Making a jD test site on Wamp

Using an Akeeba backup to make a local test site with Wamp

This article is about making a test site on your local PC from an Akeeba backup of an existing site. It may be useful when:

  • migrating from an older series jD 1.9.x series;
  • migrating from Joomla! 2.5.x to Joomla! 3.x;
  • transferring a large number of jD Categories and Downloads to avoid server limits
  • trying out new arrangements, layouts, different MP3 players, new plugins, and so on;
  • testing CSS changes,
  • checking your backup works.

The assumptions here are that

  1. you have setup Wamp on your PC,
  2. you use Akeeba Backup to make a backup of your existing site.

There are many web articles giving instructions on downloading and installing the Wamp server, and Akeeba is well documented. 

So this article gives some practical tips on using this combination, and also acts as an aide-memoire for myself! 

All the 'sites' in wamp exist as a separate directory.  So if we want a site called j32A then assuming the standard Wamp setup first create the directory j32A in C:/wamp/www.  Now we need to copy two files into that directory:

  1. a renamed Akeba kickstart.php, renamed to say '4-0-0-kickstart.php',
  2. the jpa backup file made by Akeeba and downloaded from you web site using an ftp program such as File Zilla. Ensure the transfer is in binary mode.

Next in you browser go to http://localhost/j32A/4-0-0-kickstart.php  (usually the http:// bit is not needed).

This will start the restoration process in the usual Akeeba manner as shown in the next few pictures

The first step is extracting the files which may take some time.

wamp01

wamp02A

wamp03

This appears after all the files have been extracted. 

Clicking on the button starts the actual installation.

The first thing that comes up is the Pre-Installation check as shown below.

wamp04

wamp05

If all the boxes are 'green' then procede.  If not then you need to adsjust your PHP settings

Clicking on the wamp icon wamp05B on your PC brings up the main Wamp control panel as shown opposite.

Using the PHP facilities allows you to include various items required by Joomla! Usually the features listed above are all present but see notes further down about the Joomla! Update Component.

The next stage is the Database Restoration as shown below.  It shows a progress bar and then the completion message of the database restoration stage.

wamp05A
wamp06
 
 wamp06A  wamp06B

If the Database restoration fails then you probably have a bad backup, and will need to do it again.  Sometimes the problem is that you did not copy the jpa file from your Server to your PC using a binary transfer.  Akeeba warn about this.  I use File Zilla which seems to sort out OK when to switch to a binary transfer, but if in doubt binary can be forced.

The next section is Site Setup Details.  This is one page but for clarity and convenience the next four images show each section of the page
 

Notice that three items in this section are empty.  wamp07A
I usually set a different password as sometimes it is easy to get confused about which site one is using. My real website has a complicated password but my wamp ones are usually quite simple.  wamp07B

As noted opposite leave the FTP layer as enabled as leaving it disabled is apparently one of the main causes of failing to restore!

FTP is not needed as we will transfer files directly using Microsoft Explorer.

wamp07C

This is the last of the four section. Basically leave it as it comes.

So now use the Next button to complete the restoration

wamp07D

 You shold get a message similar to that opposite.

Otherwise you will get some error message telling you what to do.  This is probably because you missed something or it may be an Akeeba 'challenge'.  It is not a jDownloads issue!  It may have been caused by you browsing elsewhere whilst things were being restored.  Just be patient, very patient.

This stage also has a message about 'Cleaning Up'.  In most cases it just means closing the current window.

wamp08
 The Cleanup does what it says and then gives the next image  wamp09

 If you use these buttons now with the installation on your PC you might be disappointed! One may get 404 errors when switching to other pages.

OK of course when using restore to server.

We need to make some checks on the config.php file as noted below and also rename the '.htaccess' file if you have one.

 wamp10A
   

 

Using your favourite TEXT editor, I use Notepad++, edit config.php.  This is in the top directory of your site eg C:/wamp/www/j32A  Ensure you have the following four settings, which may be anywhere in the file are set as shown below
    public $live_site = '';
    public $cookie_domain = '';
    public $cookie_path = '';
    public $sef_rewrite = '0';

Now rename file .htaccess to htaccess.old  - this is also in the top directory of your site.  This is because the .htaccess file might have absolute rewrite addresses in it.  There are web sites which advise on changing but I generally do not change the file as it may be needed if we subsequently restore Joomla! from a backup on the Wamp site.

Now you can give your browser a comand like http://localhost/j32A/ where j32A is replaced by the name of the directory in C:/wamp/www to which you restored to get to your frontend.  Actually you can usually leave out the http;// part

For Admin use http://localhost/j32A/administrator

Now we need to check on Joomla! SEO in System - Global Config - Site tab   wamp12
 Next we need to adjust jDownloads Config - Downloads tab to make the files accessible  wamp13

After making the change to the Upload directory path the files should be writable.  The most likely error here is a misspelling!

The Wamp Site and Admin should now be OK, so check it out.  The most likely cause of any 'challenges' is that you have an absolute URL address.  It is always useful to minimise use of absolute URLs exceplt where specified.

 

 

 

wamp13A

Adding SSL functions to allow Joomla! Update

Sometimes it is neccessary to update your your Joomla! web site on the PC without having to do another backup sequence from your web server.  To allow this to be done by the Joomla Update Component then two extra facilities need to be enabled in the Wamp system

The first addition is the Apache  ssl_module

Clicking on the green wamp icon brings up the main Wamp control panel

Hover over Apache and the Apache 'flyout' will appear

wamp14A

Then hover over the Apache modules to get the modules 'flyout'.

Find the ssl_module and click on it. A tick should appear and the Wamp icon will go

from green to orange during the install and then back to green.

wamp14B

The other addition is the php ssl extension. So this time hover over PHP to get the PHP 'flyout'

and then hover over PHP extensions to get the list.  Click on php_sslopen.

Just to make sure repeat the process and see that the extra facilities do indeed have 'ticks'.

We are done. The Joomla Updater Component should now work.

wamp14CC

Set Larger File and Post sizes

In its stardard release the sizes of the

In its stardard release theparameters 'upload_max_filesize' andpost_max_size' are too small

So they need to be adjusted by editing the php.ini file

wamp15

On the WAMP control panel hover your mouse over PHP to get the PHP 'flyout'. Then click on the php.ini entry.

This will open the file with the simple NotePad program.

wamp15A
Search from the beginning for 'upload_max_filesize' and change it to at least 8M  (8Mbytes) wamp15B

Next Search from the beginning again for 'post_max_size' and change it to at least 20M  (20Mbytes).

Then Save

wamp15C

On the WAMNP control panel click on 'Restart All Services'

The WAMP icon will turn orange then red then orange and finally back to green

Being cautious I suggest you revist the php.ini file and check that both changes have occurred. It's easy to mis-edit!

wamp15D
If you now reload the Extension Manager - Warnings you should see that Joomla! is now 'happy'. wamp15E

 

This article is not yet complete as it needs the bit about jD Backup and Restore for those sites with a large number od categories and downloads - will be added soon.

However it is published as it may be useful for other purposes.

Colin Mercer April 2015

 Notes on 2.5 to 3.x

Joomla 2.5 to 3.x Step by Step Migration

https://docs.joomla.org/Joomla_2.5_to_3.x_Step_by_Step_Migration

 

  • Sunday, 05 April 2015