Installing Joomla on 1&1

Joomla 1.5 RC2 (Endeleo) was released on September 1. There will probably be one more release candidate before the stable version is released. The current version has made major improvements in the software and fixed many bugs. Users of previous versions should upgrade soon.

I’m not sure why this version of Joomla is a second release candidate. RC2 (Mapya) was released on July 21. The current version should be called RC3 (Endeleo).
The Best Way to Install Joomla
Installing Joomla on 1&1 can be challenging. The typical way of setting it up is to first decompress the files in Windows and then uploading these files to your domain’s root folder by FTP or SSH. This is not a good way to transfer the files unless you don’t mind the 2 hours of time that it will take. Even though there are only 11.2 MB of files, there are 3,393 files in 650 folders. It takes time to create the nested folders and upload files to them. I should note that the Linux hosting package is required to install Joomla on 1&1. The Windows package doesn’t have the required PHP or MySQL.
A better way is to upload the .zip or .gz Joomla file you downloaded (i.e., or Joomla-1.5RC.tar.gz) and then upload it to your server. It can be decompressed there which will be a quick process. You need to login to your SSH account (available only in Business or higher packages on 1&1) and then use one of the following procedures (depending on which file you downloaded) for uncompressing Joomla. I recommend you install WinSCP which will give you PuTTY for using your account at the command line. Of course, you can install PuTTY on its own, but WinSCP is a great tool for managing your files and folders in 1&1.
Steps for Uncompressing Joomla
The should be in the folder that it will be installed on your server.

  1. Login to your account with SSH.
  2. Move to the folder where the .zip file is (this is where you’ll be installed Joomla). You can move around in Linux with the cd command, i.e. cd MyCMS, which moves you to the MyCMS folder

Uncompressing a Zip File in Linux

  1. Enter the following command to unzip the Joomla files,


    Linux is case sensitive so enter the command exactly as displayed. Once you run the above command, the hundreds of files and folders will be uncompressed.

Uncompressing a Gzip File in Linux

  1. Enter the following commands to uncompress the Joomla files,

    tar -zxvf Jooma-1.5RC.tar.gz

    Linux is case sensitive so enter the command exactly as displayed. Once you run the above command, the hundreds of files and folders will be uncompressed.

Run the Setup Program

  1. After the files are uncompressed, open the URL in your web browser where the files were copied to and start the Joomla installation.

You will save a great deal of time by uncompressing Joomla on your server instead of uploading them from your computer using an FTP client.
Making Joomla SEO Friendly
The URL created by the default install of Joomla are not SEO friendly and could prevent your site from being properly indexed by search engines. Turn on the SEO Settings in Global Configuration and then make the following modification to the htaccess.txt files in the root folder:

  1. Rename the file to .htaccess
  2. Open the file in a text editor (this is where WinSCP is useful).
  3. Scroll down the file until you find

    # RewriteBase /

  4. Remove the comment so it looks like

    RewriteBase /

Your website is now SEO friendly.


13 thoughts on “Installing Joomla on 1&1”

  1. Thanks for the info on Linux hosting, have just swiched from M$ now. How did you obtain your MySQL username and password from 1&1 to install Joomla?
    The Linux home package includes a webspace viewer which works like an FTP program. This also includes the option to ZIP/UnZIP files. Pleased about that, rather that than sit through a lengthy upload!!

  2. Hi Andy. You need to create a MySQL database by logging into the 1&1 Control Panel. From there, go to MySQL Administration which is found in the Web Space and Access section. Press the New Database button and create the database for the Joomla site. I recommend that you select MySQL 5.0 instead of version 4.0.
    After the database is created, you’ll have a screen that shows the database name, user name, password, and host name. Leave this page open when you install Joomla because you’ll need to enter this information when it prompts you.
    The database isn’t available immediately after you create it. You may have to wait about 10 minutes or more before you start the Joomla installation.

  3. Johan, very useful article. i’m installing joomla on 1and1 and after entering the ftp credentials for a new ftp user i created in 1and1 just for joomla, i get “the ftp settings are not valid or your ftp server is not compatible with joomla!” – any thoughts?

  4. Hi Greg. Login to the administration panel and go to Global Configuration -> Server. From there, fill in the following FTP settings:
    FTP Host: enter the IP of your web site. If your not sure what it is, shows you how to create a PHP page that will display it.
    FTP Username and FTP Password: this is your login that you defined for an FTP account.
    FTP Root: you can leave this blank. It will autopopulate when you save your settings.
    Hit the Apply button and if you don’t get any error messages, your FTP has been setup. Press the Save button to get back to the main control panel menu.

  5. Thanks. Worked like a charm. Just make sure you set up the database first. And for “Beginner” and “Home” users, just upload the Joomla zip to a folder and use the unzip feature of WebspaceExplorer, just like Andy (comment #3) said. You’ll be up and running in no time.

  6. Thanks, Johan. One suggestion: If you can log in to your 1&1 account by SSH, you don’t need to download the Joomla ZIP or tar file to your local computer and then upload it to 1&1. Instead, log onto 1&1 with SSH, then download the Joomla file directly into your 1&1 account.
    The easiest tool for downloading is probably wget. For example, copy the ZIP file location from the Joomla download web page, then paste it into a wget command:
    wget “”
    The quotes around the URL aren’t required here, but they’re important in some cases. It’s probably best to use them unless you know better.

  7. Thanks for the great info. I initially installed Joomla via the 1&1 control panel as a 1&1 app. All the directories were write protected. I couldn’t add modules or anything. Following your instructions gave me a Joomla install that I could actually use!
    Thanks again.


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