How to Move a Site from Local to Live Server

Many people like to develop their Joomla sites locally and then move their work to a live host when completed. This weeks tutorial will show you how to move an exact copy of your site from your localhost to a live server, database and all.

We're going to use a fantastic component called JoomlaPack to help us with the process. We'll first use it to make a backup of our local site (files + database), and then we'll use a provided tool (Kickstart) to restore the backup to our live server.

Here's how you do it:

  1. Download the JoomlaPack component. Make sure you get the latest release, which at the time of this newletter is 2.2
  2. Download the Kickstart app, again making sure you ge the latest release, 2.2Stable - unzip the package for later use.
  3. In the administration area of your local Joomla site, go to Extensions >> Install / Uninstall and upload the JoomlaPack component file: com_joomlapack-2.2-free.zip
  4. In the administration area of your local Joomla site, go to Components >> JoomlaPack >> Configuration and we're going to change a setting before we backup and migrate. Click on the 'Advanced' tab and then locate the 'Archiver engine' and change it to 'JPA JoomlaPack Archive, and click Save.
  5. Click on the Backup Now button (you'll notice a warning regarding the default directory being used for the backup - we can ignore this *for now) and then the 'Backup Now!' You should see the backup process begin, and be given a success page when completed.
  6. Locate the backup file in your localhost joomla_root/administrator/components/com_joomlapack/backup - the backup file will have the extension .jpa. Upload this file to the directory on your live server where you will do the restore. For most this will be the root directory, /html or /home etc
  7. Upload the Kickstart app file to this same directory. You should have unzipped the package in an earlier step, if not, unzip and then upload the file.
  8. Create a new database using phpMyAdmin or the tool provided by your host to do so. This new database will be used for our restore to populate with our backed up data. Make note of the hostname, username/password and database name for further steps.
  9. Navigate in your browser to http://backup_directory/kickstart.php (where backup_directory is the directory your backup file is located). Insert your Host, Username, and Password information and click on the green Start button. You will see the process beign - do not close this browser window!
  10. Once the file extraction is done you will see a message to 'Please click here to open JoomlaPack Installer restore script in a new window'. Click there.
  11. A new window will open, and you will see a typical looking Joomla installation page, however this is the restore script. Go through the installation process, making sure you put your new information for hostname, username, password and database in Step 4.
  12. After successful Joomla installation (restore in our case) go back to the other browser window and click on the link to restore your .htaccess file if you need to do this step, and close the browser window when done.
  13. The restoration process should now be completed, and you can log in to your newly moved site at /administrator to continue development on the live server.

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