I have been playing with a php CMS site for someone that I am ready to deploy but am running into a couple problems that I assume to be hosting related. I have been developing and playing with it localy and deploying to a hosting environment friendly towards this specific CMS (joomla). I have recently been trying to deploy to a client's hosting and have been running in to some trouble. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I have been in contact with the clients hosting and have had them set up a mysql DB for me and enable php. Simple php was working but joomla was not able to create the config files it needed to run on this hosting. Therefore I havnt been able to successfully deploy my work. While playing around with some simple php pages I have started getting http 500 errors and now cant seem to get anywhere. This is a smaller hosting company that seems willing to work with me but I dont really know what i need to ask from them to get me working. My questions to you webmaster geniuses would be as follows:

Given the situation I have described, is there anything specifically i should do to get my joomla/php site running on this hosting?

What specifically should I ask my current hosting providers to do to help me get working?

  • 2
    If they can't get PHP working that's a good sign that you shouldn't be using them. Hosting is a commodity so you can get reliable hosting for cheap from lots of different vendors.
    – John Conde
    Commented Mar 20, 2012 at 0:52
  • Due to client/hosting history, I am trying to resolve the issue before demanding the hosting be moved. I would like to find a way to determine what is wrong.
    – things4fun
    Commented Mar 20, 2012 at 2:04
  • Is your client in bed with the current hosting company?
    – jumpdart
    Commented Mar 20, 2012 at 2:10
  • He made it sound that way, but to what extent, I don't know.
    – things4fun
    Commented Mar 20, 2012 at 17:58
  • A competent web host should be able to figure this out on their own. It's not hard to set up Joomla (many web hosts have one-click installs for Joomla). It's a simple matter of looking at the errors displayed on the page and/or in the error logs. If the web host can't debug this problem, then they shouldn't be providing PHP web hosting. Commented Mar 21, 2012 at 9:09

6 Answers 6


Have you had them do an IISReset yet?

Don't ask questions. If you don't have a reliable history with this host, then you really can't trust anything they say.

If you cannot even do echo(); or phpinfo();, then PHP is not running on the server. phpinfo(); has been around for ages.

Also, make sure that your file extension is '.php'... I've made that mistake more than I care to recount.

Last suggestion, see about folder permissions; they could be locked down as a security feature.

  • Thank you, I believe you are right in that PHP had stopped working altogether. Checking on it this afternoon the simplest of commands have started working again. I also received an email from the hosting company who said that they have straitened things out. Things seem ok right now and I'v got my fingers crossed.
    – things4fun
    Commented Mar 20, 2012 at 17:53
  • If you can install Joomla correctly, inquire into the problem. Normally issues this large can be avoided by a reliable host, but that's beating the dead horse. IISReset I've found cures most problems with configuration, oddly enough. Commented Mar 21, 2012 at 3:55

Also ask and check for directory/file permissions in file manager.

  • Thank you, Yes when I spoke with the hosting today they were apologetic that they had missed this. It is working now and they did have to reset some permissions.
    – things4fun
    Commented Mar 20, 2012 at 17:42

Make sure your Config.php file iS WRITEABLE! CHMOD to 777

Joomla is fairly easy to install and should be supported on 99.999% of all shared hosts.

  • He cannot run a simple phpinfo(); file so it has nothing to do with Config.php being writeable or not. It's a php/iis issue
    – Anagio
    Commented Mar 20, 2012 at 21:03

How about if you ask them to install the Joomla for you? Does your host support Joomla? You need to check whether they support it or not. If not, you need to find another company that support PHP. One of them that I can recommend is hostforlife.eu.

  • They had stated that they do not directly support third party tools, but had enabled PHP and set up a MySQL database. My client has a personal relationship with this hosting company and I'm trying to ask the right questions to help things get set up without just abandoning it.
    – things4fun
    Commented Mar 20, 2012 at 1:59

Show errors, write version of Joomla you tried. Read docs!

PHP 4 is deprecated and has become obsolete. Some hosting providers still have both available on servers to support outdated scripts. Joomla requires PHP5.

And FAQs

Latest hint: "Do not use the tools that go beyond your mind"

  • You are correct. Joomla does requre PHP5, and they assured me that their servers run IIS 6 and PHP 5. I'm assuming the problem would be as simple as a security setting that someone familiar with setting up PHP on servers could clue me in on. The site cannot run a simple php script.
    – things4fun
    Commented Mar 20, 2012 at 2:28

I would create a simple phpinfo file and check how php is configured, create a file with the below inside of it, then view the file in your browser. If you can paste the results here we can help you more. It may be a file permissions error. Or how php is configured or miss-configured in this case. But overall if your host cannot configure php and their webserver properly you and your client should not be using them.





For Windows servers the below is from PHP's site Installing on Windows the below is from this thread

Under Windows2000 Advanced Server it returns http error 500 if you have php installed on a path that uses spaces (for example C:\program files\php); solved coping the php5isapi.dll under winnt\system32 (but I think any path without spaces will be good).

  • Thank you, it turns out that this will not run either. It still gives an "HTTP Error 500" when I try and open a PHP file. I agree with you that they have not set this up right.
    – things4fun
    Commented Mar 20, 2012 at 10:01
  • 1
    Are you on a Windows server by any chance?
    – Anagio
    Commented Mar 20, 2012 at 10:05
  • Yes, windows server 2003, running II6
    – things4fun
    Commented Mar 20, 2012 at 16:41
  • I updated my answer hope that helps
    – Anagio
    Commented Mar 20, 2012 at 16:52

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