Now that we’ve set up MAMP (or its equivalent), and the Joomla! 2.5 installation files placed in the ‘htdocs’ folder of the MAMP application files, it’s time to create databases and install Joomla! on the local server simulation.
Again, I’m working on a Mac, so if you’re working on a Windows or Linux operating system you’ll have to adapt a little bit. However, the most important thing to do on a non-Mac system is to locate the place where your programs/applications are installed (i.e., Program Files on Windows). At this point I am going to stop reminding you in my tutorials that MAMP has Windows and Linux counterparts, but you can always find links at the bottom of the post to help you find the right software for your operating system. Now back to the tutorial.
Start up MAMP. Now, when you installed MAMP you also installed a trial version of MAMP Pro. Ignore MAMP Pro for now, you don’t need it for this tutorial. Once MAMP is started, it should automatically start the Apache and SQL servers. As soon as they’re ready, your default web browser should automatically open the MAMP start page (please inspect the image on the right). Here’s what’s important on this startup page:
- The URL bar (top of screen – notice that it is not http://anything – it’s localhost:8888/whatever)
- Link to phpMyAdmin (top navigation bar, below URL)
- MAMP, the application, open with two green dots indicating that Apache and SQL are working
- MySQL connection parameters (host, port, username, password) – we’ll need these in a bit
Click on phpMyAdmin. What you’re going to do next is critical to installing Joomla!, so follow closely. Inspect the image on the left and take note of where I’ve typed ‘joomla25’. This is where you actually create a database USING MAMP (using DreamHost.com for web hosting, new databases are created outside of phpMyAdmin). Type ‘joomla25’ into the box and click ‘Create’ to make your first database. FYI, ‘joomla25’ stands for Joomla! 2.5 – this is the installation you should be using – and it’s mainly for organizational purposes. Now that you’ve created your database, you can leave phpMyAdmin. Don’t worry, we’ll be back here soon enough. For now though, it’s time to install Joomla!.
Point your browser to localhost:8888 (make sure MAMP is still open and working properly – there should be no red dots showing). You will be taken to the Joomla! installation page. For the most part, you can follow the official installation instructions. When it comes to the database setup on a local MAMP server, you need to make sure that:
- Host name = localhost
- Username AND password= root
- Database name = the name you created in phpMyAdmin
- The table prefix ends in an underscore ( _ )
Now, you may be wondering at this point why the username and password are the same. That is a security hazard, isn’t it? Well, keep in mind that at this point your ‘website’ is not on the web, and the username and password you’re entering here will allow Joomla! access to the database you created on your local server simulation. We’ll change these settings when we move our site to remote server space. I also recommend using a simple but meaningful table prefix. For example, I used ‘j25_’ for Joomla! 2.5. This will allow you to discern content from different installations when you’re upgrading to future versions of Joomla!.
Moving on from Step 4 into Step 5, you’ll be asked about FTP information. You can simply ignore this step entirely. Step 6: Configuration – here’s where you set up your site name, admin username, and password. Don’t confuse this set of name and password with the ones you set up in Step 4. These credentials will let you access the Joomla! administration, while the others will let Joomla! access your database. Clear enough, right? Finally on this page, there’s a button asking you to install the ‘sample data’. For the purpose of this tutorial, I suggest that you not install this sample data. While it’s helpful if you’re exploring Joomla! on your own, it will soon simply become clutter that you have to manually delete. Ignore it and move on. On the next screen you simply have to hit the button to remove the installation folder. Now you’re installed! Hit the ‘administration’ button up where the ‘next’ button used to be, then enter your login credentials to access the administration panel.
We’ve covered a lot of ground in this tutorial. Some of the stuff we’ve covered will be revisited later when we move to a remote server to put the website on the web. Until the next tutorial, feel free to explore the Joomla! administration and the Joomla! documentation. 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. Next up: learning to use 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
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