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Installing Drupal on a Web Host with Softaculous

Many web hosting companies offer super-easy Drupal installation using programs called Fantastico or Softaculous. If your hosting company uses Softaculous, here is how it works.

The Drupal community doesn't recommend installing Drupal with third-party software such as Softaculous or Fantastico. Doing so can make upgrading difficult and can potentially cause problems with your databases that store all your site data. You should use Softaculous just to create your first site quickly, as a way to help you learn how to use Drupal.

Afterwards it is strongly recommended that you install Drupal manually on your web hosting account when you are ready to build the actual site you want to present to your customers or site visitors.

Any of the web hosts that use Fantastico or Softaculous will have the correct versions of PHP, MySQL, and Apache installed. That means you can install Drupal manually; you don’t have to use Fantastico.

To install Drupal with Softaculous, if your web host supports it, follow these steps:

  1. Locate the e-mail from your web host that has your username, password, and login information.

    Browse to your web hosted administration or control panel site (provided to you by your web hosting company) and log in. You see a page of options for your new site.

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  2. Click the Softaculous icon.

    You may have to scroll down the page to find it. The Softaculous program opens.

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  3. Click the Drupal link on the left side of the screen, located under the Portals/CMS section.

  4. Click the Install tab near the top of the page.

    Your screen now displays a form. This is where you enter a number of options including a username and password for your new Drupal site. You also choose where on your site Drupal will run.

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  5. Enter a directory where you want Drupal to appear on your website in the In Directory text box.

    You can accept most of the default values on this form. The only thing you need to change is the In Directory text box. Suppose you have requested the domain myshinynewdrupalsite.com from your web host.

    If you want your Drupal site to be the first thing people see when they browse to www.myshinynewdrupalsite.com, leave the In Directory text box empty. If, however, you plan on having multiple sites or just want to play with this first Drupal site, you can put it in a directory on your site, such as test. Then, when people go to www.myshinynewdrupalsite.com/test, they see your Drupal site.

  6. Enter a username and password of your choice in the Admin Account section further down the page.

    The username and password allow you to administer and customize your site.

    Choose a strong password; otherwise, you risk someone hacking your site.

  7. Enter your e-mail address and click the Install Drupal button.

    A screen appears that gives you a bit more information about the databases Drupal will create. This is just for your information.

  8. Click the Finish Installation button.

    Your site is installing. It may take a moment, so don't bother reloading. You will see a confirmation screen when the installation finishes, and you will be e-mailed a confirmation that your site has been installed.

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  9. Click the link to your site.

    The link reads something like, “Drupal has been successfully installed at: http://drupalfordummies.com/drupal7test.” Of course, the link will be to whichever domain you set up (for example, http://myshinynewdrupalsite.com/test).

You're finished with the installation. When you click the link, you see the main page of your new Drupal site. If you want to log in, use the username and password you specified in Step 6 in the preceding step list.

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