Am I alone in thinking that we’re doing Joomla beginners a big disservice by recommending that they start with a local installation?
Almost every Joomla tutorial starts with a description of how to install Joomla on your computer and it nearly always causes complete befuddlement amongst learners.
Last year I had the interesting experience of agreeing to be the technical editor for a Joomla beginner book. After a brief introduction, the next 50 pages were taken up by a detailed explanation of how to install XAMPP, troubleshoot Apache and configure ports. After thoroughly intimidating the poor beginner using a PC, users on Linux were given two paragraphs, and Mac users got the same treatment.
Its just a confusing process and people have so many different configurations that there always seem to be problems.
- Run Parallels or VMWare? There’s issues with that.
- Run on a Mac? There’s issues with that.
- Forget you’ve already installed a version of XAMPP and try another version? There’s issues with that.
Over 30% of the posts made on the Joomla Training forums are about problems with local installations. Oh, and don’t forget that when people have built their site locally they’ll then need to master the techniques needed to migrate their site onto a live server.
Is there any reason why we shouldn’t tell beginners to install Joomla with their hosting company and just set “Site Offline” to “Yes” in Global Configuration? We can leave local installations to more advanced users.