Decompress the .zip file and put the resulting folder somewhere on your computer where you won’t forget it (note: this step is especially easy on a Mac).  Next comes a slightly trickier part: getting web space.

For Joomla! to work on the web, you need:

  • A domain name
  • Apache server support
  • FTP access to your domain space
  • phpMyAdmin SQL client (this is EXTREMELY important)

Where do you get a domain name?  Usually at the same place where you can get web hosting, such as or  If you want your website on the internet, you should make sure you’re getting the features mentioned above with your hosting plan.  Otherwise… well, I can’t help you there.  Do your research.  Read reviews and comparisons to help you make your decision (right now, I like DreamHost).

But what if you want to develop your site BEFORE putting it online?  Well, the good news is that there actually is a way to do that.  To build your website on your local computer, you need to install MAMP, a Mac Apache, MySQL, and PHP package that turns your computer into a web development server (Note: I work on Mac, see the end of the post for links to Windows and Linux equivalents).  Don’t bother about MAMP Pro, just MAMP will be fine.  Download it and install it on your computer.  Now things get interesting.

We’re going to develop a Joomla! installation on MAMP (or whatever you’ve got – they’re probably all the same) first, then move it to the web server in this tutorial series.

MAMP folder (Mac)

MAMP folder (Mac)

Now that you have Joomla! downloaded and MAMP (or its equivalent) installed, the final part of this step is to place the Joomla! files into the ‘htdocs’ folder in the MAMP folder.  The ‘htdocs’ folder acts as local FTP space, so anything in the ‘htdocs’ folder should eventually end up on your website’s FTP space.  Just keep that in mind for now.

Now we’ve got our Joomla! files and our local server package install set up properly.  If you have any questions about what we’ve covered here, please comment on this post!  Not only will it help answer your questions, but also the questions of other readers.  The next step: installing Joomla!

Posts in this tutorial series:

Step 5: Remote Servers, Part 2

Step 4: Remote Servers, Part 1

Step 3: Exploring Joomla!

Step 2: Installation

Step 1: Setup



Joomla! Documentation

Joomla! Basic Terminology

MAMP (Mac)

WAMP (Windows)

XAMPP (Linux/Unix) (Use the promo code JOOMLA25_SPP to receive special discounted hosting!  $20 off one pre-paid year of hosting OR $30 off two pre-paid years of hosting)



  1. Pingback: Joomla! 2.5 Tutorial – Step 3: Learning How To Use Joomla! « Technically Heroic

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