Essential Joomla Health Checks

There are a few essential things you need to do to make sure you Joomla website is healthy. If you are experiencing problems, then one of the first things you should do is ensure you've taken a look at the following six things. If you implement catered for all 6, you'll have a safer, healthier and faster Joomla site.

 

 Before you start, make a backup. This ensures that if anything goes wrong whilst you're tweaking things, you can go back to the previous state before you start fiddling around.

#1: Update everything, components, modules and core!

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Your first step is to update everything on your site.

For Joomla itself and for all good extensions, updates will be clearly visible when you login as in the image above.

  • To update Joomla, go to Components > Joomla! Update
  • To update extensions, go to Extensions > Extension Manager.
  • Some extensions will have their own update systems. So it is worth clicking into each link under the Components menu link to see if any notifications are visible.
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#2: Fix permissions

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Incorrect file permissions are a really common reason for installation and operational errors. We highly recommend Admin Tools, not just to fix permissions problems, but also for many other Joomla health issues. The free version is good enough for many tasks and the commercial version is even better.

After installing Admin Tools, go to Components > Admin Tools and you'll see two button:

  • Permissions Configuration: this allows you to set the permissions you want for your files and folders. This tutorial explains what all the permissions are, but the short version is that we recommend 755 for folders and 644 for files. Ed Hathaway recommends paying particular attention to your configuration.php and index.php files. Those should be set as low as 444, if possible.
  • Fix Permissions: this allows you to apply the permissions you chose in Permissions Configuration area.
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#3: Clean the /tmp/ directory

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Brian Teeman recommends using Admin Tools to solve another common installation problem: the /tmp/ directory. The /tmp/ directory is short for "temporary". This is where Joomla stores files temporarily during the installation process. It's not uncommon for files to become stuck in this directory or for so many files to be stored here that the site runs of our space. Admin Tools allows you to delete all the files in this directory simply by going to Components > Admin Tools and clicking the "Clean Temp Directory" button.

#4: Check for database errors

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After updating Joomla or installing extensions there are sometimes database changes to make. Go to Extensions > Extension Manager > Database > Fix to make any available changes. This option alone solves a lot of Joomla update issues.

#5: Reinstall the Joomla core files

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This option allows you to install a clean copy of Joomla and so solve any problems with corrupted or missing files.

  • Go to http://joomlacode.org/gf/project/joomla/frs/
  • Find the latest version of Joomla.
  • Download the Production/Stable package of your latest version. Install like a normal Joomla installation package via the Extension Manager.
  • You'll get a message saying "Installing file was successful."
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#6: Fix the assets table

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By default, ACL Manageris an extension that allows you manage user permissions easily. However, the developer of ACL Manager found that there were often database issues to fix before permissions would work correctly. This is particularly true on sites that have been migrated from Joomla 1.5. So, ACL Manager has an option which allows to fix the "assets" table in your database. This solves a lot of common permission problems.

If you ensure you've taken a deep look at the above and made sure all have been fixed, then you might want to check again whether your problems still exist ;) Even if they do and you've fixed one or more of the above, you can defintely be sure that Joomla is in a much healthier state than it was before these fixes were applied.


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