Essential Health Checks for Your Joomla Site

| Joomla
Essential Health Checks for Your Joomla Site

Over the last few years, between OSTraining and Admincredible, we've helped a LOT of people fix problems with their Joomla sites.

Although the problems sound different, we've found that many can be fixed with only 6 solutions.

If you implement all 6, you'll have a safer, healthier and faster Joomla site.

Here are those 6 solutions ...

Before you start, make a backup

Before you do any of the steps in checklist, please make a backup of your site.

We recommend Akeeba Backup and have instructions here on how to create a backup and copy of your Joomla site.

Akeeba Backup is also covered in our comprehensive Joomla security class.

akeeba backup

Solution #1: Update everything

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 > Manage > Update.
joomla updates

Solution #2: Fix permissions

Joomla permisisons configuration

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. Admin Tools is covered in our Joomla security class.

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

  • 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. We recommend 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.
Fix Joomla permissions

Solution #3: Clean the /tmp/ directory

We recommend 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.

Clean Joomla tmp directory

Solution #4: Check for database errors

After updating Joomla or installing extensions there are sometimes database changes to make.

  • Go to Extensions > Manage > Database > Fix to make any available changes.
Joomla database fix

Solution #5: Reinstall the Joomla core files

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

  • Go to Components > Joomla! Update 
  • Click "Reinstall Joomla core files"
reinstall joomla core files

Solution #6: Fix the assets table

By default, ACL Manager is 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 you to fix the "assets" table in your database. This solves a lot of common permission problems.

Joomla ACL Manager


About the author

Steve is the founder of OSTraining. Originally from the UK, he now lives in Sarasota in the USA. Steve's work straddles the line between teaching and web development.