Drupal and Pair.com logos

How to Install Drupal on Pair.com

Drupal and Pair.com logosThere seems to be a lack of documentation on how to install Drupal on  Pair.com, one of my favorite web hosting providers, so I decided to write a clear step by step guide to help walk people through the process. I know that there are many hosting providers out there that are set up to install and host Drupal, and installation may be as easy as a one click on them, but I have never found another provider that can even come close to Pair.com for reliability (server up time) and 24 hour phone tech support. And I’m talking about tech support specialists that actually know the product, and can help you there and then, not just file a ticket and get back to you.

Ok, so here is the guide to help you easily install Drupal on Pair.com.

  • Log into your pair account  control panel.
  • At this time the SIM one click install does not work very well, and it is better to do a manual install.  (A manual install is really not that much harder, just a few clicks more.)
  • If this is an existing server and you are adding an installation or you are planning multiple installations of Drupal, it is best to use sub-domain(s) to point to the dev folder so your real domain will be mapped to the live site. This can be done through the domain management on pair.com.  If you have already set up sub domains for this use on pair you can just map the desired domain to a new folder.
    • Go to “Domain Management”
    • Select “Add”
    • Select “Add a Subdomain of a Domain Already on Your Account”
    • Select the primary domain from the drop down (Example: mydomaindev1.org)
    • Enter the subdomain name in the text field
    • Select Dedicated IP Hosting if it is not already selected so that it will have a unique IP address that can be shared with stakeholders.
    • Click proceed and this will set up a folder on the server with the sub-domain name and map the URL to it in one step.
    • The new sub-domain will take 20-30  minutes to populate.  It is best to wait for the domain to be working before the Drupal install as using the IP address can cause errors.
  • Download the version of Drupal you want. (latest version of Drupal 7 here)
    • You will get a file called drupal-x.x.tar.gz. Save and extract the compressed files onto your local machine.
    • Log into your server using your FTP client (FileZilla is free if you don’t have one) and navigate to the web root directory (public.html) and then the folder in which you want to install Drupal. Upload all of the files from inside the Drupal folder you downloaded on your local machine into the desired directory on your server.
  • Create a new database through the Pair.com control panel.  Select “Manage Your Databases”  make note of any database names already in use.
    • Click on “Create New Database”
    • Name your database.  Use something memorable that will distinguish it from other databases .
    • Access level “Local Only”
    • Optomization Period “Monthly”
    • Click “Add Database”
    • Make careful note of the page of results that come up (Write them down or print them out).  Keep the database name, database server, full-access username and password notated somewhere safe.  You will need this information to complete the installation.
  • Make the /sites/default directory writable.  With FileZilla and many FTP clients you can right click on the directory and select “File Permissions” and set to 777, or with *nix command line chmod a+w sites/default   (Drupal should reset this when it’s completed the installation  chmod a-w sites/default or 555)
  • Open your browser of choice and enter the domain or sub domain you mapped to your installation folder.  This will take you to the Drupal installer, which starts with: “Select an installation profile.” Save and continue.
    • Choose “Standard.” Save and continue.
    • Choose “English” or “learn how to install Drupal in other languages”. Save and continue.
    • Choose the type of database you created (e.g. MySQL or SQLite, On pair most likely you created a MySQL database). Enter the name of the database you created, the username, and password.
    • Click on “Advanced Settings”
    • Under “Database host” enter the database server name.
    • Leave “Database port” and “Table prefix” blank unless you are sharing the database (not recommended).
    • Save and continue.
    • On the site information page, you can set the site name and email from which the site will send out mail. You also set the username, email, and password of the first administrator account. Save and continue.
  • You will now be automatically logged into your new site with the administrator account and can begin to configure your site.
  • If this is a Development site, you will want to password protect the directory that the site is hosted in.  This will keep search engines out, as well as restrict access only to people you want to share the site with.  If you are just building straight to live skip this step, but it is always recommended to have a Dev site to test on.
    • Go back to your Pair.com control panel.
    • Click on “File Management”.
    • Click on the folder icon for “public.html”.
    • Click on the folder icon for the folder you want to protect.
    • Click on “Web Settings” button.
    • Click on “Access Controls”.
    • Click on “Enable Password Protection”
    • Enter a username and password and click “Add/Edit User”.
  • Congratulations.  You now have a password protected Drupal site.

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