All upgrades and changes to your site should first be performed and thoroughly tested on a seperate development server. Below are links to information and resources that will get you going fast.
Note: A complete and detailed tutorial is available here, or try the quick directions below.
1. Download and install Joomla! along with all related server applications
Sounds intimidating? It's not. The beauty of free software (as in "free speech") is that there are many great options, many of which are also free (as in "free beer"). For example, Apache Friends provides XAMPP, a free and easy-to-use Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP (LAMP) installer that works on many operating systems, including GNU/Linux, Macintosh, Solaris, and Windows. Below are a few popular choices.
- Everyone: XAMPP: http://www.apachefriends.org/
- Windows-only: WAMP: http://www.wampserver.com/
- Macintosh-only: MAMP:, from living-e: http://www.mamp.info
2. For professional development, use an Integrated Development Environment (IDE)
These applications take the drudgery out of development by bringing together the most critical tools needed for fast and effective development.