How to Create a Website with Joomla On the Cheap

WordPress has some really nice features and if you don’t know how or want to deal with installing/uploading it to your host you can just use a .wordpress.com subdomain (like I’m doing here). There’s no denying that it’s convenient but there are reasons why Joomla is my favorite CMS for starting a new website that I’m serious about. WordPress has some of that functionality as well in some form either in it’s core or via plugins but I really like the way Joomla works and the things it allows me to do with a website. Sure I could probably do these same things with other content management systems but Joomla works for me and that’s what I’ll be using for the foreseeable future.

Now, let’s get to the fun part – actually setting up Joomla! If you’ve never done this before, don’t worry – it’s not that hard and I’ll try and keep the jargon to a minimum.

There are two ways to go about this:

1. Use the automated install wizard that most web hosts offer with their Joomla web hosting packages. I’m linking you here to the guys at Awardspace.com – I’ve used them with great success and they’re pretty cheap. What you do is basically just sign up for one of their plans, use the option to get a domain name if you don’t already have one and let the installer do all the leg work.

2. The other way to this is to go to http://www.joomla.org/download.html, choose a Joomla version and manually upload it to your web host. If you’re building a new website you have no reason to use the old Joomla 2.5. Just pick the new 3.3 one and save it somewhere on your PC.

You’ll need an FTP client in order to upload the Joomla files. Again you have a few choices here. You can use a desktop application like FileZilla or the web interface in your web hosting panel – either is fine. Remember to extract the Joomla files from the .zip archive first before uploading them or it won’t work.

Now once you navigate to your website you’ll have to create an account for the CMS and you’re done!

Why bother with all of this? It’s infinitely better for your website in the long run to have it on it’s own domain and web hosting you control. For example this WordPress blog I’m posting to right now could be marked as spam by someone and it could get deleted at any point without me being able to do anything. That’s why it’s best to have your website on a domain you own and a good web hosting package with it so it doesn’t go down.

Whichever option you select you’d probably be done with all of the work in 10 minutes or less. Really, installing Joomla is no different than any other CMS that uses LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) and as you can see it’s quite easy. 🙂

If you followed the instructions up till now you’ll have a functioning Joomla website ready to fill up with content or whatever you want to do with it. Now it’s only a matter of customizing it to your tastes.

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