In this step-by-step detailed installation manual, we will show you the order of operations in order to properly install a web script to your server. Many who try to “figure it out” end up disappointed because they cannot make get their script to run correctly and are bombarded by errors. This disappointment can lead to anger and eventually giving up on their hopes and dreams of becoming a successful online business owner.
More often than not, the fix required to install their script correctly is simple and easy to implement. However, having been self-taught by picking up bits and pieces each time they try to install a script, these individuals never realize how easy it really is to find how to correct simple errors and turn a $20+ virtual paperweight into the profit generating site that they had first envisioned when committing to buying the product.
We performed a Google search for a how-to guide on turnkey website installation, again for turnkey script installation, and yet again for just website installation. We were surprised to find that we were unable to find a single how-to/guide/manual on the subject. Every result was some sort of business marketing their “one-click-installer” or turnkey products they sell. A few content pages were shown but not on the topic we searched for!
Honestly, it’s shocking to find that one of the most popular terms in today’s growing online business market didn’t have a single website where users can find a definitive guide on how to install these scripts.
Below, we have outlined a basic step-by-step guide to setting up your turnkey sites with the tools already provided by the majority of hosting providers.
Required Web Tools Checklist
♦ Web server w/ MySQL for storing database info
♦ PHP MyAdmin for importing & editing table variables
♦ Code editor to modify installation files to your site info
♦ Ability to modify your PHP version (very important)
If your host is lacking any of these tools, we recommend you change to a host that does does provide these tools.
Configuration & Setup
Finding The Site Setup Instructions File
First and foremost, after decompressing the contents of the package, search through the files for an instructions file. Very rarely will there not be an instructions document included with the package.
These are common file names to look for when searching for the instructions file.
INDEX (rare cases)
These files are most often in .txt, .HTML, or .php format, capitalized to stand out, and found in the root folder of the package. However, this not always the case so keep your eyes peeled when looking for it, especially if your site has a ton of files! Sometimes it is not located in the root folder. The next best place to look is in the admin folder if there is one. Otherwise, just scan through all the folders. Realistically, any name and format could be used by the developer who created the website package, but they generally keep to these names as a courtesy and convenience for their future site owners.
Within the instructions file you’ll find the steps needed to install the site on your server. The quality of these installation instructions varies wildly from “Do this, this, and this. Your site is now ready to use” to detailing every step and providing a paragraph of relevant information about each step like what server application to use and how to use it.
Create & Populate The Database
Even though details may be slim in some and novels in others, the vast majority of turnkey sites and developer scripts follow a generic set of required file modifications and require a MySQL database to be created and an SQL query to be run in PHP MyAdmin by uploading the file containing the script’s tables information. The names of these tables files are far too varied to provide a list but they are usually .sql, .db, or the less common .txt file. If a database is required, the filename for the database tables should be specified in the instructions file. Some scripts auto-populate the database with the necessary tables during the install process. If this is the case for your script, then move to the next step. If your script does not auto-populate or you’re unsure, there are two ways to find out.
(A) More than likely, the instructions file will say something to the effect of “run an SQL query in PHP MyAdmin using example .sql/.db/.txt to create the required system tables.” If this is the case, then you must perform the database tables population manually. Skip to the next section if your script
(B) On the other hand, if the instructions file is unclear or says nothing at all about adding tables to the database, look through all the package files in every folder carefully for a tables file. The filename could be anything but will likely be something like tables, database(or db), sql, or anything that references to MySQL at all. First, you can narrow the field by scanning the file info(if displayed) as you scroll for any tables file types.
Found one(or several)? Great! You can skip the next paragraph unless you just want a bit of helpful knowledge for when you run into this issue.
Didn’t find any .sql/.db/.txt files? Scan the files once more looking at the filenames only this time. Again, the files can be named anything but will likely be something like tables, database(or db), sql, or anything that references to MySQL at all. If you find a file or several files with a filename like this but with a file type other than .sql, .db, or.txt, this is a good indication that the script will auto-populate.
