Installing Joomla over a static site



I have a static site at present on DH. I want to replace it with a Joomla installation but I want to keep the static site until I’m ready to launch the Joomla version. Is there a way to have the home page, index.htm, used by my static site have precedence over the index.php used by Joomla? Then I can just delete the index.php when I am ready.

If anyone can advise me I’d be grateful.




option 1: install joomla in a sub-folder. when joomla is ready, direct all visitors to the sub-folder.

option 2: make sure of sub-domain and remap.

a) create a sub-domain (not sure whether it works) /home/user/ /home/user/

b) remap the two domains => /home/user/ => /home/user/

c) move files of static site to /home/user/
install joomla in /home/user/

now. if users go to, they will open files inside /home/user/ folder which is your static site.
if you open, you will open files inside /home/user/ folder which is your joomla.

d) when joomla is ready, cancel remap.

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Yep! Actually, with the DreamHost configuration, it will happen “automagically” without your having to do a thing. If an “index.htm” file and an “index.php” file are in the same directory, unless you specify the file name in the url, the “index.htm” will be loaded before the “index.php” file :wink:

There is more information about how this works, and about how you can change the behavior, in the DreamHost Wiki article on the Apache Infrastructure.

Well, you would want to delete the “index.htm” file when you are ready to “launch” your Joomla! Deleting the “index.php” file would bork your Joomla! installation. :wink:

Note that there are a couple of caveats to doing it this way:

  1. There is no “security” in place to prevent someone browsing to http://yoursite.tld/index.php from running your “under development” Joomla! site.

  2. Certain of your “built-in” Joomla! menu choices (“home”) may (depending upon your Joomla! setup) just send you to http://yourdomain.tld , which would result in the “index.htm” file being displayed. This is really not a “problem” as much as a minor inconvenience when developing your Joomla! site, as you can always just browse directly to your Joomla! installation as indicated in number 1 above.

  3. Make sure you Joomla! installation does not overwrite any of your existing site files (or directories - I’m thinking particularly of an “images” directory here), or your existing site will “break”



Just for the record, apache normally search first for index.html then .htm, next what is defined on DirectoryIndex directive.

The default config for apache 1.3 on debian is like

DirectoryIndex index.html index.htm index.shtml index.cgi index.php

So as you can see, if you need to override your dinamic site, you can just put an empty index.html or any content required.

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Thanks for your help - that is exactly what I want to do. On my local machine index.php takes precedence over index.htm and I didn’t know what DH does. Thanks for the pointer to the wiki article - I had looked in the wiki under Joomla but hadn’t thought to look under apache.

In summary, then, it looks as though I can install Joomla for my domain and just remove the static files when I am ready to go live: with the caveats about security of course. My plan is to back up the static site, install Joomla and then put back the static files (making sure not to overwrite the Joomla files of course!).




You’re welcome, Ian! Your plan summary looks good to me … good luck with your site. :slight_smile: