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Re: Joomla upgrade 3.7 to 3.8 kills website

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:32 pm
by sozzled
A couple of things here:

1) Good to see that, in spite of the advice from SiteGround to the contrary, you were able to get Session Path Writable enabled; I'm also pleased to read that you took my advice to install Akeeba Backup.

2) The FPA warning text More than one instance of version.php found! is still a matter of concern. Unfortunately I can't find any other reference on Google w.r.t. this matter. It shouldn't happen. There's something wrong with the J! 3.7 website that causes the update to J! 3.8 to result in this condition.

Because I don't know what causes the FPA report to display this warning text (unless I delve into the FPA source code) I really can't say more.

I still have reservations about the JHackguard and jSGCache extensions; none of us uses these things (in fact, the jSGCache plugin is only available for SiteGround customers). I can't say whether these two products provide any benefit to your website.

Casting a wider net, we know that Joomla! Update may [partially] fail if the hosting platform is not "compatible" with Joomla. There could be reasons such as folder/file ownership, for example, but there's no clear evidence in the FPA report to conclude this is the case. However, there are some ways that people can improve their chances of success; let me give you one.

There's a wonderful product called Akeeba Admin Tools; it comes in two versions (a free one and pro/paid version). The free version has a few tools to assist webmasters to automatically fix a range of issues; fixing folder/file permissions is one of those tools. It won't hurt you to install Akeeba Admin Tools and work your way through the tools that it has.

@JAVasey gave you a clue earlier in this topic, to copy the last dozen or so lines from the file ../logs/joomla_update.php and post it here. I don't think any ".gz" files are relevant. If you can't find the file joomla_update.php in the /logs folder then something is wrong.

I don't know why you cannot login to your /administrator website. I wonder, too, about the plugin DirectPHP. Do you use it? Do you really need it? Whether or not you use it, what happens if you uninstall it?

To be totally honest with you, I would be "going back to basics". I would uninstall the three extensions I've mentioned a few times in this topic, viz. DirectPHP, JHackguard and jSGCache. I would say, quietly confidently, that none of us "experienced" users of Joomla use these things. I would also say that we need to find the file ../logs/joomla_update.php (it should have been created on the version of the website updated to J! 3.8.whatever.

You've written that you only have one Joomla website. If this is true (i.e. there are no "buried" websites, embedded within the one site that you're running) then I would suggest that you create a test website using J! 3.8.13 as the basis. We need to eliminate website hosting as the cause. It takes about 10-15 minutes to create a J! 3.8.13 website (from scratch). When creating a test site, do not use any "quickstart" or webhost-provided scripted packages. There is one guaranteed way to install a Joomla website and that is to use the installation package, downloaded from the official source ... format=zip

We've got to get to the bottom of this, somehow. I do appreciate your patience and ongoing involvement. The short answer to your questions about do we know if there's any reason why you can't login, however, is no. We're as mystified as you are.

Re: Joomla upgrade 3.7 to 3.8 kills website

Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:22 pm
by websroger
1) Yes I installed Akeeba Backup but it is useless if I cannot even get to the joomla admin control panel in the j3.8.13
2) Yes there are indeed 3 files "version.php". But 2 of them (I looked when 3.8.13 was installed) are Akeeba version files. Despite your concern, this seems to be a "red herring".
Here are the last few lines of the joomla_update.php:
2017-10-13T15:31:21+00:00 INFO update File downloaded.
2017-10-13T15:31:21+00:00 INFO update Starting installation of new version.
2018-10-11T22:37:15+00:00 INFO - update COM_JOOMLAUPDATE_UPDATE_LOG_DELETE_FILES
2018-10-15T16:48:53+00:00 INFO - update COM_JOOMLAUPDATE_UPDATE_LOG_DELETE_FILES
2018-10-15T17:58:20+00:00 INFO - update COM_JOOMLAUPDATE_UPDATE_LOG_DELETE_FILES
2018-10-17T14:52:31+00:00 INFO update Update started by user Administrator (814). Old version is 3.7.5.
2018-10-17T14:52:32+00:00 INFO update Downloading update file from ... 644abd00c6.
2018-10-17T14:52:34+00:00 INFO update File downloaded.
2018-10-17T14:52:35+00:00 INFO update Starting installation of new version.
2018-10-18T17:16:57+00:00 INFO update Update started by user Administrator (814). Old version is 3.7.5.
2018-10-18T17:17:02+00:00 INFO update File downloaded.
2018-10-18T17:17:03+00:00 INFO update Starting installation of new version.
2018-10-18T17:37:27+00:00 INFO update Update started by user Administrator (814). Old version is 3.7.5.
2018-10-18T17:37:31+00:00 INFO update File downloaded.
2018-10-18T17:37:31+00:00 INFO update Starting installation of new version.

Indeed I use DirectPHP extensively, as almost all my joomla pages contain php code. I have eliminated the other extensions you mentioned

Re: Joomla upgrade 3.7 to 3.8 kills website

Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:42 pm
by sozzled
The Joolma update log shws that it "starts" the installation but it never shows that the installation completes; it certainly doesn't complete successfully. That's probably the reason why you cannot access the J! 3.8 backend (administrator site).

You can always get to the Akeeba Backup files (whether you can access the Joomla backend or not) because they're just files like any other files and you've probably got some kind of "file explorer" tool accessible from the cPanel.

I asked whether you've considered spending the [less than] half-an-hour to create another J! website—a no-frills, vanilla-flavoured, out-of-the-box installation, to rule out the possibility that it's your webhost. You haven't indicated how you've progressed with that idea.

I still don't know why you cannot access your J! 3.8.x backend. It's quite puzzling. I doubt that this to-and-fro on the forum will resolve this matter. As I've written before, SiteGround is a reputable webhost that has been involved with (and sponsored) Joomla over many years. I'm suprised that SiteGround hasn't been able to assist you. It may be an idea to get some one-on-one assistance. Depending on your interest in pursuing this, I may be able to lend you a hand for an hour or so if that's something you want to look into; we may be able to arrange something offline.

Re: Joomla upgrade 3.7 to 3.8 kills website

Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:56 pm
by websroger
Sozzled: Your analysis of the update log is puzzling, as the results say that it has completed - a message either from Siteground or on the screen when I do the update from the admin backend of j3.7. It may only "end" without completing. When I did it from the j3.7 admin backend, it said it's completed and sends me to the admin login page which doesn't work, as I said. I will pass on to Siteground "help" gurus that the log inidicates the upgrade does not complete, and see what they say.

Yes I can get to the Akeeba files via the Siteground control panel File Manager. But I can't see a way to run a program (backup.php) from there.

I am willing to try, and indeed thought I might have to, just load j3.8.13 somewhere else and start over. The problem is all my pages that joomla stores in its database.
Where should I load the new test version? I could create a subfolder in the public.html folder on the server, put the in it, and unpack it and put it there. Can you confirm that as a reasonable plan? Please be a bit more explicit.

Re: Joomla upgrade 3.7 to 3.8 kills website

Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:40 pm
by sozzled
There may be two kinds of completion: (a) when the Joomla! Update component reports on the backend something to the effect that "You are now using J! 3.8.13" and (b) when the Joomla! Update component also writes in the update log something to the effect that the update completed successfully. The last few lines of the joomla_update.php file (that you posted earlier) don't say the second thing as we've seen in an earlier post from @JAVasey.

So, something's not right. And whether my analysis is flawed, I'm simply basing my diagnosis on what you've provided to us.

In terms of what use the Akeeba Backup files may be, not being able to "run the backup" is not relevant. Backup files are mainly useful if you're restoring the site with Akeeba's Kickstart facility.

A test site should be created (as I've written before) within its own separate filesystem "silo"; i.e. a dedicated folder (under the /public_html folder), something like /public_html/testsite. Just as I would have expected, your live site would exist as something like /public_html/livesite. If, for instance, your live site simply exists as a collection of files under the /public_html folder, then this may be one reason why you're having difficulties.

Let me give you a "for instance" ... this is what I do: let's say you're putting together a website that's all about rose gardens (and you have a domain called I would create a folder under the /public_html folder with the name /public_html/roses. Then I would install Joomla in that folder (with its own separate database and its own separate database username for that site). Then I would point the domain name "" to the folder /public_html/roses. Let's now say that I wanted to create a test site. I would create another folder under the /public_html folder with the name /public_html/test. The new site would also have its own database and a separate database username for that website. I could then create a subdomain called something like and point the subdomain to the folder /public_html/test.

Are you following how I'm "siloing" these sites? Each site in its own separated filesystem, each site with its own separate database, no two sites "embedded" one within the other? Domains and subdomains are separate from filesystems and databases. If you own a domain then, under normal circumstances, you can define the filesystem used by that domain and, further, you can create subdomains under each domain associated with your webhosting environment. Does this make sense to you?

It's not rocket science. It's Webcraft 101. Most hobbyist website owners are usually only concerned about managing one website. When you're really starting to get ahead of the game, you need to plan how to use your webhosting environment to give you the flexibility to manage several websites; the principal reason for doing this is so that you can keep one site running—the site that your visitors will visit—but have a site for ongoing development, for testing, for experimentation or for just plain "reassurance" that your webhosting provider is making changes that you're not expecting.

Does that help?

Lastly, installing Joomla is not that complicated. I produced a video tutorial to show people how to install Joomla in less than 10 minutes (including the creation of a database, database username, FTP of the J! installation kit, extracting the files from the ZIP, installing ... and logging on) ... all in "real time". I'm not permitted to promote myself on the forum, but a search of Google should find the video tute (it's at Vimeo, if that helps); other people have done similar, I think.

Re: Joomla upgrade 3.7 to 3.8 kills website

Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:11 pm
by websroger
Sozzled: You may be right that there may be a problem with my site insofar as I do indeed have the website as the collection of Joomla folders in the public_html folder, (other folders there too) rather than have them in a single subfolder (no other folders). While the site has worked, it may be causing the upgraded version problem. If I move just the joomla subfolders into a single subfolder [ e.g. /public_html/rose/ as your example] I suspect there is a redirect that I could put somewhere that will cause all calls to my domain to go into that subfolder. I can do that I think, with your guidance.

Re: Joomla upgrade 3.7 to 3.8 kills website

Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:21 pm
by sozzled
Good move :)

Pointing your domain name to the folder (where your site resides) is usually something accomplished with a cPanel feature. As I mentioned, managing the domain is independent of managing the website. Just make sure that all the files associated with the website are moved into the [sub-]folder where the J! website will operate from. This means, make sure that the /public_html/"roses" folder has the configuration.php, robots.txt, .htaccess (and a few other files) that existed previously under the /public_html [top-level] folder.

Also, you may need to edit the configuration.php file to point the /log and /tmp folders used by your J! website to their new physical paths.

Re: Joomla upgrade 3.7 to 3.8 kills website

Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:33 pm
by sozzled
The following picture may help; it shows the layout of a "typical" J! website (a vanilla-flavoured one) although not all the folders and files may be applicable in every circumstance. It's just to give you a rough idea.

Re: Joomla upgrade 3.7 to 3.8 kills website

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:41 pm
by websroger
sozzled: I assume you have an .htaccess file in public_html there to direct users to the joomla subfolder? An example of that?

Re: Joomla upgrade 3.7 to 3.8 kills website

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:02 pm
by sozzled
Most of my websites (i.e. 95% of them) have a .htaccess file. The file structure that I showed in the example I posted, was taken from a stock-standard, no-frills, virtually-no-extensions-added, out-of-the-box, J! 3.8.12 website. As you would know, a stock-standard, no-frills, nothing added, out-of-the-box Joomla website does not have a .htaccess file.

The Joomla installation package provides the basis for creating a .htaccess file (for those people installing Joomla in a Unix-Apache environment) or for creating its analog (in a Windows-IIS environment, say).

Therefore, the file structure I gave above was for illustrative purposes only.

You don't need a .htaccess file to get a Joomla website up-and-running in 10 minutes. You do require a .htaccess file, however, if you want to undertake URL-rewriting or if you have a J! website embedded as a sub-folder of another J! website, and for other reasons that I won't go into on the forum.

As far as my own /public_html folder is concerned, I haven't looked if there's a .htaccess file there or not. It's irrelevant anyway in terms of discussing how to install and manage Joomla on a hosting platform.

UPDATE: I looked and there's a file /public_html/.htaccess (I don't know who placed it there—maybe my webhosting provider(?)—or whether I changed it over time) but its contents are not very interesting and not something I'm going to post on a public forum. There's nothing in it that is relevant to Joomla, anyway.

Re: Joomla upgrade 3.7 to 3.8 kills website

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:51 pm
by websroger
I suggested the .htaccess beause I thought that if I set up my file structure like your example, the folder public_html would need it for the server to know, when my browser types in the domain name, to go to your joomla sub-folder within public_html. Otherwise, how does it know where to find the "website"? Your example has the joomla folders and files in a sub-directory of public_html, mine has them in the public_html folder itself. I see the apparent value of having them in their own sub-folder, but I don't understand how under that condition a browser would find the website "autmatically" (so to speak). Maybe this is handled by an index.php file?

Re: Joomla upgrade 3.7 to 3.8 kills website

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:57 pm
by sozzled
websroger wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:51 pm
How does [the domain] know where to find the [physical location of the] "website"?
Not via the .htaccess file in the /public_html folder.

As I wrote earlier, this is [kind of] Webcraft 101; the domain is defined in the hosting package (usually a cPanel feature) and the method may differ depending on the webhost. I don't use SiteGround myself and so I'm not qualified to give you an answer that's applicable to you. Ask SiteGround: "How do I define the physical filesystem I want to use for my domain?" and see what they tell you.