Manually Populating Your Database Using PHP MyAdmin
The PHP MyAdmin database management application is simple and easy to use, even for those who are completely new to web development and website coding languages. Before using this tool, be sure you’ve already created your database for the script in MySQL because PHP MyAdmin is not made to create databases. It is only meant to host the tables necessary for the script to run provide a means of creating/editing variables within these tables allowing the user to alter the site remotely and distraction free. Think of it as the MS Excel of web development.
To populate your database with the tables and variables required, open PHP MyAdmin and choose the database associated with your the script. It should be empty. If it is not for some reason, delete everything in the db and then click the import tab at the top of the screen. Files can be either several tables files zipped and uploaded all at once or individual files uploaded one by one. If the script creator did a good job with their coding and syntax, all the tables and variables in the uploaded file(s) should manifest in the database successfully.
If errors are encountered, read the error info and simply search in Google how to correct it. Perform the corrections and repeat until you get a success message. You can do this with any code errors you encounter such as errors when trying to access a fresh script install. StackExchange is a good coding forum we use when we encounter errors.
Change Config Files To Your Database & URL Info
In addition to database creation and population of said database, the script will need to access these tables to run properly. In order to access the database, you will need to open the configuration file(s) specified in the instructions file and edit the variables necessary for database access. The most common variables you’ll find in the script config file(s) are the database name, username, password, and root location(usually defined as the default ‘localhost’ except in special cases), your site URL, the path the script follows to its directory, anything the site needs in order to run properly. If it’s a product selling site, there will be modifications needed in order to store product information files, payment processor setup, store and company info, etc.
Below is an example of a database config.php file commonly used in Plug & Play script packs. To the inexperienced code writer, it may seem overwhelming at first glance. As you play around with installing websites and scripts, you’ll pick up on things and begin to have a basic understanding of the mechanics behind the language, in this case, PHP. Read through this example_db_connect.php script and it will make perfect sense by the end.
//Edit the following variables to match your site information.Be sure to read and follow the added documentation above each variable entry for successful installation.
//$localhost = ‘localhost’ usually doesn’t need to be changed
$localhost = ‘localhost’;
//$mysql_db = replace with name of your MySQL database
$mysql_db = ‘your_db’;
//$mysql_db_user = replace with your db username
$mysql_db_user = ‘db_user’;
//$mysql_db_pass = replace with your db password
$mysql_db_pass = ‘db_pass’;
//site_url = replace with your site URL exactly as shown, no subdomain path or trailing /
$site_url = ‘yourdomain’;
//$script_path = replace as above and include path to script folder containing install.php script, excluded ‘install.php’ and add trailing /
$script_path = ‘yourdomain /subdomain/script/admin/installer/’;
//Please verify your edited variables to avoid errors during installation. Copy/Paste your input variable for $script_path to your browser’s URL and follow instructions to setup db tables. After successful install, you can login admin panel to edit site settings. If error occurs, check error logs for info to correct and retry.
Edit Specified Folder/File Permissions, If Any
Finally, after creating & populating(if req’d) your MySQL database and completing the necessary configuration modifications, edit the “User-Group-World” permissions to values specified in the instructions file.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Refer back to the instructions file often and again before attempting the installation to be sure you have made all the required modifications and avoid the dreaded Error 500 or any other disappointing errors
As seen in the above example, the last part reads:
//Copy/Paste your input variable for $script_path to your browser’s URL bar and
//follow instructions to setup db tables. After successful install, you can login to
//the admin panel to edit site settings. If error occurs, check error logs for info to
//correct and retry.
This information is usually found in the instructions file, rather than the config files, as well as the URL path to access the Admin Panel to edit the site settings. Regardless of location, this is how you would install most turnkey sites and web scripts with or without the auto-installer. Simply type your site URL in the address bar and add the file path to the directory followed by a trailing / in order to reach your new script. Provided everything was entered correctly, you should see a base design of the website on this page or an installation page. Then you can edit the directory path in the address bar to the path that leads to the admin folder (with trailing /) to sign in to the Admin Panel and continue with the post-install setup.
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