Maybe you have developed a new Joomla site and are ready to deploy it, or perhaps you just need to move it from one site to another, but you do not know how to move your site. You attempt it but encounter various errors and your deadline is approaching rapidly.
Do not worry. It is actually quite a simple process as long as you follow the steps in this guide. For the sake of discussion, let's assume you have just developed a new site, but the steps here will apply also to moving one existing Joomla site to another. The first thing you have to do is to copy everything in your development site's directory into a new directory. This new directory is now your backup. While not strictly related to moving your work to the live site, it is a very good practice.
If your live site is not empty, you may want to use an FTP program to download all its files into a directory on your local computer. This is another backup step, but just in case there is a mistake and the original live site needs to be around a while longer, you can always restore it.
Now that you have made backups, it is time to upload your new files. Open up your FTP program and delete all the unnecessary files on your live site. After this has been done, upload your new files. This may take a while, so while waiting for all the files to finish uploading, let's look at the next step.
It's time to export the development site's database. As you may already know, most Joomla content is stored in a MySQL database. So you will need a tool like phpMyAdmin to export the entire Joomla database out into an SQL file. After the export is done, log into your web host's control panel interface. Most web hosts should provide phpMyAdmin or a similar tool. If your existing live site is also a Joomla site, be sure to export its existing database to an SQL file too. Now use phpMyAdmin to import the development site's SQL file.
After all the files have been uploaded via FTP, you will need to modify a file called "configuration.php" to match your live site's settings. This is a very important step because without the correct information, Joomla will not function properly. You may find that some settings will differ between your development server and your live server, so some modifications may be necessary.
Now we come to the final step, which is testing your new live site. Open up a web browser, navigate to your live site, and comprehensively test all the links and make sure everything works as expected. If you have followed the steps above correctly, everything should work properly.