Re: Joomla upgrade 3.7 to 3.8 kills website

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:28 pm
by websroger
I can do that, but I already asked the question a different way, and the helper directed me to a blog that said how to use .htaccess. I'm sure there are other ways, as you suggest.

Re: Joomla upgrade 3.7 to 3.8 kills website

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:49 pm
by sozzled
While, I guess, it's feasible to redirect the domain (let's call it from /public_html to /public_html/rosegarden if the DNS record for points to a physical location on one of SiteGround's servers, what would happen if you added another domain (let's call it to your hosting account?

That's what cPanel is used for: to allow you to define (or redefine) the DNS records used by the domain(s) that you're hosting.

Totally off-topic: I have an abiding aversion to gardening and an even more intense dislike of roses or petunias. My involvement with gardening consists of using the lawn mower and whipper-snipper to cut down anything and everything in sight (but maybe that's because I like power tools?)

Did you find my video guide to installing a Joomla website in less than 15 minutes? Did you spend the [less than] 15 minutes watching it? This may help: ... +AND+Vimeo

Re: Joomla upgrade 3.7 to 3.8 kills website

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:08 pm
by websroger
There is a feature on the Siteground control panel under the heading of domains that is supposed to handle redirects to another url. I just want to point to a subdirectory, and it seems not to have been considered. Indeed I will look at your video to see if there is what I need discussed there.

Re: Joomla upgrade 3.7 to 3.8 kills website

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:25 pm
by sozzled
It may take [at least] one hour (possibly up to 24 hours) for DNS records to propagate throughout the internet, that is, for the DNS records associating your domain with its physical file location to be recognised if you change it. Again, this is Webcraft 101. If you're using Windows, you may find it useful to flush the DNS resolver cache information with the Windows command

Code: Select all

ipconfig /flushdns

Re: Joomla upgrade 3.7 to 3.8 kills website

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:37 pm
by websroger
I did not take the course webcraft 101. I just want to move my joomla folders into a sub-directory rather than a new URL. That seems to be difficult on not considered. I looked at your video and missed seeing how you told your site host where to put the new Joomla, or what was the structure of the completed joomla file arrangement. Was it like your example above?

Re: Joomla upgrade 3.7 to 3.8 kills website

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:50 pm
by sozzled
Here's a tip: there's a Joomla User Group near where you live (in Colorado Springs), a 2½ hour drive or about 240 km away, although they may not be very active. Another suggestion is to contact me and we may be able to arrange something one-on-one via Skype; I'm willing to give you an hour. Contact me using the "contact" feature on the forum if that's something you're happy to do.

This "simple" exercise is starting to get a little tricky. I admit that I'm not completely au fait with SiteGround but these matters shouldn't be impossible to muddle through.

Re: Joomla upgrade 3.7 to 3.8 kills website

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 3:49 am
by websroger
Sozzled: I still feel one simple question is unanswered.
Let's take your example website file/folder structure you gave above as a screen capture, and say the website is called rosegarden. Your Joomla files are in the (name masked - let's call it rose) subfolder of public_html: public_html/rose. I want to look at your website with my browser and I type in That gives my browser access to your public_html. How does my browser know that the domain website files are in the subfolder /rose?
You said you are not familiar with Siteground. Fair enough. But does it matter who the website host is for an answer to this question?

Re: Joomla upgrade 3.7 to 3.8 kills website

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:00 am
by sozzled
websroger wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 3:49 am
But does it matter who the website host is for an answer to this question?
It matters to me because, unless I know what you know (or don't know) and what facilities are available to you, and how knowledeable you are about those tools, I can't answer the question with any specificity. I can only answer generally. I know how to use the tools and features provided to me by my webhosting provider; I don't know how to use the tools that you have at your disposal.

I haven't needed to do this in my case because I don't actually have any website(s) associated with my primary domain. I suppose the .htaccess file in the /public_html (using the example in your last post) may take care of this issue, guessing its contents would be:

Code: Select all

# .htaccess main domain to subdirectory redirect
# Copy and paste the following code into the .htaccess file
# in the public_html folder of your hosting account
# make the changes to the file according to the instructions.
# Do not change this line.
RewriteEngine on
# Change to be your main domain.
# Change 'subdirectory' to be the directory you will use for your main domain
# followed by / then the main file for your site, index.php, index.html, etc.
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/rose/
# Don't change these line.
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
Maybe someone else can verify if my suggestion is OK. Perhaps you could run this past your helper at SiteGround?