How to transfer your site in Joomla from local to remote?

To develop in a best way a web site, it’s a good habit to always create a copy in local on your computer, this mini-guide will follow you step by step from the installation in local of the CMS Joomla up to its transfer in remote.

In this article I used MAMP, but the procedure is very similar even if you use another local server that you already have installed in your computer. MAMP is a programme that installs, on your computer, an Apache server, Mysql, PHP. Before we proceed with the Joomla installation in  local  it’s a general rule to verify that the PHP version used by the local server  is the same or compatible with the one present on the remote server.

1. Why choose to develop your website in local?

Having at your disposal a local server allows you to learn calmly leaving behind the fear to make mistakesmoreover you can install the Joomla components and test them with the certainly that when you transfer them on the remote server they will surely work. To make it brief  thanks to this choice we can learn, “experiment”, achieve security and optimize the develop timeframes of our website test quickly the changes made.

2. How to install Joomla in local?

Joomla is developed in PHP, to execute it we need to have a server provided with an  interpreter able to recognize these instructions and generate the related web pages to show to the future visitors of our site, so we need to have on our computer a local server in able to interpret the PHP code.

There are different packages that can be installed on our PC, for example:

  • XAMPP, usable on Linux platform, Windows and Mac;
  • WAMPSERVER, usable only on Windows;
  • MAMP, usable only on Mac;
  • EasyPHP, usable only on Windows.

When the installation of the chosen local server is done, we go to the site, we download the files containing the famous CMS Joomla and we positon it in our folder in local called: “htdocs”:

We uncompact the file and we rename the obtained folder, for example: “ProvaSitoLocale” (TestLocalSite).

As I already anticipated, I used MAMP, after I downloaded the  software I decompressed and draged it in the folder “Applicazioni” (Applications).  Double click on the icon and the start page will run:

When the server starts functioning, both lights are green, we open the “Home Page”:

among the links in the high part of the page we click on the item “phpMyAdmin” this allows us to create a database in which to store  all the data present in the site, in fact “phpMyAdmin” is an application that permits to administrate  the MySQL  database:

After we’ve created the database we go to the page  http://localhost:8888/ as shown in the image below:

we click on the folder ProvaSitoLocale (TestLocalSite) and doing this the guided Joomla installations begins: 

In the next pages after this, all we need s to confirm clicking on the “Avanti”  (Forward) key until it asks us to set the parameters related to the database:

  • Host Name: localhost,the name of the host, that almost always localhost;
  • User Name: root, the user of access to the database;
  • Password: root, the password of access to the database;
  • Database Name: dbprovasitolocale, the name of the database  that we previously assigned during the phase of creation of the same.

In the “main configuration” it asks us the parameters related to the site, like the name of the site, the e-mail address and the password that in this phase is always “admin”:

In the last part of the installation it will confirm the correct installation  and it asks us to eliminate the folder installation that is in one of the Joomla files:

The installation is done and now?

3.  How to transfer our site from the local server to the remote server?

Done the installation in local of Joomla, the best part begins, we can personalize the template, install all the components we want and when we’re satisfied of the result we can transfer the site from the local server to the remote server. To do this we need to have a FTP client, like Filezilla, downloadable for free at the address

The folders in the A section are the one present in our PC, while the ones in the B section are the ones we transferred in the remote server ( to transfer  the folders from local to remote, it will sufficient to drag  them from the A section to the B section). Attention, before you do this operation, we have to do some changes to the file configuration.php, present in the root of the site, the parameters present in the file:

should be replaced with the ones provided by your hosting service, the items to change are $host, $user, $password and $db.

We go back to the MAMP control panel, we click on the item phpMyAdmin, we select our database, in this case “dbprovasitolocale” and I go on the item “Export” (Esporta):

click on “Execute” (Esegui) and we obtain the SQL file to copy, at the moment, on a text file.

We create on the remote server, only if necessary, the database and we’ll fill it with the code previously copied on the text file:

at this point, all you need to do is click on esegui (execute) and the site that 5 seconds ago was “only yours”, will now be visible to all the web users.

5. Conclusions

Having a local server at one’s disposal is very useful, mainly for who wants to learn, for example the functioning of the Joomla extensions or just to have a preview of our “masterpiece”.

The only thing left to do is to wish you all good work and for any kind of doubts or problems just leave a comment!


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The Author

Degree in Telecommunications Engineering, has a great passion for the world of web and dreams to become a good web designer... or at least hopefully.

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